Core Faculty

CMBC Core Faculty are active in the Center and represent the type of interdisciplinary scholarship that our mission encompasses. 


Dr. Berns received his A.B. in Physics from Princeton University in 1986, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1990 and an M.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 1994. He completed postdoctoral training in Computational Neuroscience at the Salk Institute and a residency in Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the faculty of Emory University in 1998. He also directs the Facility for Education & Research in Neuroscience (FERN).
My research is aimed at understanding the neurobiological basis for individual preferences and how neurobiology places constraints on the decisions people make -- a field now known as neuroeconomics. To achieve this goal, we use functional MRI to measure the activity in key parts of the brain involved in decision making. We then link these activity traces to various phenotypes of decision making. For example, we have linked the pattern of activity in the striatum with the differential processing of risk and reward. More recently, we have used this activity to predict the commercial success of popular songs – the first prospective demonstration in neuromarketing.  These results have found application in understanding common stock investing errors, and more recently, in the stock market’s reaction to earnings announcements.  We are also studying decision-making over “sacred values” in the brain and its implications for terrorism. And finally, we are using fMRI to study canine cognitive function in awake, unrestrained dogs.



Dr. Brennan received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1986, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Southern California in 1992. She has been a member of the Emory University psychology department since 1996.  She is currently the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology, and Chair of the Department.  

Her research has been funded by grants from NARSAD, Scottish Rite, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, NIMH, NIMHD, NIEHS and the EPA. 


Daniel D. Dilks received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2005, after which he became a Postdoctoral Fellow, and later a Research Fellow, in the Kanwisher Laboratory at MIT.  He joined the Emory faculty in September 2013.  His research focuses on three big questions about human vision: i) How is the adult visual cortex functionally organized?, ii) How does this functional organization get wired up in development?, and iii) Once wired up, how does visual cortex change in adulthood?  To address these questions, Dilks uses a variety of methods, including psychophysics and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in typical children, adults, and individuals with developmental disorders or brain damage, as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in typical adults - whatever it takes to answer the question. 

Other Affiliations:


Robyn Fivush is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Emory University, where she has been on the faculty since 1984.  She received her PhD from the Graduate Center of The City University of New York in 1983 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at San Diego from 1983 to 1984.  She is a Fellow of both APA and APS.  Her research focuses on the social construction of autobiographical memory and the relations among memory, narrative, identity, trauma, and coping. She has published over 150 books, book chapters, and articles, including her most recent book, “Family Narratives and the Development of an Autobiographical Self.


BA literature, University of Genoa 1975; PhD Sociology, Johns Hopkins 1981

Professor of Sociology and Linguistics. His research interests have been in the study of social protest and violence (e.g., The Puzzle of Strikes: Class and State Strategies in Postwar Italy, Cambridge University Press 1994). He has had a long-standing interest in issues of language and measurement of text and narrative, with various articles published on the topic as well as four books: Tropes and Figures: Landmark Essays (Routledge 2017), From Words to Number: Narrative, Data, and Social Science (Cambridge University Press 2005), Content Analysis (Sage 2008), and Quantitative Narrative Analysis (Sage 2009). Using his approach to narrative, Franzosi carried out two projects on the rise of Italian fascism (1919-22) and lynchings in Georgia (1875-1930) using newspapers as sources of data.


Craig Hadley received his PhD from the University of California – Davis in 2003. 

My research centers on the social and cultural production of health and is at the intersection of anthropological demography, population studies, public health nutrition, and population health. I am interested in issues of food insecurity and how uncertain and unpredictable household environments influence physical and mental wellbeing across the life course and across generations. With colleagues, I am also examining the occurrence of food insecurity among refugees and immigrants to the US and examining how insecure access to food might generate health disparities. Finally, I am increasingly interested in understanding how meaning and pain are interrelated.


My areas of expertise include social psychology and emotions, with special emphasis on the study of justice processes within groups. I am collaborating on on-going projects with my colleague Cathryn Johnson and current and former graduate students. With NSF funding, our team has developed studies focusing on the behaviors and processes that ensure legitimacy gains among authorities. Of particular interest is how women and people of color gain legitimacy in the workplace. Another project involves views of Black residents of the U.S. regarding environmental justice and concomitant attitudes and behaviors, especially in terms of how they are shaped by racial identity and experiences with discrimination. My work has appeared in Social Psychology Quarterly, Social Forces, Social Justice Research, Annual Review of Sociology, Advances in Group Processes, and other journals and edited volumes. Dr. Johnson and I have coauthored the text, Social Psychology: Individuals, Interaction, and Inequality. I typically teach undergraduate and graduate courses in social psychology and the graduate Second Year Research Paper seminar. I also regularly co-direct the department’s summer study abroad program in London on comparative health care systems.



Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1990

I have been an electrophysiologist since 1985, when I started my PhD thesis at UofM with Dr. Wayne Aldridge involving recordings from the basal ganglia of awake trained monkeys. From the start, I was interested in correlated neuronal discharge in the control of cognitive processes, and for my thesis I devised a multiwire electrode to record from 2-5 basal ganglia neurons simultaneously. I extended the multisite approach of basal ganglia recordings to in vivo intracellular recordings in a collaboration with Charles Wilson, then at UT Memphis. In my own lab at Emory we have used intracellular, extracellular, local field potential, and EEG recordings in rodents to address questions of neural correlations and oscillations. Notably, we found that during ketamine/xylazine anesthesia both basal ganglia and cerebellar circuits participate in slow-wave oscillations. We probed cortical coherence during a study of antidromically mediated cortical effects of deep brain stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus. We have applied coherence and Granger causality analysis to study functional connectivity of cerebellar-cortical circuits in ketamine/xylazine anesthetized rats. In addition to in vivo recordings

I have considerable expertise with brain slice recordings and computer modeling of synaptic integration with detailed compartmental models through a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Jim Bower at Caltech (1991-96). Throughout my career at Emory since 1997 I have been active in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, including underrepresented minorities. Nathan Rowland was an African-American PhD student in my lab, who is now a successful neurosurgeon faculty at MUSC. I also was the P.I. on an NIH funded Blueprint joint undergraduate and graduate T90/R90 training grant in Computational Neuroscience.

Most recently the Jaeger lab has obtained funding from the BRAIN Initiative to conduct electrophysiological, voltage imaging and computer modeling studies of cortex in task-trained mice in order to better understand the role of motor thalamic input to cortex in motor decision making and motor control.


Cathryn Johnson is faculty in the Department of Sociology and Senior Associate Dean of Laney Graduate School. 

She received her BA in Sociology at the University of Illinois in 1979, an MSW from the University of Illinois in 1981, and her PhD in Sociology from the University of Iowa in 1990. 

My areas of expertise include social psychology, organizations, identity processes, and emotions, with special emphasis on the study of legitimacy processes within groups and organizations. My current research examines how legitimacy affords leaders in organizations substantial benefits; legitimated leaders garner more cooperation and collaboration and less resistance and scrutiny from their workers. Specifically, I examine the processes that underly how leaders gain legitimacy. Critical to this investigation is understanding how women and people of color are disproportionately disadvantaged in gaining legitimacy and how legitimacy processes, in turn, further heighten patterns of inequality in the workplace.

Currently, I am collaborating on an NSF supported project with my colleague Karen Hegtvedt and several graduate students that examines how leaders gain legitimacy in the workplace, with particular consideration of how gender and race affect legitimacy processes. Dr. Hegtvedt and I also continue work on a project with a former graduate student, initially supported by Spencer Foundation, that investigates the assessments of environmental injustice among Black U.S. residents, and how environmental attitudes, experiences with discrimination, and environmental and racial identities affect these assessments.

Dr. Hegtvedt and I have also recently co-authored a social psychology textbook for Sage Publications, Social Psychology: Individuals, Interaction, and Inequality (2018). My work has appeared in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Annual Review of Sociology, Social Psychology Quarterly, The Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Perspectives, Social Justice Research, Advances in Group Processes, and other journals and edited volumes. Currently, I am Senior Associate Dean in Laney Graduate School, serving in academic affairs.


Kathryn Kadous is the Schaefer Chaired Professor of Accounting and the Director and Associate Dean of Ph.D. Programs at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

Professor Kadous’ research considers judgment and decision-making issues in auditing and accounting.  Her research is focused primarily on using psychology theory to examine how individual, contextual, and task features impact auditors’ cognitive processing, professional skepticism, and judgment quality. Professor Kadous’ research has been published in The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Accounting, Organizations, and Society, The Journal of Behavioral Finance, and Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory.  Professor Kadous served as an editor for The Accounting Review and Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory.  She is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Accounting Research. She has held several positions with the American Accounting Association, including President of the Auditing Section.

