Pamela Block, PhD
Dr. Block is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program, teaching in the areas of disability studies, qualitative research design, human subjects research ethics, and grant writing. Dr. Block received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke University in 1997. Her dissertation "Biology, Culture and Cognitive Disability: Twentieth Century Professional Discourse in Brazil and the United States" addressed the influence of cultural beliefs and professional theories on disability policy and treatment.
Linda Bily, MA
Linda Bily is the director of patient advocacy and community outreach for Cancer Services at Stony Brook. She coordinates all non-clinical services for patients, including support groups, physical activities and financial counseling. Her collaboration with community partners provides comforting amenities such as hot lunches, inspirational artwork, wigs, manicures and holiday food baskets. More recently she has spearheaded the creation of the GATE (Guest Artists to Empower) program, an arts-in-medicine program offered to oncology patients on the inpatient units. Linda has been published in msJAMA, Cochrane Collaboration, Extraordinary Healers and What Helped Me Get Through This. Linda is a well received motivational speaker, nationally recognized advocate grant reviewer and the recipient of numerous awards focused on cancer survivorship.
Jeffrey T. Berger, MD
Jeffrey Berger is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, the Director of Clinical Ethics, and Chief, Section of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Medical Director of the Palliative Care Consultation Service all at Winthrop University Hospital. Dr. Berger is currently chairman the Bioethics Committee of the Medical Society of the State of New York and recently served on the Task Force for Bioethics Consultation of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. He is a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Clinical Ethics. Dr. Berger has published widely in the medical and bioethics literature, in such journals as Academic Medicine, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Archives of Internal Medicine, The Journal of Clinical Ethics and the Journal of General Internal Medicine. His particular interests are in multi-cultural bioethics, end-of-life ethics and the ethics of human subjects research. His recent work has focused on surrogate decision making and patients’ concerns for family burden.
Sidney Callahan, PhD
Sidney Callahan is an author, scholar, and licensed psychologist. She earned her BA in English (magna cum laude) from Bryn Mawr College, her MA in Psychology from Sarah Lawrence College, and a PhD in Social and Personality Psychology from the City University of New York. Sidney Callahan has written many books, articles, and columns devoted to religious, psychological, and ethical questions. She has been awarded many honors and served on numerous boards. She has been a tenured professor of psychology and held visiting chairs of moral theology and psychology at Georgetown University and St. John’s University in New York. Presently she is a Distinguished Scholar at The Hastings Center.
Turhan Canli, Ph.D.
Turhan Canli is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and a neuroscientist and psychologist working on the brain basis of individual differences in emotion and personality. He has also published, and appeared as a contributor to a PBS program, on the topic of neuroethics–an emerging field of inquiry that is concerned with the ethical implications of neuroscientific discovery. Dr. Canli uses cutting-edge methodologies, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetic brain stimulation, and molecular genetic techniques to investigate how we differ from each other in our responses to emotional experiences. He received the 2002 American Psychological Association Grand Marquis Award for the best publication in Behavioral Neuroscience in the preceding year and his work has been featured in numerous national and international newspapers, magazines, and radio shows. Specific areas of expertise: Brain Imaging. Brain Stimulation. fMRI. Brain Basis of Emotion, Personality, and Sex Differences. Neuroethics.
Latha Chandran MD, MPH
Dr. Chandran is currently the Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at Stony Brook University Medical Center. She received her MD from Kerala University, Medical College Trivandrum and her MPH from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Chandran has several years of faculty leadership experience. During her tenure as Division Director of General Pediatrics, she led a successful expansion of primary care access in the areas surrounding Stony Brook University Medical Center incorporating resident and medical student education as well as ensuring financial solvency. She has experience on academic promotions and tenure committee and was instrumental in creating guidelines to facilitate promotion of clinician educators using an educator portfolio template. Dr. Chandran was the first clinician educator to receive tenure in the Educator Scholar track at Stony Brook University Medical Center. Dr. Chandran is the co-director of a large, three-year national faculty development and certification program–the Academic Pediatric Association’s Educational Scholars Program with forty current scholars. Scholarly work related to this project has been disseminated widely. In addition, she is a graduate of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program through Drexel University, Harvard Macy Institute Program for Physician Educators, AAMC Professional Development Seminars and Leadership Development for Physicians in Academic Health Centers from Harvard School of Public Health. She is the recipient of numerous awards including teaching awards.
William C. Chittick, PhD
Born and raised in Milford, Connecticut, William C. Chittick did his B.A. in history at the College of Wooster (Ohio) and then went to Iran, where he completed a Ph.D. in Persian literature at Tehran University in 1974. He taught comparative religion in the humanities department at Aryamehr Technical University in Tehran and, for a short period before the revolution, was assistant professor at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He returned to the United States in January, 1979. For three years he was assistant editor at the Encyclopaedia Iranica (Columbia University), and from 1983 he has taught religious studies at Stony Brook. Chittick is author and translator of twenty-five books and one hundred articles on Islamic thought, Sufism, Shi'ism, and Persian literature. His more recent books include The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-`Arabi's Cosmology (State University of New York Press, 1998), Sufism: A Short Introduction (Oneword, 2000), The Heart of Islamic Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2001), The Elixir of the Gnostics (Brigham Young University Press, 2003), and Me & Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-i Tabrizi (FonsVitae, 2004). He is currently working on several research projects in Sufism and Islamic philosophy. Chittick regularly teaches Hinduism, Islam, Islamic Classics, and various other courses in religious studies. On occasion he directs exceptionally qualified students in the reading of Arabic or Persian texts.
