Faculty and Academic Staff

Dr. Rebecca A. Aslakson is an Associate Professor at Stanford University with appointments in the Department of Primary Care & Population Health in the Palliative Care Section as well as the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine. With a Summa Cum Laude B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, an MD from Harvard Medical School–MIT, and an MSci degree with Distinction from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, Dr. Aslakson completed anesthesia residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and surgical critical care fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she then was on faculty from 2008-2017. In 2013, Dr. Aslakson obtained her PhD in Clinical Investigations from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with her dissertation concerning integration of palliative care in intensive care units. Triple boarded in anesthesia, surgical critical care, and palliative medicine, Dr. Aslakson is an active researcher and clinician; her goal is to improve delivery of palliative medicine, particularly to perioperative and critically ill populations. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and chapters and received research awards from multiple national funders such as AHRQ, PCORI, the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, and the National Palliative Care Research Society. Dr. Aslakson serves on national committees for professional societies including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), and the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). Dr. Aslakson has received national awards including the 2015 AAHPM Early Career Investigator Award and the 2014 ASA Presidential Scholar Award. Dr. Aslakson clinically attends in the Stanford Medical Center Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Stanford, CA and lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband and two young sons.

Laurel Braitman, PhD is a Writer-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor, Department of Anesthesiology. Laurel Braitman is a New York Times bestselling author, historian and anthropologist of science. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Wired and other publications. Her last book, Animal Madness (Simon & Schuster 2015) was a NYT bestseller and has been translated into seven languages. She is currently a Writer-in-Residence at the Medicine & the Muse Program at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she's busy helping physicians tell better stories--for themselves and their patients. She holds a PhD in Science, Technology and Society from MIT, is a Senior TED Fellow and a Contributing Writer for Pop Up Magazine, a live magazine the New York Times has called a “Sensation.” Her work and collaborations with musicians and artists have been featured on the BBC, NPR, Good Morning America and Al Jazeera. She's taught popular interdisciplinary courses at Stanford School of Medicine, Harvard, MIT, Smith College and elsewhere and is passionate about working with musicians, physicians, scientists, animals and artists. 

As the Writer-in-Residence at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Laurel leads afternoon, daylong and multi-day workshops for medical students, residents, fellows and attending physicians. She also teaches courses, has established a live onstage storytelling series for medical students called Talk Rx, and works with students, researchers and physicians one-on-one and in small groups to develop their written and oral communication skills. Find out more about her work helping physicians communicate more easily here.

Alyssa Burgart, MD, MA is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist and Bioethicist. She earned her bachelors degree in Bioethics from the University of Judaism and her Masters in Bioethics and Health Policy from Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics at Loyola University Chicago. She co-chairs the Ethics Committee at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Her areas of interest include pediatric bioethics, research on the practice of medicine, end-of-life conversations, and ethics in organ transplantation.

Danton Char, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. His research focuses on ethical issues arising in the care of critically ill neonates, infants and children, particularly children with congenital cardiac disease.

Mildred Cho, PhD, Associate Director of the Center is also Professor of Pediatrics. Her major areas of interest are the ethical and social issues raised by new technologies such as genetic testing, gene therapy, pharmacogenetics, and gene patents. She also studies how academic-industry ties affect the conduct of biomedical research.

Deanne Dunbar Dolan, PhD is Lead Editor at the National Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA). She holds a doctoral degree in Anthropology and master’s degrees in Anthropology and History of Medicine from Emory University. Her dissertation field research documented the foreclosure and resistance experiences of African American homeowners in Atlanta following the economic crisis of 2008. The work was awarded the 2016 Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing. Deanne has published in the Journal of Medical Humanities, BioSocieties and Annals of Science. She has worked as an anthropologist and qualitative researcher on clinical investigations of sleep disorder and Kawasaki disease. Prior to joining SCBE, Deanne was a staff editor at PLOS ONE. In this role, she stewarded clinical and social science publications through the peer review process, expanded the editorial board into the social sciences, published an article collection titled Understanding the Gender Imbalance in STEM Fields, and launched two calls for papers: Science of Stories, focused on machine learning approaches to the analysis of language and text and Substance Use, Misuse and Dependence: Prevention and Treatment, focused on the social, structural and environmental factors that contribute to risk or resilience for SUDs. Her primary interests are the impacts of structural violence, racism, financialization and automation on vulnerable groups; ethical, legal and social implications of genetic research, especially genetic risk prediction; as well as science communication and open science.

