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Penn CIGHT Trainees
Donna Messner began her postdoctoral traineeship at Penn CIGHT in July 2008. She received an MSc by Research (2004) and a PhD (2008) in science and technology studies from the University of Edinburgh (UK). Her doctoral research was focused on processes of legal and regulatory oversight and innovation in the development of new therapies for serious and life-threatening conditions. In 2006, she was also a visiting student at the School of Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology with sponsorship from Policies for Research and Innovation in the Move towards the European Research Area (PRIME). Prior to pursuing the MSc/PhD, she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Virginia Tech (1984) and had an 18-year career as an analytical chemist, laboratory manager and senior project scientist. Dr. Messner also holds an MA in literature (cultural studies) from George Mason University (2000).
Donna's work at Penn CIGHT focused on understanding the perspectives on direct-to-consumer ApoE genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease in addition to understanding the process of patenting for ApoE. Donna's CIGHT traineeship concluded in July 2010, at which time she began a nine month fellowship at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, where she studied the history of medical foods for treatment of inborn errors of metabolism. Currently, Dr. Messner is Research Director at the Center for Medical Technology Policy at the World Trade Center, Baltimore.
Elly Teman began a postdoctoral traineeship at Penn CIGHT in October 2008. She received her PhD in Social Anthropology (2006) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Her doctoral research was an ethnographic study of surrogate motherhood arrangements in Israel from the perspectives of the anthropology of reproduction and medical anthropology. In 2007-2008 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Science, Technology and Society Center and at the Beatrice M. Bain Research Group at the University of California, Berkeley, with sponsorship from the Rothschild Foundation (Yad Hanadiv) and the Ginsberg Foundation. Dr. Teman is the past recipient of the Herbert Blumer award from the American Sociological Association, the CAR graduate paper award from the American Anthropological Association, the Raphael Patai Prize from the American Folklore Society, and the Elli Kongas-Maranda Prize from the American Folklore Society.
In 2009, Dr. Teman received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled "Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Women and Prenatal Diagnosis: Navigating Rabbinical and Medical Authorities", which was the basis of her CIGHT research project. Dr. Teman is currently a lecturer in the Behavioral Sciences Department at the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel.
Jasmine McDonald began a postdoctoral traineeship at Penn CIGHT in August 2009. She received her PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health in May 2009 from Harvard University. Her doctoral research was on elucidating the activation properties of a helminth derived immunosuppressive molecule in comparison to a bacterial derived inflammatory molecule, which both signal through the same membrane receptor. From 2007-2009 she was a HOPE Scholarship recipient from the Biomedical Sciences and Career Program in Boston. She also held the Harvard Prize Fellowship throughout her doctoral program. Prior to her doctoral program, she received her B.S. in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2003) where she was a Meyerhoff and a MARC U*STAR Scholar. As a postdoctoral trainee at Penn CIGHT, Dr. McDonald worked with Penn CIGHT Investigator Dr. Chanita Hughes-Halbert to address ethical, legal, and social issues involved in genetic-based medicine and health care. Dr. McDonald's independent CIGHT research project focused on genetic literacy in the African American community, and the objective was to increase genetic literacy by developing targeted genetic educational materials (GEM) that provide information on how genetics can play a personal role in healthcare utilization. Dr. McDonald's traineeship ended in August 2011, and she is currently attending the Cancer Epidemiology Training Program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. McDonald is working on gene-environment interactions and epigenetics research in breast cancer at Columbia.
Jocelyn Landau began a postdoctoral traineeship at Penn CIGHT in October 2009. She completed her doctoral degree at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral research examined the ways that media messages about genetics, racially-based medical treatments, and personalized medicine shape public opinion and health/science policy preferences. Dr. Landau was awarded the Top Student Paper Award from the International Communication Association (2008) and the Honorable Mention Paper Award from the Washington-Baltimore Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (2009). Dr. Landau received a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania (2006). She was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania (2002). Dr. Landau's work at Penn CIGHT focused on researching the effects of message framing on policy opinions regarding direct-to-consumer genetic testing and understanding the influence of health care attributes and language preference in willingness to engage in cancer prevention among Hispanic and White Americans. Her CIGHT traineeship came to a close in July 2011, when Dr. Landau accepted a position as Vice President in the Strategy Consulting and Research Practice at FD, the Strategic Communications Division of FTI Consulting.
