Our Scientists, Doctors
Michael Vassar has worked in molecular biology, genetics and nanoscale physics, has founded multiple start-ups, and was executive director of the Singularity Institute. As their director, he worked with eminent scientists in all major fields and directed both research and large scale conferences. He was inspired to found MetaMed Research by his discovery, in that capacity, that most potentially revolutionary developments in medical science never reach the public. He has also worked as a Peace Corps volunteer and as an inner city school teacher in Cincinnati.
Chairman of the Board
Jaan Tallinn is one of the programmers behind the Kazaa file sharing platform, and a founding engineer of Skype. He is also a partner in the seed-stage venture firm Ambient Sound Investments, a co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, and a former member of the Estonian President’s Academic Advisory Board. He describes himself as a futurist, hacker, investor and physicist, in that order. He holds a degree in physics from the University of Tartu.
Chief Executive Officer
Zvi Mowshowitz is a world class strategist and gamer, and was a Magic: The Gathering World Champion and member of its Hall of Fame. After retiring from the game, he founded a highly profitable startup that was acquired by Pinnacle Sports, the world’s leading sportsbook for American-facing events, where algorithms and strategies he developed have been responsible for over ten billion dollars in transactions. He holds a degree in mathematics from Columbia University.
Alyssa Vance is a serial entrepreneur, researcher, and computer programmer. She is the former Executive Director of Humanity+, the world’s premier transhumanist organization, with thousands of members worldwide. The companies she has started include Variance Market Solutions, a platform for social prediction markets; GetBitcoin, an online digital currency exchange (exited in June 2012); and EpicNight, a collaborative story-sharing web application. She is also a consultant for several leading futurist thinkers, including Ray Kurzweil and Prof. James Miller. Prior to working for MetaMed Research, she held positions at Google Research, the Singularity Institute and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She holds a degree in math and economics from Yale University.
Vice President of Research and Analytics
Sarah Constantin is a Ph.D student in mathematics at Yale University, where her research focuses on harmonic analysis with applications to machine learning. She has presented research at several academic conferences, including the American Mathematics Society sectional meetings. She is an NSF and DoD fellow. She earned her B.A. at Princeton University in 2010. Sarah focuses on research at MetaMed, analyzing the medical literature and constructing mathematical models for quantifying disease risk from patient data.
Dr. Laura Baur
Chief Medical Officer
Laura Baur, M.D. is a graduate of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, matching in residency programs for psychiatry. She obtained an M.S. in neuroscience at Columbia in 2011, and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from Columbia in 2006. In 2007, she completed a Fulbright Scholars Research Grant at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, and presented her findings on the genetics of depression and anxiety disorders at the World Conference on Neurohypophysial Hormones in Regensburg, Germany. Outside of business and medicine, she is a local community builder in Chelsea, hosting a weekly discussion series on cognitive science and rational decision making.
Dr. Cara Morin
Dr. Morin received a combined MD/PhD degree from University of Maryland, School of Medicine in 2011. Her PhD was in Molecular Medicine, focusing on advanced molecular vaccine research and small animal imaging. Following completion of medical school, she completed an internship in Internal Medicine. Currently, she is Radiology Resident at University of Maryland. Her research interests include pediatric imaging and imaging data science.
Karthik Sarma is a physician-informaticist in training. He is currently on research sabbatical from a full-time appointment as an M.D./Ph.D student fellow at the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program (to return in January 2014). His current research is at the UCLA Medical Imaging and Informatics group, where he works on programmatically transforming free-text medical record data into organized, understandable information for both physicians and patients. Karthik is also active in health policy, both domestic and international. He is a member of the California delegation to the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association, as well as the House of Delegates of the California Medical Association, and is also on the Medical Student Committee on Legislation and Advocacy of the American Medical Association. In addition to policymaking in organized medicine, he also frequently visits the state legislature and the Capitol to speak with elected officials on the enormous health policy challenges faced by the United States. Internationally, he works with the UCLA Center for World Health to promote local advocacy programs and international training opportunities for medical students. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in computer science from the California Institute of Technology.