Robert P. Crease, PhD
Robert P. Crease is chair of the Philosophy Department. His principal interest is the history and philosophy of science, with special attention to interactions between science and society, and has authored, co-authored, edited, or translated a dozen books and numerous articles in that field. He also writes a monthly column on the social dimensions of science, titled "Critical Point," for Physics World, the flagship magazine of the Institute of Physics (London). In 2006, he received a three-year grant to develop a program to study "Trust: Prospects in Science and Religion" by the Templeton Foundation. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), and also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP, London).
Steven T. DeKosky, MD
Dr. Steven DeKosky, an international leader in the field of Alzheimer's disease research, is James Carroll Flippin Professor of Medical Science,vice president, and dean of the University of Virginia's School of Medicine. He formerly served as professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology and director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. DeKosky's research has progressively focused on the science and clinical care of Alzheimer's disease. His basic neuroscience laboratory studies the early pathological and chemical alterations in the brain associated with the development of Alzheimer's as well as the neurochemistry of brain trauma and how it relates to Alzheimer's. DeKosky is currently leading a 3,000-person, National Institutes of Health-funded trial on the ability of Ginkgo biloba to prevent or delay the development of Alzheimer's disease, in addition to directing a program that is developing biomarkers to track the effectiveness of Alzheimer's treatment and prevention therapies. He is a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and chairs their Strategic Planning Committee. In addition, he serves on the editorial boards of six of the leading neurology and Alzheimer's clinical publications and is a journal reviewer for another 20 clinical journals.
Lisa Diedrich, PhD
Lisa Diedrich received her PhD in Women's Studies from Emory University in 2001. Since then, she has taught in the Women’s Studies Program at Stony Brook University. Her research and teaching interests include feminist cultural studies of science and medicine, disability studies, and feminist theories and methodologies. She is the author of Treatments: Language, Politics, and the Culture of Illness (Minnesota, 2007). She is also the editor (with Victoria Hesford) of Feminist Time Against Nation Time (Lexington, 2008). She is currently working on two projects. The first is called A Prehistory of AIDS: Doing Health and Illness, 1960-1985, and traces the continuities and discontinuities between AIDS activism in the early 1980s and several earlier transformations of the practices of health and illness, including, for example, the emergence of Family Practice as a new specialization within medicine, and the emergence of health activist movements, like the women's health movement, that would influence medicine from the outside. The second project begins where the first leaves off, around 1985, and explores the scientific, medical, political, and economic enactments of "breast cancer on Long Island," through oral history and discourse analysis of the popular media accounts and scientific studies of the possible relationship between breast cancer and the environment of Long Island.
Michael Dorn, PhD
Michael Dorn has degrees from Ohio State University (BS, Architecture), Penn State (MS Geography), the University of Kentucky (PhD, Geography), and Long Island University (MS, Library and Information Science). Michael came to Stony Brook University in March 2009, where he teaches disability studies and research ethics. He has authored articles and book chapters in body politics, medical geography, disability studies, histories of public health, and geographies of the book. His PhD dissertation, ďClimate, Alcohol, and the American Body Politic: The Medical and Moral Geographies of Daniel Drake (1785-1852)Ē was awarded the 2003 Jacques May Thesis Prize for the best dissertation in health and medical geography.
Among Michael's honors are fellowships and awards from the University of Kentucky Graduate School, the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Temple University Office of Provost. He has studied abroad in Russia and Scotland, and taught service learning courses in the United States and Jamaica.
Suzanne D. Fields, MD
Suzanne D. Fields is Director of the Long Island Geriatric Education Center. LIGEC is part of a national network of 45 geriatric education centers funded by the Bureau of Health Professions of the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration. It is also a member of the Coalition of New York Geriatric Education Centers. The education and training programs focus on primary and transitional care, health promotion and disease prevention, multicultural aging, patient safety, and outreach to medically underserved communities.
Richard N. Fine, MD
Dr. Fine is the former Dean of the School of Medicine and current Distinguished Service Professor at Stony Brook University Medical Center. He is a Pediatric Nephrologist who initiated the Dialysis and Transplant Program at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles in 1967. His clinical and research interests have focused on optimizing clinical care of children afflicted with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) by adapting the dual modalities of Dialysis and Renal Transplantation to a Pediatric ESRD population. He is an internationally recognized expert and teacher regarding the management of children who require renal transplantation. His clinical research studies have involved the use of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) to improve growth retardation in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), those undergoing dialysis and in pediatric renal allograft recipients. He has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, edited 11 textbooks and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Transplantation. Dr. Fine has received the Henry Barnett Award for the Nephrology Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Founder’s Award for the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), Alumnus of the Year Award from Temple University School of Medicine and the Ernest Hodge Outstanding Lifetime Clinical Achievement Award from the American Society of Transplantation (AST) in recognition of his contributions to the field of Pediatric Nephrology and Pediatric Kidney Transplantation.
Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP
Dr. Fins is Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College where he serves as Professor of Medicine, Professor of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry. Dr. Fins is also Director of Medical Ethics at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Rockefeller University. A recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Dr. Fins has also received a Soros Open Society Institute Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars Award, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Visiting Fellowship, and support from the Dana and Buster Foundations. He was appointed by President Clinton to The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and currently serves on The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law by gubernatorial appointment. A practicing internist at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Fins chairs the hospital’s ethics committee and teaches medicine and bioethics. The author of over 200 publications in medical ethics and health policy, his most recent book is A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life’s End (Jones and Bartlett, 2006). His current scholarly interests include ethical and policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education and methods of ethics case consultation. He is a co-author of the 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state.