She holds a BSBA from Creighton University (1986), and both an MAS (1990) and PhD (1996) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, (1990).



PhD, Harvard University, 1973 | MD, Harvard Medical School, 1985. A.B. | Anthropology, CUNY, Brooklyn College, 1966

Melvin (Mel) Konner came to Emory in 1983 as the first Chair of the newly-created Department of Anthropology. He co-founded the Anthropology & Human Biology major and has been a core member of the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology faculty since that program was founded. He is also affiliated with the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies.

Long committed to fostering the public understanding of anthropology and evolution, he has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Review of Books, Newsweek,, and many other publications both academic and general. He has testified twice at U.S. Senate hearings related to health care.

Konner is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, and received fellowships from the John Simon Guggheim Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and others. He was a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation (2000-2010) and received the John McGovern Award in Medical Humanities from the Yale School of Medicine. He was Creative Loafing’s Best Local Intellectual of 2004 and has been listed in “Who’s Who in Hell.”


  • Hunting-gathering peoples
  • Evolutionary anthropology
  • Evolution of childhood
  • Hunter-gatherer (“Paleolithic”) diets
  • Human behavioral biology
  • Medical anthropology
  • Gender in evolutionary perspective
  • Anthropology of the Jews
  • Evolution of Religion

Konner did the first in-depth study of infancy among Kalahari hunter-gatherers when they were still living and raising children traditionally, probably partly reflecting conditions among our early modern human ancestors. In works such as The Evolution of Childhood (2010), Konner traces psychosocial development from birth to adulthood through neuroendocrine maturation and environmental influence, situating these complex processes in comparative, cross-cultural, and phylogenetic perspective.

Konner's years in the Kalahari also led him to help develop the "Paleolithic Diet" and to understand the health consequences of modern changes. His book The Tangled Wing was called by evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr "a beautifully written, well-balanced interpretation of human nature" and a "classic." Robert Sapolsky has called Konner "the nearest thing we have to a poet laureate of behavioral biology." The last of his eleven books, Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy, is an attempt at a 21st-century version of Ashley Montagu’s classic The Natural Superiority of Women, and argues that male supremacy as we know it is in evolutionary perspective temporary and destined to end soon. He is currently working on a book on the nature of faith.


Dr. Robert C. Liu is a Professor in the Department of Biology at Emory University. He received his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University for his theoretical and experimental work in condensed matter physics before transitioning into neuroscience as a Sloan Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Theoretical Neurobiology. He trained in sensory systems and computational neuroscience, and began studying neural plasticity in the auditory system as vocal communication sounds gain meaning. At Emory University, his Computational Neuroethology Laboratory focuses on understanding the neurobiology and neural coding underlying social information processing and learning by using computational, electrophysiological, optogenetic, neurochemical, and behavioral methods to investigate natural social behaviors in rodents.

His research has expanded from acoustic communication in mice to pair bonding in prairie voles. His physics and neuroscience research has been published in journals like Nature, Science, Neuron, PLoS Biology and Journal of Neuroscience, and he has been funded by the NIH since 2001. He is active in the neuroscience community, having served as program chair for several national and international meetings, as an advisory committee member for the French neuroscience institute, NeuroPSI, and as a standing member of an NIH study section on audition.



B.S., Yale University | M.A., University of California, San Francisco | Ph.D., Cornell University | M. F. A., Warren Wilson College

Laura Otis began her career as a scientist, earning her B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale in 1983 and her M.A. in Neuroscience from the University of California at San Francisco in 1988. Before receiving her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University in 1991, she worked in labs for eight years.

Since 1986, she has been studying and teaching about the ways that scientific and literary thinking coincide and foster each other's growth. Otis works with British Victorian, Spanish, German, French, and North and South American literature, especially nineteenth-century novels.

She is particularly interested in the ways that sensory experience and emotion are encoded in language, and she has recently worked as a guest scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

In addition to her academic books, Otis has written six novels, including Clean, Refiner’s Fire, and Lacking in Substance. In 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship for creativity. 

Her latest academic book, Banned Emotions, is available from Oxford University Press.



Todd M. Preuss, PhD, earned his doctorate in biological anthropology from Yale University and completed his postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Preuss investigates the evolutionary specializations of the human brain; identifying these specializations is critical for understanding how the human brain supports our unique cognitive abilities and why humans are particularly vulnerable to neurodegenerative disease.

