Founded in 2011 by Ana Lita, Ph.D. and Charles Debrovner, M.D., Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI) is headquartered in New York City and is an international non-governmental charitable organization with a 501(c)(3) tax exampt status.
Ana Lita, Ph.D is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI), an international not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York in July 2011, and the former director of the Appignani Bioethics Center. She received a Ph.D. degree from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, specializing in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy, an M.A. in Sociology from the Central European University, Prague and a B.A. in History of Philosophy from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She held a tenure track position (2001-2004) as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lincoln University, Missouri. From September 2009 to June 2010 she was a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics.
She was the beneficiary of a Soros Foundation Fellowship while studying at the Central European University and a National Association Fellowship for International Scholars as a graduate student at Bowling Green State University. In 1995 she was a visiting researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Department of Law. She served as a junior researcher at the Institute for Educational Sciences in Bucharest, Romania from 1991-1995, where she was responsible for a joint research project on Adult Education with UNESCO Institute for Education in Hamburg, Germany.
Prior to her involvement with non-profit organizations she taught social sciences and philosophy in Europe and the United States. The author of numerous conference presentations, in addition to scholarly and popular publications, Lita is an active voice in public and academic discourse. Her teaching and writings have focused on ethics of health care, medical ethics and bioethics. Ana sits on the Bioethics Committee of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMB) and serves as a board member of the Genetics Policy Institute. She is fluent in English, Romanian, French, and Italian.
PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER
Dr. Charles H. Debrovner is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Yale University. He graduated from NYU School of Medicine in 1960. He has been a member of the New York Society for Ethical Culture since 1984. He served as its President for six years. He was the President of the Humanist Institute for twelve years. He has served on the Board of the Ethical Culture Fieldston Schools for over 20 years. Dr. Debrovner devoted much of his professional career to helping couples challenged with reproductive difficulties and infertility to achieve their dreams of a family.
He is the former Chair of the Department of OB/GYN at the French & PolyClinic Hospitals in New York City, and was an Emeritus Senior Attending Physician at St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital. Though retired from clinical practice, he remains a Clinical Professor of OB/GYN at NYU School of Medicine. He is currently Medical Coordinator for Obstetrics and Gynecology at the New York State Department of Health Office of Professional Medical Conduct. Fitting his expertise, Dr. Debrovner is especially interested in ethical issues related to assisted reproductive technologies (ART), abortion, female genital mutilation, and cloning, within the framework of human reproductive rights. He continues to serve as an expert in medical legal matters and lives in New York City.
Charles Debrovner, M.D., President
Shirin Karsan, MBE, Special Projects Manager, School of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University
Rachel Mayanja, LLM, Former United Nations Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Ph.D., Professor of Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Jay Seaver, CPA, Founding Partner of Seaver & Forck, CPAs
Nina B.L. Urban, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry New York State Psychiatric Institute/ Columbia University Medical Center
Ashok K. Vaseashta, Ph.D., D.Sc., Director of the Institute for Advanced Sciences Convergence and the International Clean Water Institute, and U.S. Department of State Franklin Fellow
Art Caplan, Ph.D., Honorary Member, the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. He is also the founding Director of the Division of Medical Ethics at the Department of Population Health at NYU.
Mary Simmerling, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College
Barry Herman, Ph.D., Visiting Senior Fellow at the Graduate Program in International Affairs of The New School in New York.
James Hughes, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
Jonathan Moreno, Ph.D., Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and visiting Professor at the University of Virginia, Member of the International UNESCO Bioethics Committee.
Clarence E. Pearson ‡, MPH, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Center for Health Education (NCHE).
Thomas Pogge, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science at Yale University and Research Director at the Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature at the University of Oslo, Norway is currently Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University.
Ellen Zaroff, President and the founder of Forix Foundation, President of FridayZaroff, Inc. a company which builds in Search Engine Optimisation and Information Architecture; she studied at Vassar College, New York University and obtained a MCS/IS from Pace University.
VISITING SCHOLARS 2014
Abrigul Akbarshoevna, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate
Abrigul Lutfalieva Akbarshoevna received her Master in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She was a pioneer student awarded the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health(NIH) scholarship from Tajikistan. Abrigul has conducted training on Bioethics in Central Asia at Tajik Academy of Sciences, Avicenna Tajik Medical University in Tajikistan and at Deutsch-Kasachische Universität of Kazakhstan. Moreover, she is serving as Editorial Assistant for the first e-journal on Bioethics in Tajikistan. Currently, Abrigul is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin, analyzing the global issues of the sustainability of water supply and sanitation in rural areas.