Gregory L. Fricchione, MD
Dr. Fricchione has been at the Harvard Medical School since 1993 when he was appointed Associate Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Medical Psychiatry Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his MD from New York University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in psychiatry and has additional qualifications in geriatric psychiatry. He worked with Mrs. Rosalynn Carter and former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, on public and international mental health issues and policy. While at the Carter Center, he directed the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships in Mental Health Journalism. In addition to his clinical experience in general hospital psychiatry, Dr. Fricchione is committed to education. He has taught in the medical schools at New York University, Stony Brook University, the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and at Emory University. Dr. Fricchione has been an active researcher and has published over seventy journal articles. He has made important original contributions to the treatment of patients with catatonia and to the management of cardiac patients who suffer from co-morbid psychiatric conditions. He is a co-author on two upcoming books, one on catatonia and the other on the connection between depression and heart disease and is at work on a book looking at brain evolution, the dialectical relationship between separation and attachment and its importance for medicine and the human experience. Most recently he has been involved in research on neuroimmune mechanisms underlying diseases that connect mind and body.
Guy Glass, MD
Dr. Glass is a psychiatrist who is also a playwright. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he completed his psychiatric residency at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. For more than twenty years, Dr. Glass practiced general adult psychiatry with a specialization in treating gay and lesbian patients in Manhattan and New Jersey. He was a psychotherapy supervisor for psychiatry residents at Beth Israel Medical Center where he is on the voluntary faculty, and he served as newsletter editor for the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists. About ten years ago, Dr. Glass began to write plays. Since then he has numerous readings and productions in the US and abroad, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. In 2010 his play The Last Castrato (www.lastcastrato.com) ran for sixteen performances at the Connelly Theater in New York City where it won critical praise. In 2013 Dr. Glass closed his practice and entered the master of fine arts program in theater at Stony Brook Southampton which he expects to complete in 2015. In 2014, his play Doctor Anonymous ran at the Zephyr Theater in West Hollywood, California for nineteen performances. Dr. Glass is now using Doctor Anonymous, a play about gay conversion therapy and the depathologization of homosexuality, to teach about the ethical treatment of LGBT patients, while continuing his clinical work with underserved populations as a locum tenens psychiatrist. His published plays include Doctor Anonymous, Healing, The Last Castrato, and The Therapeutic Hour.
Susannah Heschel, PhD
Susannah Heschel holds the Eli Black Professorship in Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. She also serves on the faculty in the Department of Religion and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish-Christian relations in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, the history of biblical scholarship, and the history of antisemitism. Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (University of Chicago Press), which won a National Jewish Book Award and Germany’s Geiger Prize, and a forthcoming book, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press). The recipient of many grants and awards, she has been a fellow at the National Humanities Center. In 2008 she received an honorary doctorate from the Augustana Theologische Hochschule, a Protestant seminary in Bavaria, Germany. The Carnegie Foundation has recently awarded her its prestigious Scholar’s Grant that will give her two years of sabbatical, starting in January 2009, to write a book on the history of Jewish scholarship on Islam. Prof. Heschel has held visiting professorships at Princeton, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Frankfurt. Since 1999 she has served on the Academic Advisory Committee of the Research Center of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and on its subcommittee on archival materials and publications.
Raja Jaber, MD
Dr. Raja Jaber is the Director of the Wellness and Chronic Illness Program in the department of Preventive Medicine and Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital and Medical Center. Dr Jaber co-directs and teaches the nutrition course to first- and second-year medical students and teaches integrative family medicine to medical students and residents. She received her MD with distinction from the American University of Beirut, is an Alpha Omega Alpha member, is board-certified in Family Medicine, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine. She is listed in the Best Doctors of America List. Her clinical model integrates conventional medicine with nutritional, mind-body and exercise/manual medicine. The model is team-based and collaborative. Her mission is to help create a viable model of integrative primary care, based in a bio-psychosocial comprehensive approach, and emphasizing wellness, lifestyle management, self management and personal growth. She has conducted a successful group visits program for patients with hyperlipidemia, asthma, and osteoporosis, and conducts stress reduction workshops based on mindfulness meditation. Dr. Jaber has published several articles on the process of change, the doctor-patient relationship, and group visits.
Allan J. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Allan Jacobs is Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. He received his B.A. (psychology) at Cornell University, his M.D. from the University of Southern California, and his J.D. from St. Johnís University. He completed his residency at Parkland memorial Hospital and his fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital. A board certified gynecologic oncologist, he serves as Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. He has published articles in the field of reproductive ethics in journals such as the Hastings Center Reports. He has also published in the area of health law, a current research interest. He teaches biomedical ethics and health law to medical students and residents.
Elizabeth Ann Kaplan, PhD
E. Ann Kaplan is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University, where she also founded and directs The Humanities Institute. She is Past President of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Kaplan has written many books and articles on topics in cultural studies, media, and women's studies, from diverse theoretical perspectives including psychoanalysis, feminism, postmodernism, and post-colonialism. She has given lectures all over the world and her work has been translated into six languages. Kaplan’s pioneering research on women in film (viz her Women in Film: Both Sides of the Camera, Women in Film Noir and Motherhood and Representation) continues to be in print and influential in the United States and abroad. Kaplan co-edited three volumes that emerged from research undertaken at the Humanities Institute, one of which, Playing Dolly: Technologies and Fantasies of Assisted Reproduction (1997) (co-edited with Susan Squier) remains in print.Her recent books include Trauma and Cinema: Cross-Cultural Explorations (co-edited with Ban Wang in 2004), Feminism and Film (2000) and a monograph, Trauma Culture: The Politics of Terror and Loss in Media and Literature (2005). She is working on two further book projects, Public Feelings, Memory, and Affective Difference and The Unconscious of Age: Screening Older Women.
