Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Scholars
Rima A. Arnaout, MD
Associate Professor in Residence, University of California San Francisco
Swathi Arur, PhD
Associate Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Genetics, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Arur established her laboratory in the Department of Genetics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2010. Over the last 12 years, her lab has built a strong foundation for understanding how female nutrition regulates reproduction and progeny survival and defined new molecular targets of cancer metastasis. Discoveries in the Arur Lab are primarily driven via federal, state, and private funds, in particular the National Institute for Health, American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, Anna Fuller Foundation among others. Dr. Arur obtained her Ph.D. with Prof. M.K. Bhan from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in India and conducted her postdoctoral work at Washington University School of Medicine with Prof. Tim Schedl. Dr. Arur serves on the Board of Directors at Genetics Society of America, she Chairs the Awards Committee for GSA, serves as a standing study section member of the NIH study section (CMIR); as an Editor at Development (published by Company of Biologists, UK). Dr. Arur is the co-chair and chair of the Gordon Research Conference in Developmental Biology in 2023 and 2025, respectively, (these are leading scientific meetings in the field). Dr. Arur was awarded the MD Anderson Presidential Scholar Award in 2017 and the Distinguished Faculty Mentor at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2018. In 2020, Dr. Arur was Elected Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Sciences.
Ami S. Bhatt, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology, BMT) and Genetics; Director of Global Oncology, Center for Innovation in Global Health, Stanford University
Her team’s research program seeks to illuminate the interplay between the microbial environment and host/clinical factors in human diseases. Her translational laboratory develops and applies novel molecular and computational tools to study strain level dynamics of the microbiome, to understand how microbial genomes change over time and predict the functional output of microbiomes. These innovations facilitate much improved (1) measurement of the types and functions of microbes in patients with non-communicable diseases, (2) understanding how microbes communicate with one another and with human cells using small proteins, and (3) testing of the impact of microbially targeted interventions in clinical trials.
In addition to carrying out research at Stanford University, Prof. Bhatt has active collaborations worldwide including in Nigeria and South Africa. She is committed to ensuring that advances in research touch the lives of individuals in all income settings–and thus, in her spare time, enjoys volunteering for the nonprofit she co-founded, Global Oncology and serves as the Director for Global Oncology for Stanford’sCenter for Innovation in Global Health.
Brandon Brown, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Population, and Public Health, University of California, Riverside
Alejandra Casillas, MD, MSHS
Assistant Professor of Medicine in Residence, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
Alejandra Casillas MD, MSHS is an assistant professor of medicine in residence, in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of
Medicine at UCLA. She practices primary care at UCLA, and also teaches medical students and internal medicine residents while caring for patients at the Venice Family Free Clinic. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Dr. Casillas witnessed the health disparities lived by her family, and the struggle for a better life in her diverse Los Angeles community. Today, as a primary care physician for the underserved, a mentor to trainees from disadvantaged backgrounds, and a health disparities researcher, she addresses these inequities.
The first in her family to attend college, Dr. Casillas completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and medical training at Harvard Medical School, where she received the Dean’s Community Service Award and was a Paul and Daisy Soros Scholar for New Americans. She finished her internal medicine and primary care residency at the University of California San Francisco, also serving as Chief Medical Resident at UCSF Medical Center. Dr. Casillas returned to Los Angeles as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA– where she completed a health services research and leadership fellowship, and received a masters’ degree at the Fielding School of Public Health. After completing her training, Dr. Casillas worked at the academic medical centers in Geneva and Lausanne, with funding from the Swiss Office of Public Health, to address immigrant health disparities in the French-speaking region of Switzerland.
Dr. Casillas’ health services research focuses on the low-income communities served by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the second largest municipal safety net in the US, developing digital health interventions tailored to socially complex, Limited English Proficient patients. Her published scholarship also includes research and programming initiatives addressing equity and diversity inclusion in academia and health, connecting to her UCLA roles as director of the CTSI Health Disparities Student Research Program, and founder of the First Generation Program at the School of Medicine.
Christopher R. Cogle, MD
Professor of Hematology and Oncology, University of Florida
Paul Cohen, MD, PhD
Albert Resnick, M.D. Associate Professor, The Rockefeller University
Carrie H. Colla, PhD
Associate Professor, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Dustin T. Duncan, ScD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Ellen F. Eaton, MD, MSPH
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama Birmingham
Justin Basile Echouffo Tcheugui, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Justin is a physician-scientist. He trained in clinical endocrinology and metabolism at Harvard University, USA. He underwent research training in epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, UK. and in clinical \investigation at Boston University, USA. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
His clinical practice focuses on diabetes and obesity. His research is at the intersection of metabolism and cardiovascular diseases, exploring the pathways leading to type 2 diabetes, as well as the related-cardiovascular complications. He uses epidemiological methods and other investigational approaches (biomarkers, imaging, etc.) to understand the natural history and pathogenesis of diabetes and the resultant cardiovascular complications.
Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBe
Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Law, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, is Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, as well as assistant professor of law at Penn Carey Law School. She pursues conceptual and empirical research and scholarship with the goal of influencing institutional and governmental policy. Her work focuses on clinical research ethics and regulation, priority setting in research, access to investigational medicines outside clinical trials, FDA pharmaceutical policy, and the ethics of gatekeeping in health care.
Professor Fernandez Lynch is founder and co-chair of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight (www.AEREO.org), an organization working to evaluate and improve IRB quality and effectiveness, and an active member of the NYU Working Group on Compassionate Use and Preapproval Access (CUPA). She serves as a member of the boards of Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R) and the American Society for Law, Medicine, and Ethics, and as “ethicist in residence” at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She was previously a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP).
Professor Fernandez Lynch has worked as an attorney in private practice, as a bioethicist serving NIH’s Division of AIDS, as an analyst with President Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and as executive director of Harvard Law School’s bioethics and health law research program. She was named a Greenwall Faculty Scholar in 2019 and elected a fellow of the Hastings Center in 2021.
Anna Greka, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
With a focus on laying the foundation for molecularly targeted therapies, Anna Greka’s scientific work is centered on understanding membrane proteins and fundamental mechanisms of disrupted cellular homeostasis.
Anna’s early scientific work focused on the role of TRP ion channels in essential cellular functions. Combining her expertise in ion channel biology with the study of kidney podocytes, she uncovered a pathway linking TRPC5 ion channel activity to cytoskeletal dysregulation and cell death. Based on these discoveries, TRPC5 inhibitors are now being tested in the clinic for difficult-to-treat kidney diseases.
Recently, Anna and her team made a key discovery of a general mechanism that monitors the quality of membrane protein cargoes destined for the cell surface by studying a proteinopathy in the kidney, caused by a mutation in MUC1. Specifically, they identified a mechanism for membrane protein quality control that is operative in diverse cell types and tissues, such as kidney epithelial cells and retina photoreceptors. The study of cargo quality control and its implications for several toxic proteinopathies is now a major focus of the laboratory.
Anna is also interested in dissecting the fundamental mechanisms of disrupted cellular homeostasis at the intersection of proteotoxicity and lipotoxicity across the lifespan, with implications for many metabolic and degenerative human diseases.
Anna is the recipient of several honors, including the 2020 Donald W. Seldin Young Investigator Award by the American Society of Nephrology and the American Heart Association, the 2018 Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research from the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a 2014 Top 10 Exceptional Research Award from the Clinical Research Council, and a 2014 Young Physician-Scientist Award from the ASCI. She was also elected to the ASCI Council, and serves on the Harvard-MIT M.D.-Ph.D. Program Leadership Council.
Kelli Stidham Hall, PhD, MS
Associate Professor, Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; Associate Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
Sidney H. Hankerson, MD, MBA
Vice Chair for Community Engagement in Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Sidney Hankerson, MD, MBA is Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Community Engagement in the Department of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also Director of Mental Health Equity Research in the Institute for Health Equity Research at Mount Sinai. His research focuses on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in mental health treatment. He is a nationally recognized expert at faith-based mental health services research.
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently appointed Dr. Hankerson as Chair of the Community Services Board of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Hankerson has presented his study results at the White House, United Nations, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Gracie Mansion (NYC Mayor’s Office), and numerous national academic conferences. He was an inaugural member of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Council of Faith and Community Partnerships and served on the APA Council of Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.
Dr. Hankerson completed a dual MD/MBA program from Emory University, where he was Medical School Class President for two years. He completed his psychiatry residency at Emory and was named Chief Resident of Psychiatry at Grady Memorial Hospital. He then completed a NIMH T32 post-doctoral research fellowship at Columbia University and was on faculty at Columbia for 12 years before transitioning to his current leadership roles at Mount Sinai.
Ronald L. Hickman, Jr., PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN
The Ruth M. Anderson Endowed Chair and Associate Dean for Research, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Hickman received his PhD in nursing science from CWRU and completed a 4-year career development award (KL2) in multidisciplinary clinical and translational research at CWRU’s School of Medicine. Dr. Hickman’s scholarship has garnered numerous regional and national awards from research and professional societies, such as distinguished scientist awards and recognition for his efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion in nursing. He is committed to mentoring others and has received his university’s highest honors for excellence in mentoring undergraduates and graduate students. Dr.Hickman is an elected fellow of the National Academies of Practice and the American Academy of Nursing.
