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Robert Craig Castellino, is  M.D. is an Associate Professor in the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Department of Pediatrics, Emory University. He is a Board-certified Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist who treats children diagnosed with a brain tumor. He also directs a federally-funded translational research laboratory that focuses on aberrant signaling that diverts normal developmental programs toward the growth of a high-grade malignancy in the developing brain. In particular, his laboratory is interested in the pathobiology of medulloblastoma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). His laboratory uses in vitro assays, mouse models, and patient-derived tissues to improve understanding of the molecular drivers of high-grade brain tumors and their dissemination in children, to understand the signaling that confers resistance to radiation and conventional chemotherapeutic agents, and to design novel approaches to treatment that will improve both the survival and outcomes of children diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumor.

James G. Nagy is a Professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. His research is in the area of scientific computation, with a focus on developing algorithms and software used to solve challenging mathematical problems that arise in image processing applications. His work has been supported by basic research grants from the NSF, as well as grants for application specific projects from the AFOSR (space situational awareness) and from the NIH (digital breast tomosynthesis and CT).

Sub-Committee Chairs

Biological Health Sciences

A. Cecile J.W. Janssens is a research professor of Epidemiology in the School of Medicine. Her research concerns the translation of genomics to applications in clinical and public health practice, with a focus on the genetic prediction of multifactorial diseases (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma), and focuses on theoretical and methodological questions in prediction and the assessment of the clinical validity and utility of predictive testing.


Sandra Blakely Anthropology, history, religion, fragmentary sources and secret rites are central to Dr. Blakely’s research. She completed a PhD in Classics and Anthropology at the University of Southern California, exploring the Greek metallurgical daimones in light of comparative models for the sacralization of metallurgical production from Tanzania and the Bakongo. She has worked extensively on the most fragmentary sources from the Greek and Roman historians, publishing commentaries on the Augustan mythographer Conon, the late Republican Ethnographer Alexander Polyhistor, and Herodorus of Herakleia, a local historian from a Greek colony on the Black Sea. Her current research brings Social Network Analysis and Geographic Information Systems to the epigraphic record of the Great Gods of Samothrace, to test the hypothesis that the safety at sea the Samothracian rites promised was a social reality as well as a mythic metaphor.


Jessica Fairley is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Global Health with a primary appointment in the Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health. She works at Emory TravelWell Center where her clinical scope involves preparing travelers for international travel and evaluating returning travelers or immigrants with various syndromes or infections. She also directs the Emory Hansen’s Disease Program, a satellite clinic of the National Hansen’s Disease Program, whose mission is to care for patients with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) and to raise awareness of the disease. Her research and academic interests center around the epidemiology of leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases. Projects focus on the susceptibility, transmission, and morbidity of leprosy by investigating the role of parasitic co-infections and micronutrient deficiencies on those with M. leprae infection in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Lastly, she teaches core Global Health courses at RSPH and the College.

Mathematics & Natural Science

Sergei Urazhdin is a Professor of Physics. Dr. Urazhdins’ research group is investigating new physical phenomena that emerge in nanoscale systems, at surfaces and interfaces of materials with different physical properties. The overarching goal is to develop fundamental understanding of the effects of confinement, interfaces, the resulting emerging interactions, and strongly nonequilibrium physical states that become possible to achieve only at nanoscale. For instance, they are investigating magnetism-related phenomena induced in nanoscale magnetic systems by spin-polarized electrical currents, at extremely high densities that would simply evaporate larger systems. The goal is to understand the nature of dynamical and static states in magnetic systems brought far out of equilibrium by the current. In addition, his research group is investigating the unusual physical characteristics acquired by the electromagnetic waves propagating in magnetic media. Such waves are called spin-waves. By engineering nanostructured magnetic media, one can produce nanoscale all-optical integrated circuits for information processing and storage. Also, Dr. Urazhdins’ research group is developing a new scanning probe microscopy technique to study electronic correlations at the surfaces of topological insulators and strongly correlated materials.

Performing Arts

Eric Neslon is a Professor of Choral Studies in the Department of Music. He is also the conductor and Artistic Director of Atlanta Master Chorale. Dr. Nelson’s choirs have performed throughout the world, including London, Rome, Krakow, Berlin, Leipzig, Prague, Moscow, Seoul, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Sydney Opera House. He has conducted choirs at eight American Choral Directors Association conventions, including the Emory Concert Choir’s performance at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall for the National ACDA Convention in 2011 and the Atlanta Master Chorale’s performance at both the Southern Regional Convention in 2014 and the National Convention in 2017. In May 2017, he will be leading the Emory Concert Choir on a performance tour to Spain and Portugal.

Social Sciences

Jason Hockenberry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Emory University, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. To date he has coauthored more than 60 articles and book chapters on issues around health policy, and the financing, quality, and efficiency of healthcare in the U.S. His research has been funded by the National Institutes for Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Veteran’s Health Administration, and the Commonwealth Fund.