Marc Beuttler, M.A.
Marc Beuttler graduated from Tulane University in 2012 with a degree in Spanish. He graduated form New York University, Bioethics Program with an M.A. degree in 2014. His interests are broad, including neuroethics, transhumanism,clinical and reproductive ethic. Marc will be starting medical school next fall at LSU New Orleans.
Kaitlyn Schaeffer, M.A.
Kaitlyn received her B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, andEconomics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. She has an M.A. degree in Philosophy from Columbia University, where she focused on political theory, ethical philosophy, jurisprudence, and applied ethics. Her interests lie at the cross-section of law and practical ethical problems; specifically, how such ethical problems might be eliminated or alleviated through effective policy crafting or by other legal mechanisms. She also likes to ski.
Evangelia Lea Lazaris, M.S.
Evangelia Lazaris grew up in Los Angeles, CA. She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York with a MS in Narrative Medicine. She also holds a BS in Exercise Biology and a BA in French Literature and Language from UC Davis. During her undergraduate career, she studied French History and Literature at Université Bordeaux III. Her research experience includes DNA repair research using Saccharomyces cerevisiae to determine the role of certain polymerases in Double Strand DNA Break Repair; approaches to drug design strategies using the yeast model system to mimic various pathogens that attach to cells via mannose and mannose receptors; chin and malar implants, fine line dermal fillers, liposuction machines, lidocaine use in European Dermal Fillers; and exercise stress tests and pulmonary function in children who had received lung irradiation. Her honors thesis, entitled Le Siècle des Lumières—La Revolution Scientifique et Philosophique focused on the integration of sciences and morality. Since her interests include theory of the human encounter as it relates to patient, physician and caregiving narratives, Evangelia designed and taught Narrative Medicine workshops for inner-city eighth graders connected medicine and the arts and introducing them to the world of medicine. She is fluent in Greek and French.
STUDENT INTERNS, FALL 2014
Andrew Rock is a graduate student in Bioethics at Columbia University. As an undergraduate Philosophy major, his primary interests were Analytic Philosophy, Logic and Contemporary Metaphysics. Further into his undergraduate studies he developed a strong interest in Ethics, particularly topics of meta-ethics, as they pertain to the biomedical and environmental issues. He holds his B.A. from Boston University and has also pursued coursework in political science at Harvard University.
Saara Akhtar is an undergraduate student in Philosophy at King’s College London. She has taken courses in Bioethics at University College London and Birkbeck University. This summer, Saara attended the Sherwin B. Nuland Institute for Bioethics at Yale University to carry out research for her final year dissertation. Saara won the undergraduate award at Yale, after presenting a proposal entitled “Female versus Male Genital Mutilation and the Limitations of Honoring Diversity in Medicine.” Upon returning to King’s College London in October, Saara will serve as the President for the first undergraduate Bioethics Society at the University of London. She will work as an editor for their online journal. She intends to study in a Masters program in Global Health.
STUDENT INTERNS, SUMMER 2014
Rebecca is a junior at Bucknell University where she is pursuing a major in Management with a concentration in sustainability and minors in Legal Studies and International Relations. During her time at Bucknell she has been involved with the Bucknell Brigade, a service-learning organization dedicated to providing sustainable relief to Nicaragua. Through her involvement with the Bucknell Brigade she has worked to develop a cervical cancer protocol to implement at the Nueva Vida Health Clinic and has been able to cultivate her passion for global health. Prior to attending Bucknell University, she served on the Junior Board of Northern Westchester Hospital where she worked on developing public health campaigns revolving around teenage public health issues. After graduation she hopes to pursue a J.D. and M.A. in bioethics.
Cristina is a sophomore at the University of Virginia, majoring in Systems Engineering and completing her pre-med requirements. She plans on minoring in Bioethics, concentrating on the ethical decisions made during the start and very end of life. She has previously taken part in research analyzing the effect of increased screening on HIV/AIDS patients, which led her to the field of Bioethics. After interning in an Emergency Room, Cristina experienced first hand the need for ethical guidelines. Cristina intends to involve herself with the ongoing research at UVA, focusing on professionalism in healthcare and human subjects research.
