Team Collaborators

Lisa Meeks, PhD, MA

Lisa is the lead investigator in Meeks Research Group and is passionate about equal access to education and healthcare for persons with disabilities and is an expert in disabilities in medical education. As an administrative leader and researcher, Meeks has co-authored several articles and books on the subject of disability in medical education, helping to inform policy and best practice in the area of disability services. She also consults with leading health science programs, colleges, and universities on a myriad of disability-related issues.


Meeks' research interests include: Improving access to medical education for learners with disabilities, medical student and resident well-being, disability curriculum in medical education, reducing health care disparities in patients with disabilities, and the performance and trajectory of learners and physicians with disabilities. Her work has been featured on NPR, the Washington Post, CNBC, in Slate,, Bloomberg Law, the Chicago Tribune and in The New Physician magazine from the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). Dr. Meeks is also co-creator of the social media campaign #DocsWithDisabilities on twitter


Dr. Meeks is the co-founder and past President of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education, co-developer of both the AAMC Disability Webinar Series and the UCSF Disability Training Series for Faculty and Administrators, and served as the co-PI and lead author of the AAMC Special Report: Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities.

Ben Case, MPH

Ben is the researcher manager and co-investigator for the Meeks Research Group. He is a public health professional who serves in study coordination and research administration. His interest in disability-related topics originates from his own disability, and has led to his involvement in several relevant projects, publications, and presentations. With a bevy of experience ranging from basic science research to global health work, Ben seeks to leverage it to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in research, education, informed healthcare practice, and community engagement.

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Christopher Moreland MD, MPH

PI, DHOH Pipeline Barriers Project

As a hospitalist, associate professor of medicine, and internal medicine residency associate program director, Chris explores interests in medical education, healthcare communication, health disparities (particularly for the deaf and limited English proficient), and diversity among healthcare professionals. Chris maintains a strong interest in interprofessional medical education and communication. Other academic interests include health disparities (particularly for the deaf and limited English proficient), healthcare interpretation services, and diversity among healthcare professionals. 

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Micheal Kim, MD

Co-PI, The Pathway Project 

Dr. Michael Kim joined the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Academic General Pediatrics as a hospitalist after completing his bachelor’s degree, Medical School, and residency training at the University of Minnesota. Additionally, Dr. Kim did his residency at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Programs. From 2005-2006, Dr. Kim served as Chief Resident in Pediatrics. A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Kim also has extensive international experience having completed a global health course in tropical medicine at the University of Minnesota, and an elective rotation in internal medicine and pediatrics at Chiang Mai University Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Dr. Kim is a Pediatric hospitalist at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and will work with Dr. Abe Jacob on improving inpatient care delivery and building the general pediatric inpatient service.

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Bonnie Swenor, PhD, MPH

PI, Pipeline to Biomedical workforce

Co-I: Prevelance Project

Bonnielin  is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute and an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

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Elizabeth Viglianti, MD, MSc, MPH

Co-I, Sexual Harrassment Study

Liz is a pulmonary/critical care fellow interested in medical education and a harrassment free workplace. 


Swathi Mettela 

Research Assistant,

Docs With Disabilities Podcast

Swathi is a native New Yorker and a recent college graduate from The City College of New York where she studied anthropology. She will attend Penn State Medical College this Fall. Her academic interests include medical anthropology, disability studies, and classics. Swathi is an aspiring physician and a strong advocate for health and social justice and cultural literacy through the use of narratives.


Sofia R Schlozman

Co-Producer & Research Assistant 

Docs With Disabilities Podcast

Sofia is a junior at Stanford University majoring in human biology with a concentration in neuroscience. Previously, she has spent time researching neuropsychiatric disorders, mindfulness, and the neuroscience of addiction, and her current academic interests lie in medical anthropology, psychopharmacology, and health equity. She first became interested in disability studies through discussions with her mom, who has a visual disability. 


Sarah Panico

Research Assistant, Legal Trends Study

Sarah is a student at the University of Florida, where she studies English, Criminology, and  Disability Studies. She became interested in disability when she developed a disability herself and now works at the Disability Resource Center for the University of Florida. Sarah hopes to attend law school where she wants to study disability law. She has created a group of student ambassadors at the University of Florida to represent the Disability Resource Center. Her organization works on fostering an environment of inclusion, accessibility, and acceptance. 

