Experts

We could not carry out our crucial work without the support of PHR's global network of medical, legal, and scientific experts. Their voices expand our reach and amplify the power of our work.

Joanne Ahola, MD

Asylum Network Member

In 1999, I read an article by a psychiatrist who described having found deeply rewarding volunteer work as a member of PHR's Asylum Network. He spoke of the flexibility there was to do as little or as much as his time allowed, and how he could volunteer right in his office. I've always done some kind of pro bono work and was searching for something that would fit in with my busy practice and parenting young children. I signed up that evening.

Christine Alai, LLM

Legal Consultant, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

In her previous role as head of PHR's Kenya office, Christine Alai represented PHR to government, local, and international partners; developed and managed partnerships with individual and institutional collaborators; conducted advocacy; and coordinated and led forensic trainings to influence collaboration among medical, legal, and law enforcement personnel with the goal of enhancing prosecutions and accountability for sexual violence in Kenya.

Scott A. Allen, MD, FACP

Medical Advisor

Dr. Scott Allen serves as medical advisor to PHR on our work in stopping torture and was lead medical author of PHR's reports “Experiments in Torture,” “Aiding Torture,” and “Leave No Marks.”

Ahmed Amin, MD

Dr. Ahmed Amin is an Iraq-based doctor who is an expert in the documentation of torture. A long-time trainer for PHR, Dr. Amin has conducted numerous training workshops and webinars on the Istanbul Protocol standards for effective medical documentation of torture and ill-treatment.

Holly G. Atkinson, MD, FACP

Dr. Atkinson is Program Director for Human Rights, Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai; Co-Director of the Advancing Idealism in Medicine Program; and Assistant Professor of Preventative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine. In her role as Program Director for Human Rights, she directs the Human Rights Clinic, where asylum seekers who have suffered torture, trafficking and other egregious human rights violations are medically and psychologically evaluated.

Rusudan Beriashvili, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Forensic Medicine

Since 2004 Dr. Beriashvili has been actively involved in the Istanbul Protocol Implementation Project in Georgia. She participated as an International Trainer in Prevention and Documentation of Torture in several professional trainings in Georgia, Egypt, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and will be a trainer at PHR's upcoming IP training in Istanbul.

Robert Bux, MD

IFP Advisory Council Member

Dr. Robert Bux is the elected Chief Medical Examiner for the El Paso County Coroner’s Office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A board certified Pathologist in Anatomical, Clinical and Forensic Pathology, his experience includes over 25 years as a Medical Examiner. From 1971-2002 Dr. Bux served as a Major in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corp. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the National Association of Medical Examiners, and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Sondra Crosby, MD

Medical Consultant

Sondra Crosby, MD, is an internist and former co-director of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights at Boston Medical Center. She is an associate professor of medicine and public health at the Boston University School of Medicine, and has worked with PHR as a trainer on documenting physical and psychological evidence of torture.

Madhavi Dandu, MD, MPH

Madhavi Dandu, MD, MPH is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Her main nonclinical areas of focus are in global health education, curriculum development, and mentorship. She is a director of the Master of Science in Global Health, a one-year program designed for students or practitioners in a health science profession or related field who wish to achieve mastery and leadership skills in the field of global health.

Catherine D. DeAngelis, MD, MPH

Medical Advisor

Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis is Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Pediatrics) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management) and Editor-in-Chief Emerita of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association (2000 to 2011).

Barbara Eisold, PhD

Asylum Network Member

I began doing asylum evaluations as a volunteer approximately eight years ago. Participating directly this way, in contributing to the “freedom” of another person, seemed related somehow to my experience as a child, growing up in New York City after World War II, where I heard frequent stories of escape from the holocaust. The actual work with asylum seekers, however, has turned out to be extremely valuable to me in ways I could never have predicted.

Hope Ferdowsian, MD, MPH, FACPM

Asylum Network Member and Medical Expert Consultant, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Hope Ferdowsian, MD, MPH is a double-board certified fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine. Her expertise spans the fields of medicine, public health, and ethics. She serves as a medical consultant for Physicians for Human Rights Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, and has evaluated and cared for torture, sexual violence, and other trauma survivors for more than 15 years.

Adrienne L. Fricke, JD, MA

Syria Advisor

Adrienne L. Fricke is a human rights consultant specializing in human rights and refugee-related issues in the Middle East and Africa. Since 2007, she has been a consultant for Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), serving most recently as Syria advisor.

Rohini J. Haar, MD, MPH

Physician, Adjunct Professor

Dr. Haar is an emergency medicine physician with expertise in health and human rights. Her work focuses on the protection of human rights in times of complex humanitarian crisis and conflict. She is particularly interested in the protection of health workers and health services. She is a research fellow at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley's School of Law and works clinically at Highland General Hospital and Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland. Dr. Haar has published articles on issues including health in post-conflict states and the reconstruction of health systems after humanitarian disasters. She is particularly interested in developing strong research methodology in fragile contexts. Dr. Haar serves on the board of the SF Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and is a consultant for the International Rescue Committee.