Jerome P. Kassirer, MD
Jerome P. Kassirer is Distinguished Professor and Senior Assistant to the Dean at Tufts University School of Medicine. He joined the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine in 1961, was named Professor of Medicine in 1974, and was the Sara Murray Jordan Professor of Medicine from 1987 to 1991. From 1971 to 1991 he was Associate Physician-in-Chief of the New England Medical Center and Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Kassirer served as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine between 1991 and 1999. He has published numerous original research and clinical studies, textbook chapters and books on nephrology (in particular, acid-base equilibrium), medical decision-making, and the diagnostic process. He was a co-founder and co-editor of Nephrology Forum in the journal Kidney International and of Clinical Problem Solving in Hospital Practice until 1991. He has promoted professionalism, ethical scientific conduct, patient involvement in decision-making, appropriate use of firearms, and reliable approaches to the assessment of the quality of health care. He was been highly critical of for-profit medicine, the abuses of managed care, political intrusions into medical decisions, and financial conflicts of interest. His latest book, about financial conflict of interest in medicine, On The Take: How Medicine’s Complicity With Big Business Endangers Your Health, was published by Oxford University Press in October, 2004.
Shirley Strum Kenny, PhD
Shirley Strum Kenny is Former President of Stony Brook University, State University of New York (1994 Ė 2009). As President, she oversaw a major program of building and beautification on the campus, a record rise in enrollments, and a number of significant new University initiatives. These included the acquisition of a 246-acre research and development site, purchase of Southampton College, establishment of Stony Brook Manhattan, and joint management of the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Stony Brook Hospital and Health Sciences Center underwent a $300 million expansion and established new centers including centers for cancer, autism, and heart disease. Under her leadership, Stony Brook was invited to join the Association of American Universities, entered Division I Athletics, and created new Journalism and MBA programs. The Boyer Commission, chaired by Dr. Kenny and funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, published a 1998 report that has been widely influential in higher education. Dr. Kenny currently serves on the boards of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and The Association of American Colleges and Universities, and was for eight years on the boards of Toys ĎRí Us, Computer Associates, and the Regional Advisory Board of Chase Manhattan. Dr. Kenny was previously President of Queens College, City University of New York, and Provost of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds degrees from the Universities of Texas, Minnesota, and Chicago, and has published five books and numerous articles on Restoration and eighteenth-century British drama. She and Robert Kenny have five children and four grandchildren.
Eva Feder Kittay, PhD
Eva Feder Kittay is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Stony Brook University. Her most recent books include Love's Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency (Thinking Gender Series, Routledge, 1999). She is co-editing Theoretical Perspectives on Dependency and Women with Ellen Feder (Rowman and Littlefield), Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy with L. Alcoff (Blackwell), Special Issue of Hypatia: Feminism and Disability with A. Silvers and S. Wendell, and Special Issue of Social Theory and Practice: Embodied Values: Philosophy and Disabilities with R. Gottlieb. Areas of Specialization: Feminist philosophy, feminist ethics, social and political theory, metaphor, disability studies. Additional Interests: Philosophy of language, normative ethics, social thought.
Eric Kodish, MD
Dr. Kodish is the FJ O'Neill Professor and Chairman of the Department of Bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic, Executive Director of the Cleveland Fellowship in Advanced Bioethics, and Professor of Pediatrics at the Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. From 1993-2004, he cared for children with cancer and blood diseases at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, where he was also the founding director of the Rainbow Center for Pediatric Ethics. His areas of expertise include pediatric ethics, childhood cancer and blood diseases, and research with human subjects. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 2001. Dr. Kodish has been Principal Investigator on a series of three NIH funded multi-site studies of informed consent in childhood cancer with total costs of nearly nine million dollars. He currently serves on the Science and Medicine Advisory Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) at the NIH. He has been a member of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections Subcommittee for Research Involving Children at the Office of Human Research Protections and the NCI’s Pediatric Central IRB. He is the author of more than one hundred publications in journals including JAMA, The Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as book chapters and reviews. He is the editor of Ethics and Research with Children: A Case-Based Approach, published by Oxford University Press (February 2005).
Marci Lobel, PhD
Marci Lobel is Associate Professor of Social and Health Psychology. Her research focuses on stress, coping, and their effects on women's reproductive health. Dr. Lobel is Principal Investigator of the Stony Brook Pregnancy Project, a set of federally-funded studies examining the impact of prenatal maternal stress on infant and maternal outcomes. She also collaborates with teams of investigators in other states including Iowa, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia to examine the impact of domestic violence in pregnancy, and to evaluate interventions for socioeconomically disadvantaged pregnant and postnatal women. Her research has been published in numerous professional journals and is widely cited in the popular media. Dr. Lobel is currently Consulting Editor of The Psychology of Women Quarterly and previously served as Associate Editor of Women's Health: Research on Gender, Behavior, and Policy. She teaches courses in the Psychology of Women's Health and is the recipient of several teaching awards.
