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Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
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Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
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Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellows
Winter 2010 Fellow Biosketches

 2010W Fellows Group Photo

2010W Bodnar Chelsea2A native of Montana, Chelsea E. F. Bodnar (Winter 2010, IOM/BCYF) received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Montana State University before obtaining a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University, where she graduated with a master's of philosophy in social history of medicine in 2002. She returned to attend Harvard Medical School, raduated with her MD in 2006 and completed residency in pediatrics at University of Washington/Seattle Children's Hospital in 2009.  She, her husband, and their two children now live in New York where she works as a clinician and project leader for pediatric quality of care at a community health center in the Hudson Valley.  Contact via email.  (Updated 2/2011)


2010W Brosnan IanIan Brosnan (Winter 2010, DELS/OSB) is currently a doctoral student in the Marine Resources and Ocean Ecosystems Program at Cornell where he focuses on the use of advanced tagging and tracking technologies to address marine conservation concerns.  He received his Master's in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington's School of Marine Affairs where he studied governance in a changing Arctic and co-authored a report on the Arctic region for the National Assembly of Korea.  Prior to entering the School of Marine Affairs, he served with distinction as a U.S. Coast Guard officer, holding positions as a military diver, Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard cutter Cobia, and liaison to members of Congress.  His awards include the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Coast Guard's Commendation Medal. In his free time, Ian enjoys expedition kayaking, diving, and sailing, and micro-brewed IPAs
.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Chamberlain LeslieLeslie Chamberlain (Winter 2010, DEPS/BPA) earned her PhD in December 2009 in astrophysics at the University of North Carolina, where she also received her MS in 2005.  She received her undergraduate degree in physics from the University of North Texas.  In her research, Leslie studies the formation and evolution of galaxies.  For her dissertation, she examined how the age and metal content vary among stellar populations in the S0 galaxy, a particular type of disk galaxy.  She believes that policy decisions at the national level are a critical step in the scientific process. The broad understanding of science and policy gained during the Mirzayan Fellowship has and will continue to help her in her career. She is currently teaching physics and astronomy at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. Her leisure interests include running, yoga, capoeira, cooking, and playing the banjo.  She also enjoys being active in the community
.  Contact via email.  (Updated 2/2011)

2010W Clites EricaErica Clites (Winter 2010, NAE/Media) works for the National Park Service at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona as a paleontologist.  She has a master's degree in geology from the University of California, Riverside and specializes in paleontology.  Previously she evaluated fossil sites in the Washington, D.C. metro region and worked on National Fossil Day, a new education/outreach initiative of NPS and the American Geological Institute.  Erica also loves to teach, and spent a year teaching English in northeastern Germany as a Fulbright Scholar.  Her bachelor's degree in geology, with a minor in German studies, was from the College of Wooster.  While at the Academies, she learned new ways to communicate scientific and technical information to the public, as well as how business gets done in Washington.  Her career goal is to work as a science communicator for a government or non-profit agency engaged in conservation.  In her free time, Erica enjoys playing cards, running, hiking, and cheering for the Michigan Wolverines.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)
2010 Douraghy_Ali4Ali Douraghy (Winter 2010, PGA/OFS & DSC) is a 2011-12 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in Science Diplomacy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C.  His professional interests revolve around revitalizing the role of science in international development and diplomacy.  In his current role, Ali is responsible for developing science-based initiatives with the Islamic world, and in particular, with the governments of Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan.  Previously, Ali was a Mirzayan Fellow in the Office of the Foreign Secretaries at the U.S. National Academies where he worked on developing international science partnerships with institutions in the Middle East and North Africa.  Before arriving in Washington, Ali was a Fulbright Fellow in the United Arab Emirates conducting a study on the adoption of advanced medical imaging technologies.  Ali’s scientific expertise is in the design and development of novel Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners, a tool used in nuclear medicine and cancer imaging.  He is a contributing author of the recently published text, Basic Sciences of Nuclear Medicine, and is a past recipient of the Norman Baily Award from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and a fellowship from the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.  He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia and is fluent in Arabic (Modern Standard and Egyptian colloquial) and Persian.  Ali received his PhD in biomedical physics from the UCLA School of Medicine and holds an MS in biomedical engineering, a BS in bioengineering as well as degrees in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)
