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Master of Arts in

Bioethics & Science Policy

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2022 Graduates

Shevkun_Boyd_Kristi

Kristi Boyd ’22

Kristi graduated with a BS in International Business from Azusa Pacific University in 2015. After graduation, she spent 6 years as a Software Engineer and then as a Senior Product Manager at Cornerstone on Demand – a leading talent management SaaS platform.

In 2021 she joined the MA program with a focus on Tech Ethics and Science Policy. Her goal is to understand emerging technologies, assess them in the context of culture, and translate her findings into actionable business and policy recommendations. Kristi believes that Tech relevance to culture should not be optional because technology companies are now a defining pillar of culture and, as such, it is essential to consider the impacts of our products and decisions on the global society. Kristi is now a Trustworthy Al Specialist at SAS Data Ethics Practice.

 

Crane_Paige

Paige Crane ’22

Paige graduated from UCLA in 2020 with a degree in Human Biology & Society and a minor in Spanish. During her gap year, Paige completed an AmeriCorps term of service in Montana where she assisted people who were representing themselves in civil court cases. She is passionate about using science for the purpose of social justice, and this program has been the perfect fit for her so far.

 

Mark Featherston

Mark Featherston ’22

Mark graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2020 with a dual degree in Biology and Philosophy. His combination of undergraduate majors allowed him to interact with two different modes of thinking. As such, Mark had experiences learning the disconnects between how different scholars talk about the same issues. He used his time at Duke to learn a similar dynamic between Science Policy/bioethics and how decisions affect the general public. Particularly, he sought to have a deeper understanding of how to protect and furnish more perspectives in bioethical policy to prevent further disconnects between different demographics. Mark looks forward to learning more about clinical bioethics to better understand the language used in that field, so he can then analyze that language to learn how to make the information more accessible to the general public. After graduating from Duke, Mark pursued his EMT certification and hopes to serve in Durham or Orange county before applying for a PhD in Philosophy.

 

Harrison_Tahlia

Tahlia Harrison ’22

Tahlia holds an MA in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy from Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Counseling. While she has a diverse background in academia and industry prior to becoming a family therapist, the common thread is her commitment to seeking a deeper understanding of the lived experience. Tahlia is interested in the independent and interconnected systems of humans and how one’s relational world may be impacting overall measures of health and well-being. This is what brings her to Duke and she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her work through interdisciplinary research in the Master of Bioethics, Tech Ethics, and Science Policy program.

 

Liman_Anders

Anders Liman ’22

Anders graduated from North Carolina State University with a dual degree in computer science and mathematics, as well as a master’s degree in the former. During his time at NC State, he was interested in theoretical computer science, especially algorithms and data structures. Prior to joining Duke, Anders did some software development and consulting work. He now studies at Emory in their JD/MTS joint degree exploring the law and theology of technology, AI, and privacy.

 

Loy_Isaac

Isaac Loy ’22

Isaac is a graduate of the University of Florida where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society. At UF, he studied political science, history, and religion, and became fascinated with American disability history and policy. Now, as a Bioethics M.A. student, Isaac is particularly interested in the ethics of emerging genomics technologies, the new eugenics movement, and the future of disability.

 

Martin_Matt

Matt Martin ’22

Matt graduated in 2020 from Furman University with a B.S. in Chemistry, concentrating in biochemistry. During his studies, he participated in chemical ecology and organic synthesis research at two German research institutions: the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. His exploration into science policy began after graduation through his role as a Science Policy Intern and Program Associate at Research!America, a DC-based nonprofit advocating for health research. Through the Bioethics & Science Policy program, Matt looks forward to exploring how the intersection of ethics, law, and public policy shapes U.S. biomedical innovation and the broader R&D pipeline. He currently works as a Project Coordinator with Brigham and Women’s.

 

Matthews_Victoria

Victoria Matthews ’22

Victoria graduated from the University of Oxford in 2021 with a dual bachelor’s degree in Classics and English. She spent much of her time as an undergraduate reading and writing about literature, but also thinking about how literary perspectives on autonomy, privacy, and consent could be applied to technology. Issues that she has researched include: the use of facial recognition in law enforcement, Deepfakes and AI-generated synthetic media, and how policy should protect those most vulnerable to privacy infringements. Vicctoria believes that attempts to regulate tech should involve multidisciplinary conversations between ethicists, scientists, and legislators. She hopes that, with the help of the Duke Science and Society Leadership scholarship, she can apply her experiences in the MA program to the tech industry and encourage more of these collaborative conversations.

 

Mayer_Nora

Nora Mayer ’22

Nora graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2021, where she developed an interest in design research methodologies and the relationship between humans and machines in digital fabrication processes. Her current areas of interest include ethical systems design for human-computer interaction and Internet of Things governance. Through her work, Nora seeks to facilitate ethics-driven innovation by identifying and addressing issues of law and policy in the early design and development of emerging technologies.

 

McRae_Kenna

Kenna McRae ’22

Kenna earned a BS in Physics and a BA in Global Health from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University in 2021. In college, she researched topics like chronic kidney disease and biocatalysis, and researched and volunteered with a local women’s health clinic for resettled refugees. Her multidisciplinary experiences and mentors inspired her to pursue a career in global health and bioengineering, but she also learned that biomedicine doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Critical ethical and policy gaps can perpetuate health inequities, and complex bioethical questions emerge as biotechnology evolves; her determination to understand and address these gaps and questions led her to Duke’s Bioethics and Science Policy program. At Duke, Kenna is involved with the Center on Risk, the Su Lab at Duke Biomedical Engineering, and the Kenan Institute for Ethics as a Religions and Public Life Fellow.

 

Murphy_Matthew

Matt Murphy ’22

Matt received his BS from James Madison University in 2017 where he studied Intelligence Analysis and Interdisciplinary Religious Studies. He spent a few years working as a Technology Consultant at Deloitte, consulting clients in the intelligence community and national security spaces. His work was varied, but Matt focused on systems implementation as well as robotics and AI/ML for clients around the world. As he helped build these applications for the government, he started to engage with the ethics applied in his work. He joined Duke’s MA to focus on these exigent ethical questions in tech and plans to continue this work in industry. Matt work as a Technology Strategy Senior Consultant at Deloitte

 

OBrien_Joe

Joe O’Brien ’22

Before Duke, Joe lived in Burlington, Vermont, where he campaigned for fossil-fuel divestment and ranked-choice voting. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 2015 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Currently Joe is interested in mitigating catastrophic technological risks. He works at Duke’s Center on Risk, developing a new blog and reviewing publications. After Duke, he plans to focus on the challenge of developing safe and equitable A.I. systems through policy. Joe currently a Winter Fellow at Centre for the Governance of Al (GovAl).

 

Rao_Pranathi

Pranathi Rao ’22

Pranathi graduated from PES University in Bengaluru, India in 2021, with a degree in Biotechnology. During her undergrad, she worked in labs in India, the US and France on topics ranging from toxin metabolomics to neuroinformatics to vaccine diplomacy. She is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to combine her passion for science and policy with her work as lab manager for Dr. Teng Su’s nanotechnology lab, as research assistant for Dr. Marc Jeuland and Dr. Ipsita Das’ BAR-HAP tool in conjunction with the WHO, and as a teaching assistant for Dr. Lindsay Saunders’ microbiology class. In her time here, she hopes to work towards bridging the communication gap between researchers, policy makers and the general public, and she believes Duke will provide the best possible opportunities for that.

 

Roshan-Rama

Roshan Rama ’22

Roshan graduated from Santa Clara University with majors in Economics and History. During his education, Roshan completed a fellowship at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. The opportunity inspired his appreciation for the nuance that exists in our world. Moreover, the experience relied on the collaborative approaches that are central to Duke’s Science & Society initiative.
In studying history, Roshan knows that each generation is inclined to think that the current developments are unique. We are as fallible as any generation in his assessment. Nevertheless, he arrived at Duke mindful of immense change spurred on by innovation. Roshan is eager to understand how we will meet the present challenges, and he looks forward to doing that within a cohort of peers.

 

Sawlani_Sharan

Sharan Sawlani ’22

Sharan graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2021 with a BA in Political Science with certificates in Geographic Information Systems and Intelligence/National Security. As a Master’s student in the Bioethics, Tech Ethics, and Science Policy program, he looks forward to expanding his ethical decision making abilities and learning how to implement better policy in the technology space. Sharan believes that new technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence have the potential to shape the future of science and create a more equitable society, but only if they’re enacted in a responsible way. As such, he hopes to someday apply the skills and ethical foundations he develops at Duke on a policy team at a tech-related firm.

  • He recently started a new job at Goldman Sachs as a senior analyst in their compliance department.
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Alison-Sechrest

Alison Sechrest

Alison is a joint degree student pursuing a JD and MA in Bioethics and Science Policy. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BS in Psychobiology. While at UCLA, she was a student researcher in a traumatic brain injury lab at the Geffen School of Medicine. Though she enjoyed examining the relationship between the brain and behavior in both the lab and her major, she felt most productive when forced to think about the impact and practical uses of science. As a result, Alison is interested in legal issues regarding biomedical research and healthcare, and she looks forward to exploring the intersection of these fields in the JD/MA program.

