People is an interdisciplinary project involving many faculty, staff, and students from Duke University and from other institutions. 

Image citation: Ilyse Whitney, CC BY 2.0 Leadership

Nita A. Farahany, PhD, JD

Nita Farahany is Director of the Duke University Initiative for Science and Society and a Professor of Law and Philosophy. She is a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biosciences and emerging technologies, particularly those related to neuroscience and behavioral genetics.

Buz Waitzkin, JD, LLM

Michael “Buz” Waitzkin is Deputy Director of the Duke University Initiative for Science & Society, and a Senior Lecturing Fellow. He has extensive experience as a practicing lawyer within the private biomedical and government sectors.

Matt Perault, JD

Matt Perault is an Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of the Center for Science & Technology Policy within the Initiative for Science & Society. Matt previously served as a director of public policy at Facebook. He led the company’s global public policy planning efforts on issues such as competition, law enforcement, and human rights and oversaw public policy for WhatsApp, Oculus, and Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research. Prior to joining Facebook, Matt was Counsel at the Congressional Oversight Panel. He previously worked as a consultant at the World Bank and served as a law clerk for the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Matt holds a law degree from Harvard Law School, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Brown University.

Andrew Pericak, MEM

Andrew Pericak serves as the Editor-in-Chief for, responsible for general management of the website and overseeing the work of the students and staff involved with the project. He received the Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2016, at which he specialized in Environmental Economics and Policy. Before that, he received the Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond. Andrew also has extensive experience with geographic information systems (GIS) and has produced open spatial data currently used in academic research and public advocacy. Vertical Leads & Lead Policy Analysts

These staff direct the content and direction for their respective science verticals on the website.

Brian Langloss, PhD (Genomics & Neuroscience Verticals)

Brian Langloss is a Lead Policy Analyst for He oversees the development and publication of SciPol content related to Genetics/Genomics and Neuroscience. In addition to SciPol, Brian also serves on the Citizens Advisory Committee, a City Council Appointed body that provides oversight for Durham’s Federally funded low-income housing programs. A chemist by training, Brian received his PhD in Chemistry from Duke in 2018, where his research was focused on the practical application of nanomaterials to biological imaging and radiation detection. Prior to graduate school, Brian completed his BS in Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, and worked as an R&D chemist in industry.

Holly Leddy, PhD (Nanotechnology Vertical)

Holly Leddy oversees the development and publication of content related to nanotechnology. Holly also works as a research and development engineer at Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF), a nanotechnology characterization and fabrication multi-user facility. Holly is a micro-imaging specialist and trains new users on a variety of micro- and nano-imaging techniques, including atomic force and scanning electron microscopy, as well as advising users on biomedical related projects. Holly also works with the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network to create and promote nanotechnology related educational outreach. She has created nanotechnology based science outreach programming at SMIF that engages over 2000 K-12 students per year. Prior to joining SMIF, she worked as a researcher in cartilage mechanobiology and arthritis at Duke University Medical Center. Holly received her BA in Biology from Bowdoin College and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.

Sarah Rispin Sedlak, JD (Energy Vertical)

Sarah Rispin Sedlak oversees the development and publication of content related to energy, and is jointly supported by Duke Science & Society and the Duke Energy Initiative. She has extensive experience in administrative and environmental law, having litigated matters involving the energy sector before federal and state courts and state utility commissions, and participated in the regulatory comment process at the federal and state level. She received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was on the board of the University of Chicago Law Review, and wrote and did research on brownfields redevelopment, federalism and environmental law, and administrative law. Affiliated Staff

These staff members with the Duke Initiative for Science & Society contribute time to

Raha Khademi, MIDP (Program Coordinator)

Raha Khademi is a Program Coordinator with the Duke University Initiative for Science & Society, where she manages certain programs related to She graduated from the Duke Center for International Development program in May of 2018. On her previous position, she was a team leader of Kenan Biddle Partnership grant, with the main goal to improve well-being and health of refugee communities in NC. Raha has over seven years of extensive experience in various health and policy topics in both public and private sector. Contributors by Vertical


    Supported by the Duke University Energy Initiative

    Sarah Rispin Sedlak, JD
    Lead Editor, Energy

    Nathan Iyer, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Energy

    Libba Rollins, MEM Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Energy

    Elizabeth Shenaut, MPP, MEM Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Energy

    2018-19 Contributors
    Coming soon!