Raina is a rising senior at Columbia University where she is majoring in Biological Sciences. During her time at Columbia, she’s been extremely involved with Peer Health Exchange, a volunteer organization that sends college students to low-income high schools to teach health topics. Raina has also worked in several labs during the past few years, in topics ranging from Biochemistry to Pathology. She ultimately aspires to pursue a career in medicine with a focus on international and public health.
Chiru Mondo Murage
Chiru will be a junior at Harvard College concentrating in Government (International Relations) and French, with a citation in Arabic. She first became interested in bioethics after she took a class in the fall called “Bioethics: the future of human nature,” taught by Michael Sandel and Doug Melton. She is involved with the Harvard Institute of Politics and volunteers for a non-profit called Dig Deep, which works to bring clean water to rural schools in East Africa.
Najd Alfawzan is a student of the Bioethics Master Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interesting in medical anthropology and did her studies regarding organ trafficking and reproductive health ethics in the Middle East. Najd graduated with a BS in clinical laboratory sciences from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She worked on a stem cell research project at King Faisal Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh. Najd is very knowledgeable in contemporary Islamic thoughts and she has been involved in many social activities. She established Saudi Book Clubs Organization and many other book clubs and intellectual dialogue groups in Saudi Arabia.
Noushaba T. Rashid
Noushaba T. Rashid graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a degree in History with a strong emphasis in microbiology and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and Islam. She is currently a student at NYU completing her masters degree in Bioethics. Noushaba is primarily interested global bioethics issues such as organ transplantation and trafficking as well as women’s reproductive health in developing nations especially in South Asia. She wishes to further her career in the field of global health and bioethics.
Jake Stern is a senior at Johns Hopkins University, where he is double majoring in International Studies and Philosophy. An active member in his campus community, he has founded two organizations, The Promotion of Campus Life and The New Political Society, both of which focus on fostering more political discourse on campus. His concentration in Philosophy is related to bioethical research and international awareness.
STUDENT INTERNS, SPRING 2014
Juan Duran is a graduate of Fordham University where he received a B.A. in Natural Science. He is currently a medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College. Before starting medical school, he was a 2012-2013 Fulbright Research Fellow in Madrid doing Traumatic Brain Injury research and he functioned as a researcher at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs where he developed an interest in Global Health and Humanitarian issues. His ultimate goal is to pursue a career in Neurology. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Global Bioethics Initiative in New York City.
Julie Killian completed her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, with a minor in Spanish Culture and Language at State University of New York at Purchase College. She has cross-cultural experience in education, and has studied in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia at Colegio Aleman (The German School) as well as at the University of Barcelona. Julie also received a fellowship on the behalf of the Government of Spain to teach English at a public high school(IES Garcia Morato) in Madrid, Spain from 2011-12. Her experiences at home and abroad have collectively inspired a strong interest in the values of health in contemporary culture. She is interested in cross-cultural applications of healing methods and health philosophies, as well as pursing a Master’s Degree in Medical Anthropology.
Kayla Santos is a senior at Manhattanville College, majoring in Biology with a minor in Sociology. Her interests include infectious disease, virology, immunology and epidemiology. She is currently conducting research at Manhattanville on the effects of mango supplements on the health, vitality and reproduction of the American chameleon, Anolis carolinensis. After graduating she hopes to gain experience in a laboratory and peruse an MD-PhD.
Caroline Song, M.A.
Caroline Song graduated from Saint Louis University in 2011 with a degree in Biology and a minor in Theology. She obtained in May 2014 an M.A. degree in Bioethics from New York University. Her interests are primarily within healthcare ethics and she is currently researching the ethics of organ transplantation in the cognitively impaired. Caroline hopes to continue on in a career in medicine.
STUDENT INTERNS, SUMMER 2013
Jonathan Amdur is a sophomore at Boston College, majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Faith, Peace, and Justice Studies concentrating in medical ethics. His interest in bioethics comes from his freshman seminar and Catholic morality classes he has taken that discussed topics in bioethics such as public health, end of life care, and patient rights. In the fall he will be volunteering at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Jonathan is currently completing his pre-medical requirements in order to go into a career in medicine.
Emma Biegacki is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Public Health (Health & Societies), with a minor in Medical Anthropology. Interests include medical social work, application methods in narrative medicine, culture and medical stigma, international development in public health, cultural sensitivity in medical training, and human rights in healthcare. Emma currently serves as Co-Director of Communications for GlobeMed@Penn and Editor in Chief of “Dreams in Development,” the blog for critical writing in International Development of PennSID, for which she also writes on Global Health development.