Heather Fitzgerald, DBe, MS, RN, HEC-C, is Senior Resilience and Wellness Consultant and Clinical Ethicist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. 


Steven Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD, is Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research and Professor of Medicine and of Health Research & Policy, directing Stanford's CTSA/Spectrum training programs in medical research methods and serving as chief of the Division of Epidemiology in HRP. He is co-founder and co-director of the Meta-research innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS), a group dedicated to examining and improving the reproducibility and efficiency of biomedical research. 

Henry Greely, JD, Chair of SCBE's Steering Committee, is Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University. Specializing in health law and policy, Greely has written on cloning, the implications of genetics for the health care system, health care insurance and financing and the stem cell debate.

Meghan Halley, PhD, MPH, in a Research Scholar in the Center for Biomedical Ethics. She is a medical anthropologist with a background in public health and a passion for research that engages the voices of patients and families in improving population health and healthcare delivery. Meghan is a proud Midwesterner, who completed her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her PhD and MPH from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Her broad research interests include the psychosocial dimensions of health and illness, the well-being of children and families, and medical decision-making, particularly in the context of complex illness. At SCBE, Meghan’s research examines the ethical and economic implications of genome sequencing for diagnosis of children with rare diseases and their families. Her work examines the ethical implications of varying approaches to economic evaluation and their relation to reimbursement and equitable access to new genomic technologies. She is also interested in the development of new tools for measurement of the costs and benefits of new genomic technologies that reflect patient values.

Stephanie M. Harman, MD, FACP graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She then completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford and a Palliative Care fellowship at the Palo Alto VA/Stanford program before joining the faculty at Stanford. She is the founding medical director of Palliative Care Services for Stanford Health Care and Associate Program Director for Stanford's Internal Medicine Residency Program. Her research and educational interests include communication training in healthcare and bioethics in end-of-life care.

Kate Luenprakansit, MD is a Surgical Co-Management Hospitalist in the Division of Hospital Medicine and Clinical Ethics consultant. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles in Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology with a minor in Public Policy and received her medical degree from Oregon Health and Science University. She was also a MacLean Clinical Medical Ethics Fellow at the University of Chicago. She is currently a member of Stanford's Ethics Committee and serves as an ethics consultant.

David MagnusPhD is Thomas A. Raffin Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics, and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, and by Courtesy of Bioengineering and Associate Dean of Research at Stanford University. He is the Director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, a member of the Stanford Hospital and Clinics Ethics Committee, is past President of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors and is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Bioethics. He is currently the Vice-Chair of the IRB for the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative (“All of Us”).

José MaldonadoMD, FAPM, joined the Stanford faculty in 1993 and became Medical Director of the Psychosomatic Medicine Service in 1995. He received his medical degree at Ponce School of Medicine and his psychiatric training at Temple University, in Philadelphia. He completed additional training in Forensic Psychiatry at Temple University, and a fellowship in Consultation-Liaison/Neuropsychiatry at New England Medical Center/Tufts University, in Boston. Dr. Maldonado is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine; with courtesy appointments in the Departments of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Surgery, the Center of Biomedical Ethics and the Stanford School of Law. He serves as Chief of the Medical and Forensic Psychiatry Section, Director of the Psychosomatic Medicine Clinic, and Medical Director of the Psychosomatic Medicine Consult Service. Dr. Maldonado serves as psychiatric consultant to all solid organ transplant teams (i.e., heart, lung, liver, kidney, and small bowel); including our new program in Composite Tissue Allotransplantation. He has special expertise in the areas of psychosomatic medicine and somatoform disorders, neuropsychiatry, dissociation, medical hypnosis, and organ transplantation.