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Maher S Budron, BS

Research Assistant, Legal Trends Study

Maher S. Budron is a UPenn PREP scholar investigating molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases under the tutelage of Dr. Kelly Jordan-Sciutto. After earning a B.S. at DePaul University in Chicago, he completed a two-year NIH IRTA fellowship at in the neurogenetics branch in Dr. Kenneth Fischbeck’s lab. Maher is committed to serving students, patients, and people with disabilities and disadvantaged backgrounds through research and advocacy. To this end Maher also conducts research with Dr. Lisa Meeks on disability health education research. One of these projects involves identifying, cataloging, and interpreting OCR complaints and legal cases relevant to disabilities in medical education in an effort to shape and inform disability policy and practice. From mentoring inner-city youth to leading efforts to increase access for students with disabilities, he is working towards becoming a physician-scientist that hopes to build a more equitable environment where patients, students, and communities can thrive.


Kristina H Petersen, PHD

Co-I on the Institutional and Individual Impact Study 

Dr. Petersen was inducted into AOA in 2018 and has won awards for teaching, mentoring, and contributing to student life during her five years at New York Medical College. She oversees accommodations for all health science programs at NYMC and is currently working on several research studies that measure the impact of various factors on learning outcomes for medical students with and without institutional and/or NBME accommodations.


Peter Poullos, MD

Co-Host, DocWithDisabilities Podcast

Dr. Poullos is a faculty member in both the departments of Radiology and Gastroenterology and Hepatology

and served as Associate Residency Program Director for the Stanford University Radiology Residency from 2009 through 2016. In 2018, he founded the Stanford Medicine Abilities Coalition (SMAC), which he serves as Executive Director. In that role, Dr. Poullos advocates for students and healthcare providers with disabilities, as well as for health equity for disabled patients. He is a Faculty Advisor to the Medical Students with Disability and Chronic Illness. Dr. Poullos currently serves on the Stanford School of Medicine Faculty Senate Diversity Subcommittee and the School of Medicine Diversity Cabinet. He also has a keen interest in medical education and enjoys the opportunity to teach medical students, residents, and fellows.

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Neera Jain, MS, CRC

Co-PI, Lived Experience Project

Neera is the co-PI on the Lived Experience project with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and her current work explores explores how inclusion of students with disabilities is enacted at US Medical Schools. 

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Kurt Herzer, MD, PHD, MSc

Co-I: Prevelance Project

Kurt is the Sr. Physician Scientist at Oscar Health, a high-tech health plan headquartered in New York City where he oversees clinical strategy and analytics. He has co-authored over two dozen journal papers and spoken or presented at numerous national or international conferences and meetings related to health care, patient safety, and disabilities. 


Zoie Sheets, MPH

Research Assistant, Docs With Disabilities Podcast

Zoie recently obtained her Masters of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she focused on health policy, disability, and healthcare access for people with disabilities. She originally became interested in disability justice when she began advocating for increased access to higher education for disabled students in her university, and this interest grew as her own disability identity deepened. As a public health professional and medical student, Zoie is interested primarily in physician attitudes toward people with disabilities— both their colleagues and their patients. 


Ligia Fragoso, MA

Research Assistant, Rapid Review of accommodating learners with psychological disabilities

Ligia is an MD-ScM student at Alpert Medical School's Primary Care-Population Medicine program. Her interests lie in socially-accountable medical education, as well as anti-oppression in biomedicine with an emphasis on mental health, race-based medicine, and addiction. She also volunteers for several organizations providing wrap-around services for Latinx communities and individuals experiencing homelessness. She will pursue Family Medicine or Fam Med-Psychiatry training with the goal of practicing community-based medicine.

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Zina Jawadi, BS, MS

Decision Analytics Associate at ZS Associates

Zina Jawadi is a Decision Analytics Associate at ZS Associates, an international management consulting company that provides services in health care.  Zina obtained a BS in 2018 and MS in 2019 both from Stanford University. Zina has been serving on the Hearing Loss Association of America Board of Directors since 2019.  Previously, she served as trustee (2013-2019), secretary (2013-4), vice president (2014-5), and president (2015-19) of the Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association.


Kate Panzer 

Co-Producer & Research Assistant 

Docs With Disabilities Podcast

Kate is a first-year medical student at UMMS working to help bring the stories of providers with disabilities to those in the pipeline of health science education as a mechanism of asynchronous mentoring. Kate is a 2018 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied bioengineering, learned American Sign Language, and conducted research on neuroregeneration. After graduating, she moved to rural Ghana for one year and led research on disease prevalence for a nonprofit called Cocoa360. 


Katy Stauffer, MS

Technical Standards Project

Katy Stauffer is a second-year medical student at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She received her BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Prior to medical school, Katy worked at a long-term rehabilitation facility where she designed and implemented assistive technology for people with disabilities. She is interested in the intersection between medicine and universal design, and she hopes to use her background in engineering to make medicine, and medical education, more accessible.


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medical education expert, disabilities service expert, expert witness disability, medical student disability, disability in higher education