  • Staff Editor, Duke Law Journal

 

Sen_Emily

Emily Sen ’22

Emily graduated from the University of Oregon in 2019 with a BA in International Studies and Spanish and a minor in Global Health. Throughout her studies and travels, she became fascinated with the cultural and systematic differences in healthcare systems around the world. After graduation, Emily began to consider applying to medical school. As she considered the role she hoped to play in the healthcare system, she also began to contemplate the larger bioethical considerations that face our society today. Emily decided to join Duke’s MA program in Bioethics and Science Policy because of her deep interest in these issues and their pressing importance in our world today. After graduating, she hopes to continue on to medical school and use her background to guide the way she practices as a physician.

  • Emily is currently a Product Manager of behavioral health for Blue Cross and Blue Shield

 

williams-ashley

Ashley Williams

Ashley is a concurrent MA/Ph.D. student at Duke, working in the Viventi Lab. Her work focuses on designing novel electrode geometries and increasing the spatial density of electrode contacts of our flexible µECoG electrodes to obtain higher spatial resolution of brain activity. She is also exploring the use of materials such as Liquid Crystal Polymer and Polyimide to increase the long-term reliability and biocompatibility of implanted electrodes. She utilizes micro- and nano-fabrication methodologies within the Duke SMiF cleanroom to create these innovative electrodes. When she’s not in lab or the cleanroom, Ashley can be found lifting, doing yoga, trying new restaurants and recipes, and exploring the elevation of North Carolina via hiking!

 

Young_Cokie

Cokie Young ’22

Cokie earned her BA in Neuroscience and Spanish from Vanderbilt University in 2019. She joined the MA in Bioethics & Science Policy program in order to better understand how to discuss and tackle prominent challenges in medicine, especially as they regard inequality in our healthcare system. Specifically, she wants to further explore not only how racism and other forms of discrimination inform larger systemic issues, but also how to challenge these existing structures when cultivating solutions across different audiences. She looks forward to learning from a diverse group of colleagues and faculty here at Duke!

 

2021 Graduates

Elena-Brown-Soler

Elena Brown-Soler ’20

Elena graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. Her first year of college, she, like most prospective pre-med students, took science and math courses. In all honesty, she found chemistry confusing and triple integrals fun, but when she took Introduction to Criminology, her internal trajectory began to change. The course opened her eyes to a new perspective of understanding individuals of society and the contributing factors that can impact one’s decisions, including community context and government policies. Elena also took a course called Clinical Issues in Healthcare. This course drew her attention towards the cost of life and the ethics surrounding it in regards to medical and legal policies and decisions. She hopes to use her time in the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy Program to study the intersections between ethics, medicine, public health and law.

 

Lucy-Destefano-Pearce

Lucy DeStefano-Pearce ’21

Lucy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services from Stony Brook University in 2017, before earning her MA in Bioethics and Science Policy from Duke. Lucy’s experience in the MA program has greatly shaped her various roles in the healthcare setting since graduating in 2018.

  • Lucy is an Ethics Fellow at Northwell Health.

 

Dods_Galen

Galen Dods ’21

Prior to joining Duke, Galen did synthetic biology research in the labs of Dr. Hana El-Samad and Dr. Andrew Ng at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined Duke to build ethics and policy knowledge onto this technical foundation so that he can help develop and lead responsible innovation practices for the synthetic biology community.

  • Galen now works as a research associate at BioMADE

 

Greco_Grace

Grace Grecco ’21

Grace graduated in 2020 from DeSales University with a BS in Biology. She has hopes of becoming a physician and saw a big gap in healthcare ethics and policy. Grace is looking forward to gaining skills related to ethical decision making, as well as enacting policies in science. She hopes to use the knowledge she gains at Science & Society to be a part of an Institutional Review Board and become a leader in the field of healthcare ethics.

  • Grace is working as a study coordinator and research assistant for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her lab is working on a Parkinson’s disease study, where Grace is able to apply her knowledge of both research and clinical ethics gained through the MA program.

 

Kouser_Taimur

Taimur Kouser ’21

Taimur graduated from Harvard College in 2020 with a joint degree in neuroscience and philosophy and a language citation in Modern Standard Arabic. As an undergraduate, he pursued research in both fields—basic neuroscience at the Broad Institute and joint thesis work on connectomics in the Departments of Neuroscience and Philosophy situated within the broader University. Taimur became especially interested in bioethics during his time as a research assistant at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. He pursued independent research in the philosophy of medicine with a focus on notions of health and disease as well. He believes that a strong theoretical foundation and an ability to translate theory into practice are crucial, and he’s looking forward to his time at Duke to explore ways to do that within the scope of his undergraduate interests in neuroscience, philosophy, and other fields that intersect with them.

 

Lee_Evan

Evan Lee ’21

Evan is a native of Indianapolis, IN, but spent the last four years in Philadelphia where he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and medical sociology from The University of Pennsylvania. He continued to run track and field for the Blue Devils and hopes to qualify for the Olympic trials in his event: the decathlon. Evan intends on pursuing medical school following this master’s program. Due to the complicated nature of many cases in the field of medicine, he believes that a strong foundation in bioethics will provide him with a unique skill-set that he can share with his patients and fellow physicians as they tackle the complexities of patient care in a modernized world.

  • Evan serves as a Medical Affairs Associate Consultant at Syneos Health

 

Manrique_Amaranta

Amaranta Manrique de Lara y Ramírez ’21

Amaranta received her bachelor’s degree in Genomic Sciences from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 2018. During her undergrad, she was involved in research projects across fields like immunology and symbiotic microbiology. While lab work was fun and challenging, the most fulfilling and formative experience she had was an internship in science policy, writing summary notes for the Mexican Congress. Afterward, she completed a certification in Bioethics, Health, and Biolaw at the same university. These experiences showed Amaranta that the way we do science now makes it a privilege meant for a very particular elite, furthering inequality and, in the case of health sciences and technologies, representing a limit to a basic human right. With the help of her Fulbright scholarship and the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy, she hopes to acquire strong foundations for bioethical inquiry and to learn how to apply it as a basis for good science policy-making, in order to bridge this gap in my country and on a more global scale.

 

Munoz_Genevieve

Genevieve Muñoz ’21

Genevieve is an MD student at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. She discovered her interest in bioethics as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, where she wrote her senior thesis in 2018 on the ethical considerations of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. In medical school, Genevieve pursued her interest in science policy by passing a resolution related to public school vaccination requirements in the Missouri State Medical Association. She was excited to participate in the Duke Master’s program in Bioethics and Science Policy because she hopes to integrate ethics and policy work into her future career as a physician.

 

Ben Shepard

Ben Shepard ’21

Ben earned a BA in New Media Studies from the University at Buffalo. After graduation, he went on to build one of Western New York’s leading web development companies: 360PSG. As a partner and Creative Director there, he managed brand and design direction, developed internal marketing strategy and corresponding design material, and consulted with new and existing clients to develop their own web marketing solutions.

In 2015, Ben transitioned to Duke University, joining the Initiative for Science & Society as Associate Director of Marketing & Communications. The shift has provided much desired exposure to a wide variety of scientific and social topics. While he’s particularly interested in burgeoning tech and issues surrounding data privacy, he is endlessly curious about any research that currently pushes the bounds of human progress. Ben looks forward to expanding his knowledge in science, policy, and ethics as they relate to science communication, journalism, and public engagement.

 

2020 Graduates

Jordan-Anderson

Jordan Anderson ’22

Jordan Anderson is a MA graduate in Science Policy at Duke University. His concentration is in science communication. He desires to join the effort in connecting those without in-person access to real-time, contentious issues in science and technology through communications outlets. He received a bachelor’s in Chemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana and has creative interests in writing and filmmaking. Jordan worked as the graduate assistant for STEAHM. In regard to STEAHM, he considers that the human experience is an intertwining of art and science, that cannot be separated from each other in order to truly understand the world we live in.

  • Jordan is currently serving in a fellowship with CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Health Prevention and Promotion (NCCDPHP) Internal Communications Team.
  • Check out Jordan’s Podcast with American Scientist and Sigma Xi. “This podcast is my effort in sharing my master’s research, which explored the inclusive science communication landscape following 2020’s Black Lives Matter Movements and DEAI initiatives. We speak with the scientists and communicators advancing STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) in these spaces.

 

Jayun-Bae

Jayun Bae ’20

Jayun is a 2020 graduate from the MA program. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2019 with a double major in Neuroscience and Philosophy (Bioethics). In her undergraduate years, she engaged in research across a variety of fields, including developmental neuroscience, sociolinguistics, primary education, data science, and internet privacy, before realizing that her common interest in these areas was ethics. She completed an undergraduate fellowship at the University of Toronto Centre for Ethics and now specialize in neuroethics. Jayun used her time in the MA program in Bioethics and Science Policy to gain greater knowledge and compassion to apply to her career as a clinical bioethicist, and help others in a struggling healthcare system.

  • Jayun works at IQVIA as a Project Support Specialist – she works on clinical trial approvals in the Office of the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer

 

Neha Batra

Neha Batra ’20

Neha has always been interested in medicine and was accepted into the Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from high school. She graduated with a BS in Biology and a BA in Philosophy in 2016. That same year she started medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine (UASOM) where she completed her first two years. In the summer following her second year of medical school, she decided to diversify and joined the Duke MA in Bioethics and Science Policy program. It’s important to her to be a well-rounded doctor that can advocate for her patients in more than one way. Duke allowed Neha to expand her understanding of the law and policy that affect the healthcare field. Neha returned to UASOM after graduating from Duke to finish her last two years of medical school and she looks forward to applying what she learned from this program in her career as a physician.

