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Master of Arts in

Bioethics & Science Policy

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Laura

Laura Appelt

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

 

Aziz Towqir

Towqir Aziz

I am a graduate of UNC- Chapel Hill, where I received a B.S. in environmental science, concentrating on human health impacts and human health protection. My 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, have all led me to this Master in Bioethics & Science Policy Program because it merges my interests in the environment, public health, scientific communication and justice. Through this graduate program I aim to gain a better understand the nuances of bioethics and science-related policy through, after which I plan to pursue a law degree. In my career, I hope to be able 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.

 

Kirsten Bleiweiss

Kirsten Bleiweiss

I earned a BS in Neuroscience and a BA in Political Science from the University of Southern California in 2016. During my undergraduate career, I discovered my interests lie in the intersection of these dynamic fields. Dealing with issues of international policy and global health, I spent time researching parasitic diseases in developing nations at Oxford University – specifically focusing on schistosomiasis and onchocerciasis. Through my research, I 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. My curiosity in the regulation and use of science in society led me to the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy program. During my time at Duke, I plan to examine 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. After Duke, I intend to pursue a JD and focus my work on intellectual property, science, and health with potential international applications.

 

Bobbie Burrows

Bobbie Burrows

I am a joint-degree student pursuing a JD and MA in Bioethics & Science Policy at Duke. I graduated from Wartburg College in 2016 where I was a part of the Engineering Science program. I joined the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy program because I have a fascination with technology and new ideas that emerge into the world and the legal and ethical implications that accompany them. After graduation I hope to work in Intellectual Property and possibly Patent Law.

 

Christian Capobianco

Christian Capobianco

I graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Nanoscience and a minor in Science, Technology, & Law, where my primary interests were nanomedicine and the development of nanotechnology from an intellectual property point of view. These interests led me 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, I recently completed an externship at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, wherein my art unit focused on examination of semiconductor-related patent applications. Going forward at Duke, my studies will be focused on the application of risk analysis towards nanotechnology and nanomaterials in policy development, as well as how resulting policies influence the commercialization process.

 

Matthew

Matthew Colin

I am a joint-degree student and am pursuing a degree from Duke Law School while also working towards an MA in Bioethics and Science Policy. I graduated from Indiana University in 2013 with a BS in chemistry and a BA in philosophy. Following my undergraduate career, I spent two years teaching biology and chemistry at Emmerich Manual High School in Indianapolis through Teach for America. While I am unsure about what I would like to do after graduation, I plan to pursue a career that combines science and law.

 

Blair Coppage

Blair Coppage

I 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 my time there, I 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, I hope to get a chance to better understand these considerations with the plan of pursuing a PhD in Bioethics or Global Health Policy.

 

Elena Ghanaim

Elena Ghanaim

Ever since high school, I have been fascinated by the moral, social, and ethical issues that emerging genetic technologies pose to society. I began to explore this interest at Rutgers University, where I earned my B.A. in Genetics with minors in Philosophy and Psychology. For the past two years, I have worked in basic science research at the NIH as a post-baccalaureate IRTA fellow. At the NIH, I 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 will deepen my understanding of various bioethical issues as well as how scientists and policymakers effectively communicate and regulate science. I hope to pursue a career in medical genetics and believe that the knowledge and tools learned at Duke will improve my ability to participate in discussions and decisions made on bioethical topics.

 

Kelly Hamachi

Kelly Hamachi

I am a joint JD/MA student in the Bioethics & Science Policy program here at Duke. In 2015, I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in public health. After college, I 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, I am interested in the legal and ethical aspects of research, clinical trials, and the use of health care technologies.

 

Jenna Hayes

Jenna Hayes

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

 

Lydia Kwong

Lydia Kwong

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

 

Rachel Landrum

Rachel Landrum

I graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in May of 2017, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and business. As I am in pursuit of a medical education and a career as a physician, I 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. I believe 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.

 

Marcia Lindsey

Marcia Lindsey

I graduated with a B.S. in Biology (Pre-Medicine) from North Carolina A&T State University in May of 2017. During my undergraduate career, I developed interests in health disparities, and the impact of scientific innovation on the lives of underrepresented populations. I 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 I plan to become a physician. I hope to improve access to quality care for under-served populations, through health law and policy.

