Elena Brown-Soler

I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. My first year of college, I, like most prospective pre-med students, took science and math courses. In all honesty, I found chemistry confusing and triple integrals fun, but when I took Introduction to Criminology, my internal trajectory began to change. The course opened my 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. I also took a course called Clinical Issues in Healthcare. This course drew my attention towards the cost of life and the ethics surrounding it in regards to medical and legal policies and decisions. I hope to use my time in the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy Program to study the intersections between ethics, medicine, public health and law.



Galen Dods

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



Derrick Dwamena

I graduated from Michigan State University in 2020 where I was a Mastercard Foundation Scholar with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. During my undergraduate career, I was deeply interested in Neuroimaging and the Reward Pathway. I joined the interdisciplinary Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab as a Research Assistant to further explore my interests. At Duke, I will be working as a Neuroscience Graduate Research Assistant with the Zucker lab focusing on Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, and the Huettel lab focusing on Economic Decision Making. I am beyond ecstatic to continue my education with the Masters of Bioethics and Science Policy program at Duke, I believe this would adequately prepare me to undertake the role of advisor/consultant for the government in my home country Ghana as a qualified researcher. This would allow the citizens to be better-informed and the government can make decisions based on scientific knowledge.


Mark Featherston

Mark Featherston

I graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2020 with a dual degree in Biology and Philosophy. My combination of undergraduate majors allowed me to interact with two different modes of thinking. As such, I had experiences learning the disconnects between how different scholars talk about the same issues. I wish to learn a similar dynamic between Science Policy/bioethics and how decisions affect the general public. Particularly, I seek to have a deeper understanding of how to protect and furnish more perspectives in bioethical policy to prevent further disconnects between different demographics. I look forward to learning more about clinical bioethics to better understand the language used in that field. I can then analyze that language to learn how to make the information more accessible to the general public.



Grace Grecco

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


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.


Kevin Kallmes

Kevin Kallmes

I am a rising 2L student at Duke University Law School, where I hope to gain the requisite skills to become involved in the legal aspects of healthcare and technology transactions in 2020. I am concurrently completing an MA in Bioethics and Science Policy, which I hope contributes to my further understanding of medical technology regulation. I recently finished an internship in Neuroethics with the BRAIN Initiative at the National Institutes of Health. I created risk assessments concerning the data sharing and privacy ethical questions for novel neurotechnologies. Lastly, I am the President of Superior Medical Experts, Inc, in which capacity I oversee medical research and writing projects. I have contributed to over 150 medical publications and helped compose grants concerning stroke embolectomy devices, immunotherapies, and neuroregenerative therapies.



Taimur Kouser

I 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, I 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. I became especially interested in bioethics during my time as a research assistant at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. And I pursued independent research in the philosophy of medicine with a focus on notions of health and disease as well. I believe that a strong theoretical foundation and an ability to translate theory into practice are crucial, and I’m looking forward to my time at Duke to explore ways to do that within the scope of my undergraduate interests in neuroscience, philosophy, and other fields that intersect with them.



Evan Lee

I am a native of Indianapolis, IN, but I spent the last four years in Philadelphia where I earned my bachelor’s degree in biology and medical sociology from The University of Pennsylvania. I will be continuing to run track and field for the Blue Devils and I hope to qualify for the Olympic trials in my event: the decathlon. I intend on pursuing medical school following this master’s program. Due to the complicated nature of many cases in the field of medicine, I believe that a strong foundation in bioethics will provide me with a unique skill-set that I can share with my patients and fellow physicians as we tackle the complexities of patient care in a modernized world.



Amaranta Manrique de Lara y Ramírez

I got my bachelor’s degree in Genomic Sciences from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 2018. During my undergrad, I 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 I had in this time was an internship in science policy, writing summary notes for the Mexican Congress. Afterward, I completed a certification in Bioethics, Health, and Biolaw at my same university. These experiences showed me 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 my Fulbright scholarship and the MA in Bioethics and Science Policy, I hope 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.