 

Megan-Boyd

Megan Boyd ’20

Megan graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2018 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. While in SLO, Megan was on the Debate Team, debating in both English and Spanish, and participated in research about whole-body regeneration; these activities prompted her to become more interested in advocacy and the intersection between science and society. This fascination continued through her employment at a large biotechnology company in Southern California. At Duke, Megan expanded her knowledge in bioethics and learned how to apply her science background in a more legal context. After graduating, she joined Strategic Engineering Solutions where she collaborates with a federal agency seeking to improve healthcare in the U.S.

  • Megan currently works as a Lab Technician at Invitae

 

Dale-Boyd

Dale “Boomer” Boyd ’20

Boomer received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He graduated with his MA in Bioethics and Science Policy from Duke in 2020.

  • Boomer currently works as a Cardiac Rhythm Sales Rep at Abbott. “The course work at Duke prepared me exceptionally well to comprehend scientific material and explain it in a digestible fashion to physicians and patients. I am very thankful for my time at Duke.”

 

Ada-Campagna

Ada Campagna ’20

Ada graduated from Sarah Lawrence College as a Pre-Medical student in 2017. During her studies, Ada found her interest in the intersection of ethics and medicine emerging. She was troubled by the healthcare system’s embrace of reductive perspectives of illness and suffering. Ada witnessed a fear of empathy, and security in calculative thinking, which inadvertently lead to the prioritization of cure over care and symptoms over a patient’s lived experience. Moving forward, Ada couldn’t ignore her foundational interest in pursuing medicine around a central axis of ethics. Ada pursued her Master’s Degree in Bioethics and Science Policy to explore the diverse issues in the field, utilize her multidisciplinary strengths, and help realize the kind of medical practice she would like to advance and pursue. At Duke, she became equipped with a depth of knowledge that will allow her to become an influencer in the ethical dynamics between hospital and doctor, doctor and patient, and consider the broader ethical dilemmas of the medical system and our modern world.

  • Ada is now pursuing a Phd at UCLA

 

Meghan-Fitzgerald

Meghan Fitzgerald ’20

Meghan received a B.S. from the University of South Carolina in Experimental Psychology and Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2018. She attended Duke from 2019 to 2021 and received her M.A. in Bioethics and Science Policy. She now works as a Clinical Study Manager at Elligo Health Research in Raleigh, NC.

 

Gibbs-Lauren

Lauren Gibbs ’20

Lauren is a 2020 graduate of the Master’s in Bioethics and Science Policy. She became interested in this program because it included science policy on top of bioethics. During her undergrad, Lauren’s studies were heavily focused on the bioethics side of this duo. However, while interning for a pharmaceutical company, she realized that many issues that are included in bioethics cannot be dealt with without science policy.

  • Lauren currently works as a Site Operations Associate at Tempus Labs in Chicago, IL.
  • Watch Lauren’s Alumni Vigentte on YouTube

 

Nathan-Iyer

Nathan Iyer ’20

Nathan received his B.S. in Neuroscience with a Minor in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University in 2019. Nathan currently serve as an Associate with the US program at the Rocky Mountain Institute. He is designing and building 20 state-level policy simulator tools to support effective subnational climate and energy packages in partnership with Energy Innovation. He also supports the Beyond Carbon analytics workstream.

 

Kevin Kallmes

Kevin Kallmes ’20

Kevin receive his joint JD/MA degree from Duke University, where he gained the requisite skills to become involved in the legal aspects of healthcare and technology transactions. He recently finished an internship in Neuroethics with the BRAIN Initiative at the National Institutes of Health. Kevin created risk assessments concerning the data sharing and privacy ethical questions for novel neurotechnologies. He served as the President of Superior Medical Experts, Inc, in which capacity he oversaw medical research and writing projects. He has contributed to over 150 medical publications and helped compose grants concerning stroke embolectomy devices, immunotherapies, and neuroregenerative therapies.

 

Alexander-Mussgnug

Alexander Mussgnug ’20

Alex graduated from the University of Konstanz with a degree in applied economics and a passion for multidisciplinary and international collaboration. His interdisciplinary approach also translated to his professional endeavors in big data and artificial intelligence and his voluntary work in science communication. With the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy at Duke, Alex aspires to broaden his horizons and investigate the implications of technology from a social, ethical, legal, and economic perspective. He also hopes to utilize his Fulbright scholarship to foster international understanding and cooperation, as he believes viable solutions to these challenges have to be sought at a global level.

  • Alex is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Edinburgh

 

Austin-Odling

Austin Odling ’20

Austin graduated in 2018 from Wheaton College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. His study as an undergraduate exposed him to a wide range of scientific topics and spent a considerable amount of time discussing the how and why of what we do as scientists. Within these discussions, the field of genetics grabbed his interest in particular. As a rapidly expanding field, genetic conversations in the public sphere are becoming more and more prevalent, yet the intricacies of the research and its implications remain clouded. The Masters in Bioethics and Science Policy program gave Austing the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to bring the cross-disciplinary discussion of important genetic concepts into greater society.

  • Austin works as a Clinical Research Analyst at WGC

 

Michael Pflanzer

Michael Pflanzer ’20

Before coming to Duke, Michael served in the United States Navy as a Reactor Mechanic on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. After leaving the military, Michael realized that working in nuclear plants, while lucrative, was not the path for him. He graduated from Edgewood College (Madison, WI) with degrees in Neuroscience, Psychology, and Philosophy and a burgeoning desire to be a part of the growing field of Bioethics. Michael envisions himself in a role where he can explore the ethical implications of research in genomics and neuroscience and liaison with the general public. Everyone will be affected by the consequences – good and bad – of 21st-century science, yet the general public is largely assumed to be too uninformed to be included in the conversation. The Bioethics and Science Policy program prepared him to seek a path in which he can educate laypeople so that they too can be a part of the bioethical discourse.

 

Max-Povejsil

Max Povejsil ’20

Max graduated from University of Colorado Boulder in 2019, majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. At Duke, he combined his experience in neuroimaging research and the social and ethical implications of science. He hopes to research the implications of neuroprivacy, and challenge current research practices that may put brain privacy at risk.

  • Watch Max’s Alumni Vignette on YouTube
  • Max is currently working as a Data and Business Development Associate at Becker’s Healthcare

 

Claire-Simmons

Claire Simmons ’20

Claire earned a Bachelor of Combined Sciences with an emphasis in Neuroscience from TCU. Throughout college she studied medicine and invested much of her time working in various clinical settings. When writing her undergraduate thesis, Claire realized that she preferred the study of medicine to the practice of medicine. More specifically, examining structural power dynamics within the mental health care system. She chose Duke’s MA program because of its interdisciplinary nature, combining her love for neurobiology with her love for social justice advocacy. Following completion of her degree, Claire hopes to pursue a doctorate in philosophy, and continue her career in bioethics.

  • Claire currently works as a Lab Manager in the Moral Attitudes and Decisions Lab at Duke University

 

2019 Graduates

Rimsha Afzal

Rimsha Afzal ’19

Rimsha is a 2019 graduate of the MA in the Bioethics and Science Policy Program. Through her work as a Clinical Research Specialist at the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development after undergrad, she was able to appreciate the wide-standing impact research can potentially have on policy implementation. Bioethics, under the scope of mental health, serves as a compelling, complex, and evolving field. As we are entering a new era of biomedical technology, our society is faced with questioning bio-ethical topics we never knew would be part of our reality. Topics such as genetic testing, now being able to identify the best anti-depressants for individuals suffering from major depressive disorder, or the drastic increase in prescribing benzodiazepines to treat anxiety in the U.S are the forefront of just some of the challenges our country is facing. The Bioethics and Science Policy program provided Rimsha the competence she needs to understand the interdisciplinary nature of medicine, as she continues her education to become a mental health care provider.

  • Rimsha recently accepted a position at Medable, a digital clinical trial company
  • Watch Rimsha’s Alumni Vignette, where she reflects on her student experience, on YouTube

 

Deniz Ariturk

Deniz Ariturk ’19

Deniz graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017 with a degree in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and a fascination with the ethical questions that lie at the intersection of these fields. At Duke, she hoped to apply her research background in human memory and moral judgment to relevant policy and legal issues and learn how non-scientists engage with science. Deniz is most passionate about the field of neuroethics and its ability to address age-old curiosities about human morality, identity, and agency using novel insights offered by brain science. After her time in the MA program, Deniz wishes to delve deeper into neuroethics research and collaborate with policy and law-makers to extend the reach of this field beyond the confines of academia in order to alleviate real-world injustices and suffering.

 

Kellilyn Arnold

Kellilyn Arnold ’19

Kellilyn graduated from High Point University with a BS in Biology with a concentration in Health Science. She plans to pursue a career as a Doctor of Optometry. Growing up in rural upstate New York opened her eyes to the pervasive health disparities that characterize healthcare in this country. Healthcare is a vital resource that should not be limited by income or location. Through her education at Duke, Kellilyn hoped to learn what she, as a future health professional, can do to help more people access safe and affordable care.