Marilyn London, EdD
Dr. Marilyn London is currently a Lecturer in the School of Professional Development. She has taught in SPD for over 16 years, including Project Seminar (SPD and HEA-Higher Education Administration Program), Cultural Diversity in American Musicals (SPD), and Leadership in Higher Education Administration (HEA). She is also a Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine who facilitates small group sessions in the Medicine in Contemporary Society II sections and the TTR course. She Also works with medical students, interested in topics related to music, in the MD with Recognition in Humanities Research program in the Stony Brook School of Medicine. Dr. London recently retired from her position as Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Registrar for the Stony Brook School of Medicine. Dr. London has an eclectic background. She holds a Doctorate in Education from Rutgers University, a Masterís Degree in Piano Performance and a Masterís degree in Cultural Anthropology, both earned at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign. She co-authored a book called First Time Leaders of Small Groups with Dr. Manny London and has co-taught an international Human Resources course. She has also published in the field of music, and has presented several workshops and posters at national and regional medical education conferences.
Dr. London has held several teaching and leadership positions during her career including working on several committees in the School of Medicine, developing a group piano program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, running a library concert series in New Jersey, and co-leading the Belle Mead Friends of Music in New Jersey. As a young musician, Dr. London performed solo and four-hand piano in Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and locally across Long Island for over 20 years before moving into higher education administration. She also ran a private studio, and taught at Illinois Wesleyan University, Rutgers University, Westminster Choir College, and public and adult schools.
Samuel H. Miller
Samuel Miller serves as co-chairman of the board, and treasurer of Forest City Enterprises, Inc. He is particularly credited with spearheading the company’s move into land development. In addition to his commitment to Forest City, Miller is actively engaged in the Cleveland community and is a nationally recognized leader in the Jewish community. He is a Lifetime Honorary Trustee of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland and National Conference of Christians and Jews, and an Honorary Trustee of Case Western Reserve University. He also participates in Greater Cleveland Roundtable and serves on the board of directors and executive committee of The Cleveland Clinic. He has received numerous honors and awards over the last three decades, most notably, the Distinguished Service Award of Medical Hall of Fame (2003), Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award (2001), American Red Cross National Humanitarian Award (1993), and National Conference of Christians and Jews Award (1985). Most recently he has been recognized by the Woodrow WIlson International Center for Scholars. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Baldwin Wallace College, Cleveland Academy of Medicine, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Ursuline College, Notre Dame College, and Myers University. Miller is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He also served the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946.
Kelly McGovern, MA, is a Patient Advocate at Stony Brook University Hospital, working with patients, family members and staff as they navigate the complex health care system. Kelly is the Co-Chair of the Institutional Ethics Committee at Stony Brook University Hospital and an Ethics Consultant, providing on call support to patients, family members and staff in the midst of ethical and moral dilemmas. Kelly earned her M.A. from the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University Hospital. Kelly teaches in the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, in Medical Humanities and Bioethics. Kelly has published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Kellyís interests include, but are not limited to, Dignity Preserving Care, Compassionate Care, Self-determination, Spirituality in Medicine, Medical Humanities, Clinical Ethics, Cognitive and Intellectual Disability, Autism, Mental Health, the Ethics of Experimentation and Research in Medicine.
Margaret McGovern is Professor and Chair of Stony Brook Children's Service since 2007. She is board certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics in Clinical Molecular Genetics and Clinical Genetics and by the American Board of Pediatrics. Her clinical practice began in 1988. She atteneded medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, and completed her residency in Pediatrics. She was awarded a fellowship in Genetics at Mount Sinai. Dr. McGovern has many professional affiliations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics as well as the Association of GCRC Program Directors. In addition, Dr. McGovern has served on numerous National Committees and served as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law.
Robyn McKeefrey is a Teaching and Research Baccalaureate prepared Certified Registered Nurse at Stony Brook University Hospital who received her Nursing degree from Adelphi University. Robynís proficiency and expertise encompasses nearly thirty years in the specialty of maternal health. Ms. McKeefrey benchmarked an obstetrical case management program where she was pivotal in instituting the use of care maps along with a focus on length of stay, admission, discharge and continued stay criteria. Ms. McKeefrey is currently a Risk Manager where her goal and mission is to coordinate safe patient care while integrating medicine and the law. Robyn received her Master of Arts degree in Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics from Stony Brook University which further enhance her abilities to coordinate medicine, law and ethics on a consultative basis to the staff and community which she serves.
Catherine R. Messina, Ph.D.
Catherine Messina received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stony Brook University in 1999. Dr. Messina participates as a small group facilitator in the Self-Awareness, Ethics, and Prevention components of the Foundations of Medical Practice course for 1st year medical students Her research focuses on psychosocial influences on health and health behaviors (e.g., hostility and risk for coronary heart disease; attitudes and perceptions relating to cancer screening). She is the Principal Investigator of a federally funded project examining decision making about cancer screening among elderly women, which includes the role of patient perceptions of physician caring.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, PhD
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, currently University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington DC, is one of the most important and foremost scholars of Islamic, Religious and Comparative Studies in the world today. Author of more than fifty books and five hundred articles which have been translated into several major Islamic, European and Asian languages, Professor Nasr is a well known and highly respected intellectual figure both in the West and the Islamic world. An eloquent speaker with a charismatic presence, Nasr is a much sought after speaker at academic conferences and seminars, university and public lectures and also radio and television programs in his area of expertise. Possessor of an impressive academic and intellectual record, his career as a teacher and scholar spans more than four decades.
Erika Newton, MD
Erika Newton is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Stony Brook University Medical Center. Dr. Newton joined the Stony Brook Emergency Medicine faculty in 2003 following her return to the US from Auckland, New Zealand, where she had been working since sailing there on a 34-foot boat with her husband in 2001. She has held faculty appointments at several medical schools including Harvard and Tufts. She is currently a member of the Ethics Committee and Consult Service, is involved in medical student education in the pre-clinical years, and runs the monthly departmental journal club. Her academic interests include evidence-based medicine, medical ethics, and physician education and the biomedical industry.
Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD
Dr. Pellegrino is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. He has served as Director of the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University, head of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Ethics at Georgetown, and Founding Director and Vice President of the Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook University, where he oversaw six schools of health sciences and the hospital, and served as Health Affairs Dean of the School of Medicine. He has authored or co-authored 24 books and more than 550 published articles; is founding editor of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy; a Master of the American College of Physicians; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a recipient of the Benjamin Rush Award from the American Medical Association, and the Abraham Flexner Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 2004, Pellegrino was named to the International Bioethics Committee of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is the only advisory body within the United Nations system to engage in reflection on the ethical implications of advances in life sciences. Throughout his career, Dr. Pellegrino has continued seeing patients in clinical consults, teaching medical students, interns and residents, and doing research. Since his retirement in 2000, Dr. Pellegrino has remained at Georgetown, continuing to write, teach medicine and bioethics, and participate in regular clinical attending services.
Todd L. Pittinsky, PhD
Todd Pittinsky is Associate Professor of Technology and Society. His research investigates the well-known problems and underestimated potential of diverse communities, with a central focus on positive intergroup relations. This under-studied reality is the common element in his recent work on (a) the educational consequences, in quantitative domains, of positive stereotypes about ethnic minorities, (b) a theory of allophilia in diverse collectives, and (c) leadership that bring groups together to reach common goals (intergroup leadership). In all this work he models intergroup relations in their ecosystems of society, technology, and policy. He received his B.A. in psychology from Yale University, an M.A. in psychology from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining the Stony Brook faculty he was an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he served as Research Director of the Center for Public Leadership
Robert Pollack, PhD
Robert Pollack is Professor of Biological Sciences, Adjunct Professor of Religion, Lecturer in Psychiatry at the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and Director of the Earth Institute’s Center for the Study of Science and Religion, at Columbia University; and Adjunct Professor of Science and Religion at Union Theological Seminary. He is the author of more than a hundred research papers on the oncogenic phenotype of mammalian cells in culture, and has edited many books and reviews on aspects of molecular biology. His 1994 book, Signs of Life: The Language and Meanings of DNA, received the Lionel Trilling Award, and has been translated into six languages. His latest work, The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning and Free Will in Modern Science, was published in 2000, as the inaugural volume of a Columbia University Press series of books on Science and Religion. He is currently writing a Sloan Foundation-supported book on the moral, ethical and religious implications of the agendas of modern medical science, and collaborating with his wife Amy Pollack, on a children’s book about grandparents.
John Pomeroy, MD
Dr. Pomeroy is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Founding Director of the Matt & Debra Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders at Stony Brook University Medical Center. In addition to developing consultation services to the Pediatrics Department and directing the Child Psychiatry Outpatient Department, Dr. Pomeroy maintained clinical and research interests in the field of Autism and the Pervasive Developmental Disorders. He has written more than 70 articles, abstracts and book chapters, with a particular emphasis on two fields of interest–diagnostic sub-typing of (what has become known as) the autism spectrum and the diagnosis and treatment of emotional/behavioral disorders in individuals with cognitive or developmental disabilities. During the 1990’s Dr. Pomeroy received funding from New York State to develop a continuum of psychiatric care for dually diagnosed (MH/MR) individuals on Long Island and for a fellowship-training program for child and adult psychiatrists to specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with dual diagnosis. More recently, with initial funding from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, Dr. Pomeroy was a principal collaborator in the formation of the Downstate Center of Excellence for Dual Diagnosis, which is a consortium of approximately 30 agencies created to enhance staff training and clinical expertise in the recognition and management of mental disorders in persons with mental retardation or developmental disability.
Christina M. Puchalski, MD
Dr. Puchalski is an Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine and Health Care Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. She is also the Founder and Director of The George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish), a center that develops educational, clinical, and research programs for physicians and other health care professionals regarding the role of spirituality and health in medicine. Her goal is to help foster compassionate systems of care for patients and their families. Dr. Puchalski completed a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and a Master's degree in Biology at UCLA, and an MD at The George Washington University School of Medicine. Her research interests and expertise include: the role of spirituality in health care; issues pertaining to end-of-life care; the role of clergy in health and in end-of-life care; and evaluation of education programs in spirituality and medicine. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, and has been published widely in major newspapers across the country, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Washington Times. She is the recipient of the AAMC and Pfizer's 1999 Award for The Medical Humanities Initiative and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey's Faculty Humanism in Medicine Award, 2001. Dr. Puchalski's work in the field of spirituality and medicine encompasses the clinical, the academic, and the pastoral application of her research and insights.
Diane Ranieri, MA, RPAC
Diane Ranieri is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Education in the School of Health Technology and Management at Stony Brook. She teaches in the entry level Physician Assistant Program in the areas of Medical Ethics, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gastrohepatology, Radiology, Dermatology and Infectious Diseases. She also teaches Medical Ethics for the PA Post Professional Masterís Program as well as the Health Care Policy and Management Program. She received her BA, BS and MA from Stony Brook University. She is the vice chair of the Academic Standing Committee and is a member of the Curriculum Committee for the School of Health Technology and Management. Her clinical experience includes interventional radiology, inpatient pediatrics, neonatology, HIV care and outpatient pediatrics.
