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Wendell Fortson

Wendell Fortson, Ph.D, J.D., was a Center for Genomics and Society (CGS) postdoctoral fellow from 2009-2012. He received his B.S. in Biology from Tennessee State University, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (Cancer Biology) from Morehouse School of Medicine, and a J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law. His dissertation research focused on therapeutic strategies for prostate cancer based on the function of ERG (ets -related gene). As a CGS post-doc, he worked with John Conley, Ph.D., J.D. and Arlene Davis, J.D. to investigate the emerging ethical, legal, and social issues relating to long-term storage of human specimens and genomic health disparities. With the patients’ best interest always at the forefront, Wendell endeavors to unite his scientific and legal knowledge to help influence policies that will advance biomedical research and improve the healthcare system on the state and federal levels. Currently, Wendell works for Lundbeck LLC, a biopharmaceutical company, as the Associate Director of U.S. Regulatory Affairs Strategy and Policy. As associate director, Wendell is mainly responsible for Lundbeck’s U.S. regulatory policy activities as well as providing strategic direction for regulatory affairs development projects.


Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz

Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz, Ph.D., M.B.E., J.D., was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Center for Genomics and Society from 2013-2016. in the Department of Social Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  Since July 2014, he has served as an intern on the UNC Hospitals Ethics Committee.  Dr. Lázaro-Muñoz’s current study “Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Translational Psychiatric Genomics” (ELSI-TPG) is a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute. ELSI-TPG examines challenges associated with conducting psychiatric genomics research with severely mentally ill populations, and integrating genomics into psychiatric care and prevention. Dr. Lázaro-Muñoz holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from New York University, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, a Master of Bioethics from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. His research interests include ethical, legal and social implications of advances in genomics and neuroscience; psychiatric genetics; clinical and research ethics; neuroethics; neurolaw; mental health ethics and law; and science public policy.

Karen Meagher

Karen Meagher, Ph.D. was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Genomics and Society from 2016-2018. She is currently working on research ethics and public policy implications of preventive genomic screening for adults. She is also collaborating on a social science and ethics project integrated into Phase I HIV treatment interruption trials in Thailand. She has published numerous articles on bioethics in journals such as Public Health Reports, the American Journal of Bioethics, and Developing World Bioethics. From 2012-2015 she worked as a Senior Policy and Research Analyst on the staff of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. While on the staff, she contributed to federal reports on such topics as incidental findings in clinical, research, and direct-to-consumer settings; ethics and the 2014-2015 Ebola virus disease epidemic; and improving bioethics policy-making and ethics education in the United States. While a graduate student at Michigan State University (MSU), she served as an undergraduate advisor in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences; and as a reviewer on Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) for MSU and the Michigan Department of Community Health. She received a B.A. in biology from Hamilton College in 2004, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from MSU in 2012. Her Ph.D. dissertation was entitled A Virtue Approach to Public Health Ethics.

Marsha Michie

Marsha Michie, Ph.D., was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the UNC Center for Genomics and Society (CGS) from 2010-2012. She is a cultural anthropologist who has conducted ethnographic and qualitative research on the ways that patients and families deal with genetic disorders; the ways in which research participants make meaning out of genetic information; and moral and religious perspectives on genomics research and new technologies. While at the CGS, Marsha applied for a K99/R00 grant from NHGRI, which was awarded in 2012. Supported by this funding, she received two years of postdoctoral training in bioethics and genetics at Stanford University’s Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics, where she began studying ethical and social aspects of the translation of non-invasive prenatal genetic testing. She is now continuing this research as an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is a collaborator in the Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Translational Genomics (CT2G).

Anya Prince

Anya Prince, J.D., was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the UNC Center for Genomics and Society (CGS) from 2013-2016.  She received her Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Policy from Georgetown University. Her research explores the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic testing, with particular focus on genetic discrimination and privacy rights, the intersection of clinical and research ethics, and insurance coverage of genetic technologies and interventions. As a UNC postdoc she has published a variety of articles in legal, bioethics, and medical journals, including the American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, and Genetics in Medicine; and has presented and been an invited speaker at conferences across the country. Since July 2014, she has served as an intern on the UNC Hospitals Ethics Committee and conducted research on membership recruitment and practice of law issues for ethics committees. She is a recipient of UNC’s 2015 Postdoctoral Award for Research Excellence and has received additional research funding from the Skadden Foundation for her work on the hospital ethics committee. Ms. Prince was recently awarded a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) from the National Human Genome Research Institute to examine the use of genetic information by life, long-term care, and disability insurers. Following her time at the CGS, she plans to continue her work on the ethical and legal implications of genomic technologies as a professor at a law school.

Rene Sterling

Rene Sterling, M.H.A., Ph.D., received her doctorate and master’s degrees from the Department of Health Policy and Management at UNC-Chapel Hill. Rene was a pre-doctoral trainee and post-doctoral fellow with the UNC Center for Genomics and Society (CGS) from 2008-2010. Her dissertation research focused on the on-line direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing and sale of genetic tests, with a focus on nutrigenomic tests for diet-related chronic health conditions with multiple causes (Sterling, Genetics in Medicine, 2008). As a CGS post-doctoral fellow, Rene continued research around DTC testing and also worked on an organizational study of entities that collect, store, and/or use of biological specimens for research (Cadigan, Easter, et al., Genetics in Medicine, 2010); and a historical policy study of the Human Genome Project, International HapMap Project, and related initiatives. As a CGS pre-doctoral trainee, Rene published a systematic review of studies identifying public opinions about and willingness to participate in genetic variation research (Sterling, Henderson, Corbie-Smith,  American Journal of Public Health, 2006). Currently, Rene is a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC), one of several Bureaus within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For the past five years, Rene has served as BPHC’s lead on HIV and worked with various agencies across the Federal government to develop, coordinate and implement programs and activities in support of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Rene has led BPHC’s involvement in Federal efforts to improve HIV data collection and reporting; increase the capacity of federally qualified health centers to provide HIV services; broaden federal staff knowledge and understanding of the HIV epidemic and HIV service delivery; and increase Health Center Program involvement in working toward an AIDS-free generation.

Karey Sutton

Karey Sutton, PhD., is currently Lead Specialist, of Health Equity Research and Policy at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, DC. She completed a B.A. in Classical Civilization and B.S. in Chemistry at Howard University (2004) and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2010). While at Virginia Tech, Karey was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31) by the National Human Genome Research Institute. Her dissertation research focused on understanding the views of African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos concerning genetic research and genetic testing. As a post-doctoral trainee with the UNC Center for Genomics and Society from 2009-2012, she collaborated on research projects related to how genomic information affects members of minority communities, issues related to the involvement of minorities in genetic research, genomics policy development, and strategies to effectively engage the African American community.

Maggie Waltz

Margaret Waltz, Ph.D., was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Center for Genomics and Society from 2016-2018. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University where she researched patients’ experiences of waiting in medical waiting rooms and how medical institutions structure patients’ time. Her research interests include the ethical and social implications of genomic technologies; (bio)medicalization; and the performance of emotional labor among medical care providers. She is currently working on ethical and social implications of preventive genomic screening for adults, including return of results in the GeneScreen project.