 

Zach Banov

Zach Banov ’19

Zach graduated from the University of Georgia where he earned a B.S. in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. He became interested in science policy while working in regulatory affairs at Merck where he researched regulatory strategies for a breakthrough immunotherapy cancer treatment. He also worked as a legislative research fellow in Georgia’s House of Representatives with a focus on science and technology-related policy. Over time, Zach’s interest shifted towards the regulation of emerging technologies within the sciences. He pursued an M.A. in bioethics and science policy to study the crossover between ethics, technology, and law.

 

burrows-bobbie

Bobbie Burrows ’19

Bobbie received her joint JD/MA degree from Duke University in 2019. Prior to that, she attained a B.S. in Engineering Science from Wartburg College, where she was part of the Mathematics Honor Society, and received the award of Outstanding Senior in Engineering Science.

 

Tabitha Colter

Tabitha Colter ’19

Tabitha’s time at Furman University, where she double-majored in Physics and Philosophy, was filled with amazing opportunities that allowed her to discover a passion for the intersection of science and society. Experiences such as a semester trip in India, studying development policy in health and education and energy, and conference presentations of research from an internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory piqued her interest in the communication and policies surrounding science. She spent the summer of her senior year in D.C. working for the House Energy and Commerce Committee where she was able to observe and engage directly in science policy efforts. After graduating in 2017, Tabitha spent a year in Thailand where she taught math and science and experienced public engagement with science at the ground level. The Duke MA in Bioethics and Science Policy continued to feed her curiosity for scientific and philosophical thought around policies that can best serve the needs of our global community.

 

Morris Fabbri

Morris Fabbri ’19

Morris graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016, where he received a B.A. in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics. After graduation, he worked in various positions in medicine, doing cardiology research, shadowing doctors for a month in Argentina, and most recently working as an ER scribe, all while trying to get into medical school. He chose Duke’s MA program instead because he was not convinced he could effectively address societal inequalities and inadequacies as a doctor. Morris used his time at Duke to better understand how interactions between scientists and policymakers affect society.

  • Isolated Incident – In the 1980s, Cuba responded to the threat of AIDS unlike any other country in the world: by isolating all who tested positive in sanatoria. This four-part podcast explores the HIV epidemic in Cuba.
  • After graduation, Morris earned a job as a research associate studying the ethical, legal, and social issues of human genomics at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics at the University of Miami, FL. He works under Professor Rosario Isasi.
  • Watch Morris’ Alumni Vignette on YouTube

 

Cameron Fox

Cameron Fox ’19

Cameron graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2017 with a BA in neuroscience and a minor in philosophy. Throughout his education, Cameron felt the gap between the “hard” and “soft” sciences was far too difficult to bridge; he would split his time between working in a neuroscience lab and writing philosophy papers without finding much interest in where these two cultures overlapped. Duke’s MA in Bioethics and Science Policy struck him as the perfect balance between these fields of study. As neuroscience rapidly advances, questions about how to ethically implement emerging technologies are quietly percolating into both legislation and the courtroom; Duke had the resources to help him better understand how we can best translate scientific discoveries into just, equitable, and informed regulations and judicial decisions.

  • Cameron works as a Senior Associate at Luminary Labs
  • Cameron formerly worked at the Health Tech Lead at the World Economic Forum
  • Cameron formerly worked as a Precision Medicine Specialist at the World Economic Forum in San Francisco, CA

 

Courtni France

Courtni France ’19

Courtnie received a BS in Anthropology from Ohio State University with a premed focus. After college, she completed a service year with AmeriCorps at UH Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio where she served as the tobacco cessation coach to pregnant women in the MacDonald’s Women’s Clinic. Her interests lie in women’s health and how socioeconomic factors, policy, and society can impact health outcomes.

 

frost-joshua

Joshua Frost ’19

Joshua received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Philosophy from Washington and Lee University in 2018. Upon graduating from Washington and Lee, he came to Duke to study in the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy Program. Joshua currently works as an NSPN SciPol Scholar-in-Residence at Washington State Academy of Sciences.

 

gustafson-sage

Sage Gustafon ’19

Sage graduated from the Duke MA in Bioethics and Science Policy in 2019. She is passionate about healthcare policy and ethics. She hopes to help reform a complex system that has a history of taking advantage of people at their most vulnerable, and help those same people navigate that system. By facilitating the ethics research around expanded access pharmaceuticals and clarifying the policy on expanded access, she is able to make a difference for individuals now and in the future, so that people are supported, not sidelined, as they navigate the health care system.

  • Sage works as a Project Manager of the working group on Compassionate Use and Preapproval Access at NYU Langone Health

 

hamachi-kelly

Kelly Hamachi ’19

Kelly received her B.A. in Public Health and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. Upon graduating from UC-Berkley, she pursued a joint JD/MA in Bioethics and Science Policy at Duke University. Kelly spent a year working at Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center examining ways to lower the cost of health care delivery. As a dual degree student, Kelly was interested in the legal and ethical aspects of research, clinical trials, and the use of health care technologies. During law school, she was a Margolis Scholar in Law at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. She served as a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Health Law & Policy course, worked as a student extern in the Duke Office of Counsel, and earned a master’s degree in Bioethics and Science Policy.

 

Miaraha Humayun

Miaraha Humayun ’19

In pursuit of becoming a doctor, Miaraha attended the University of Virginia and graduated with a BA in biology. During her undergraduate career, she traveled to Panama with a medical brigade. There, she saw the ethical dilemmas that arose from her own misconceptions of trying to “save people”. Following that trip, Miaraha saw the importance of research and how it can be used to understand phenomena that trouble people around the world. She worked in a cell and molecular biology lab, where her research inspired her to create solutions that went beyond just thinking about the next experiment and sparked her interest in developing precision medicine technologies. These new technologies are revolutionizing medicine, but patients and health care providers are mostly unaware of what the technology does. These questions showed her how much I didn’t know about the intersections of science and society. Miaraha graduated from Duke in 2020.

  • After graduation, Miaraha worked as a Bioethics, Law, and Policy Intern with Geisinger
  • Miaraha joined the Peace Corps in Peru.

 

Liu_Ting

Ting Liu ’19

Ting received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law where she was a member of the Duke Law & Technology Review and her B.A. (Economics, Public Health) from Johns Hopkins University. While she was at Duke Law, she also received her M.A. in Bioethics and Science Policy.

  • Currently, Ting is an associate in Weil’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice and is based in New York. Ting participates in the representation of public and private companies in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.

 

Sophia McNatton

Sophia McNatton ’19

Sophia graduated from NC State University with a BS in Genetics. During her time at NCSU, she was involved in research projects that spanned topics from understanding the genes underlying different tail shapes in cichlid fish to improving breeding efforts in Christmas trees. The most formative experiences in Sophia’s undergraduate career came from working as a teaching assistant in the biochemistry department. Working with other students led her to discover a love for science education and communication, which resulted in her decision to further explore these topics in graduate school.

  • Sophia works as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at GeneDX

 

Karina Moy

Karina Moy ’19

After graduating from Williams College in 2014 with degrees in English and biology, Karina worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on an investigation of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities fraud. She gained an appreciation for the power and meticulousness of law and sought to combine her passion for human health with a legal education at Duke. Karina graduated from Duke with a joint JD/MA degree, and was involved in Duke’s Cancer Pro Bono Project.

 

Ashle Page

Ashle Page ’19

Ashle graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Polymer and Color Chemistry, with a Minor in English. During college, she performed research at NASA Langley Research Center and numerous on-campus labs. She also served as a mentor for the NASA GIRLS AND BOYS program to promote STEM education. Her current research interests include the intersection of science, technology, law, policy, and ethics within space exploration.

 

Armani Porter

Armani Porter ’19

Armani received a B.A. in Neuroscience (Pre-Med) and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. During his undergraduate career, Armani conducted research in various fields including Moral Psychology, Cognitive Science of Religion, Catholic Theology, and Cancer Physiology. Through this work, he was affiliated with the University of Connecticut, the National University of Singapore, and La Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. He also interned within the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In his career, Armani hopes to continue on in academia and law with a particular focus on intellectual property as it relates to Traditional Knowledge in indigenous communities.

 

Charles-Provine

Charles Provine ’19

Charles is earning his JD/MA in Bioethics and Science Policy here at Duke. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 2019 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Charles worked as a research assistant for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering Research and Development Center in an environmental chemistry laboratory as well as for the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in an influenza laboratory. During the summer of 2018, he completed an internship with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, working on communications and policy projects. After completion of the joint degree program, he intends to practice law. He currently has a strong interest in healthcare regulatory law but hopes to explore various practice areas over the course of his studies at Duke.

Kelly Todd

Kelly Todd ’19

Kelly earned a joint JD/MA degree in Bioethics & Science Policy from Duke University. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Psychology and Health Psychology in 2015. During her undergraduate education, she worked on an NIH-funded EEG study that looked at attentional biases in children towards tobacco and alcohol-related stimuli. Following college, Kelly spent a year working in trauma psychology research, where she became interested in the legal side of scientific invention and innovation. She decided to pursue an education in science and the law so that in the future she may hopefully have the opportunity to work in intellectual property as it pertains to the life sciences.

 

Jenny Wang

Jenny Wang ’19

Jenny earned a joint JD/MA degree in Bioethics & Science Policy. After graduating from Duke with a BS in Biology, she taught high school science for two years in rural North Carolina as a Teach For America corps member. She returned to Duke hoping to find the same interdisciplinary study she enjoyed as an undergraduate, as she explored the relationship between science and the law. Jenny is ultimately interested in a career in intellectual property litigation.