2010W Edwards SarahSarah Edwards (Winter 2010, DEPS/BAST) received her PhD in chemistry from Stanford University in 2008 and her BA in chemistry from Wellesley College in 2002.  Her dissertation research focused on developing biological tools to study proteins in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or budding yeast.  During graduate school, Sarah conducted outreach programs at local schools, taught undergraduate and graduate classes in chemistry and biology, and explored her interest in science and technology policy.  As a neurology postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, Sarah studied the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.  Prior to her Mirzayan Fellowship, she returned to her home state of North Carolina to volunteer at the local science museum, teach high school and learn the fundamentals of science journalism.  After the Mirzayan Fellowship, Sarah worked at Duke University as a scientific coordinator for their systems biology faculty.  Sarah has recently returned to D.C. to begin her first year as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Farmanesh AmiAmir Farmanesh (Winter 2010, PGA/BISO) Amir Farmanesh (Winter 2010, PGA/BISO) is a faculty member at the Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University conducting research on the role of enabling policy environments affecting governance reform processes across countries. His primary research focus includes business-enabling environments, willfully hidden data, financial flows, and fiscal development policy. Amir has conducted studies on business bribery, the impact of scale economies on spatial allocation of economic activities and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. He has introduced the Business Bribery Index (BBI) as the first index offering a currency-level estimate of bribery between businesses and governments across the world. He is developing a new research field under the brand of “willfully hidden data” covering quantitative estimations of intrinsically hidden phenomenon such as business bribery, illicit financial flows, money laundering, and politically sensitive opinions. Before joining VCU Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs as an assistant professor, Amir has served as a visiting faculty with the following institutions: Erasmus University Rotterdam’s International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, University of Maryland, College Park’s School of Public Policy, and University of Maryland, College Park’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. He is a frequent consultant to the World Bank and has worked with the United Nations both as a member of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) advisory council and as a participant to the UN-Habitat and UNEP governing councils and UNDESA/UNECOSOC summits. He is also the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the McNamara/Japan World Bank Fellowship, the Erasmus Mundus Fellowship from European Commission, and the Mirzayan Policy Fellowship from the United States National Academy of Sciences. While a Fellow at the US National Academies, Amir supported the activities of the Board on International Scientific Organizations. He received a Master of Public Administration and an M.A. in International Relations both from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He received his Ph.D. in Policy Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, with economics Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling as his Ph.D. adviser
.  Contact via email.  (Updated 1/2013)
2010W Hein AmyAmy Hein (Winter 2010, PGA/BHEW) is an APA/AAAS Fellow with the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she contributes to policy issues in autism, Fragile X, and Down syndrome and is currently helping craft a report on the central nervous system risk from exposure to space radiation during human spaceflight.  Before beginning her AAAS fellowship, Amy Hein was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she studied the long-term neurocognitive effects of radiation exposure on neonatal populations.  She aimed to identify novel therapeutics to mitigate cognitive deficits following radiation disasters.  During her time in Rochester, Amy was also active in the Postdoctoral Association, serving as editor for their newsletter and organizing career development seminars.  Her interest in postdoctoral education and passion for science policy drove her to the Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellowship with the National Academies.  Working with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce, she contributed to a Congressionally requested study assessing the health and competitiveness of U.S. research universities.  She received her PhD in neuroscience and psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from the University of Rochester, where she also minored in American Sign Language.  Amy is a native of Maryland but feels most at home hiking in the Colorado mountains.  If you wish to get in touch with Amy,
please contact the Mirzayan Fellowship Program office.  (Updated 2/2012)
2010W Huang MengfeiMengfei Huang (Winter 2010, DBASSE/BOSE)