Taylor is a junior at Georgetown University, majoring in Philosophy and Government. He has previously worked with the Secular Coalition for America and is currently a researcher on the Georgetown debate team. He hopes to pursue philosophy in graduate school. He is currently developing a thesis discussing the relationship between ethical thinking and global knowledge practices for Georgetown’s Social and Political Thought program.
Alana Deluty is a junior at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. A Philosophy major, she is interested in bioethics, specifically neuroethics and cognitive liberties. At Wooster, she has researched the relationship between memory alteration and identity, and will spend next year studying health care ethics in India and Argentina. Alana would like to pursue a career in the healthcare industry, possibly working for a government organization or an ethics committee.
Louisa Howard is a senior at the University of Virginia, majoring in Art History with a minor in Bioethics. She is taking her pre-med requirements in hopes of attending medical school. Louisa is a program director for the UVA hospital volunteer services program, where she oversees student volunteers as well as shadows and assists medical professionals in the ICU. After interning at a Fertility Center last summer, Louisa has become passionate about the ethical issues facing healthcare, especially in the field of Reproductive Medicine. Louisa would like to pursue a career in Women’s Health with a focus on Reproductive Ethics.
Etan Kuperberg is currently an M.A. candidate, studying Bioethics at NYU. He is writing his Master’s Thesis on the topic of value conflicts in clinical settings. He started working at GBI in January 2013, helping to organize the GBI’s launch event, “Crimes of 21st Century: Organ trafficking, Global Health, and Security.” His primary interests include meta-ethics and bioethics. He intends to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Applied Ethics with a focus on Bioethics.
Oana Adriana Lita
Oana is a student in the Department of Political Science, specializing in International Relations, at The National School of Political Science and Public Administration (Romanian: Şcoala Naţională de Studii Politice şi Administrative din Bucureşti, SNSPA) which is a public University in Bucharest, Romania. Oana volunteered for the National Anti-Drug Association (NAA) which works to ensure national coordination in fighting against illicit drug trafficking and consumption among young people. She is interested in organized crime, especially human and drug trafficking.
Connor McCleskey is a junior at Oberlin College, majoring in Philosophy and Cognitive Studies. His interest in bioethics stems from his studies in neuroscience and contemporary philosophy. He is an editor of The Synapse, the Oberlin College science magazine, and served as a research assistant in Oberlin’s Psychology Department. In addition, he also serves as a member of the Oberlin College Student Health and Counseling Center’s Student Support Team, working to increase the visibility and availability of mental health resources on campus. He is currently completing his pre-med requirements and hopes to pursue a career in medicine.
Originally from Australia and having grown up in Malaysia, Pria Narsiman is a junior at Columbia University in the City of New York double majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and French and Francophone Studies. Her interests include international development in public health, neuroethics and the psychology of culture. Pria is currently a research assistant at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital and serves on the executive boards of the Southeast Asian League and Journal of Global Health at Columbia.
STUDENT INTERNS, 2013-2011
Sebastian Agredo graduated from Boston College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a minor in German Studies. His interest in bioethics stems from a course on the Philosophy of Health Sciences that he took at Boston College, and he joined GBI in the summer of 2012 to further explore this growing field. His time with GBI has provided him with a firm understanding of key ethical and medical issues that arise out of the disparities in policy and health care that exist throughout the world. Beginning in Fall 2013, Sebastian will attend Columbia University and pursue his Master of Science degree in Bioethics.
Brian graduated from State University of New York, New Paltz in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Relations and in History. He joined the Global Bioethics Initiative in the winter of 2012. He joined GBI because of his interest in global health issues that disproportionately affect the developing world and his interest in global trafficking networks. Brian is now attending The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University for a Master’s of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in non-profit management.
Originally from Honduras, Alejandra Garcia received her B.S in Electrical Engineering at the City College of New York on 2011. She is currently enrolled an M.S. program in Electrical Engineering at the City College of New York. She has been an intern for Global Bioethics Initiative since July 2012 and besides engineering she is interested in global health, bioethics and public policy. She is involved in an ongoing project on Global Bioethics and Health Network. She is fluent in Spanish and English.