 

Cole Wilhelmi

Cole Wilhelmi ’19

Cole earned a joint JD/MA degree in Bioethics and Science Policy from Duke University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2016. He worked for a year at the UNC Environmental Finance Center, where he assisted in research projects related to public utility finance and water system rate structures. In law school, Cole was actively involved in Duke Environmental Law Society and Health Law Society. He is specifically interested in how new developments in medical technology, forensics, and gene editing inform the way that judges apply existing laws and how policymakers create new laws to accommodate scientific innovations.

 

Janet Yang

Janet Yang ’19

Janet received a BS in Life Science from National Taiwan University (NTU), where she performed research in climate warming and species interaction. After college, she earned an MS degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at NTU, where her studies focused in landscape ecology and environmental conservation. She’s interested in scientific education and hopes to explore the interaction between science and human society, especially their relationship with the environment.

  • Janet is pursuing a PhD in Environmental Science at Oregon State University

 

Rishita Yeduri

Rishita Yeduri ’19

Rishita graduated from ECU in 2018 with a degree in Biology and a minor in statistics. Her aspirations of becoming a physician were confined to the treatment of patients, but came to understand that medicine is more of an art than a science. In an effort to delve into the art, Rishita did research at the Brody School of Medicine. Getting the opportunity to present at research conferences across the nation exposed her to the interdisciplinary nature of medicine. The impact certain policies had on research methodologies really intrigued her. After graduation, she pursued teaching by becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA for a nonprofit focused on creating resilient and empowered youth. Through this experience, Rishita observed various societal inequalities, especially in marginalized communities. She realized that cultural competency and trust are at the forefront of health care. She pursued this MA in Bioethics and Science Policy to be a better-informed physician and bridge the healthcare inequality gap in the future.

 

2018 Graduates

Laura

Laura Appelt ’18

Laura received her JD/MA in at Duke in the Bioethics & Science Policy program. She a BS in Environmental Science from Indiana University, where she performed research in atmospheric analytical chemistry. After college, Laura taught high school biology, chemistry, and anatomy for two years on the south side of Indianapolis as a Teach for America corps member. Laura is interested in exploring intersections of science and society, particularly as they relate to the environment. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in environmental law.

 

Aziz Towqir

Towqir Aziz ’18

Towqir is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he received a B.S. in environmental science, concentrating on human health impacts and human health protection. His experiences as a researcher at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC, and the Joint Graduate School of Environment and Energy in Bangkok, Thailand, all led him to this Master in Bioethics & Science Policy Program because it merged his interests in the environment, public health, scientific communication, and justice. Through this graduate program, Towqir aimed to gain a better understanding of the nuances of bioethics and science-related policy, after which he planned to pursue a law degree. In his career, Towqir hopes to participate in, and influence the legislative process behind, the policies that affect Americans at any level, from local to international, and in this process empower underrepresented and overlooked communities.

  • Towqir is currently in Law School at UNC Chapel Hill

 

Shelby Baird

Shelby Baird ’18

Shelby received a joint-degree JD/MA in Bioethics & Science Policy at Duke. She graduated from Yale University in 2014 with a BA in political science. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Shelby worked for Cooper & Kirk, PLLC in Washington, D.C. At Duke, she was involved with the Health Law Society, Cancer Pro Bono Project, and Federalist Society. She plans to use her joint degree to pursue a career in health care law, particularly projects that improve patient access to quality care.

  • Shelby currently clerks for Judge Hardiman, US Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit

 

Kirsten Bleiweiss

Kirsten Bleiweiss ’18

Kirsten earned a BS in Neuroscience and a BA in Political Science from the University of Southern California in 2016. During her undergraduate career, Kirsten discovered her interests lie in the intersection of these dynamic fields. Dealing with issues of international policy and global health, she spent time researching parasitic diseases in developing nations at Oxford University – specifically focusing on schistosomiasis and onchocerciasis. Through her research, Kirsten naturally questioned topics such as the accessibility of medicine, the ethical implications of research, and the policies involved in handling health issues on both national and international levels. Her curiosity in the regulation and use of science in society led her to the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy. During her time at Duke, Kirsten examined the intersection of neuroscience and the law – how neuroscience is used as evidence, what advances in neuroscience technology might mean for the future of the legal system, and the ethical implications of these topics.

  • Kirsten is currently studying at Duke Law

 

Esko Brummel

Esko Brummel ’18

While advocating for investment in research, scientists need to articulate why their work deserves to be funded and how it might benefit society. Policymakers, on the other hand, need to interpret these claims to inform their policy making while upholding what society deems ethical. It is in translating the merits of one to the use of the other where Esko hopes to thrive.

As a Bioethics and Science Policy Masters student at Duke, Esko was constantly learning ways to mediate between the scientific, policy, and public communities. Continuing this work of making the world a better place by increasing access to the insights of good science requires a community of like-minded scholars with whom he can further integrate and inform and challenge his experience. He couldn’t ask for a more diverse, insightful, and inspiring community than what he found in this program. After graduation, Esko worked at the United Nations as an Information Systems Intern and Assistant to the Director at the Office of Disarmament Affairs. Recently, Esko returned to Science & Society and is serving as the Program Coordinator for our graduate and undergraduate educational programs.

 

Emily Bullis

Emily Bullis ’18

After completing her undergraduate studies in California, Emily began designing and teaching S.T.E.M. courses for the Orange County chapter of Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides research-based and compensatory programming for girls. It was through both this experience and her personal exposure to genetic testing that Emily discovered her love for taking the inaccessible and esoteric and turning it into something digestible and relatable. While her involvement in teaching S.T.E.M. taught her the raw skills necessary to contextualize and translate big ideas, she fine-tuned these skills in the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy program. She hopes to apply what she learned at Duke towards the public knowledge and appreciation of the policies and ethical quandaries that will inevitably arise out of the intersection between genetics and technology.

  • Emily currently works as an Associate Regulatory Scientist at 23&Me

 

Christian Capobianco

Christian Capobianco ’18

Christian graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Nanoscience and a minor in Science, Technology, & Law, where his primary interests were nanomedicine and the development of nanotechnology from an intellectual property point of view. These interests led him to opportunities in which I was fortunate enough to help to develop a relatively novel course, Cell and Molecular Biology for Engineers, while also pursuing research in polymer science. Additionally, Christian recently completed an externship at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, wherein my art unit focused on the examination of semiconductor-related patent applications. At Duke, Christian’s studies were focused on the application of risk analysis towards nanotechnology and nanomaterials in policy development, as well as how resulting policies influence the commercialization process.

  • Christian works as an Agreement and Data Quality Analyst at NC A&T State University’s Technology Transfer Office

 

Matthew

Matthew Colin ’18

Matthew was a joint-degree student and received his degree from Duke Law School while also working towards an MA in Bioethics and Science Policy. He graduated from Indiana University in 2013 with a BS in chemistry and a BA in philosophy. Following his undergraduate career, Matthew spent two years teaching biology and chemistry at Emmerich Manual High School in Indianapolis through Teach for America.

 

Elena Ghanaim

Elena Ghanaim ’18

Ever since high school, Elena has been fascinated by the moral, social, and ethical issues that emerging genetic technologies pose to society. She began to explore this interest at Rutgers University, where she earned her B.A. in Genetics with minors in Philosophy and Psychology. For the two years after she graduated, she worked in basic science research at the NIH as a post-baccalaureate IRTA fellow. At the NIH, she also shadowed a weekly pediatric genetics clinic and gained insight into how genetic disorders pose unique ethical dilemmas to physicians and the affected families. The MA program in Bioethics and Science Policy deepened her understanding of various bioethical issues as well as how scientists and policymakers effectively communicate and regulate science. She hopes to pursue a career in medical genetics and believes that the knowledge and tools learned at Duke will improve her ability to participate in discussions and decisions made on bioethical topics.

 

Jenna Hayes

Jenna Hayes ’18

Jenna received her BA in Psychology from IDC Herzliya (Israel) in 2015. Throughout her studies, she learned about mental health disparities, which prompted her interest in the ethics and processes behind health policy formation and research.  At Duke, she examined Health Law and policy and their influences on research and clinical care concerning women.

 

Lydia Kwong

Lydia Kwong ’18

One of Lydia’s favorite undergraduate experiences at Ohio State University was having the opportunity to be involved in neuroscience research. It was here that she first stumbled upon bioethics when asked to complete a required ethical training course. She expected to learn more about ethical regulations as she became more involved in research. However, this did not prove true. By happenstance, Lydia signed up for a course on case studies in health care ethics and discovered bioethics as its own field of study. The more she learned about the moral controversies which arise in biomedical research and health care, the more she pondered how ethical regulations are derived to reduce detrimental consequences. As a graduate student at Duke University studying Bioethics and Science Policy, Lydia strived to understand the philosophical underpinnings of bioethical issues to develop policy solutions to extend access to health care and tackle issues in biotechnology regulation.