    Genetics/Genomics Vertical

    Megan Boyd, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Genetics / Genomics

    2018-19 Contributors

    Kellilyn Arnold, MA Candidate

    Towqir Aziz, MA

    Zachary Banov, MA Candidate

    Paige Dexter, PhD Candidate

    Emma Dolan, PhD Candidate

    Laura Ganser

    Elena Ghanaim, MA

    Amy Hafez, PhD

    Miaraha Humayun, MA Candidate

    Katharine Korunes

    Ting Liu, JD/MA Candidate

    Rachel Lopez

    Ariel Kantor, BSc

    Sara Katsanis, MS

    Helena Ma, PhD Candidate

    Sarina Madhavan, MD Candidate

    Sophia McNatton

    Ashle Page, MA Candidate

    Sarah Philo, MS Candidate

    Chelsey Pitts, MA

    Armani Porter, MA Candidate

    Cristina Rabionet, JD Candidate

    Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm, PhD

    Meredith Schmehl, PhD Student

    Luis Sordo Vieira, PhD

    Jenny Wang, JD/MA Candidate

    Nancy Zhang, BS

    Chris Zhou

    Nanotechnology Vertical

    Supported by the Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT) at Duke University and Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF)

    Holly Leddy, PhD
    Lead Editor, Nanotechnology

    Siyuan Feng, MS Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Nanotechnology

    2018-19 Contributors

    Elizabeth Hunsaker, PhD Candidate

    Jimin Hu, PhD Candidate

    Ashley Williams, PhD Candidate

    Neuroscience Vertical

    Jayun Bae, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Neuroscience

    Rishita Yeduri, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Neuroscience

    Defne Z. Yorgancioglu, BS Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Neuroscience

    2018-19 Contributors

    Rimsha Afzal, MA Candidate

    Deniz Ariturk, MA Candidate

    Brian Barnes, JD Candidate

    Eric Buchanan, JD Candidate

    Morris Fabbri, MA Candidate

    Hayley Farless

    Cameron Fox, MA Candidate

    Rachel Fox

    Courtni France, MA Candidate

    Joshua Frost

    Daniel Kennedy, JD Candidate

    Jesse Mangold

    Justin Pack, JD Candidate

    Armani Porter, MA Candidate

    Sean Riley, MA

    Cristina Rabionet, JD Candidate

    Meredith Stewart, MPH, JD Candidate

    Kelly Todd, JD/MA Candidate

    Ashley Williams, PhD Candidate

    Keegan Williams, JD Candidate

    Catherine Yao

    Rishita Yeduri, MA Candidate

    Madison Zamora

    Robotics/AI Vertical

    Supported by the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory (HAL) at Duke University

    Zack Guffey, MPP Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Robotics / AI

    Max Povejsil, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Robotics / AI

    2018-19 Contributors

    Justin Anderson, JD Candidate

    Towqir Aziz, MA

    Eric Buchanan, JD Candidate

    Fernanda Catão de Carvalho, LLM Candidate

    Tabitha Colter, MA Candidate

    Douglas Harris, JD Candidate

    Javan Jiang, BS Candidate

    Nicole Kastelic

    Ting Liu, JD/MA Candidate

    Shrey H. Majmudar, BA Candidate

    Soe Maung Maung Phone Myint, MA Candidate

    Victoria Chibuogu Nneji, PhD

    Michael Ong, BS Candidate

    Ashle Page, MA Candidate

    Dev Seth

    Bryan Somaiah, MA Candidate

    Meredith Stewart, MPH, JD Candidate

    Dylan Stonecipher, JD Candidate

    Nancy Zhang, BS

    Zhixue "Mary" Zhixue, BA Candidate

    Other Contributors

    Claire Simmons, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor Production Assistants

    Production Assistants provide various administrative and technical assistance across the website, such as with content creation, website promotion, and social media.

    Our current Production Assistants include:

    • Roberto Medrano (Trinity 2021)
    • Lexx Pino (Trinity 2021)