Warren T. Reich
Warren Reich, founder and director of the Project for the History of Care, is Distinguished Research Professor of Religion and Ethics, Georgetown University, and Professor Emeritus of Bioethics in Georgetown University's School of Medicine. As a founding member of the University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics, he created the award-winning Encyclopedia of Bioethics between 1971 and 1978, and a fully revised five-volume edition between 1990 and 1995, an interdisciplinary work that has played a major role in establishing the field of bioethics and continues to shape and support the field. He established and for 20 years directed the Bioethics and Medical Humanities program in the Georgetown University Medical Center, between 1977 and 1997. Dr. Reich travels widely for speaking engagements in the US, Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Asia. From 1962 to 1971, Professor Reich taught moral theology, principally at the Catholic University of America; he was also a founding professor of the Washington Theological Union. Pursuing graduate studies in Catholic Moral Theology under the direction of Josef Fuchs, Professor Reich earned the Doctor of Sacred Theology degree (STD) at the Gregorian University in Rome and did post-doctoral studies under Alfons Auer at the University of Würzburg in Germany under scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. Professor Reich has been working on the history of care for about fourteen years and has published extensively on the topic.
Howard Schneider, PhD
Howard Schneider is the founding dean of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University. For the past eight months, he has spearheaded the team that developed the proposal for the new School of Journalism. For more than 35 years. Schneider was a reporter and editor at Newsday. For nearly of 18 of those years, he was managing editor and then editor. Under his tenure, the paper won eight Pulitzer Prizes in categories including investigative reporting deadline reporting, arts criticism, specialized beat reporting and foreign affairs reporting. Under his leadership, Newsday was among the first newspapers in the country to create news Web sites; he also led efforts to introduce TV and radio into what had been an all-print newsroom. Schneider began his teaching career at Stony Brook as an adjunct professor of journalism from 1980-1982. In 2003, Schneider was the recipient of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Alumnus Award (MS, '67). He has been a member of the Pulitzer Prize judging panel three times. He also serves on the Science Journalism Advisory Board of the Woods Hole Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
David Simpson has been the CEO of the Hospice of the Western Reserve since 1985. Hospice of the Western Reserve has a dedicated pediatric team serving more than 30 children per day, an AIDS team, a specialized Cardiopulmonary Program, Project Safe Conduct, a joint program with the Ireland Cancer Center, (an NCI designated CCC), an innovative liaison team specialized for patients in hospitals, and a joint transition project with a large home care agency. Hospice of the Western Reserve also operates a 42-bed hospice residence, the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Community Bereavement Center, and a Hospice Institute focusing on education and research. It has recently developed a palliative care consultation service. David has been active in promoting quality end-of-life care through services on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) Board. He has given presentations on hospice and palliative care locally and nationally as well as in Canada and Hong Kong. In 2002, David was awarded NHPCO’s Heart of Hospice award recognizing his leadership qualities in the hospice field. Prior to his end-of-life care endeavors, David worked in the alcoholism/chemical dependency field for 12 years. During the last five, he was director of a hospital-based adolescent chemical dependency program. He is a 1966 graduate of Ottawa University in Canada and his master’s degree is from Kent State in 1971. He is a licensed social worker.
Stephen Spector, PhD
Stephen Spector took his PhD at Yale and is currently located in the English Department. His principal interest is in religion, literature, and contemporary events. He has published six scholarly books and has received numerous fellowships and grants and has been a research fellow at the National Humanities Center and the Center for Humanities at Wesleyan University. He also has been visiting professor at Hebrew University. He has received prizes from the Medieval Academy of America and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. His Operation Solomon: The Daring Rescue of the Ethiopian Jews (Oxford University Press) was published in 2005 and his Evangelicals and Israel: The Story of American Christian Zionism (Oxford University Press) will appear in November 2008.
Amy Yopp Sullivn, MFA, MREd
Amy Yopp Sullivan is Associate Professor and Director at the Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning at Stony Brook University. She choreographs original dance theatre works, develops interdisciplinary research projects and performance collaborations, and creates film/media/movement projects. She has pursued her interest in developing interdisciplinary body mind performance projects for over 30 years throughout the US and Europe, and in China, Mexico and Korea. Sullivan is certified as a Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst, she holds an MFA from UNC-Greensboro, an MREd (Theology/Education) Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Sullivan serves as a consultant, resident artist and somatic educator in business, industrial, educational and health care environments; and has been engaged in Artist in Community projects throughout her career.
Anthony M. Szema, MD
Anthony M. Szema is an assistant professor of medicine and surgery, Stony Brook School of Medicine and is Chief, Allergy Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northport, NY. His undergraduate degree in Industrial and Management Engineering is from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. He took his MD at Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, where he was Vice-President of his class during 3rd and 4th years. As VP, he coordinated the first student-run evaluations of third-year clerkships in the history of the college. Dr. Szema completed his internship in medicine at Hopkins, residency at Hahnemann, and three fellowships at Columbia in: Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care Medicine, and Clinical Adult and Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. He is Principal Investigator of NIH K08 HL07623 under the aegis of mentor Sami I. Said, MD, Distinguished SUNY Professor. They have reported a spontaneous asthma model in mice missing the gene for Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP). Dr. Szema is conducting an open label trial of recombinant C1 esterase inhibitor for patients with attacks of Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) sponsored by Pharming, NV. Working with medical students, Dr. Szema coordinates a long-term study of asthmatic children affected by the World Trade Center disaster.
