Research
Research

SLAPLAB

SLAPLAB (Science, Law & Policy Lab) is a vertically-integrated, interdisciplinary laboratory directed by Dr. Nita Farahany, Professor of Law & Philosophy and Director of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society.
Nita Farahany

Nita Farahany, PhD, JD

Nita A. Farahany is a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biosciences and emerging technologies, particularly those related to neuroscience and behavioral genetics. She is the Director of Duke Science & Society, the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, and a Professor of Law & Philosophy.

Shelby Baird

Shelby Baird

Shelby Baird is a joint-degree student pursuing a JD and 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, she worked for an appellate litigation firm in Washington, D.C. At Duke, she is involved with the Health Law Society, Cancer Pro Bono Project, and Federalist Society. She wants to use her joint-degree to pursue a career in health care law and is interested in projects that improve patient access to quality care.

Colleen Berryessa

Colleen Berryessa

Colleen Berryessa is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research examines discretion in the criminal justice system, focusing on social contexts and societal attitudes toward biological research on pathology and behavior, and how they may affect the legal process, legal decision-making, and the criminal justice system. She also holds a B.A. in Government and Mind, Brain and Behavior from Harvard University, and completed a two-year pre-doctoral fellowship at the Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics at Stanford University.

Kirsten Bleiweiss

Kirsten Bleiweiss

Kirsten is an MA in Bioethics & Science Policy student at Duke, having previously earned a BS in Neuroscience and a BA in Political Science from the University of Southern California in 2016. During her undergraduate career, she 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.  During her time at Duke, she plans 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, she intends to pursue a JD and focus her work on intellectual property, science, and health with potential international applications.

Beatrice Capestany

Beatrice Capestany

Beatrice received her Masters and PhD from the Psychology & Neuroscience Department at Duke University, where she investigated how neuroscience evidence impacts sentencing decisions in the U.S. criminal justice system. Her research broadly explores how neural technologies are perceived and integrated into law and policy. Prior to her graduate studies, Beatrice worked as a lab manager/research associate in a social neuroscience lab that focused on how people attribute mental states to others.

Saheel Chodavadia

Saheel Chodavadia

Saheel Chodavadia is a sophomore from Austin, Texas interested in majoring in Economics and Psychology with the Experiential Ethics Certificate. He has worked separately with science and policy before and hopes to help bridge the gap to ensure translatable impact at scale. Saheel enjoys citruses (specifically limes), cooking, and owns a competitive spice collection.

Charlie Giattino

Charlie Giattino

Charlie is a neuroscientist interested in neuronal oscillations–“brain waves”–and their role in how the brain encodes and routes information. He is currently a fifth-year PhD candidate in Marty Woldorff’s lab at Duke University, where his predoctoral research focuses on using electrophysiological measures (EEG) in humans to understand the role of oscillations in attentional selection, perception, and working memory. Charlie is also affiliated with the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

Lydia Kwong

Lydia Kwong

Lydia Kwong graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Bioethics. During her undergraduate tenure, she learned how the development of biotechnology rapidly advanced the discovery of treatments in medicine. It was curious to her, as a bioethics student, that biotechnology could simultaneously benefit and harm members of society. When she realized that mapping the human genome led to medical innovations, but also necessitated the development of genetic privacy laws to protect individuals against genetic discrimination, she was fascinated. Now, as a SLAP lab researcher, she’s committed to exploring the potential societal impacts of biotechnology and how this influences law and policy.

Elish Mahajan

Elish Mahajan

Elish Mahajan is a 2nd year undergraduate student majoring in Biology and Computer Science. He is currently doing research on the role of the human microbiota in chronic disease. He is also an EMT-B provider for Duke University EMS.

Jin Oh

Jin Oh

Jin is currently a senior double majoring in neuroscience and international comparative studies, along with innovation and entrepreneurship. She is very interested in the overlap between two academic field that would be able to help creating policies necessary in well regulating more neuro-techniques in the future. She is involved in the Bass Connections team for the fall semester of 2017. She was a Wrenn Scholar working on finding proteomic markers for Alzheimer’s disease and is working as a research assistant for decision neuroscience lab.

Chad Rafetto

Chad Rafetto

Chad is a junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering with the intent to go to law school upon graduation. He is interested in the ways in which medical devices are implemented and perceived in our society. After getting his JD, he aspires to be involved in the policy side for emerging technologies and intellectual property.

Stephanie Santistevan-Swett, PhD

Stephanie Santistevan-Swett, PhD

Stephanie Santistevan-Swett is a 5th year PhD student in Cognitive Psychology. Her research investigates the effects of perceptual fluency on judgment and decision-making in health contexts.

Nancy Zhang

Nancy Zhang

Nancy Zhang is a senior in Biomedical Engineering, with a minor in Psychology. She is interested in the social and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. She is also interested in the collection, analysis and utilization of Big Data, particularly in the healthcare context. She hopes to bridge the gap between innovative technologies and society by researching on the impact of science and addressing public concerns.