William Eden is a first-rate data analyst who has applied himself to the study of complex dynamic systems. He worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the 2008 financial crisis, specifically focusing on the international aspects of the crisis and the role of the US dollar. He was previously the head of analytics at the mobile health startup Azumio, where he looked at the role of mobile apps in behavior change and health outcomes. After college, he studied biochemistry extensively, and has used those conclusions to optimize his own health and that of dozens of friends, family, and clients. He holds a degree in economics from Dartmouth College.
So-Han Fan is a biologist, tea expert, teacher and entrepreneur from Houston, Texas. His scientific work has ranged from tagging elephant seals on the beaches of California to studying freshwater cyanobacteria and agroecology. He recently returned from a two-and-a-half year internship in Chengdu, China, where he researched water management and sustainable development with the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association. He holds a degree in marine biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Senior Health Researcher
Kevin is a voracious consumer and sharer of information. He studied industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously he founded a genetic testing startup, and he is currently in the early stages of a pharmaceutical development and drug discovery company. He serves on the board of the Singularity Institute. His particular medical interests and areas of expertise include genetics, herbal medicine, naturopathic medicine and nutritional testing, psychiatry, and drugs of abuse.
Andrew Rettek is a Patient Manager at MetaMed. He works closely with doctors, researchers, and clients to ensure that the research being done precisely meets the clients' needs. He has worked with the Singularity Institute (now MIRI) for the past several years, helping to run the most successful Singularity Summits in SF and in NYC. He studied economics at Columbia University.
Concurrently a PhD student in philosophy of mind and neuroscience at New York University and a student at Yale Law School, Nathana O'Brien was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and studied philosophy at the University of Chicago. She has also worked as a researcher in an immunology stem cell research lab, and in the nonprofit space combating homelessness.
Dr. Scott Siskind
Senior Health Researcher and Medical Associate
Scott Siskind, M.D. graduated with honors from University College Cork Medical School in 2012, and won the Quantified Health Prize that same year. He currently works for a nonprofit dedicated to improving human rationality. Scott has B.A.s in psychology and philosophy from Hamilton College.
Justin Alderis is an Eagle Scout who co-chaired the Princeton Philosophical Society for four years while he earned his BS degree from Princeton University, with a focus on the philosophy underlying cognitive science. Justin also spent a summer abroad studying in Kyushu University, Fukuoka Japan. As both a researcher and a client for MetaMed, Justin hopes to find answers about his orphan condition where other doctors have already given up.
Frances Soong designs icons, posters, brand identities, and interactive experiences to help companies draw personal value from new technology. Since 2008, she has provided services for Facebook Music, Grow Pittsburgh, AVON, Fidelity, and others. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University's Communication Design program in 2012 and has since completed an internship with Qwiki—a now-mobile platform for creating interactive on-the-fly multimedia presentations. Currently, she stays busy freelancing for NYC start-ups Shopmine and MetaMed Research.
Dr. William Heaton
William Heaton is a computer scientist and medical doctor. He has spent the past few years doing algorithmic research and development for a new DNA sequencing technology utilizing solid-state semiconductors for single-molecule detection. Prior to this he has done research on algorithmic cancer diagnosis and cardiac stem cell therapy and differentiation pathways. He holds a BS in computer science/computational biology and an MD, both from Brown University.
