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Student Research

The Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University attracts students from throughout the nation and the world.

Our students complete research in diverse fields including the philosophy of medicine, sexual and reproductive ethics, death and dying, professionalism, public health ethics, neuroethics, and Catholic health care.

Shahram Ahmadi Nasab Emran

Ph.D. student

M.D. from Guilan University of Medical Sciences
M.A. in ancient languages and culture from the University of Tehran
M.A. in religious studies from the University of Virginia
M.A. in health care ethics from Saint Louis University

Research interests: Virtue epistemology, virtue ethics, philosophy of medicine and U.S.-Iran policy.

Alec Arnold

Ph.D. student

Th.M. in doctrinal theology from Regent College
M.A. in theology from Regent College
B.A. in advertising and public relations from Drury University

Research interests: Philosophy of technology, transhumanism and bioethics, theological aesthetics, philosophical personalism/theology of the body, media studies
 
Michelle Bach

Graduate/teaching assistant

B.A. in biology from Agnes Scott College

Research interests: Biopolitics, neuroethics, mental health care ethics and philosophy of medicine

Lauren Baker

Graduate/teaching assistant

B.A. in philosophy from Saint Louis University

Research interests: Clinical ethics, pediatric ethics and Catholic health care

Kathrine Bendtsen

Graduate/teaching assistant

B.A. in international business and marketing from Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College 

B.S. in biology from New Jersey City University
M.A. in health care ethics from St. Joseph's University
Post-graduate certificate in health administration from St. Joseph's University

Research interests: Sexual health ethics, reproductive health ethics, neuroethics, and death and dying

Abe Brummett

Graduate/teaching assistant

B.S. in philosophy/sociology from Murray State University
M.A. in history from Murray State University
M.A. in philosophy from the University of Missouri-St. Louis

Research interests: Philosophy of religion, metaethics, neuroethics and evolutionary ethics

Amanda Berg

Ph.D. student

M.T.S. from Loyola University Maryland
B.A. in classics (ancient greek) from the  University of Virginia

Research interests: Ancient medicine and suffering

Kirsten  Antonacci Dempsey

Graduate assistant

M.A. in theological ethics from Saint Louis University (expected 12/2018)
B.A. in theology and finance from Benedictine College

Research interests: Goods of aging, geriatric care,  economics / business and medicine, catholic bioethics,  moral theology, end of life care / decision making, clinical ethics

Aaliyah Eaves-Leanos

Ph.D. student

BFA from Carnegie Mellon University
J.D. from University of Kentucky School of Law
LL.M. from Indiana University School of Law

Research interests: Disclosure and truth-telling in health care, policy development, informed consent and human-subject research

Marissa Espinoza

Graduate assistant

M.A. in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma
B.A. in philosophy from Azusa Pacific University

Research interests: Virtue ethics, feminist ethics, medical humanities 

Brandy Fox

Graduate/teaching assistant

B.A. in politics from the Catholic University of America
M.S. in health care ethics from Creighton University

Research interests: Ethics in psychiatric care, palliative care, end-of-life care, autonomy, and definitions and boundaries of the self

Annie Friedrich

Graduate assistant

B.A. in cultural anthropology and religious studies from Colby College

Research interests: Pediatric ethics, end-of-life care and decision making, clinical ethics, and death and dying

Phil Fung

Ph.D. student

B.A. in biochemistry and policy studies from Rice University
M.D. from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Research interests: Philosophy of medicine, medical ethics education, virtue ethics, clinical ethics and end-of-life care

Debra Gorman-Badar

Ph.D. student

B.S. in physical therapy from Saint Louis University
M.A. philosophy with teaching ethics emphasis from University of Montana

Research interests: Physical therapy/rehabilitation ethics and disability studies, feminist bioethics and women's and gender studies, and teaching ethics

Boaz Goss

Graduate assistant

B.A. in philosophy from Azusa Pacific University

Research interests: Medical humanities, platonic/scholastic metaphysics, Nietzsche/Girard, biopolitics

Jacob Harrison

Ph.D. student

B.A. in biology from Carroll College
M.A. theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology

Research interests: Catholic health care, clinical ethics, catholic moral theology, sexual and reproductive ethics, virtue ethics

Nathaniel Hibner

Ph.D. student

B.A. in theology/political science from Boston College
MTS in moral theology from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Research interests: Catholic moral tradition, catholic health care mission, virtue ethics, health care system ethics

Ysabel Johnston

Graduate assistant

B.A. in philosophy from Azusa Pacific University

Research interests: Continental philosophy, philosophy of science, gender studies and virtue ethics

Kyle Karches

Ph.D. student

M.D. from University of Chicago
B.A. in philosophy from University of Notre Dame

Research interests: Philosophy of medicine, end-of-life care, medical humanities, virtue ethics and Catholic health care ethics

Jaime Konerman-Sease

Graduate assistant

B.A. in theology from Azusa Pacific University

Research interests: Theology, disability studies, mental health and ecofeminist ethics

Kayla M. Kostelecky

Ph.D. student

J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law
B.A. in international studies from University of Denver

Research interests: Research ethics, genetic and reproductive ethics, and neuroethics

Jason Lesandrini

Ph.D. student

B.A. in philosophy from Michigan State University
M.A. from Georgia State University

Research interests: Clinical ethics, ethics consultations, organizational ethics, and ethics programming

 Jordan Mason

 Graduate assistant

M.Div. from McAfee School of Theology
B.A. from Belmont University

Research interests: Palliative care and the withdrawal of treatment, biotechnology, catholic tradition and health care, and genetic ethics

Jaroslaw Mikuczewski

Ph.D. student

B.A. in bioethics  from Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow - Poland
B.A. in philosophy from Jesuits School of Philosophy in Krakow - Poland
M.A. in biotechnology  from Wroclaw University - Poland 
M.A. in theology from Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow - Poland

Research interests: Catholic health care, catholic moral theology, death and dying, and end-of-life care and decision making                           

Chris Ostertag

Graduate assistant

B.A. in philosophy and english from Rockhurst University
M.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M University

Research interests: Thomistic metaphysics, catholic moral tradition, ethical theory and reproductive ethics

Ben Parks

Graduate assistant

B.A. in biblical and theological studies from Wheaton College
B.A. in philosophy from Wheaton College
M.A. in bioethics from Trinity International University
M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

First place winner of the 2018 Harold O.J. Brown Student Scholarship Award for his essay titled: “From the Waters of Babylon: Frankenstein, Transhumanism, and Cosmogony.” 

Research interests: Ethics epistemology, christian scripture and ethics, hermeneutics, technology and eschatology, bioethics in the church, end of life, genetics and public policy

Kathryn E. Raliski

Ph.D. student

B.A. in political science from University of Notre Dame
M.A. bioethics from Wake Forest University

Research interests: Narrative medicine, relationships, and the proper use of information and communication technologies in health care

Sarah Sawicki

Teaching assistant

B.S. in professional writing from Taylor University
M.A. in bioethics from Trinity International University

Research interests: Clinical ethics, personhood, death and dying, and reflective equilibrium

Kathryn Sheldon

SLU presidential fellow

B.A. in Catholic studies from Seton Hall University
M.A. in theology from Seton Hall University

Research interests: Catholic health care, systematic theology, animal research ethics, mental health care ethics, and sexual and reproductive health ethics

Kristen Senetar

Teaching assistant

B.S. in biology from Butler University
M.A. in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University
MSPH in health policy and health services research from Emory University 

Research interests: Clinical ethics,  pediatric ethics, Medical ethics education, law and ethics and genetics

Andrea Thorton

Graduate assistant

M.T.S. in theology and the arts from Vanderbilt University
B.A. in english from Harding University

Research interests: Pain and suffering, spirituality and medicine, clinical decision making, public health, embodiment and incarnational theology

Addison Tenorio

Graduate assistant

B. A. in medical humanities from Baylor University

Research interests: Advance care planning, end-of-life care, latin american medicine, bilingual medicine/interpretation, catholic social teaching, health care reform