The Preuss lab addresses questions by comparing human brains to those of chimpanzees — the animals to which humans are most closely related — and to other nonhuman primates. Within this basic comparative framework, the Preuss lab employs multiple investigative methodologies to identify human specializations at multiple levels of organization: genomic and molecular biological techniques to identify evolutionary changes in gene and protein expression, histological techniques to localize expression changes to specify cell types and cell compartments, and neuroimaging techniques to identify evolutionary changes in connectivity and cerebral morphology.



Dr. Gordon Ramsay directs the Spoken Communication Laboratory at the Marcus Autism Center within Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine. He completed his Ph.D. in electronics and electrical engineering at the University of Southampton in England, specializing in automatic speech recognition, after receiving an M.Phil. from Cambridge University in computer speech and language processing. He was a Marie Curie  research fellow at the Institut de la Communication Parlée in Grenoble, France, for two years, and has also held visiting positions at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Before coming to Atlanta, he was an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center, a fellow of Saybrook College at Yale University, and Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories.

As part of an NIH-funded Autism Center of Excellence, the goal of his research program is to map out the development and derailment of physical, biological, and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying vocal behavior and spoken communication from early infancy to adulthood, in order to better understand the origin of social impairments and communication disorders in autism and related developmental disabilities. By combining mathematical models of speech production and perception with new techniques for machine learning, his research group aims to develop novel cost-effective, community-viable, automated technologies for early screening and diagnosis of ASD, to ensure that every child at risk of autism is able to talk.



PhD, Emory University, 1998


  • Human brain evolution
  • Neural basis of human social behavior
  • Comparative primate neurobiology
  • Anthropology of fatherhood

James K. Rilling is a Professor of Anthropology at Emory University, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Rilling and his colleagues use non-invasive functional brain imaging techniques to compare brain structure and function in monkeys, apes and humans, with the goal of identifying human brain specializations and informing our knowledge of human brain evolution. His lab also uses functional MRI to investigate the neural bases of 1) cooperation and 2) paternal care in humans.

Laboratory for Darwinian Neuroscience 



Research Interests: Philosophy of science, particularly issues arising out of the social sciences, medicine, and nursing; philosophical dimensions of logic and language; epistemology.

Mark Risjord studied anthropology and philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1990, he received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. He was a visiting assistant professor at Michigan State University from 1990 to 1993. In 1993 he began teaching at Emory. In addition to the ILA, he is currently affiliated with Emory programs in anthropology, human health, neuroscience and behavioral biology, philosophy, and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

An interdisciplinary scholar trained in philosophy, Risjord treats philosophical questions as intrinsic to scientific practice. In the first instance, philosophical problems arise as theoretical, methodological, or ethical questions in the sciences. Philosophy subjects these issues to critical reflection, viewing current difficulties in the light of two millennia of literature. In the end, a view’s success should be measured by its capacity to invigorate the scholarship of those who faced the difficulty in the first place. Practiced in this way, the philosophy of science exhibits a distinctive form of interdisciplinarity.

Risjord’s writing has primarily contributed to the philosophy of social science and the philosophy of medicine and nursing. He has published in philosophy, anthropology, and nursing journals, including American Ethnologist,American Philosophical Quarterly, IRB: Ethics and Human Research, Journal of Advanced Nursing,Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Nursing Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, and Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science.

In the philosophy of social science he has written two books: Woodcutters and Witchcraft (SUNY Press, 2000) and Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge 2014). He has also edited two volumes of essays: Philosophy of Anthropology and Sociology (edited with Stephen Turner, Elsevier, 2007), Normativity and Naturalism in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (Routledge, 2016). His essays include "Relativism and the Ontological Turn in Anthropology" (Martin Palečk, co-author), "Scientific Change as Political Action: Franz Boas and the Anthropology of Race,”  and "Reasons, Causes, and Action Explanations."  His recent work has concerned the relationship between human agency and the norms and institutions of society. Essays in this area include "Ecological Attunement and the Normativity of Practice," and “Structure, Agency, and Improvisation.”

With respect to issues in health care, Risjord’s primary focus has been issues in nursing research. His book Nursing Knowledge: Science, Practice, and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) studies the history of nursing scholarship and contributes to contemporary discussions in nursing about the character of nursing research. Other essays in this area include “Nursing and Human Freedom,” “Evidence and Practical Knowledge,” “Rethinking Concept Analysis,” and “Methodological Triangulation in Nursing Research.” 