Ehsan Hoque, PhD
Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Affiliate faculty, Goergen Institute for Data Science, University of Rochester
Dr. Hoque uses Artificial Intelligence and Human-centered computing to amplify human ability. He models and captures the dynamics of human behavior using machine learning and network sciences; and design interactive systems to promote equality and access in health care. He has identified opportunities in developing technologies that can improve the lives of disadvantaged, ill, disabled, and other individuals who struggle with socio-emotional communication, such as those with autism, severe anxiety, neurodegenerative disease, and terminal illness.
His ideas and impact have been recognized by NSF CRII, NSF CAREER, and Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (ECASE). MIT Technology Review named him as one of the Top Innovators Under 35 (TR35) Award in 2016, and Science News recognized him as one of ten early-to mid-career scientists to watch in 2017. He is an inaugural member of the Association of Computing Machinery’s Future of Computing Academy (ACM FCA).
He earned his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013, working with Prof. Rosalind Picard. His dissertation work of developing an intelligent agent to improve the socio-emotional ability of humans was highlighted by MIT Museum as one of MIT’s most unconventional inventions. He is blessed to be the primary caregiver of his brother, 20, diagnosed with autism and Down Syndrome.
Gunisha Kaur, MD, MA
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology; Director, Human Rights Impact Lab, Weill Cornell Medicine
Dr. Gunisha Kaur is a physician-scientist who has dedicated her career to advancing the health of forcibly displaced individuals such as refugees and asylum seekers. She has used her extensive background in neuroscience research as an analytical framework to pioneer the study of human rights using scientific methodology. Her research has been supported by funders such as the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, and Cornell University.
Dr. Kaur’s academic writing on forcibly displaced populations has been published by high impact medical journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. She has also translated her medical and scientific expertise in mainstream outlets including TIME, CNN, and NBC News. Dr. Kaur has given over 100 national and international keynote presentations and talks, including with global leaders, at the United Nations, and for the U.S. Government.
Dr. Kaur is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine, a Medical Director of the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, Founding Director of the Human Rights Impact Lab, and a Stephen M. Kellen Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. She earned her B.S. from Cornell University in 2006, graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 2010, and completed her Anesthesiology Residency training at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2014. She earned a Master’s Degree in Medical Anthropology from Harvard University in 2015.
Caprice Knapp, PhD
Medicaid Director, State of North Dakota
Knapp’s career has been focused on vulnerable populations, delivery system reform, and global health.Examples of her funded research topics include an assessment of Florida’s Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Grant; an evaluation of fertility-preservation decision making for adolescent girls with cancer; outcomes of concurrent models of pediatric palliative care; and an assessment of the quality, patient experiences, and costs of health and dental plans for children in Florida. Her global health projects also focus on maternal and child health and have been conducted in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. At the University of Florida, Knapp earned a PhD in economics and completed postdoctoral training in health services research. She has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, 60 government reports, and two books.
Joseph A. Lewnard, PhD
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley
Miguel Marino, PhD
Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Oregon Health & Science University
Dr. Marino maintains a broad statistical research program that focuses on the intersection of primary care and public health studies. His research utilizes novel statistical methodology to address complexities associated with the use of electronic health records (EHRs) for critical community and primary care research questions in health policy, health disparities, preventive service utilization, health insurance monitoring, among others. Dr. Marino currently studies how to validate EHRs as a reliable source for pragmatic trials and observational cohort studies. He is currently funded by several agencies including the NIH, AHRQ, CDC and has over 125 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals such as JAMA, JGIM, Health Affairs, and AJPH.
Since 2013, Dr. Marino has been the Statistical Editor for the Annals of Family Medicine. He also has served on NIH, PCORI and AHA study sections. He has formerly served as the President of the American Statistical Association’s Oregon Chapter. Currently, he serves as the Publications Officer for the Health Policy Statistics section of the American Statistical Association. His contributions to this field were recognized in 2017 when he received the New Investigator Research Award by the North American Primary Care Research Group.
Meredith T. Niles, PhD
Associate Professor of Food Systems and Policy, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont
Dr. Meredith Niles is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences and the Food Systems Program at the University of Vermont, and serves as the Associate Director of the Food Systems Research Center, a joint effort with the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Her interdisciplinary research in food systems, health and environment examines how to achieve sustainable food security along with the food and agriculture system pathways to improve health and environmental outcomes. Her research primarily focuses on the impact of climate change, disasters and other crises like pandemics on food security and health outcomes, as well as the drivers and barriers for farmers to adopt more sustainable management practices for climate change, water, and health outcomes. She is a founding member and director of the National Food Access and COVID research Team (NFACT), a consortium of researchers from 18 study sites in 15 states examining the impact of COVID-19 on food security and access. Her research has resulted in more than 75 peer-reviewed publications, 30 policy briefs and government reports, and garnered international recognition.