 

Karina Moy

Karina Moy

After graduating from Williams College in 2014 with degrees in English and biology, I worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on an investigation of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities fraud. I gained an appreciation for the power and meticulousness of law and sought to combine my passion for human health with a legal education at Duke. I am currently pursuing a joint JD/MA in Bioethics & Science Policy.

I am involved in Duke’s Cancer Pro Bono Project and am eager to take advantage of more clinics, clubs, and course offerings relating to healthcare in the coming years. Though I anticipate this program greatly broadening my career horizons, for now I hope to become a federal prosecutor to protect healthcare rights and access for all Americans.

 

Melissa Morales

Melissa Morales

When different fields collaborate with different people from diverse backgrounds and integrate different concepts, we can achieve something that’s greater than what anyone of us can do alone. I believe that the chance for discoveries and major breakthroughs lie at the intersection of different fields. I am a firm believer in integrating hard sciences with social sciences. I received my B.A. in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience from the University of South Florida. Thus, with a background in behavioral neuroscience, I grew a distinct interest in applying my educational groundwork with criminal law. My goal is to produce empirical work to discern how or when neuroscience can be applied in legal context and, ultimately, how it can be best understood by the legal system. Therefore, I decided to pursue my M.A. in Bioethics & Science Policy at Duke University—a program that allows me to study the fundamental issues surrounding neuroscience, technology, and its prospective concerns within the justice system. After this program, I plan to continue my education and use my 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, I intent 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.

 

Jamal Moss

Jamal Moss

Two years after graduating from NC State University with a BS in Biological Sciences, I found my way to the Bioethics and Science Policy program at Duke after exploring clinical research with NC Heart and Vascular Research in Raleigh, NC. Throughout those two years, bioethics became a bigger part of the conversations I was having every day with both patients and clinical staff. As a Clinical Research Coordinator, I 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. Most importantly, I 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 me to analyze the ethical issues we face currently regarding science and medicine, and what tools and resources we use to solve them.
During my undergrad career, my professors emphasized the importance of knowing the policy that affected our communities; policy affecting farming, water, and even energy. In conjunction, they also fostered the desire to seek out and spread good, ethical science. I enrolled in the Bioethics and Science Policy program because I want 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. My study interest includes health care policy and population health inequities. After graduation, I plan to attend medical school and use my background in bioethics and science policy to support involvement with science at all levels of life and give me a seat at the table when it’s time create the policy for the future.

 

Disha Subramaniam

Disha Subramaniam

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

 

Kelly Todd

Kelly Todd

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

 

Jenny Wang

Jenny Wang

I am a joint degree student currently pursuing a JD and MA in Bioethics & Science Policy. After graduating from Duke with a BS in Biology, I taught high school science for two years in rural North Carolina as a Teach For America corps member. I return to Duke hoping to find the same interdisciplinarity I enjoyed as an undergraduate as I explore the relationship between science and the law. I am ultimately interested in a career in intellectual property litigation.

 

AnneWest

Anne West

When I was 17, my family became the first healthy family to be have our genomes sequenced out of pure scientific curiosity. The more I learned about my own genome and my family’s, the more my curiosity was sparked. Though I majored in Psychology and Spanish, I continued my interest in genetics throughout college through internships at Harvard, MIT, and Barcelona’s Center for Genomic Regulation. After I graduated from Wellesley College in May 2015, I spent a year jointly working for the Mount Sinai Resilience Project and the Harvard Personal Genome Project (of which I am also a participant). At work, I saw how research studies can interact with their participants, to empower and educate them in aprocess that benefits everyone involved. My interest in innovative ways to structure research studies propelled me to study bioethics and explore its many issues.

 

Cole Wilhelmi

Cole Wilhelmi

I am a joint degree candidate pursuing a JD and MA in Bioethics and Science Policy. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2016. I worked for a year at the UNC Environmental Finance Center, where I assisted in research projects related to public utility finance and water system rate structures. In law school, I am actively involved in Duke Environmental Law Society and Health Law Society. I am 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.