Dr. Christopher Jensen
Senior Medical Advisor
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Jensen grew up in the United States and Spain. He completed undergraduate, pre-medical and post graduate education at New York University and Harvard University. He then came to the United Kingdom to complete his medical training at St. George's School of Medicine, where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Prior to medical school, Dr. Jensen worked in investment banking for JP Morgan Securities, Swiss Banking Corp and Deutsche Bank Securities. He helped to build two financial services companies from the ground up, and advised on multiple investment banking transactions. Dr. Jensen has a keen interest in the practice of personalized medicine and its integration with complementary and holistic wellness. He currently works in Surgery and Emergency Medicine in the United Kingdom. He was awarded the Association of Clinical Pathologists Junior Doctors Prize in 2011. Dr. Jensen is also a Police Surgeon, and is trained as a Forensic Medical Examiner.
Dr. Lisa Korostowski
Lisa Korostowski, Ph.D is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Albert Einstein Medical College, where she is focusing on genetic alterations associated with cancer metastasis. Her graduate work was performed at the Fels Institute for Cancer Research, Temple University School of Medicine, which earned her a Ph.D in Molecular Biology and Genetics with a focus on epigenetic regulation. Lisa has presented at several national conferences and received various scholarships to do so. In addition, Lisa was the vice president of the Temple University School of Medicine Graduate Student Association, and vice president of her graduating class at Cook College, Rutgers University.
Shauna Gordon-McKeon is a freelance researcher and programmer. She received her BA from Hampshire college, where she studied psychology and endocrinology, and worked for several years as a lab manager at neuroimaging labs at the University of California-Davis and Harvard University. She is also active in the open source and open government movements.
Moses M. Feaster is a doctoral candidate in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Rockefeller University. Prior to enrolling at Rockefeller, he conducted independent research in molecular, cell, and developmental biology at the Columbia University Medical Center and Sloan Kettering Institute. Moses is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and his research has been supported by several grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Brooklyn College, and served as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, specializing in strategic data network communications. Moses also ran academic tutoring and computer literacy programs for underprivileged youths at the Boys' Club of New York.
Adam began work in biochemistry at the University of Georgia in 2005. He has performed private data analysis and literature reviews for both individuals and organizations. In 2011 he co-founded Positive Vector, a consultancy firm designed to meet the demand for personalized science in business and at home. Adam joined MetaMed to provide a depth of investigation for clients that isn’t possible in the constrained space of 21st century medicine.
William F. Baur holds a B.S. in computer science from William Paterson University (on the Dean's List). As a source code developer and systems analyst, he created and perfected all of Associated Fire Protection's in-house software applications, including sophisticated scheduling and tracking systems. He created Radio Shack's General Ledger Program, and did research and development on Executone's telephone systems. As a test engineer, he maintained GTE's 3000 phone line PBX at IBM in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
James Babcock is a programmer for MetaMed. He works on software to help MetaMed researchers combine statistics from multiple studies into Bayesian networks, and previously developed software in conjunction with Jaan Tallinn to help researchers manage their case notes and records securely. He graduated from Cornell University with a Master's in Computer Science. Before working for MetaMed, he independently created Go Scoring Camera, a program which uses computer vision and machine learning to count the stones on Go boards, and Textcelerator, a browser plugin for speed-reading. He is a generalist and full-stack developer, working with a wide variety of programming languages and technologies.
Dr. Regina Monaco
Senior Health Researcher
Regina R. Monaco, Ph.D. received her doctorate in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1991 at the University of Texas at Austin, and is a theoretical physical chemist. Her scientific research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which biomolecules work in living organisms. Current research involves understanding the carotenoid (vitamin A) metabolic pathway in order to improve human health, understanding the design of drugs that interact with DNA, studying the mechanism of proteins that repair DNA, and research on understanding the dynamics (movements) of proteins. Understanding the movements of proteins assists in the design of drugs which can specifically bind to the protein being studied. Dr. Monaco has been associated with medical units in several major metropolitan hospitals, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYU Medical Center, Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas, and the UCSF Medical Center. Dr. Monaco has been helping patients understand their own medical information since 1990. The issues she has dealt with range from simple ones, such as assisting patients with understanding common diagnoses such as high cholesterol, to much more complex issues, such as patients with multiple underlying medical problems who are also on multiple medications. She has assisted patients with understanding their overall medical diagnosis, reducing their dosages of medications and/or switching to medications with fewer side efffects when appropriate, and making certain tests or surgeries that have been ordered for the patient are appropriate, or if there may be other choices which may be better, simpler, or safer.