  • Lydia formerly worked as a Quality Management Systems Analyst at Click Therapeutics in NY
  • Lydia now serves as a Data Security and Privacy Consultant at UNICEF Venture Fund

 

Rachel Landrum

Rachel Landrum ’18

Rachel graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in May of 2017, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and business. She chose to participate in the MA in Bioethics & Science Policy program to further my knowledge base of the expanding set of ethical questions being raised today, in and outside of the realm of healthcare. Rachel believes it to be of extreme importance, now more than ever, to be equipped with the tools and varying perspectives to understand and navigate ethical concerns.

  • Rachel studies medicine at Louisiana State University Medical School

 

Marcia Lindsey

Marcia Lindsey ’18

Marcia graduated with a B.S. in Biology (Pre-Medicine) from North Carolina A&T State University in May of 2017. During her undergraduate career, she developed interests in health disparities and the impact of scientific innovation on the lives of underrepresented populations. She decided to pursue a master’s degree in Bioethics & Science Policy, in order to better understand the relationship between science, policy, and patients. In the future, Marcia plans to become a physician. She hopes to improve access to quality care for under-served populations, through health law and policy.

  • Marcia taught science at Henderson Collegiate School
  • Currently now a USPTO Certified Patent Clinic Student at North Carolina Central University School of Law

 

Melissa Morales

Melissa Morales ’18

When different fields collaborate with different people from diverse backgrounds and integrate different concepts, we can achieve something that’s greater than what any one of us can do alone. Melissa received her B.A. in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience from the University of South Florida. Thus, with a background in behavioral neuroscience, she grew a distinct interest in applying her educational groundwork with criminal law. She decided to pursue my M.A. in Bioethics & Science Policy at Duke University because the program allowed her to study the fundamental issues surrounding neuroscience, technology, and its prospective concerns within the justice system. After this program, she planned to continue her education and use her knowledge on brain and behavior to teach and inform judges, lawyers, jurors, and any personnel involved in legal decision-making on how to make methodical inferences in given circumstances. Additionally, she intends to contribute to the mediation between science and policy, by generating research that aims to understand how science can improve policy and legal decision-making.

  • Melissa currently works as a Regulatory Affairs Associate at Experien Group

 

Jamal Moss

Jamal Moss ’18

Jamal found his way to the Bioethics and Science Policy program at Duke after exploring clinical research with NC Heart and Vascular Research in Raleigh, NC. As a Clinical Research Coordinator, Jamal was responsible for communicating the rights of human research subjects to patients and doctors, while also collaborating with other clinical staff to coordinate patient care. He was responsible for keeping the rights of each patient at the forefront of every conversation dealing with their health. Those conversations and that experience pushed Jamal to analyze the ethical issues we face currently regarding science and medicine, and what tools and resources we use to solve them. Jamal enrolled in the Bioethics and Science Policy program because he wanted to learn about the ways in which bioethics is used as a lens to explore science topics and as a tool to create effective science policy.

  • Jamal is currently a Family Medicine Resident Physician at Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System

 

Chelsey Pitts

Chelsey Pitts ’18

Chelsey received her B.S. in Chemistry and Biological Sciences from NC State University in 2015. After completing college, she worked for two years in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, gaining valuable, hands-on experience evaluating the efficacy, quality, and purity of therapeutics manufactured via living organisms. Chelsey pursued her MA degree after experiencing the ethical dilemmas present in bio-pharmaceuticals, and graduated from Duke in 2018. Fueled by curiosity and a dedication to improvement, Chelsey plans to become a physician who empowers and liberates patients to take control of their lives.

  • Chelsey currently works as a Senior Business Analyst for the NC Department of Health and Human Services

 

Kevin

Kevin Simmons ’18

Kevin graduated in 2013 from the University of Dallas with a BA in Philosophy and Classics and since then taught Latin at an all-boys high school in Houston, Texas. While in college, he spent a year as a volunteer chaplain at UT Southwestern Hospital. That experience piqued his interest in bioethics, which solidified into degree aspirations; while teaching, Kevin realized that he wanted to return to school and work more directly in the intersection of morals and difficult decisions. He enrolled in the joint-degree program for bioethics and law, so that he can join hospitals or insurance companies to serve the interests of patients and their providers, perhaps especially in the development and implementation of hospital ethics policy.

 

Disha Subramaniam

Disha Subramaniam ’18

Disha graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with double majors in Economics and Molecular & Cell Biology in May 2017. She also has a strong interest in public policy and international development, stemming from her years growing up in Bangkok, Thailand during a politically turbulent time and later honed by her undergraduate years on a highly politically active campus. During her time as an undergraduate, Disha always sought to find interfaces between her two seemingly different areas of study, which was the primary catalyst for her decision to pursue the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy. Broadly, Disha’s interests lie in Health Economics & Policy and she hopes to pursue a career or further study in the field.

  • For the past few years, Disha worked at IQVIA as an analyst and consultant and is now obtaining her Ph.D. at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health

 

Juliet Taylor

Juliet Taylor ’18

Juliet earned her B.S. in Environmental Science with a Biology concentration and a minor in English from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2016. Her undergraduate interests were primarily science writing, science education, and public perceptions of science and science policy. Her undergraduate Honors thesis research focused on defining the public’s role in North Carolina coastal management policies, identifying gaps in public understanding of coastal science, and exploring ways to increase public knowledge of state and local-level developments related to these issues. Through the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy, she further developed her skills as a communicator of science and learned the complex relationship between policymakers, scientists, and public stakeholders in science policy issues.

 

Ishaq Winters

Ishaq Winters ’18

Ishaq received a joint M.D./M.A. degree at Duke University School of Medicine with a prior B.S. in Biochemistry and minor in Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. While immersing himself in medicine, Ishaq began to realize how much more there is beyond the biomedical aspects to everyday clinical decisions. He became more aware of the significance of social, political, economic, and legal components that are necessary to consider in the choices physicians make. Oftentimes, these are the issues that we struggle with the most but have the greatest impact on our patients’ health and well-being. By pursuing the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy, Ishaq hoped to not only become familiar with these topics but also become a proponent of change within our healthcare system.

  • Ishaq graduated from Duke Medical School and is a Hospital Resident at the Yale School of Medicine

 

2017 Graduates

Hira-Ahmed2

Hira Ahmed ’17

Hira earned her BS in Biological Sciences – Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology with minors in Biotechnology and Microbiology in December of 2015 from NC State University. During her undergraduate experience, she became interested in bridging collaborations between scientists and the lay public particularly in the field of digital health & technology. She decided to pursue MA in Bioethics & Science Policy in order to explore the ethical, social, and legal implications surrounding the use of digital health platforms in health-related research both nationally and globally. After graduating from the MA program, Hira went on to work with Duke Digital Global Health Science Center integrating digital platforms in multiple behavioral health research.

 

Nicole Angelica

Nicole Angelica ’17

Nicole earned a BA from Boston University in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in May of 2016. During her undergraduate career, Nicole was fascinated by the innovation of science and its impact on the population. She decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Bioethics and Science Policy in order to explore the ethical side of science. Nicole is interested in mediating controversial issues in bioethics and investigating how scientific innovation gets translated into science policy. She hopes to work for a federal regulatory agency like the FDA or NIH in the future.

  • Nicole currently studies law at UNC Chapel Hill

 

David Bearl

David Bearl ’17

Every day, adults and children are faced with difficult choices regarding their health. Some of those choices hinge on their values, while others hinge on the policies that shape their available options. David has a B.S. in Neuroscience and an M.D., both from the University of Minnesota. He completed residency training in general pediatrics at the University of Nebraska. David completed fellowship training at Duke University in pediatric cardiology. After completing his MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, David joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in Pediatric Cardiology, with a focus on heart failure and heart transplants in children, as well as the ethical challenges posed by this fragile group. This group of patients and their families can often struggle to make important life-altering decisions, and David’s aim is to advocate for them as individual patients as well as for the group as a whole at the policy level.

 

Melany

Melany Cruz Burgos ’17

Melany attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, where she obtained my BA in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. She attended Duke University School of Law and pursued the joint JD/MA in Bioethics & Science Policy. At Duke, she was involved with the Hispanic Law Students Association, the Women Law Students Association, the Duke Bar Association, and LEAD, an orientation program for first-year law students. As a law student, she eagerly learned the language of law and hopes to one day translate rules, regulations, and strategies into options her clients will understand. She also hopes to explore health care and life sciences litigation throughout her career.

 

Bahar

Bahar Emily Esmaili ’17

As a pediatrician working in the developing world, Emily found that while we have become quite good at saving the lives of children, we have not addressed the ethical implications of our life-saving measures. Global health practitioners often face difficult end-of-life situations with no policies, guidelines, or board of ethics to influence their decisions. Through the MA at Duke, Emily addressed this gap—both through gaining a critical understanding of bioethical dilemmas and through gaining skills needed to influence legislative and policy changes around the largely neglected issue of life-sustaining treatment in pediatric medicine. Beyond this program, has remained active in academic pediatrics and continues to teach medical students and residents on issues of global bioethics in pediatric practice, contributes to research and policy-making in this field, and works as a pediatrician and clinical ethicist in the developing world.

 

Daniel Feingold

Daniel Feingold ’17

Daniel completed his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in 2013. After graduation, he did research in Dr. Ethan Goldberg’s lab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where they studied cortical circuits implicated in epilepsy in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the disease. Daniel had originally planned to apply to Ph.D. programs in neuroscience after graduating from college, but during his time in the lab, he became interested in how governmental policy affects scientific research and how scientific research can change public policy. As soon as he discovered the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy at Duke, Daniel knew that it was the type of interdisciplinary program that he was looking for.