Sophia McNatton

Sophia McNatton

I graduated from NC State University with a BS in Genetics. During my time at State, I 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. While I enjoyed my time pursuing traditional lab work, the most formative experiences in my undergraduate career came from working as a teaching assistant in the biochemistry department. Working with other students led me to discover a love for science education and communication, which resulted in my decision to further explore these topics in graduate school. By pursuing my master’s degree through Duke’s Bioethics and Science Policy program, I hope to one day improve discussion surrounding many topics in bioethics, particularly in the areas of animal ethics and environmental policy.


Athena Mouros

Athena Mouros

I am a joint degree student in the JD/MA in Bioethics and Science Policy program. In 2019, completed my BA in Philosophy and Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. During my undergraduate career, I worked in a lab that sought to understand the impact of neurological diseases on speech production. This work, along with the health services and policy research experience that I gained interning at the Joint Commission and the Chicago Department of Public Health, fueled my interest in the intersection between mental health and the law. I hope to use to my time at Duke to better understand the ethical underpinnings of this intersection, specifically with regards to mental health research and the delivery of mental health care.


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.



Genevieve Muñoz

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


Charles Provine

I am a JD/MA in Bioethics and Science Policy candidate here at Duke. I graduated from Mississippi State University in 2019 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I have 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, I 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, I intend to practice law. I currently have a strong interest in healthcare regulatory law but hope to explore various practice areas over the course of my studies at Duke.



Roshan Rama

I graduated from Santa Clara University with majors in Economics and History. During my education, I completed a fellowship at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. The opportunity inspired my 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, I know that each generation is inclined to think that the current developments are unique. I am as fallible as any generation in my assessment. Nevertheless, I arrive at Duke mindful of immense change spurred on by innovation. I am eager to understand how we will meet the present challenges, and I look forward to doing that within a cohort of peers.



Alison Sechrest

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

  • Staff Editor, Duke Law Journal



Emily Sen

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


Ben Shepard

Ben Shepard

I earned a BA in New Media Studies from the University at Buffalo. After graduation, I went on to build one of Western New York’s leading web development companies: 360PSG. As a partner and Creative Director there, I 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, I 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 I’m particularly interested in burgeoning tech and issues surrounding data privacy, I am endlessly curious about any research that currently pushes the bounds of human progress. I look forward to expanding my knowledge in science, policy, and ethics as they relate to science communication, journalism, and public engagement.



Camille Stone

II graduated from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia in 2020 with majors in human rights and international relations and a minor in bioethics. I had been interested in human rights since learning about conflict and refugees in high school, and as I progressed at university, I became increasingly interested in the idea of health as a human right and began thinking about the intersection between human rights and bioethical issues. This led me to get involved in a committee on the effect of physician-assisted suicide legislation on Huntington’s disease patients. I also began volunteering with the Australian Red Cross’ patient transport service, a project that facilitates access to medical care for locals who cannot transport themselves to medical appointments for financial or social reasons. As a Bioethics and Science Policy student and Margolis Scholar at Duke, I am hoping to develop the skills to improve healthcare for vulnerable and marginalized communities across the world.


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.


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.


Rishita Yeduri

Rishita Yeduri

I graduated from East Carolina University in 2018 with a degree in Biology and a minor in statistics. My aspirations of becoming a physician were confined to the treatment of patients but I came to understand that medicine is more of an art than a science. In an effort to delve into the art, I did research at the Brody School of Medicine. Getting the opportunity to present at research conferences across the nation exposed me to the interdisciplinary nature of medicine. The impact certain policies had on research methodologies really intrigued me. I wanted to gain a better understanding of past and current science policies to allow my work to transcend beyond the research lab and into the patient room. After graduation, I pursued one of my passions of teaching by becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA for a nonprofit focused on creating resilient and empowered youth. Through this experience, I observed various societal inequalities, especially in marginalized communities. I realized that cultural competency and trust are at the forefront of health care. I hope to gain trust with individuals and become aware of ethical complexities that might arise in healthcare. I am pursuing this MA in Bioethics and Science Policy to be a better-informed physician and bridge the healthcare inequality gap in the future.



Cokie Young

I earned my BA in Neuroscience and Spanish from Vanderbilt University in 2019. I 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, I want 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. I look forward to learning from a diverse group of colleagues and faculty here at Duke!