Dr. Jennifer Barker
Jennifer Barker, Ph.D. received her doctorate in Neuroscience in 2008 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, and is an experimental neurobiologist and science instructor. Her scientific research is focused primarily on understanding the function of newly-generated neurons in the adult brain, and how hormones affect these cells and related behavior. Her research involves taking a comparative approach to deepen our understanding of biological traits that are broadly shared among species, but regulated differently across and within species.
Dr. Lauren Barghout
Senior Health Researcher
A scientist, inventor and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Lauren Barghout holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Vision Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelors degree in Physics from Hampshire College. She is an expert in the use of fuzzy set theory in representing Visual Gestalts, and inventor of the Gestalt-based image segmentation and labeling technique that underpins the natural vision processing system used by Eyegorithm.com and other companies. Her research has contributed to the understanding of context-dependent spatial vision, spatial masking, theoretical and computational psychophysics, and the application of fuzzy set theory to human and machine vision. Lauren founded and led several companies, including Paravue Corporation in 2004 and Eyegorithm in 2010. Lauren is passionate about making cutting-edge breakthroughs in health available and understandable to a wide audience. She combines her diverse experience as an entrepreneur and an inventor with rigorous academic techniques to look for composite solutions to emerging health questions.
Dr. Kristin Harper
Dr. Kristin Harper is currently a Cancer Epidemiology postdoctoral fellow in the Environmental Health Sciences department at Columbia University Medical Center. She has an MPH in Global Epidemiology and a PhD in Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution from Emory University. She has 25 scientific publications and counting and has been awarded many prestigious fellowships and grants; her research has been covered widely in the popular press, with stories appearing in the New York Times and the Economist. Her expertise is in applying genetic and epigenetic approaches to diverse health problems, and in the past she has worked on infectious diseases, prenatal determinants of later life disease, and environmental causes of cancer. One of her major interests is in combining knowledge from molecular biology and epidemiology to critically evaluate current medical interventions and formulate alternatives.
Dr. James Pauff
James M. Pauff, MD, PhD is a Clinical Fellow in Medical Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He has served as President and on the Board of Directors of the American Physician Scientists Association, working on organizational development and financial structure in a transition phase that included significant leadership expansion and the implementation of membership revenue. He has been an advisor to Science Careers (AAAS) during the formation and launch of the Clinical and Translational Science Network (CTSciNet). His laboratory research interests are in cancer therapeutics, where he utilizes prior research training in structural and mechanistic biochemistry. He is also engaged in translational research and clinical trials at Vanderbilt. He reviews submitted articles for publication in several chemistry journals, as well as reviewing proposals for the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory (macromolecular X-ray crystallography). Dr. Pauff completed his Internal Medicine residency training at Vanderbilt, and received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University.
Dr. Edmund Hong
Dr. Edmund Hong received his Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry and Music from Vanderbilt University, where his research interests included the development of biomarkers for the early detection of lung cancer. He then graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2011. During this time, he coordinated a research effort to evaluate the outcomes of patients with unresectable cholangiocarcinoma who have received transcatheter arterial chemoembolization, for which he received the Radiological Society of North America Trainee Research Prize. He is currently a radiology resident at the Temple University Hospital, where he focuses on quality improvement in imaging informatics.