Philippe Rochat was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He was trained by Jean Piaget and his close collaborators and received his Ph.D. from the University of Geneva, Switzerland in 1984. He then began a series of Post Doctoral internships in the United States at Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University. During this time, he conducted research on action, perception, and cognitive development in human infants.

Dr. Rochat taught and did research in developmental psychology at the University of Massachusetts, and joined the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta in the 1990s, where he is currently a professor of psychology.

A 2006-2007 John Simon Guggenheim fellow, Dr. Rochat has published five books and many scholarly articles on infant and child development. The main focus of his research is the early sense of self, emerging self-concept, the development of social cognition and relatedness, and the emergence of a moral sense during the preschool years in children from all over the world. Dr. Rochat's research emphasizes differences in populations growing up in highly contrasted cultural environments, as well as highly contrasted socio-economic circumstances.

Dr. Rochat's comprehensive Curriculum Vitae can be viewed here.  A list of published works can be viewed here.



Karen Rommelfanger is the Program Director of Emory University’s  Neuroethics Program  at the Center for Ethics and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University. Dr. Rommelfanger received her PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University. She is also the Senior Associate Editor for the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience and board member of the International Neuroethics Society.  She also serves as a member of the BRAIN Initiative’s Neuroethics Division  and the advisory council to the director of NIH for BRAIN 2025. In her recent international work, she is co-chair of the International Brain Initiative’s Neuroethics Workgroup and is a member of the Global Futures Council on Neurotechnology for the World Economic Forum.

One area of her current research explores the nature and utility of placebo using Psychogenic Movement Disorders as a therapeutic model. Another area includes brain machine interfaces (such as deep brain stimulation or brain to brain interface). An overarching them in her work is the exploration of how evolving neuroscience and neurotechnologies challenge societal definitions of disease and medicine with a focus on predictive technologies. She is also engaged in research in cross-cultural neuroethics. To that end she is leading the Global Neuroethics Summit series convening of all national-level brain projects around the globe to engage in neuroethics collaboration and discourse; she serves as the U.S. BRAIN Neuroethics Division ambassador to the Human Brain Project’s Ethics Advisory Board and is a member of the China-India Mental Health Alliance. She is also a board member of the International Neuroethics Society.

Dr. Rommelfanger has been a neuroscience researcher for over 10 years and her work has been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Neuroscience; her research on Parkinson Disease has been featured in the popular media including Scientific American. She has presented her work at both international and national conferences and has worked in prestigious laboratories in the U.S. and Japan using a broad array of neurotechnologies from brain imaging and behavioral techniques to electrophysiological recording of individual brain cells.

She regularly gives neuroethics talks in both universities and for general audiences; her neuroethics work has been published in top peer-reviewed neuroethics journals and in high-impact neuroscience journals such as Nature Reviews Neurology and Neuron. She has been quoted in several popular media outlets such as USA Today, The New York Times , Gizmodo, The Boston Globe, and ReWrite/Wired. She has written public scholarship for The Huffington Post, The Chronicle for Higher Education, and Newsweek. She maintains and writes for the largest online neuroethics forum, The Neuroethics Blog which was recently used as a resource in a report to President Obama on neuroscience and ethics. She also founded NEW (NeuroEthicsWomen) Leaders, an organization that aims to cultivate professional development and scholarly networks for women in neuroethics. Dr. Rommelfanger believes that neuroethics training gives neuroscientists a creative edge and that neuroethics discussions are critical for academics and general audiences alike in order to ensure maximal benefit of neuroscience discoveries for society.


Deboleena Roy is Professor of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology (NBB) and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) at Emory University. She is currently the chair of the Department of WGSS and serves as Associate Faculty in the Neuroscience Program, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Emory. Starting August 1, 2020, she will serve as the new Senior Associate Dean of Faculty for Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

Roy received her PhD in reproductive neuroendocrinology and molecular biology from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. She was a visiting scholar at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University and has held faculty fellowships at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University and the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University. Roy is interested in developing feminist practices that contribute to scientific inquiry in the lab. Her areas of research and teaching include neuroscience, molecular biology, feminist science and technology studies, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, and reproductive justice movements.