completed her MSc in neuroscience at Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar in 2009.  Her research background spans molecular biology, genetics, single-neuron electrophysiology, and fMRI.  As an undergraduate at Stanford, she investigated a Drosophila model of the neurodegenerative disease Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC).  At Oxford, she conducted human and non-human primate experiments to investigate sensory and cognitive systems.  Her interest in science education and public literacy has grown through her work with the Exploratorium museum and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), a London-based, multidisciplinary institution for social progress.  Together with her experience in intellectual property and management consulting, she has become increasingly fascinated by the way science interfaces with society.  As a Mirzayan Fellow, she worked with BOSE on a new conceptual framework for science education standards, followed by a pediatric biomarkers project with BCYF.  Mengfei is currently a Presidential Management Fellow at NIH. Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)
2010W Krasnov KristinaKristina Krasnov (Winter 2010, DBASSE/BBCSS) is a senior study director for the National Children's Study of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) at Westat.  She received her PhD in cellular & molecular medicine and health policy certification from Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, respectively.  Kristina's doctorate focused on the molecular biology of protein trafficking and determining why cystic fibrosis mutations cause different degrees of disease manifestation.  During her doctorate, Kristina was also involved with improving the quality of the graduate school experience through presidency in the Graduate Student Association where–aside from organizing social, networking, and educational activities–she focused on improvements in stipend and health care benefits.  Prior to graduate school, she received a bachelor's degree in neuroscience with a minor in Russian.  Afterwards, Kristina was an intellectual property technical advisor at Venable, LLP and advocated for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Following her experience as a Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academies, Kristina joined the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences as a program officer before relocating to advance cancer research policy as a senior science policy analyst at the American Association for Cancer Research.  In moving toward a productive career, Kristina plans to gain improved project management skills, further her training by preparing federal contract proposals, advance her knowledge in the federal policy-making process, and deepen sophistication in personalized medicine and health policy matters while offering scientific and technical knowledge to support development of well-informed, balanced decisions for clients.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Kushnir HadasHadas Kushnir (Winter 2010, DBASSE/HDGC) is currently a AAAS Overseas Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Uganda. At USAID/Uganda, she acts as the Climate Change Advisor to the Office of Economic Growth. In this role she is responsible for designing, implementing, and managing USAID/Uganda’s climate change program and advising the Office of Economic Growth on climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation. Prior to working in Uganda, Hadas was a AAAS Fellow at USAID in Washington, DC where she was the Natural Resource Management & Climate Change Advisor for the Agriculture & Food Security Team in the Africa Bureau's Office of Sustainable Development. Before becoming AAAS Fellow, Hadas was a Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences where she worked with the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. She completed her PhD in the Conservation Biology Program at the University of Minnesota where she conducted research on human-lion conflict in rural communities in Southeastern Tanzania. The main objective of this research was to determine human and ecological causes for lion attacks on people and develop solutions to the problem. Her interest in human-wildlife conflict arose during her undergraduate career at Barnard College, during which she spent a semester abroad in Kenya studying wildlife management. Before attending graduate school, she worked for the New York City Parks Natural Resources Group as a grants coordinator and field technician. In this capacity, she managed and conducted ecological restoration projects throughout New York City.  Contact via email.  (Updated 1/2013)
2010W Maranto Christina 4Christina Maranto (Winter 2010, DBASSE/DBASSE EO) recently completed her doctoral work in biology at the University of Washington where she focused her research on informing a conservation issue; the impact of seabirds on endangered juvenile salmon in the Columbia River. She holds a master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of California, Irvine and a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College. In addition to scientific research, Christina is passionate about improving science education. During her Ph.D. program, Christina received an NSF GK-12 fellowship where she collaborated with a high school teacher in the Seattle Public School System and spent 10 hours per week in the classroom finding creative ways to increase students’ understanding of complex scientific concepts. During the GK-12 fellowship, Christina realized the gap between science curriculum at the high school level and what is necessary to succeed at a four-year college. Her reasons for pursuing the Mirzayan fellowship were twofold: to learn how scientific research is used in policy development and to contribute to improving the educational system while working as a fellow within DBASSE. Christina is part of a sailboat racing team, rock climbs, and is learning how to knit.  Contact via email.