Joshua Thomas, PhD
Dr. S. Joshua Thomas is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. Johnís University. His primary research examines the intersection of bioethics and philosophy of medicine. Specifically, it focuses on illuminating and interrogating the ethical implications of the very conception of health itself by tracing out various ways in which prevailing theoretical commitments carry over into healthcare practice. His research argues that there is a pressing need to develop an alternative framework for conceiving the ideal of health that places the self, not merely the body, at the center, while at the same time doing justice to the best of our critical scientific knowledge. The other main focus of his research examines philosophical dimensions of hope, especially the moral significance of hope; what obligations, if any, the hopes of others place upon us; the relationship between hope and selfhood; the distinction between genuine and false hope, and the moral implications of the latter; and the role of hope in medical and health-related contexts. In addition to presenting his research at a number of international conferences, he has been an invited panelist for the Public Philosophy Network. He has served as a board member for Presbyterian Welcome, as well as serving on the Harvard Divinity School Alumni/ae Association Council for many years, and is also a founding member of the New York Pragmatist Forum. Dr. Thomas is a recipient of the prestigious Faculty Recognition Award at St. Johnís University. He earned his baccalaureate degree at the Pennsylvania State University before earning a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University.
Nancy Tomes, PhD
Nancy Tomes is professor of history at Stony Brook University. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, she received her undergraduate education at Oberlin College and the University of Kentucky, and her doctorate in American history from the University of Pennsylvania. While a fellow at the National Humanities Center, she developed Medicine and Madison Avenue, a digital collection on the history of health-related advertising. Her research interests include the history of medicine, women and gender, and U.S. cultural history. Her book The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life (Harvard University Press, 1998) was winner of the 2002 Welch Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine.
Jeffrey Stephen Trilling, MD
Dr. Trilling joined Stony Brook University in 1984 and has served clinically, academically, and administratively in many capacities. Currently and for the last 10 years, he has been Chair of the Department of Family Medicine for the Medical School, Chief of Staff of Family Medicine for University Hospital, and President of the Stony Brook Primary Care Corporation. He was Vice-Chair of Academic Affairs for the Department from 1994-1998 and its Director of Predoctoral Education from 1987-1983. Dr. Trilling developed and directed the Department’s Geriatric Program at LISVH, and served as course director for the Primary Care Clerkship for six years. He was medical director for the Department Residency’s Family Practice Center from 1985 to 1987. Dr. Trilling has multiple publications, national and international presentations. His research focus has been on the physician/patient relationship and the biopsychosocial model and their influence on "Readiness for Change in Chronic Illness."
Lynn G. Underwood, PhD
Lynn Underwood is Professor of Biomedical Humanities at Hiram College. She received her PhD in cancer epidemiology from Queen’s University in the UK where she worked for 10 years on the pathogenesis and early detection of malignant melanoma. She has worked collaboratively with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the World Health Organization and private foundations in developing research on pain and suffering, end of life, alcoholism, quality of life, other-centered love, and spiritual/religious factors. Underwood has co-edited and written a series of textbooks with Oxford University Press: Measuring Stress: A Guide for Health and Social Scientists; Social Support Measurement and Intervention Development; and Altruism and Altruistic Love. Recent articles have included "Interviews with Trappist Monks as a Contribution to Research Methodology in the Investigation of Compassionate Love" in the Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, and publications on the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, a widely used and translated scale which she developed and which includes items on compassionate love. Current research interests include the role of literature, visual arts, and spiritual/religious practices in encouraging human flourishing, especially in difficult circumstances. Her article in 2007 in Medical Humanities titled Now Bounded, Now Immeasurable: Perspectives on Time in Disability, in Suffering, and at End of Life, draws on poetry, literature, and the visual arts in discussing how we envision time in clinical medicine.
George E. Vaillant, MD
Dr. Vaillant is an American psychiatrist and Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of Research for the Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Vaillant has spent his research career charting adult development and the recovery process of schizophrenia, heroin addiction, alcoholism, and personality disorder. He has spent the last 30 years as Director of the Study of Adult Development at the Harvard University Health Service. The study has prospectively charted the lives of 824 men and women for over 60 years. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Vaillant did his residency at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and completed his psychoanalytic training at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. He has been a Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, is a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and has been an invited speaker and consultant for seminars and workshops throughout the world. A major focus of his work in the past has been to develop ways of studying defense mechanisms empirically; more recently, he has been interested in successful aging. Dr. Vaillant has received the Foundations Fund Prize for Research in Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association, the Strecker Award from The Pennsylvania Hospital, the Burlingame Award from The Institute for Living, and the Jellinek Award for research in alcoholism. Most recently he received the research prize of the International Psychogeriatric Society.
Patricia Whitaker-Azmitia, PhD
Dr. Whitaker-Azmitia is interested in the role which the neurotransmitter serotonin plays in the development of the brain. Serotonin functions in two distinct processes, one is to act as an autoregulator of the development of serotonin neurons themselves, and the other is to promote synaptogenesis and neuronal maturation in the brain regions to which serotonin projects. Autism may be a developmental illness in which serotonin's role as an autoregulator is evident. Many children with autism have high blood levels of serotonin, yet an apparent lack of serotonin in the brain. Thus, the model of autism used in this lab treats developing rat pups with high levels of a serotonin-like drug and then examines the effect of this treatment on social behaviors and on brain content of relevant neurochemicals and neuropeptides. Secondly, Dr. Whitaker-Azmitia is studying an animal model of Down Syndrome. One of the genes triplicated in Down Syndrome is for the protein S100B. This protein is regulated in the brain by serotonin and is actually the means by which serotonin regulates neuronal maturation and synaptogenesis. Using S100B overexpressing transgenic mice, the role of serotonin and S100B in brain development and aging is being examined.