Dr. Simona Zompi
Senior Medical Advisor
Dr. Simona Zompi completed her Medical Doctorate and residency in hematology in Paris, France. Her clinical work focused on hematological disorders and people living with HIV. She obtained her PhD in immunology from the Institut Pasteur, an international renowned scientific institute based in Paris, France. Her scientific research focused on the immune response to infectious diseases. Her accomplishments cover NK, B and T cell biology, vaccine development, immune correlates of protection, emerging and neglected infectious diseases and global health diagnostics. Most recently, as a Project Scientist at the School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, she developed the Human Immunology & Dengue Virus infection research program, in collaboration with the National Virology laboratory in Managua, Nicaragua. Dr. Zompi gained public and global health experience working on HIV programs in the field in Asia and Africa, with the International NGO Médecins du Monde and as Executive Director of the Center for Global Public Health at University of California at Berkeley. She is currently Director of Research at the Center for Youth Wellness and Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Her new field of research focuses on the inflammatory and metabolic responses induced by adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress. One of the main objectives of her program is to identify reliable and sensitive biomarkers of toxic stress that can be used in the clinical setting.
Dr. David Clark
David Clark, MD is a board-certified neurologist with an interest in medical information systems. He completed his computer science degree at Texas A&M University and medical school at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Following medical school he completed his neurology residency and clinical neurophysiology fellowship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He has led projects in bioinformatics and digital image processing.
Dr. Ananth T. Srikrishnan
Dr. Ananth T. Srikrishnan, MD is a physician with a deep interest in the subject of innovation in healthcare. He has a B.A. in Biophysical Chemistry from Dartmouth College. After completing his medical degree, he worked as a Research Fellow in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He has conducted research on a broad variety of subjects, including immunology, oncology, and brain injury. Most recently, he has published a book chapter on traumatic brain injury; he also has co-authored papers in the field of immunology. Dr. Srikrishnan’s other interests include music, entrepreneurship, international relations, and the use of technology to revolutionize healthcare and other important areas of life.
Dr. Janice Wiesman
Janice Wiesman, M.D. graduated with honors from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in 1989 and was inducted into AOA in her junior year. She completed a residency in Neurology at the Harvard-Longwood Neurology Training Program. Janice has a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester. She is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. She served as Neurology Clerkship Director and Director of the Electromyography laboratory at Boston Medical Center for 12 years.
Dr. Rina Gendelman
Senior Health Researcher
Rina Gendelman received her PhD in Biochemistry from Cornell University. Her doctorate research concentrated in understanding the underlying mechanisms of osteoarthritis. She then joined GNS Healthcare as a senior scientist to work on cancer signaling and creation of large-scale models of cancer for development of novel therapies. After completing her postdoctoral work, she continues as a scientist at UCSF Cancer Center. The main focus of her current research is understanding the mechanisms of interaction of multiple signal transduction networks in the cell-based models of breast, pancreatic, and colon cancer to identify biomarkers and novel targets for combination therapies.
Frederica Stahl is a health information scientist focused on the transfer of knowledge through distributed systems. Most recently, Frederica ran strategy and analytics for a crowdsourced health information platform, Meddik. As a first employee her areas of focus covered strategy, analytics, and health software development. Frederica is a recipient of the Gates Scholarship for her work on the mathematical modeling of information mobility patterns. She has researched and published on conflict of interest and quality in medical practice and sciences. She holds masters degrees in Biological Anthropology and Quantitative Sciences from Cambridge and Columbia Universities, respectively.
Dr. Cory Czajka
A native of Albany, NY, Dr. Czajka received his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is currently completing residency training in orthopaedic surgery at Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY and will be pursuing further sub-specialization in orthopaedic trauma. Prior to his medical training, Dr. Czajka served in various capacities within the U.S. intelligence community. This included stints within the Directorate of Operations of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and as an industrial contractor within the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.
Dr. Marc Warner
Marc Warner is a Marie Curie Research Fellow in Physics at Harvard University, where he is working to develop nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging. He received his PhD in Physics and Nanotechnology from University College London, and his Masters in Physics from Imperial College London. His work has been published in many of the leading scientific journals. He has consulted for a variety of organisations, including start-ups, multinational corporations and the UK Government.