2010W Marino AnthonyAnthony Marino (Winter 2010, DELS/BCST) currently works for California Assemblymember Jerry Hill as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow, a program run by the California Council on Science and Technology.  He graduated with a PhD in chemistry from the University of Chicago in December 2009.  His graduate research examined energy dissipation in the photoprotective biopolymer melanin and the ways in which this photoprotection sometimes fails.  Tony's undergraduate degree in both English and chemistry is from Davidson College, a school small enough for him to have won its prize for best short story one year.  His experience in BCST focused on informal chemical education and green chemistry (in its many manifestations).  His current focus in the California Assembly is on Green Chemistry, biotechnology, and transmission gas pipeline safety.  When he travels, he travels with soccer cleats, just in case.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Mincarelli JanJan Paul Mincarelli (Winter 2010, PGA/CSTL) is pursuing a PhD in science and technology studies with a concentration in public policy at Virginia Tech. He previously earned his JD at George Washington University and a BS in biotechnology and molecular biology at Michigan State. After law school, he worked at King & Spalding LLP, specializing in complex or mass toxic tort litigation as well as environmental regulatory work. During law school he interned at the Environmental Protection Agency, aiding in the prosecution of civil complaints against violators of federal pesticide or toxic substances regulations. He looks forward to working in the CSTL to continue his passion of working at the intersection of science and law. He hopes to continue working in the policy arena for a few years before transitioning into academia, where he hopes to teach undergraduate science students how law and policy will impact their careers.  In his free time, Jan enjoys learning anything and everything about food and cooking, religiously following his Michigan State Spartans football and basketball teams, and hiking.  Contact via email.

2010W Mowrer KarenKaren Mowrer (Winter 2010, NAS/Koshland)
is a Legislative Affairs Officer in the Office of Public Affairs at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).  At FASEB, Karen monitors legislation relevant to FASEB's member societies and implements advocacy strategies on Capitol Hill in support of federal science agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and the Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  Prior to joining FASEB, Karen was a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academies, where she developed public programs.  During her research career, Karen studied the molecular pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health.  She received her PhD in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard Medical School by describing alternative splicing of a messenger RNA that encodes a protein implicated in Alzheimer's Disease.  She has a BS in biochemistry from Colorado State University.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)
2010W Patel DeepSandeep Patel (Winter 2010, PGA/CISAC) is currently a scientific consultant for Discovery Logic, a Thomson Reuters Company.  There he helps government, private, and non-profit organizations all around the world to understand the global science and technology research landscape, from bench to market.  He earned his PhD in physical chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009 after having received his bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002.  His research focused on the single-molecule and non-linear photophysics of fluorescent silver nanoclusters and their application to high-resolution biological imaging.  Afterwards, Sandeep spent several months traveling around the world.  Then he moved to Berlin to work at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), where he supported the institute's effort to develop effective global energy governance strategies and policies. More specifically, he explored the role of carbon capture and storage (CCS) on global efforts to maintain energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in emerging economies like China.  He is passionate about exploring issues that lie at the nodes between traditional disciplines and connecting seemingly unrelated issues.  Sandeep was delighted to participate in the Mirzayan Fellowship, which was paramount to better his understanding of scientific interaction to policymaking.  Sandeep also pursues a variety of peripheral interests, including creative writing, cooking, urban exploration, filmmaking, and of course enjoying good conversation.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)
2010W Reidmiller DavidDavid Reidmiller (Winter 2010, DELS/BASC) i
