Planning Committee

These faculty members at the University of Minnesota collaborated in planning the conference, striving to recruit top experts and key stakeholders, who could present diverse points of view and engage in dialogue with conference participants. 

Susan M. Wolf

Susan M. Wolf, JD, Planning Committee Chair, is McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy; Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law; and Professor of Medicine. Prof. Wolf is Chair of the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prof. Wolf's research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as private foundations including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Greenwall Foundation.

Bruce Blazar 2015

Bruce Blazar, MD, is Regents Professor of Pediatrics, and Chief of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program.  He has directed preclinical basic and translational immunology and stem cell research and early phase clinical studies for more than 25 years, with particular emphasis on the blood and marrow transplantation immunobiology.  Prof. Blazar is the Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Science and the Director of the University of Minnesota's Clinical and Translational Science Institute.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). 

Kathleen Thiede Call

Kathleen Thiede Call, PhD, is a Professor of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health. She received the University of Minnesota President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award and is Faculty Liaison for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Prof. Call's research interests include disparities in access to health insurance and developing community-engaged research projects focusing on equitable access to health care.

Gary Gardner, PhD

Gary Gardner, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science. He is on the executive committee of the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences and serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and as a Faculty Legislative Liaison.

Apostolos P. Georgopoulos

Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, MD, PhD, is Regents Professor of Neuroscience; McKnight Presidential Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience; American Legion Brain Sciences Chair; Director of the Brain Sciences Center for Cognitive Sciences; and Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology, and Psychiatry. He is also Director of the Brain Sciences Center at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Minneapolis. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Sarah Gollust

Sarah E. Gollust, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management and McKnight Land-Grant Professor in the School of Public Health. Prof. Gollust is a social scientist examining the processes through which health information is presented in the media, shapes public attitudes and opinions, and influences the health policy process.  She has applied this research approach in studying obesity, health disparities, the Affordable Care Act, and cancer screening and prevention.  She is a past Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and Bioethics Fellow at NIH.

Megan Gunnar

Megan R. Gunnar, PhD, is Regents Professor; Distinguished McKnight University Professor; Department Chair and Director of the Institute of Child Development; and Associate Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development.  Her research focuses on how children and adolescents regulate stress and emotions, the effects of early adverse care on brain and behavioral development, and stress neurobiology and development.  Prof. Gunnar is the principal investigator for the Minnesota International Adoption Project and the Stress, Social Buffering and Fear Learning Research Network.

Gordon Legge

Gordon E. Legge, PhD, is Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Psychology. He heads the Minnesota Laboratory for Low-Vision Research.  Prof. Legge specializes in visual perception with a cognitive-neuroscience perspective and the role of vision in important real-world activities including reading, object recognition, and wayfinding. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science, and  the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Steve Miles

Steven H. Miles, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Bioethics and Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics at the University of Minnesota. He is an Affiliate Faculty member for the Law School's Concentration in Health Law and Bioethics. He is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Miles has served as President of the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities and received its Distinguished Service Award. Among his other awards is the National Council of Teachers of English George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language; American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Human Rights Hero; and the Sullivan-Ballou Fund Award for Human Rights.

Kolawole Okuyemi

Kolawole Okuyemi, MD, MPH, is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota. Prof. Okuyemi has devoted his career to improving the health of minorities and eliminating health disparities using pharmacological and culturally tailored behavioral interventions. He has received funding for research and educational programs from NIH and private foundations totaling $28 million and mentored a large number of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students. 

Michael Osterholm

Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, is Regents Professor; McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health; the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP); and Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He is also a Professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an Adjunct Professor in the Medical School. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served as a high-level advisor on issues related to bioterrorism, public health preparedness, and infectious diseases.

Mike Sadowsky

Michael J. Sadowsky, PhD, is Director of the BioTechnology Institute and Professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate. His research focuses on molecular plant-microbe interactions in nitrogen-fixing symbiotic systems; investigation of the use of microorganisms for biodegradation and bioremediation; molecular methods to determine sources and kinds of bacteria in the environment; and the metagenomics of soil, water, and intestinal environments.

Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD

Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, is McKnight Professor of Pediatrics; Edmund Wallace Tulloch and Anna Marie Tulloch Chair in Stem Cell Biology, Genetics and Genomics; and Director of the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute. Prof. Tolar's research focuses on using hematopoietic stem cell transplant as a treatment for rare genetic disorders including Hurler syndrome and dyskeratosis congenital, and has achieved international recognition for his work in caring for patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

John E. Wagner

John E. Wagner, Jr., MD, is McKnight Presidential Chair in Childhood Cancer Research; Children's Cancer Research Fund/Hageboeck Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology; Professor and Director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Pediatrics; Scientific Director of Clinical Research at the Stem Cell Institute; and Co-Director of the Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Minnesota.  Prof. Wagner has led the University of Minnesota's Cord Blood Transplantation Program in the treatment of adults and children and is responsible for its international prominence, having first pioneered its use in 1990 in leukemia. Prof. Wagner also specializes in Fanconi anemia and the use of stem cells in severe forms of a rare skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa, or EB.

Doug Yee

Douglas Yee, MD, is Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, and John H. Kersey Chair in Cancer Research at the University of Minnesota. As Director of the Cancer Center, he serves as the point person for all cancer research at the University. He also treats patients with breast cancer and conducts research to improve cancer therapies.