  • Perspective: NIH Budget Cuts – SciPol
  • Daniel formerly worked at the Federal Drug Administration Office of Legislation in Philadelphia, PA
  • Daniel formerly worked as the Subcommittee Staff Director at U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture
  • Daniel currently works as a Professional Staff at U.S. House of Representatives

 

Charles Hedges

Charles Hedges ’17

Charles graduated from Rollins College in December 2015 with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry and before going on to complete the Duke Master of Arts in Bioethics & Science Policy in 2018. As the chair of the Rollins College Honor Council, he was faced with numerous ethical decisions and examples of ethical misconduct. Combined with his interest in medicine, clinical care, and research, Charles was naturally interested in furthering his knowledge of bioethics and how to make effective, practical progress. After graduating from Duke, Charles joined Syneos Health as an SSU & Regulatory Specialist.

 

Carson

Carson Martinez ’17

Carson received her BS in Neural Science from New York University (NYU) in May 2016, with minors in philosophy and psychology. During her time at NYU, she worked with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Data-Pop Alliance, and the International Neuroethics Society (INS), exploring the ethical and policy implications of novel data sources and technologies. Her studies at Duke concentrated on technology and data policy, with a focus in the health sector. Her Capstone project was completed with Intel Corporation in Portland, OR. The output of Carson’s project was an Intel White Paper exploring how government entities and cloud service providers can take active steps to promote use, enhance trust, and foster innovation in cloud storage technologies for medical imaging data. After graduating, Carson worked as a Policy Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) in Washington, DC, working on cutting-edge issues in health data privacy.

 

Ashley Miller-Dykeman portrait

Ashley Miller-Dykeman ’17

Ashley earned her BA in biology from Boston University in May of 2016. During her final year as an undergraduate, she began to develop a passion for science policy and communication. Her MA experience was focused on developing creative new ways to communicate science to a variety of audiences including policy-makers, students, and non-scientists. After graduating from the MA program, she began putting her new skills to use with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability National Research Program (CSS). In the spring of 2023, Ashley joined CG Life as a Senior Content Editor.

 

Stefan

Stefan Pienkowski ’17

Stefan earned a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in biology from Emory University in Atlanta. During his undergraduate years, he was most interested in areas of thought in which these two disciplines intersected. Biology studied alone was missing fundamental concepts which philosophy provided. On the flip side, philosophy was too sterile without real-world applications. After college, Stefan worked as a medical assistant in both an academic hospital and a small private practice for about two years. While at Duke, Stefan focused his studies on issues surrounding healthcare law, policy, research, practice, and ethics.

  • Started his residencency in family medicine at the Tristar Southern Hills Medical Center in Nashville after graduating from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine. He plans on going into addiction medicine.

 

Stephanie Vereb

Stephanie Sweeney ’17

Stephanie graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Social and Political History. At Carnegie Mellon, she developed strong interests in end of life healthcare and theology in medicine. As an MA student at Duke, she connected these two interests by studying how ethics and policy influence how the whole person – physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional – is treated at the end of life. Stephanie has an aspiration to attend medical school and practice as a palliative care clinician in the future, and hopes to utilize her training in ethics and policy to improve the way she care for patients and inform ways she could influence the healthcare system.

  • Stephanie is finishing up her Internal Medicine Residency at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • She will be applying for palliative care fellowships to pursue after residency.

 

Isaac

Isaac Weitzhandler ’17

Isaac earned a joint Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and an M.A. in Bioethics & Science Policy. Before coming to Duke, he studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and his doctoral research focuses on the material properties of self-assembling proteins. In addition to his research in Biomedical Engineering, Isaac is interested in healthcare and science policy.

  • Isaac now works as a Legislative Assistant foir US Senator Jeff Flake (AZ)

 

Bob

Bob Zhao ’17

Bob received a joint JD/MA degree in Bioethics and Science Policy at Duke University. With his interest in the legal implication of technological advancements, he is very excited to explore the intersection of the law and a variety of subjects, including privacy & data protection, biotechnology, healthcare, and technology corporations. He hopes that the insight gained through his joint degree will give him a unique perspective as a corporate transactional attorney.

 

2016 Graduates

Johnathan

Johnathan Bowes ’16

Johnathan started his Stanford undergraduate career planning to major in bioengineering. Over time, he felt drawn more towards the bigger questions of ethics and policy that surrounded the growth of genetic technology. He was particularly intrigued by how those questions affect everyday patients, research participants, and consumers. So, after majoring instead in Science, Technology, and Society (STS), Jonathan felt that the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy would help him to continue exploring that interest. Through the MA capstone project, he interned at Helix, a personal genomics startup, where he put that interest into practice. After graduation, Jonathan returned to Helix as a Policy Analyst. Most recently, Jonathan is working at 23&Me in Research Policy.

 

Rosa

Rosa Castro ’16

Rosa has always been fascinated by science and technology and in particular by health issues. After studying law, she enrolled in an MD program and completed the first two years of training, before deciding to pursue her career in law. Rosa got an LLM and a dual Ph.D. degree in law and economics with a dissertation on patent law. Since then, Rosa been researching and teaching in the areas of law and economics, intellectual property, and international health law, exploring issues at the intersection of public health, pharma, and biotech patents. The MA at Duke seemed a perfect way for Rosa to combine her previous experience and research interests. She was especially attracted by the unique combination of bioethics and science policy and by the quality of the faculty. Rosa took interdisciplinary courses that addressed the most compelling challenges for science & health law and policy.

 

Blair Coppage

Blair Coppage ’16

Blair entered the MA program after graduating from St. John’s College, a small liberal arts school focused on the study of original sources in mathematics, science, literature, music, and a variety of other subjects. During her time there, she became very interested in the history and philosophy of science — specifically in the way it has shaped how we as a species regard ourselves, our well-being, and the relation of those things to the world around us. At Duke, Blair had the chance to better understand these considerations with the plan of pursuing a Ph.D. in Bioethics or Global Health Policy.

 

Stefanija

Stefanija Giric ’16

Stefanija graduated from Duke in 2010 with a degree in Public Policy Studies. After working for several years in direct advocacy roles and becoming fascinated with new innovations in healthcare (such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing), she realized that she wanted to empower healthcare consumers to become more engaged in their healthcare treatment and outcomes. Her career goals involve working with public and private entities to implement policies that would ensure individuals meaningful, useful, and affordable access to their health information. Stefanija chose to attend the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy in order to learn more about the legal, ethical, and social implications in making those goals a reality for as many people as possible.

 

Sean

Sean Harrold ’16

Sean studied both biology and philosophy as an undergraduate Evans Scholar at the University of Illinois. For a number of years after graduation, he worked in Chicago for a global pharmaceutical company doing research and development. During that time, Sean developed a professional ambition to contribute to the planning process of cutting-edge research and to ensure its ethical practice. He had the opportunities to help develop seminars at the University of Chicago on the history and philosophy of science, to shadow the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) of Northwestern University’s medical campus, and to serve on a committee in the industry to help improve and refine science methodology.

 

Anna

Anna Quian ’16

Throughout her Duke undergraduate career, Anna was always searching for courses and activities that would merge her interests in law and medicine. Ultimately she graduated with a double major in Neuroscience and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in Chinese. During the MA program, Anna developed an interest in Global Health and how ethical values might differ across cultures. For her capstone project, Anna learned about attitudes towards abortion in China where policy limits the amount of children a couple may have. She hopes to attend medical school and continue to use the knowledge gained from this program.

  • Anna currently works as a Lab Technician at Duke Neurobiology

 

Sean

Sean Riley ’16

Sean’s research revolves around understanding the policy mechanisms involved in implementing proper end-of-life care, specifically regarding euthanasia and/or assisted dying. During his MA at Duke, Sean investigated the lethal medication supply controversy at play in executions in the United States. This led to the exploration of the ripple effects in lethal medication supplies for aid-in-dying. In order to expand his empirical research skills and garner critical international experience in the field, Sean next moved to the Netherlands to conduct a study into Dutch euthanasia policy at Erasmus Medical Centre. He returned to a research position at the Duke-Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy, where he worked with a medical decision making team on issues involving end-of-life in neonates as well as state Medicaid policy. Sean sustained involvement in Science & Society through the program’s SciPol site and other academic avenues. My eventual next step is a PhD in either Health Policy or Population Health Sciences.

With any questions about my personal research in euthanasia and aid-in-dying, my professional research at Margolis, or any perspectives on Science & Society and the MA in Bioethics & Science Policy program, please feel free to reach out at sean.riley@duke.edu.

Research Areas: End-of-Life care, Dying & Death, Lethal Medications, Medical Decision Making, Empirical Bioethics, Biopolitics, Qualitative Analysis & Research Design, Clinician and Patient Interviews, Behavioral Economics, Mixed Methods

 

Ryan

Ryan Simpson ’16

Ryan entered the MA program after graduating from the Honors College of Charleston with a BS in Biology and a BA in Classical Studies. He chose the MA program to explore a diverse array of subjects such as regulation in the emerging bio-economy, advances in genome science, and the rapidly evolving role of the physician. While enrolled in this program, Ryan built a deeper understanding of how new technologies in both medicine and science shape the world around us. He took classes related to advances in genome sciences and how they can be most effectively applied, as well as courses that explore the various ethical issues that may arise in the near future of medicine. He plans on applying to medical school and intends to use his experience to ensure the ethical use and propagation of developing medical technologies.