Dr. Niles holds a B.A in political science with honors in environmental studies from The Catholic University of America and a PhD in ecology with a focus on human ecology and environmental policy from the University of California- Davis. She was a Sustainability Science post-doctorate fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government exploring smallholder farmer experiences with climate change and food security in 15 countries. Prior to her academic career Dr. Niles worked at the United States Department of State on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and several environmental and food non-profits. She is passionate about making research more publicly available through open access, serving on the board of directors for the Public Library of Science (PLOS), one of the world’s largest non-profit academic publishers, from 2014-2022.
Ziad Obermeyer, MD
Acting Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley
Christina Ann Roberto, PhD
Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Associate Professor of Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania
Christina A. Roberto, Ph.D. is the Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Associate Professor of Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Director of the Psychology of Eating and Consumer Health lab (PEACH lab) and Associate Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at Penn. The mission of the PEACH lab is to identify and evaluate policies and interventions that promote healthy eating habits and prevent nutrition-related chronic diseases. The lab strives to help create a just and equitable food system where those with the fewest resources and opportunities have the same chance to live a long, healthy life as those with the most. The PEACH lab’s work has informed local and national government food policy. Dr. Roberto works closely with policymakers, community-based organizations, companies, and institutions to generate timely research that can provide those partners with science-based guidance.
Dr. Roberto has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Princeton University where she graduated magna cum laude. She earned a joint-PhD at Yale University in clinical psychology and chronic disease epidemiology. Dr. Roberto completed her clinical internship at the Yale School of Medicine and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Cynthia E. Rogers, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Washington University
Benjamin N. Rome, MD, MPH
Instructor in Medicine, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
Carlo Giovanni Traverso, MB, BChir, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, MD, MPH, MS
Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer, Indiana University Health; Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Pediatrics, and Associate Dean for Health Equity Research, Indiana University
Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds is the inaugural Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer for Indiana University Health and the Associate Dean for Health Equity Research for Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM), where she holds an endowed chair for Health Equity Research. She is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics Gynecology (OB/GYN) and Clinical Pediatrics with training in general OB/GYN, health services research, public health, and clinical ethics. Her research interests are in patient-provider communication and shared decision-making in reproductive health care. She is interested in understanding the impact of race, class, and culture on patient preferences and risk perceptions; physician decision-making and counseling; and ultimately, variations in treatment provision and service delivery. Dr. Tucker Edmonds’ work currently focuses on communication and decision-making in the management of periviable deliveries. She utilizes qualitative and quantitative methodologies to develop decision support interventions for parents facing this, and other, preference sensitive decisions in high-risk obstetrical settings. Dr. Tucker Edmonds previously served as her department’s Vice Chair for Faculty Development and Diversity, and also served as an Assistant Dean for Diversity Affairs for the IU School of Medicine. Dr Tucker Edmonds previously served on the Ethics Committee for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and was the Legislative Affairs Chair for Indiana ACOG. She now serves on ACOG’s Committee on Government Affairs and is the Chair of the Indiana Section. Dr. Tucker Edmonds was an Anniversary Fellow for the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) from 2015-2017, during which time she served on the committee that authored, “The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: The current state of the evidence and recommendations for research.” Most recently, she served on the committee that authored the consensus report, “Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice.”
Jing Wang PhD, MPH, MSN, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor, Florida State University
Keegan Warren-Clem, JD, LLM
Director and Managing Attorney, Medical-Legal Partnerships at Texas Legal Services Center; Adjunct Professor, The University of Texas School of Law and McCombs School of Business
Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Scholars Alumni
- Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD
- Paul Christopher, PhD
- Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM
- Adaeze Enekwechi, PhD
- Oluwadamilola “Lola” Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS
- Lori Freedman, PhD
- Christopher Friese, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN
- Jordan Green, PhD
- Marcia Haigis, PhD
- Leora Horwitz, MD
- Mark Huffman, MD, MPH
- Ning (Jenny) Jiang, PhD
- Sandeep Kishore, MD, PhD, MSc
- Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP
- Mark Neuman, MD
- Minal Patel, PhD, MPH
- Brea Perry, PhD
- Nathan Price, PhD
- Suchi Saria, MSc, PhD
- Margaret (Gretchen) L. Schwarze, MD, MPP
- Julie Segre, PhD
- Jacob Sherkow, JD
- Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH
- Sohail Tavazoie, MD, PhD
- Hassan A. Tetteh, MD, MBA, MPA, MS
- Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD, MS
- Jonathan Watanabe, PharmD, MS, PhD, BCGP
- Jeffrey Wickliffe, PhD, MS
- Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD
- Ramnik Xavier, MD, ChB