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FREE: A Lecture Circus- an academic exercise in interdisciplinary discourse and discovery!: Forum Topic Speakers

Brief profiles about the work of some of our invited speakers! 

Dr. Jeffrey Townsend

Jeffrey Townsend is a biostatistician and evolutionary biologist. He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Brown University in 1994, taught in primary and secondary education for three years, then earned a PhD in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 2002. He is currently the Elihu Professor of Biostatistics and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Yale School of Public Health at Yale University, where he serves as Co-Director of the Genetics, Genomics, and Epigenetics Research Program at the Yale Cancer Center. He is the Co-Chair of the American Association for Cancer Research Cancer Evolution Working Group. He has worked on WWW technologies, including active-experiment databases, automated authorship assignment in collaborative writing, and evaluation tools for selecting optimal journals for manuscript submission.

Dr. Jessica Mackelprang

Dr. Jessica Mackelprang is a Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Mackelprang studies psychological (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder) and physical trauma (e.g., traumatic brain injury) among populations that have been marginalized, with a focus on supporting community members affected by homelessness. Her work aims to reduce inequities in health service access and to improve health outcomes among these populations. She also studies gender equity in academia. Her research involves a combination of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. In addition to conducting research, she teaches into undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and counselling on topics related to health, trauma, and grief and loss. Dr. Mackelprang is an Associate Editor for Clinical Psychologist, a Member of the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project Community of Practice, Past Chair of the Swinburne Indigenous Psychology Committee, and a Deputy Leader for the Swinburne Women's Academic Network (SWAN) Promotions Program. 

Shipra Awasthi

Dr. Shipra Awasthi is presently working as Assistant Librarian at Central Library, Jawaharlal Nehru University   (JNU), New Delhi.  Prior to that, she worked at the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha as an Assistant Librarian from 2005 to 2012. She holds a Ph.D in library science from the University of Lucknow. Dr. Awasthi has 19 years of professional experience in the field of librarianship. She has several publications to her credit in the form of journal articles and conference presentations. Her areas of interest include- Open Access, Institutional Repository, Digital Library, Electronic Thesis & Dissertation (ETD), scholarly communication, plagiarism detection software, and academic publishing.

Naseema Sheriff

Naseema Sheriff holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Master of Library and Information Science from Pondicherry University in India. She has worked in a broad spectrum of positions, including information analyst at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and junior research fellow at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in India. She has a University Grants Commission (UGC) National Eligibility Test (NET), which is a noteworthy accomplishment for a lectureship in India and a sign of her expertise in library and information science. Additionally, she was honored with the prestigious Rajya Puraskar award by the Bharat Scouts & Guides, presented by His Excellency Thiru. Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamil Nadu, India, recognized her commitment to leadership and service to society. She is quite technically skilled and knowledgeable in a number of software packages and programming languages. Research Data Management (RDM), Scientometrics, Text Mining, and Quantitative Research Methods are some of her areas of interest. She has presented at international conferences and published research on topics such as RDM, data literacy, text mining, research trends, sentiment analysis, topic modeling, association rule mining, web scraping, and scientometrics. She is a collaborative leader and caring communicator who shows the characteristics of determination, creative thinking, and academic engagement. Her multidimensional knowledge bridges academia and practical applications, making her a valuable contributor to the international academic landscape.

Dr. Patrick Grzanka

Patrick R. Grzanka is Professor of Psychology and the inaugural Divisional Dean for Social Sciences at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. An applied social issues researcher, he studies complex inequalities in institutional settings (e.g., health care, education, science, law) with a focus on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. He is the editor of Intersectionality: Foundations and Frontiers (Routlege, 2019) and the guest editor of several special issues of journals, including most recently American Psychologist. Grzanka is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and is President-Elect of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Terminally undisciplined, he holds a Ph.D. in American studies and a B.A. in journalism, both from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Paolo Vineis

PV is the Chair of Environmental Epidemiology at Imperial College, London and Visiting Professor at the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova. His work is on environmental risks of disease including climate change. PV has been in 2020, 2021 and 2022 in the top 20 most cited Imperial College scientists with nearly 120,000 citations. He has more than 1,100 publications (many as leading author; H-index>170) in journals such as Nature, Science, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, and is a member of various international scientific and ethics committees (including the Committee of the US
National Academy of Sciences on 21st Century Risk Assessment) and vice-chair of the Ethics Committee at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, WHO). He has also published several books including “Health without borders: epidemics in the era of globalization”. Springer, 2017, and has engaged in policy-making as Vice-President of the High Council of Health (Consiglio Superiore di Sanita’, advisor to the Health Minister) in Italy, and as a member of Cancer Prevention Europe (affiliated with Cancer Mission Europe). In 2020 he became an advisor of the Piedmont Region for COVID-19 and has contributed to the development of mathematical models and containment policies (see Saltelli et al, Nature 2020). In 2018 he has been knighted by the Italian President of the Republic. He is Editor-in-Chief of Frontiers in Public Health. His latest research activities focus on investigating biomarkers from -omic platforms (including metabolomics and epigenetics) in large epidemiological studies. Overall, the main breakthroughs have been (a) the demonstration of a number of molecular alterations (miRNA, metabolomics) associated with exposure to air pollution, able to predict disease outcomes according to the concept of “meet-in-the-middle”; (b) the development of biomarkers of smoking, including the first demonstration of a methylation signature, and mutational fingerprints; (c) the development for application in epidemiological studies of “biological clocks” based on DNA methylation and metabolomics to measure biological ageing; (d) the successful promotion of the interaction between social sciences and life sciences in a large consortium on health inequalities and ageing, that applied on a large scale omic technologies to social inequalities in health. He is also active in the field of climate change and health, with original research conducted in Bangladesh that demonstrated an increased risk of hypertension in relation to salinity in drinking water due to sea level rise. A number of the research projects he has led are international in scope and collaborative in nature. He has coordinated the European Commission FP7-funded Exposomics project and the Horizon 2020- funded project Lifepath. The Lifepath project, which includes numerous studies including EPIC and MCCS, aims to understand the impact of socio-economic differences on healthy aging with an approach that considers the relative importance of effects on life; this consortium alone has resulted in over 50 publications. Currently he is co-PI of the NIHR Centre for non-communicable diseases in LMIC at Imperial College