is currently a AAAS Science Policy Fellow in the U.S. State Department's Office of Global Change within the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental & Scientific Affairs.  In that capacity, he is a primary source of scientific and emissions information to the Special Envoy for Climate Change and other senior officials, and advises/ serves on; he U.S. delegations to the IPCC, and advises on the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO).  Prior to his role at the State Department, David served as a AAAS Congressional Science Fellow sponsored by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in the office of Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.).  In that capacity, he developed the Senator's innovation agenda which continues to serve as a roadmap for the 112th Congress.  Additionally, he advised the Senator on a multitude of energy-related matters ranging from fossil fuel subsidies to nuclear energy safety to clean energy R&D.  Included in his legislative portfolio was primary responsibility for the wide-ranging Department of Defense Energy Security Act (S.1204), of which several provisions became law as part of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act.  David completed his PhD in atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington in 2010.  His research used observations from a mountain-top station in central Oregon, satellite data and global chemical transport models to quantify and improve the understanding of the long-range transport of air pollution, how it affects air quality in the U.S., and how it varies on different timescales.  As a Mirzayan Fellow, David served on the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Polar Research Board.  He contributed to a number of climate-related studies, including the America's Climate Choices suite of reports.  Contact via email.  (Updated 2/2012)
2010W Schwalbe MichelleMichelle Schwalbe (Winter 2010, DEPS/BMSA) is currently working as an associate program officer with the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications (BMSA) at the National Academies.  She previously worked in the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council Executive Office.  She completed a PhD in mechanical engineering at Northwestern University. She holds an MS in applied mathematics from Northwestern and a BS in applied mathematics specializing in computing from UCLA.  Her PhD thesis focused on uncertainty quantification for a multi-scale cancer drug delivery model as well improving teaching mythology for multi-scale science and engineering courses.  Michelle has also worked on modeling the California electrical economy at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and modeling electoral opinion formation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Scott JustinJustin Scott (Winter 2010, NAS/Koshland)  is currently a research staff member at the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), a federally funded research and development center that provides objective analysis of S&T policy issues to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other federal agencies, offices, and councils.  He obtained his PhD in materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, where he investigated the processing and properties of lightweight solid-oxide fuel cell interconnects with the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  Justin also holds a BS in mechanical engineering and materials science from UC Berkeley.  As a Mirzayan Fellow at the Koshland Science Museum, he enjoyed the opportunity to broaden his understanding of science communication and apply his knowledge of energy technologies to the development of the climate change exhibit. 
Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Selgrade SaraSara Selgrade (Winter 2010, IOM/VSRT) graduated from the University of Washington with a PhD in genome sciences. In her graduate research, she investigated genetic mechanisms of resistance to small peptide antibiotics in the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Following her graduate studies, she decided to explore the world of policy.  Sara initially came to Washington D.C. as a Genetics and Public Policy Fellow with the American Society of Human Genetics, where she worked in the policy group at the National Human Genome Research Institute and as a health policy advisor to Senator Tom Harkin.  During her Mirzayan Fellowship, she enjoyed working at IOM on value in health care.  Sara is now a public health analyst at the National Institutes of Health.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Sharma PunitPunit Sharma (Winter 2010, PGA/GUIRR) completed his health care executive MBA at the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine.  A major focus of this program was on federal policy in health care.  Not only has Punit been involved with the Center for Health Care Management and Policy at UC Irvine, but has visited Washington, D.C. to meet with key players in the current health reform legislation. Prior to this, Punit earned a BA from Johns Hopkins in cellular and molecular neuroscience, with a minor in computer science.  There, he conducted research in the cortical electrical recording laboratory of the departments of neurology and neurosurgery, and in the retinal degenerations laboratory of the Wilmer Eye Institute.  After leaving Baltimore for his native southern California, Punit gained more than a decade of experience in biotechnology, clinical trials management, IP landscaping, health IT, and health care.  He is committed to finding ways to implement technology in order to increase value in science and health care, and plans to pursue this interest wherever it takes him in the public and private sectors.  Contact via email.  (Updated 9/2010)