Diana Harris began a postdoctoral traineeship with Penn CIGHT in August 2010. Dr. Harris received a doctoral degree in Public Health from Temple University (2009) and a Masters in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania (2000). Her dissertation investigated the relationship between current household food insecurity, select prenatal, maternal and child factors, and child weight outcomes in an inner city, pre-school and school aged population. Prior to joining Penn CIGHT, Dr. Harris worked in the Center for Research Integrity at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, utilizing her interdisciplinary background and knowledge of empiric research to manage several projects related to decision-making in pediatric populations.
During her tenure at Penn CIGHT, Dr. Harris was awarded funding (2011) from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health & Society Scholars Program and her research explores how parents think about re-consent, return of results, and privacy regarding pediatric biobanking research. Her CIGHT research will additionally explore ways in which race and parental trust/distrust in the research enterprise influence decision-making about participating in a pediatric biobank.
Sony Tuteja, PharmD, MS, BCPS
Sony Tuteja began her postdoctoral traineeship with Penn CIGHT in February 2011. Dr. Tuteja received her PharmD degree from the University of Michigan in 1997 and completed a pharmacy residency in critical care at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Tuteja received her Masters of Science in translational biomedicine from the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Iowa in 2010. Most of her experience has been in the field of organ transplantation where she has provided pharmacotherapy management for recipients of kidney and liver transplantation and conducted research on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics of immunosuppressive medications. Now as a research fellow with dual appointments at Penn CIGHT and the Penn Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, she is expanding her work in pharmacogenomics. Through her Penn CIGHT research, she will study the role of pharmacists in pharmacogenomic testing, with the aim of advancing pharmacogenomic tests into clinical practice.
Jennifer K. Wagner, JD, PhD
Jennifer K. Wagner began her postdoctoral traineeship at Penn CIGHT in July 2011. Dr. Wagner has trained formally in anthropology, human genetics, and law. She obtained her J.D. from the University of North Carolina (2007) and her Ph.D. in anthropology from the Pennsylvania State University (2010). Her dissertation research was focused on DNA ancestry tests and their implications. Before joining Penn CIGHT, Dr. Wagner worked at Duke University as a post-doctoral associate in the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology. Dr. Wagner is now a Research Associate at Penn CIGHT, having recently been awarded an NIH “Pathway to Independence” (K99/R00) Award for her project “Multidisciplinary study of Race, Appearance, Ancestry, Discrimination & Prejudice.” In addition to her academic endeavors, Dr. Wagner has a boutique law practice in State College, Pennsylvania.
Jessica Mozersky, PhD
Jessica Mozersky began her postdoctoral traineeship with CIGHT in August 2011. She received her PhD in Anthropology (2009) from the interdisciplinary Institute of Human Genetics and Health at University College London. Dr. Mozersky's doctoral research used qualitative methodologies to explore the increased risk of genetic breast cancer among Ashkenazi Jewish women in the UK, and the impact of this knowledge on their identity and understanding of belonging to a collective. In 2011, Dr. Mozersky was selected to be a visiting researcher at the Brocher Foundation in Hermance, Switzerland. She is a founding member of an international comparative social science BRCA Network, and has managed international multi-centre clinical trials for BRCA carriers and women at increased genetic risk of breast and ovarian cancer at University College London and King’s College London. While at Penn CIGHT, Dr. Mozersky is working with Professor Ruth Schwartz Cowan and Dr. Michael Mennuti to explore historical and current developments related to prenatal genetic testing for Down syndrome through interviews with senior health care providers, pregnant women and participant observation of clinical consultations; Dr. Mozersky also recently completed her first monograph Risky Genes: Genetics, Breast Cancer and Jewish Identity (Routledge, August 2012).