Her research on synthetic biology has been supported by the National Academies KECK Futures Initiative. Her project “The Co-production of Knowledge by Reproductive Justice Advocates and Molecular Biologists” ( was recently funded by a National Science Foundation Scholars Award (2016-2018). She has published articles in leading journals including Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and SocietyHypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy; Neuroethics; Australian Feminist Studies; Rhizomes: Cultural Studies of Emerging Knowledge; Endocrinology; Neuroendocrinology; and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. In addition, she has contributed to several anthologies including Handbook for Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis (2011); Neurofeminism: Issues at the Intersection of Feminist Theory and Cognitive Science (2012); Gendered Neurocultures: Feminist and Queer Perspectives on Current Brain Discourses (2014); Mattering: Feminism, Science, and Materialism (2016); and Matter (2016). 

Her book Molecular Feminisms: Biology, Becomings, and Life in the Lab (2018) was published by the University of Washington Press.


Vaidy Sunderam is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Computer Science, Chair, Department of Computer Science , and Director, Computational and Life Sciences Strategic Initiative at Emory University.

Dr. Sunderam has been a faculty member at Emory University since 1986. His research interests are in parallel and distributed processing systems and infrastructures for collaborative computing. His prior and current research efforts have focused on system architectures and implementations for heterogeneous metacomputing, including the Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) system and several other frameworks including IceT, CCF, Harness, and Unibus. Vaidy teaches computer science at the beginning, advanced, and graduate levels, and advises graduate theses in the area of computer systems. He also serves on several university committees and planning groups including Emory's strategic initiatives in science and quantitative areas, informatics, and undergraduate education.


Dr. Avani Wildani is Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science.

Dr. Avani Wildani is an Assistant Professor in MathCS and Neuroscience at Emory University. Prior to that, she was a Pioneer Postdoctoral Fellow in computational neuroscience at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. She has worked as a systems administrator, video game tester, and lab animal wrangler as well as research internships at Google, IBM Almaden, and Sandia National Laboratories. She earned her B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and her Ph.D. in Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz under

Dr. Ethan Miller. Her interests are centered around information storage and retrieval across different storage models, with application domains including access prediction, data deduplication, archival economics, power management, wireless mesh networks, auditory receptive field characterization, and pollution monitoring.
As a scientist and an engineer, she is fascinated with information: what it is, how it is stored, how it is accessed, and how it leads to decisions. Her doctoral research focused on how patterns in disk accesses allow a system to predict what data is commonly accessed together along with how this knowledge of momentary grouping can be used to make systems more available and power efficient.

She is the co-PI of the SimBioSys lab at Emory, and her group focuses on information models in cloud and communication systems, particularly those with biological connections, with a long term goal of categorizing neural information. SimBioSys Lab members explore the intersections of systems, biology, and large simulated environments.

Her particular interest is the dual of the storage problem. Whereas computer scientists have defined how to arrange storage to meet specific metrics such as fault tolerance and access speed, in neuroscience the metrics are observable but the system unknown. She is working to model information in the brain as a storage problem to learn better how we collect and interpret signals from our world, working towards a robust fault tolerance model for the brain.

Other research interests in our lab include machine learning applications in neurobiology (particularly deep networks and topological data mining), archival storage, power management, privacy, and spatiotemporal modeling of storage workloads.


Melissa J. Williams joined the Goizueta faculty in 2011, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She earned a PhD in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Williams studies what happens when social identities (gender, race, stigma, or national culture) collide with workplace hierarchies. She also investigates the consequences of putting people in positions of power and leadership. Her research has been published in top journals (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Management), and covered in major media outlets (Forbes, The New York Times, Wall St. Journal). She serves on the editorial boards of several journals and coordinates the PhD program for the Organization & Management area.

Areas of Expertise

  • Women in the Workplace
  • Gender wage gap
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Power & Corruption
  • Evidence-Based Management
  • Social Psychology


Phillip Wolff received his PhD from Northwestern University. His research focuses on language semantics and machine learning to predict human decision-making, mental health, and neurodegenerative disease. Specific interests include the use of artificial intelligence to investigate the functional and neuroanatomical properties of the human language network.

Professor Wolff has co-authored and edited three books, including one entitled Words and the World, which examines the interface of language and thought across languages. He has given invited talks in countries around the world. In addition to serving on several editorial boards, Dr. Wolff has served as director of the Linguistics Program at Emory, associate editor of the journal Cognitive Science and faculty at the 2007 Summer Institute of Linguistics at Stanford University.

Professor Wolff is head of the Concept Mining Lab.