Dr. Melanie Gainey

Melanie is a liaison librarian to the Biological Sciences, Computational Biology, Biomedical Engineering departments and the Neuroscience Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She co-founded the Open Science & Data Collaborations Program (OSDC) at CMU Libraries in 2018. As the director of the OSDC program, she advocates for open science and helps provide infrastructure, training, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations, and community-building events for researchers across disciplines at Carnegie Mellon and beyond. Prior to joining CMU Libraries in 2017, Melanie was a postdoctoral fellow in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at U.C. Berkeley and received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University in 2010. She uses her experience as a neuroscientist to inform her current work in supporting open research.

Jason Stephens

Jason M. Stephens is an Associate Professor in the School of Learning, Development, and Professional Practice in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Auckland. In addition to teaching courses on human development and learning at the university, Jason serves as an Academic Integrity Advisor for his faculty. His primary research interests include human motivation, ethical functioning, cheating behavior, and the promotion of academic integrity. He is a co-author of two books (Educating Citizens and Creating a Culture of Academic Integrity) as well as numerous journal articles and other publications related to these interests. Jason earned his BA at the University of Vermont, M.Ed. at Vanderbilt University, and Ph.D. at Stanford University. For more details, please visit: or

Dr. Bonnie Moradi

Bonnie Moradi is Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Florida. Dr. Moradi’s research examines people’s experiences of multiple forms of discrimination and the implications of these experiences for health, work, education, and organizations. Dr. Moradi is the recipient of national awards including the American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Counseling Psychology Best in Science Award, APA Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, APA Committee on Women in Psychology Leadership Award for Scholarship, and multiple distinguished publication awards. For her mentoring and community engagement, Dr. Moradi is the recipient of the Association for Women in Psychology’s Florence Denmark Distinguished Mentoring Award, UF Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award, and LGBT Community Impact Award for Outstanding Faculty Member.

Ellen Dubinsky

As Scholarly Communications Librarian, Ellen advocates for the broadest possible dissemination of the University of Arizona community’s scholarly output. Partnering with colleagues within the Libraries and throughout the campus, Ellen works to promote a culture of open scholarship and support sustainable approaches to scholarly content creation and stewardship.

Pedro Tan

Pedro graduated in biomedical sciences (UFRJ, Brazil), holds a MSc in bioinformatics and systems biology (UvA and VU, Netherlands), and is currently a PhD student in bioinformatics and immuno-oncology (NKI, Netherlands). He is thoroughly interested in participating in and promoting projects in metascience and has been involved in the coordinating team of the Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative and No-Budget Science events.

Dr. Theodore Smith

Ted Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Healthy Air, Water and Soil
Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Dr Smith’s research focuses on environmental technologies that provide place-based clinical insight for preventing or reducing the burden of disease. Dr. Smith was previously the Chief of Civic Innovation for the City of Louisville, KY and created the largest real-time asthma monitoring project, AIRLouisville, from 2012-2016.
Dr. Smith co-founded the Envirome Institute in 2018 and joined as a research associate professor in the division of environmental medicine. He is responsible for a wide range of environmental monitoring studies as part of the Institute’s interventional Green Heart clinical trial. Since June 2020, Dr. Smith has led the wastewater monitoring component of the COVID-19 Louisville Metro Health Department COVID-19 Testing Taskforce. His environmental medicine research also includes human space health and he serves as a member of the Translation Research Institute for Space Health scientific advisory board. He was a co-Investigator on the 1998 NASA Neuorlab mission. Ted has a passion for research translation and serves on the Board of the Citizen Science Association and has published in the uses of generative AI in research translation. Ted received his B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Allegheny College, his M.S. and PhD in Experimental Psychology from Miami University and completed his post-doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Jean Gabriel Guerrero Dib-University of Monterrey-Director for Culture & Mission

Jean Guerrero-Dib is currently Director of Mission at the University of Monterrey, Mexico where he formerly was the Director of the Center for Integrity and Ethics for more than 6 years. For more than 22 years he has been dedicated to education. Formerly, he worked as a Software Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Process Engineer at Citibank, Softek and Atcor -the latter based in the Silicon Valley-.

Besides being ICAI's board member (International Center for Academic Integrity), member of a research team on Technology and Academic Integrity at ENAI (European Network for Academic Integrity) and IJEI’s member of the board (International Journal for Educational Integrity), he is president of the Ethics and Compliance Commission of the Internal Control Institute and board member of "Ciudad de los Niños". He also collaborates with different organizations that promote family values.

He is faculty member of the School of Education and Liberal Arts, the School of Engineering and the Business School of the University of Monterrey and of the Human Resources Academy of the ICAMI Center for Management and Leadership

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