2010W Shields CatherineCatherine Shields (Winter 2010, DELS/DR)  is currently working towards a PhD in environmental science and management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Her graduate research is focused on ecohydrology of urban areas, with a particular interest in the impact of fine spatial scale impervious surface configurations on vegetation water use and function.  Her graduate research has been supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a Toyota Motor Sales Fellowship.  Additionally, she has earned an MA in geography and a BS in environmental science, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Before returning to graduate school, she was involved in an atmospheric deposition mapping project at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York.  Catherine saw her Mirzayan Fellowship as an exciting opportunity to learn more about science policy and decision making processes.  When she isn't hunched over a computer running ecohydrologic models, Catherine enjoys running on the beaches of Santa Barbara, rock climbing, and backpacking.  Contact via email.  (Updated 10/2011)

2010W Shnider SaraSara Shnider (Winter 2010, IOM/HSP) is currently an industry contracts officer at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she is responsible for negotiating agreements for research, clinical trials, and material transfers between UCSF investigators and industry partners.  Prior to the Mirzayan fellowship, she earned a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from Harvard University. Her doctoral research, partially supported by an NIH National Research Service Award predoctoral fellowship, focused on identification and characterization of genetic controls over the differentiation of corticospinal motor neurons, the critical neuronal population that controls voluntary movement in humans, and whose degeneration in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) lead to debilitating, incurable paralysis.  While in graduate school, Sara served as a scientific advisor for Prize4Life, a non-profit organization based on inducement prizes for breakthroughs in ALS research.  Sara earned a BSc in biology with honors from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and an MSc in bioinformatics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.  During her fellowship, Sara worked with the Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders planning a workshop on glutamate biomarkers, and with the Committee on Personal Protective Technologies conducting research for an ongoing consensus study.  Sara's career goals include accelerating innovation and translational research to improve disease therapeutics and patient outcomes.  In her free time, Sara enjoys hiking, traveling, watching foreign and indie films, and spending time with friends and her family.  Contact via email
(Updated 10/2011)
2010W Summet ValerieValerie Henderson Summet (Winter 2010, NAE/CEES) compled her PhD in computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2010. Her research examines how mobile technologies can be used for learning ("m-learning") and algorithms for adaptive instruction.  She is currently on the faculty at Emory University in the Math and CS departments.  Valerie graduated from Duke University and loves to watch college basketball. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, sewing, and traveling.  Contact via email.  (Updated 9/2010)


2010W Wittig VictoriaVictoria Wittig (Winter 2010; IOM/BPH) recently volunteered with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) in southern Belize where she developed proposals to support climate change adaptation, conservation and sustainable development initiatives.  Prior to volunteering at TIDE, Victoria served as a Junior Program Officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN) in the Maldives where she worked closely with the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, local stakeholders, and the UN Country Team to develop food security and climate change adaptation programs within the context of a newly emerging democracy.  As a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies in Washington, D.C., she was engaged in activities at the intersections of health, global climate change science and policy.  Victoria received her Ph.D. from the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Illinois in 2008.  Her thesis research investigated the impacts of two rising greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and tropospheric ozone, on the growth and productivity of trees and was supported by a Graduate Research for the Environment Fellowship of the Global Change Education Program within the United States Department of Energy.  Contact via email
(Updated 11/2012)

2010W Woods CairaCaira M. Woods (Winter 2010; IOM/HCS & NCPF) is a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at New York University School of Medicine, where her research was funded by a National Research Service Award from the NIH and received an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  Caira is a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and a magna cum laude graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta.  During and after her undergraduate years, Caira spent summers at the NIH, Duke University Medical Center, and the NSF.  A native of Chicago, Caira enjoys mentoring in her spare time.  Contact via email.
(Updated 10/2011)