Current Fellows

Heather Dron, MPH, PhD, is a historian of medicine and public health who studies pregnancy, prenatal care, and research on infant disability. She completed her PhD in history of health science at UCSF in 2016. At the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, she is a fellow supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Ethical Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Program. Her research interests include the history and ethics of research and prenatal care intended to prevent infant disability, ethical conduct of clinical trials, and perceptions of risk or uncertainty associated with environmental science and genomic technologies.

Carole Federico completed an MSc in Bioethics, followed by a PhD in Experimental Medicine at McGill University. Her dissertation, supervised by Jonathan Kimmelman, applied meta-analytic techniques to understand inefficiencies in the clinical translation of pain drugs. Carole's research focuses on rigor and reproducibility in biomedical science, with a special interest in the conditions of ethical animal research and how preclinical findings affect uncertainty at the transition between preclinical and clinical testing. At Stanford her work is supported by theNational Human Genome Research Institute’s Ethical Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Program.

Vasiliki (Vaso) Rahimzadeh, PhD is an applied bioethics scholar with research interests at the intersection of precision medicine, data governance and public policy. She joins the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics as a Postdoctoral Fellow with support from a National Human Genome Research Institute’s Ethical Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Program training grant. Combining deliberative democratic methods with critical policy analysis, her research broadly examines how emerging health information technologies and the regulatory regimes used to govern them can together support sharing patient data more widely, efficiently and securely. She was named a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar for her work in this area from 2016-2019, during which time she completed her PhD jointly at the Centre of Genomics and Policy and Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. Her doctoral dissertation first developed, then validated an ethical-legal framework for the responsible sharing of genomic and associated clinical data involving children in Canada. She holds a MSc in Experimental Medicine with specialization in biomedical ethics also from McGill University, and completed a B.S. in Microbial Biology at the University of California Berkeley in 2012. In addition to her published research contributions in journals such as JAMA PediatricsAmerican Journal of Bioethics and European Journal of Human Genetics, Vaso also served as a national representative for bioethics trainees on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Standing Committee on Ethics (2017-2020), and is a member of the Regulatory and Ethics Workstream of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health where she facilitates international policy harmonization and standards-setting for health-related data sharing.

Sarah Wieten, PhD, is a Clinical Ethics Fellow at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics. She received her PhD in philosophy from Durham University in 2018 and was a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Indiana University of Pennsylvania from 2017-2018. Her research lies at the intersection of ethics and epistemology, including work on clinical trial methodology, end-of-life decision-making, and direct-to-consumer genetic testing.


Dr. Jennifer Young is a trained couples and family therapist working across the fields of public health, mental health, family systems, and genetics. She completed her PhD in Family Science at the University of Maryland in June 2018. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she received a BA (Psychology and Chinese) from the University of Wisconsin Madison, an MA (East Asian Languages and Literature) from The Ohio State University, an MS in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. She recently completed a four-year fellowship at the NIH in the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Genetics Branch where she worked as a psychosocial qualitative research specialist and mental health clinician. At the NCI, her dissertation research outlined the unique social and psychological needs of families with a Li Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare cancer predisposition syndrome. Her research focuses on advocacy for culturally competent mental health resources for families undergoing genetic testing for inherited health conditions.

Former Fellows

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.

Jason Batten, MD, MA (bioethics), completed his MD at the Stanford School of Medicine. He is currently an affiliate with the Center for Biomedical Ethics while he completes dual training in internal medicine and anesthesia residency programs. Prior to medical school, he worked as a teacher in low-income public schools and worked with the clinical ethics service of a Los Angeles community hospital; these experiences fostered a long-standing interest in improving communication and decision-making practices, especially with vulnerable populations. He is fortunate to have received mentorship and training in ethical, legal, and social implications research as a predoctoral fellow at the Center for Biomedical Ethics. He has applied this training to research published in the medical and bioethics literature, as well as to ongoing research and quality improvement projects.