Csaba Bardossy studied medicine at Semmelweis University of Budapest, Hungary. Currently he is a law student at Pazmany Peter Catholic University, starting his fourth year. After graduation he intends to specialize in biotechnology patent law. He was also a participant of Summer Institute 2012 of Yale University giving presentation on comparative research on biotechnology and international intellectual property rights and patent issues. Csaba Bardossy is involved in our ongoing project on Global Policies in Organ Transplantation. He has also lived and worked in UK and Washington, DC.
Katarina joined GBI in November 2012. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Dallas in May 2012. She is currently attending New York University and pursuing her M.A. in Bioethics. She will complete this degree by July 2013 and will be starting law school in August 2013. Her interests include genetic technologies, fertility ethics, organ transplantation, death/dying issues and health law. Her interests also include differences in health policy in different countries, especially the comparison between Canada and the USA, as she is a Canadian citizen.
STUDENT INTERNS, 2011 – 2009
Jason Lott is a dermatology resident at Yale University Medical Center and a visiting researcher on a volunteer basis for the new Initiative. He is a former Marshall Scholar at Oxford University and a Gamble Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His research interests include clinical ethics, health policy-making, and health economics. He has most recently worked as an intern researcher in the Evidence and Information for Policy Unit of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
Amir Tarsha is a visiting researcher at The Global Bioethics Initiative. He graduated with distinction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. is Psychology and an Honors Degree in Liberal Arts. He is currently enrolled in the Union Graduate College-Mount Sinai School of Medicine Clinical Bioethics Program and plans to receive his M.S. degree next year. His ultimate goal is a career in health care, either as a physician or medical consultant. He is in the process of applying to MD/MPH programs.
Mark Ho completed his B.A. in Philosophy with a Certificate in the Program in the Applications of Computers at Princeton University. A native of New York City, Mark has experience researching at the Columbia University Bioinformatics Center, where he worked on an independent research project developing subcellular nuclear localization signal (sNLS) recognition software and strategies, technology vital to the development of novel drugs. Additionally, he has worked at several NGOs specializing in the fields of health education in developing countries and women’s legal rights in New York City. Having spent the past year in England studying in the Oxford-Princeton Physics and Philosophy Exchange Program, he is currently a visiting researcher for the Global Bioethics Initiative in New York City. Mark has a continually growing interest in the development of biotechnology and the ethical issues posed by such advances to society.
Shauna Nep received her B.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of British Columbia. She has a M.A. in Bioethics at New York University and a visiting researcher for the Global Bioethics Initiative. Shauna is also a graduate research assistant at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Applied Ethics where she works on methods to support the ethical analysis of issues in biotechnology and genomics in the public sphere- particularly the method of deliberative engagement. Her research and analysis on understanding public perspectives and values related to genetically modified salmon was presented at “Fishing and Farming Marine Iconic Species in the Genomics Era” in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Shauna’s research interests include ethical issues in public health policy, particularly to do with the connection between the public health and food policies.
Christopher Chau received his B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience Psychology at Yale University. Christopher is originally from Australia and he decided to go to Law School to concentrate in Bioethics & Public Health Law.Christopher also has experience with research in the fields of biotechnology and environmental studies at the University of Montana and Yale, respectively. In Bozeman, he developed an independent research project on the inaZ gene and ice-nucleating bacteria as a method to tackle environmental issues like rain seeding and the melting polar ice caps while the Yale Environmental Fellowship for Study and Research allowed him to study the “Environmental Sources of Carbon Monoxide and the Neurological Effects of Chronic Exposure in an Urban Setting” in Shenzhen, China.
Wen-Yu Weng is finishing her B.Sc. in Biomedical Science from Mahidol University. She has a special interest in studying in Bioethics – namely research ethics and global bioethics – and medical diplomacy. She was also educated at the ASEAN Institute of Health and Development and took courses and training with various institutions and NGOs in topics such as human rights education, social innovation and entrepreneurship, youth activism, and health and socio-economic development in rural communities of Thailand. Wen-Yu came to the U.S. as a summer intern in Columbia University, under Dr. John Loike.
Tabir Akhtar, B.A. in Philosophy, Brooklyn College
Luke Appignani, B.A, Georgetown University
Marianne Goddard, Literature and Philosophy, McGill University
Blake Goodman, Senior, Herricks High School
Karthik Sonty, B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies, Colby College
Nazia Nayeem, Senior, Herricks High School