 

Eun Young

Eun Young Song ’16

After earning her Ph.D. in neuroscience, Eun worked as a postdoctoral associate in neuroscience laboratories. She saw that unprecedented technological advances in neuroscience research give us powerful new tools for altering and creating living entities and promoting selective behaviors beyond the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. At the same time, these advances raise ethical issues about the conduct and implications of neuroscience research. In order to maximize the benefits of neuroscience research to individuals and society, we need to ensure that experiments are performed ethically and that we clarify misunderstandings and misconceptions about the research implications and impact. In the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, Eun was interested in the study of policy development in the areas of performance and application of neuroscience research, and in designing education systems for neuroscience researchers, medical doctors, and the public on bioethics for responsible and ethical application of neuroscience research.

 

Naina

Naina Soni ’16

Naina received a joint JD/MA degree in Bioethics & Science Policy. For the MA, she concentrated on intellectual property, as she plans to begin her legal career as an associate with Cooley in the law firm’s intellectual property litigation group in Washington, D.C. Naina was involved with the Law School’s Health Justice Clinic and was a Lead Articles and Publications Editor on the executive editing board of Law and Contemporary Problems, the Law School’s oldest published journal. In February 2015, she published “New science, old convictions − Texas Senate Bill 344: identifying further necessary reform in forensic science,” in Journal of Law and the Biosciences. Prior to attending Duke, Naina graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a BS in Biology, concentrating in Cell Biology and Genetics, and a BA in Government and Politics with High Honors. Outside of school, my hobbies include playing the guitar, learning and teaching Indian Classical Dance, and exploring Durham’s restaurants with friends.

  • Naina practices law at Cooley LLP. She focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation with an emphasis on patent litigation. She represents both established industry giants and disruptive startups covering a broad range of technologies, including pharmaceuticals, surgical sealants, biomedical devices, telecommunications software, social networking, and home security system software.

 

Troy

Troy Spindler ’16

When he chose to pursue biology as a career, Troy hoped to become a researcher who would expand on new medical knowledge and technology. He discovered that the need for new treatments is not the only obstacle to adequate health care for many people. With the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, Troy turned his focus toward the policies that dictate people’s access to health and food resources. Duke’s interdisciplinary and critical approach to modern biology was a great foundation as he entered a career in health advocacy.

 

Darrell

Darrell White II ’16

The MA in Bioethics & Science Policy was a pivot point for Darrell’s career. While an undergrad, he developed a passion for writing and for conducting interdisciplinary research projects; he designed, published, and presented interdisciplinary projects that examined juror judgment & decision-making, obesity stigma, empathy, cognitive neuroscience, and the philosophy of psychology. Although he planned on a career in psychology research, when Darrell saw the MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, his plan shifted. He saw bioethics as a dynamic field that integrated his interests in research with another passion of policy and law. While at Duke, he continued his research and explored how that research materializes into law and policy.

 

2015 Graduates

Andrew

Andrew Darnell ’15

Andrew pursued his MA after completing an undergraduate major in Health: Science, Society, and Policy at Brandeis University. While enrolled in the MA, he participated in a capstone project at the National Institutes of Health, which focused his developing interests in public policy, public engagement, and advocacy for research participants. After graduating, Andrew continued to work with the Duke Science & Society team as an associate in research. He enrolled at Duke Law to further study the legal and regulatory policies surrounding emerging biotechnologies.

 

Sonya

Sonya Jooma ’15

In May 2014, Sonya completed her BS in Biology, a certificate in Genome Sciences and Policy, and a minor in music at Duke University. As an undergrad, her love of biology and genetics led her to pursue diverse lab research experiences in plant genetics, human genomics to understand rare disorders and ovarian cancer. For a long time, Sonya thought she would move on to a Ph.D. program to become a scientist, but her experience with the Genome Sciences and Policy program piqued her interest in bigger questions about how to enable the translation of research discoveries into medical care and how to ensure that scientific research is conducted ethically and addresses societal concerns. Sonya had the opportunity to do a summer capstone project at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and address policy issues for the Precision Medicine Initiative. Having enjoyed this experience, Sonya is now pursuing a career in science policy so that she can shape and guide scientific research.

 

Jessica

Jessica Ordax ’15

Jessica entered the MA after graduating from Duke University with a BS in biomedical engineering. She planned to work in genetics or drug development but wanted to make sure she fully understood how to address the social, legal, and ethical issues that often arise in these fields. The Duke MA program was a great way to learn about the impact of technological advances on research, medical decisions, and policies, and offered the opportunity to tap into the research and clinical aspects of the University. Jessica also stayed at Duke for her capstone project and worked with the Duke IRB (Institutional Review Board). During her time as an intern, Jessica was tasked with revising and updating the IRB member Evaluations before the AAHRPP accreditation. After graduating from the program she was offered a permanent position at the IRB and served as an IRB Specialist and Science Writer.

  • Jessica currently works as an Institutional Research Board Administrator at Wake Med

 

Samir

Samir Rahman ’15

Samir enrolled in the MA program after graduating from Rice University and then engaging in clinical/laboratory research training in the Department of Medicine/ Division of Infectious Disease at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Samir wanted to explore how policies—from governments, public sector organizations, and private sector entities—affect clinical or pharmaceutical research and development activity that can give rise to new treatment options for diseases. Through coursework in ethics and law, and through policy research activity in the Duke Innovation & Technology Policy Lab, this program equipped him to better understand the legal, regulatory, and policy environments in which such activity takes place. Now that he’s finished the MA with a thesis on pharmaceutical innovation for neglected diseases, Samir’s aim is to engage in further research activity on similar topics before pursuing doctoral studies in the field.

 

Natalie

Natalie Salmanowitz ’15

Natalie came to the Master in Bioethics & Science Policy program after completing her undergraduate major in neuroscience at Dartmouth. She is specifically interested in how new neuroscientific knowledge, imaging, and interventions can or should be applied to the courtroom to improve the effectiveness of our justice system. This program enabled Natalie to investigate this area in depth through bioethics, neuroscience, and law coursework, research in a philosophy/neuroscience lab on campus, and a master’s thesis directly on this topic. After the program, Natalie continued in this field through a research fellowship at the Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society (SPINS) before entering law school.

  • Natalie currently works as a Law Clerk at the US District Court for the District of Columbia

 

Ashlyn

Ashlyn Sanders ’15

While an undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill, Ashlyn studied mathematics, and always had an interest in problem-solving in the clinical setting as it relates to challenging cases involving patients and healthcare professionals. This interest sparked her desire to pursue the MA in Bioethics & Science Policy at Duke. She wanted to explore the unique complexities of healthcare and how those operated within the larger medicolegal and sociopolitical contexts. While enrolled in the program, Ashlyn focused on the intersection between medical ethics and science policy. Her thesis work explored risk communication in the clinical setting, which is an integral part of bioethics and policy. She is a former 2014 Spring White House Intern during the Obama Administration in The Office of Science and Technology Policy and The Office of Public Engagement. She is passionate about health and health policy and is very active in her community. After getting PATI to market, Ashlyn plans to attend medical school to pursue Neuropsychiatry.

 

Navneet

Navneet Sandhu ’15

After graduating with a BA in Zoology, Navneet wanted to enter a program that viewed science through a different lens. She became interested in the intersection of bioethics, law, and policy and how it shapes food policy. The Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy was the perfect program because it addressed each of these topics. In particular, Navneet really liked that she could select an individualized concentration within the program based on her interests. She fulfilled her concentration by accessing Duke’s wide range of classes pertaining to food policy and law and by conducting her capstone project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Biotechnology Project. During her last semester, Navneet had the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant for a new World Food Policy Center at Sanford School of Public Policy. After graduation, she spent some time working for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign as a Field Organizer. Recently, Navneet returned to food policy and worked at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service as a Program Specialist.

  • Navneet currently works as an Analyst for Child Nutrition Programs with the USDA

 

Kirk

Kirk Willmarth ’15

Kirk transitioned to the Duke MA from a Ph.D. program in biology after realizing he was more interested in the societal applications of science than in conducting bench research. Through this program, Kirk was able to explore both the mechanisms and ethical, legal, and social implications of translating new technologies into the marketplace. His MA in Bioethics & Science Policy allowed him to tap into resources across the Duke academic ecosystem in pursuit of this goal, granting him access to bioethics, law, policy, and business school courses. He conducted his capstone project at a consumer genetics startup where he assisted with creating policies to handle emerging privacy, consent, and other ethical concerns, and he received an offer to stay after completing the MA.

 

Nana

Nana Young ’15

Early childhood experiences sparked Nana’s interest in the intersection of culture and health. Ultimately, she intends to forge a career as a medical professional, examining the ties between socio-cultural circumstances and psychosomatic expression. The MA in Bioethics & Science Policy seemed to be the perfect vehicle for these interests, allowing Nana to engage in relevant coursework across a range of disciplines. She experienced tremendous growth as a scholar during this program, fine-tuning her writing voice and taking on new academic challenges. Beyond that, the program equipped her with valuable competencies that have merit in the policy, legal, and medical fields.

  • Nana is is a Fellow at the University of San Francisco Center for Applied Data Ethics