Tara Diener, PhD, received her Ph.D. in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan in 2016 and a Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology, and Society in 2014. Prior to graduate studies at Michigan, she practiced as a Registered Nurse in obstetrics and pediatrics while earning an M.A. in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society from the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences (CEHLS) at Michigan State University. She has taught courses in creative non-fiction writing, medical, biological, and sociocultural anthropology, international and African studies, global health, political science, and the history of medicine in the US, Western Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. She is an anthropologist and historian of medicine, maternal and infant health and mortality, global health (non)systems, and nursing ethics and practice. Her research combines archival and ethnographic methods, and her previous projects have focused on the United Kingdom and Sierra Leone.

Risa Cromer, PhDis a medical anthropologist and feminist science & technology scholar. She completed her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in June 2016 and currently serves as a fellow within Stanford’s Thinking Matters program. Her research focuses on reproductive and racial politics within bioethical controversies in the United States. While at Stanford, she plans to work on a book based on her doctoral research that examines the afterlives of frozen human embryos left over from IVF and banked for future use, from embryo adoption to stem cell research. She brings experience as qualitative specialist on clinical research teams at the Portland Veteran Affairs Health System (2013-2016), with whom she remains a collaborator on projects addressing the health care needs of veterans.

Kate Weatherford Darling, PhD, is a sociologist working across the boundaries of medical sociology, feminist science and technology studies, health policy and bioethics. Her research program uses qualitative sociological methods to understand how social, technological and biomedical transformations impact people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities in the U.S. She earned her doctorate in Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco in 2016 and served as the Assistant Director of Research and Academic Programs for the Science & Justice Research Center at UC Santa Cruz between 2016 - 2017. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Health and Social BehaviorSocial Science & MedicineScience Technology & Human Values, and Engaging Science & Technology Studies. Her dissertation research traced the transformation of HIV into a manageable yet expensive chronic illness. At the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, her postdoctoral fellowship is supported by a National Human Genome Research Institute’s Ethical Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Program training grant. Her postdoctoral research examines U.S. health inequalities in the era of Precision Medicine and investigates the social meanings of healthcare pricing data.

Karola Kreitmair, PhD, is a Clinical Ethics Fellow at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics. She received her PhD in philosophy from Stanford University in 2013 and was a postdoctoral fellow in Stanford’s Thinking Matters program from 2013-2016. Her research interests include neuroethics, especially new technologies and deep brain stimulation, as well as ethical issues associated with wearable technology and citizen science.

Aaron Neiman is a first year Ph.D. student in medical anthropology. His areas of interest include anthropology of the state, psychiatry, genomics, computing, and social and feminist studies of science. Aaron's undergraduate research focused on the sexual and racial politics of admixture genomics, and sought to understand the relationship between macro-level geopolitical and economic forces and the minutiae that comprise scientific studies. He further investigates these questions in relation to the human genome in his fellowship with the Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics. In particular, Aaron is interested in understanding how pre-theoretical assumptions about race, gender, and mental health are built into scientific studies of genomic psychiatry. He is also interested in investigating other emergent depression treatments. In particular, he seeks to analyze the rise of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the shadow of ECT, and to ask how depressed people are constituted as political subjects in this research.

Anna Jabloner received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her research centers on the socio-cultural dimensions of techno-science from a feminist perspective, on race and gender in American science, and on the theories of nature that inform the expanding field of digital biology. Her dissertation work examined genomics as a culturally situated phenomenon of knowledge production and consumption. It tracked how genomics’ different applications are currently used in biomedicine, and imagined as useful as revolutionary infrastructure for health and the future. In prior research, Jabloner studied feminist epistemology, publishing a book on Donna Haraway’s approaches to race titled Implodierende Grenzen: ‘Race’ und Ethnizitaet in Donna Haraways Technowissenschaft (Passagen, 2005). Her participation in the study of team science (PI: Lee) at SCBE will extend her interest in the ethnographic analysis of local cultures of techno-science, and trace how social and collaborative processes shape the formation of knowledge.