Nicole Martinez-Martin, PhD, JD, received her JD from Harvard law School.  In 2015, she received her doctorate in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago, which brought together training in medical anthropology and biological psychology.  Her broader research interests concern the impact of new technologies on the treatment of vulnerable populations.  Her dissertation research focused on the use neuroscience in criminal cases, addressing how neuroscience influences depictions of the brain and criminality. Nicole's work at SCBE continues her interest in how genetic technologies will impact health practices.

Kelly E. Ormond, MS, CGC, received her MS in genetic counseling from Northwestern University in 1994 and a post-doctoral certificate in Medical Ethics from the University of Chicago in 2001. She serves as the Director of the MS in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling (GC) program at Stanford. Several of the classes she teaches are open to students outside of the GC program and may be of interest to students who are pre-med or are interested in careers in genetics or ethics in the future. 

Bertrand M. Patenaude, PhD teaches history, international relations, and human rights at Stanford, where he is a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH) and a Lecturer at the Center for Biomedical Ethics (SCBE). He is also a Hoover Institute Research Fellow. His first book, The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921 (Stanford University Press, 2002), won the 2003 Marshall Shulman Book Prize and was the basis of a PBS documentary film broadcast in 2011. His most recent book, Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary, published by HarperCollins in 2009, was serialized for radio by the BBC. His previous work, A Wealth of Ideas: Revelations from the Hoover Institution Archives(Stanford University Press, 2006), is a generously illustrated large-format book featuring rare documents, photographs, posters, and artifacts from the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford.

Patenaude is the editor of several books, including The Russian Revolution and Stalin and Stalinism. His documentary film credits include associate producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS film Inside the USSR and of the FRONTLINE documentary A Journey to Russia, and story editor of Stalin's Ghost, an NBC News Special Report. He was educated at Boston College and the University of Vienna and received his PhD in History from Stanford in 1987. He taught for eight years (1992-2000) in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where his outstanding performance as a classroom instructor was recognized with the Schieffelin Award for Teaching Excellence for two consecutive years (1998, 1999). Patenaude has lectured throughout Europe for Stanford Travel/Study, Smithsonian Journeys, and Lindblad Expeditions.

Laura Roberts, MD, MA, began her tenure as chair of Stanford's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2010. Best known for her work on ethical issues and public policy in the field of psychiatry, she is also recognized for her success as a mentor and teacher.

Audrey Shafer, MD, is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Staff Anesthesiologist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. Her interests include writing, poetry, medical humanities, the language of medicine, communication in the peri- and intraoperative periods, and ethics in the operating room.

Holly Tabor, PhD, is Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. She is the Associate Director for Clinical Ethics and Education for the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics (SCBE) and is Co-Chair of the Ethics Committees at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Her research focuses on ethical issues in genetics and genomics, specifically return of results and translation for exome and whole genome sequencing.

Bryant Lin, MD, is Director of Medical Humanities and Arts at Stanford University. He came to Stanford to serve as a Research Fellow in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Biodesign Fellow where he learned to identify unmet human-centered needs. Since completing his post-graduate training, he stayed at Stanford as clinical faculty in Primary Care and Population Health in the Department of Medicine where he has invented and researched new medical technologies addressing unmet human-centered needs and started the Consultative Medicine Clinic evaluating patients with medical mysteries. He serves as the Training Director for the Joe and Linda Chlapaty DECIDE Center which has created a novel shared decision-making tool for atrial fibrillation anti-coagulation and is an investigator in several active clinical trials. Three years ago, he co-founded and currently co-directs, with Dr. Latha Palaniappan, the Center for Asian Health Research and Education (CARE) which aims to improve the health of Asians everywhere. Most recently, he has worked closely with the Medicine and the Muse leadership to help start the Stuck@Home concert series, the Stanford SoundWalk, and the COVID Remembrance project. Dr. Lin has an active interest in storytelling and film-making. He co-directs an undergraduate seminar, MED 53Q “Storytelling in Medicine”, with Dr. Lauren Edwards and is working with a group of students on a documentary on end-of-life care at a Japanese-American Senior Home in the Bay Area.