Sanaa Hamzé, PsyD

Sanaa Hamzé, PsyD is a psychotherapist and clinical advisor specialized in the treatment and rehabilitation of torture and trauma survivors. She is a founding member of Restart Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, which was established in 1996 in Lebanon.

Alastair Hay, PhD, OBE

Professor of Environmental Toxicology

Alastair Hay is Professor of Environmental Toxicology at the University of Leeds. He has worked on chemical weapons issues for nearly 40 years. Part of this work has included 6 investigations of actual and alleged chemical weapons use.

Howard Hu, MD, MPH, ScD

Director/Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Medicine

Dr. Hu, an expert in understanding the impact of exposure to toxic chemicals on human health, has served on four fact-finding missions for PHR, including a 1987 investigation of the potentially toxic effects of tear gas in South Korea; a 1988 investigation of the use of chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds; a 1990 investigation into the violation of medical neutrality in Burma; and a 2009 investigation of potential exposure to toxic metals from mining operations among indigenous people in Guatemala. He has served on PHR’s Board of Directors and was Chair of the Research Commission for the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

Georges Kuzma

Expert Consultant, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Georges Kuzma is an expert in police, justice, and security sector reform and has worked in Chad, the DRC, and Mauritania. He has extensive international experience in forensic investigations and provides technical support as a police and justice expert for PHR through trainings and investigations.

Stuart L. Lustig, MD, MPH

Stuart L. Lustig has been working with Physicians for Human Rights and other humanitarian organizations for 20 years. In that capacity, he has served as an expert witness in dozens of asylum cases adjudicated by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Asylum Offices and U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Courts, with a focus on the assessment of torture, trauma, and associated psychiatric consequences. He has also provided expert testimony on civil matters related to political asylum. He currently provides mentorship to other forensic evaluators.

Zabi Mazoori

Afghanistan Coordinator, International Forensic Program

Zabi Mazoori coordinates the Afghanistan project for PHR’s International Forensic Program (IFP). Mazoori provides country level expertise and analysis, liaises with Afghan partner organizations and stakeholders, and provides administrative and logistical support in Afghanistan.

Katherine C. McKenzie, MD, FACP

Katherine McKenzie is a faculty member at Yale School of Medicine and the director of the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine (YCAM), and has practiced at Yale Internal Medicine Associates and at the Yale Primary Care Center for over 20 years. She teaches undergraduates, medical students, and residents at Yale, and is an attending physician in the Yale Refugee Clinic. She has an interest in caring for underserved patients and being a physician advocate for social justice.

Ranit Mishori, MD, MHS

Asylum Network Member and Medical Expert Consultant, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Ranit Mishori is a professor of family medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and director of the department’s Global Health Initiatives. She is a practicing family physician whose scope of practice includes inpatient and outpatient care to all ages. A former journalist, she has built a multi-dimensional career that includes academia, scholarship, clinical care, mentorship, and leadership roles in public health, global health, medical education, the care of underserved populations, and human rights. Dr. Mishori provides technical guidance on PHR's curriculum development, trainings, and our mobile app, MediCapt.

Nery Suyapa Osorio, LLM, LLL

Forensic Legal Expert and PHR Consultant

NerySuyapa Osorio receivedher law degree from the Law School at the Autonomous National University ofHonduras in 2001 and her Master's Degree in International Criminal Law at the University of Granada Spain. She also has received extensive training in criminal investigations. She began her professional career in 1994 as a criminal investigator at the Honduran General Attorney’s Office.

Önder Özkalıpcı, MD

Önder Özkalıpcı, MD is a forensic physician with decades of experience and a PHR partner and expert since 1993.

Parveen Parmar, MD, MPH

Chief, Division of International Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine

Dr. Parveen Parmar, an associate professor of clinical emergency medicine and chief of the Division of International Emergency Medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, has focused her research on health and human rights violations in refugees and internally displaced populations.

Rupa R. Patel, MD, MPH

Rupa R. Patel, MD, MPH is an assistant professor of medicine within the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University in St. Louis. The director of the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV Prevention (PrEP) Program, Dr. Patel has served as the director of the Global Health Program in Internal Medicine. She is a member of the PHR Asylum Network and has been conducting medical evaluations for asylum seekers since 2008.

Nizam Peerwani, MD

PHR Forensic Advisor

Dr. Nizam Peerwani is a graduate of the American University of Beirut (MD '76). He completed his residency in pathology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and is board-certified in clinical, anatomic, and forensic pathology. Currently he is the Chief Medical Examiner for Tarrant, Denton, Parker, and Johnson counties in the state of Texas and has held this position since July 1979. His academic affiliations include University of North Texas Health Science Center, Wesleyan University, and American University of Science and Technology. He serves as a commissioner on the Texas Forensic Science Commission (gubernatorial appointment) as well as on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Texas State Fire Marshalls Office.

Steven Reisner, PhD

Psychological Ethics Advisor

Steven Reisner, PhD, is a Psychological Ethics Advisor to PHR and was a co-author on the PHR report "Experiments in Torture." A founding member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, Dr. Reisner is also on the primary faculty of the International Trauma Studies program at New York University and is an Adjunct Professor in the Program in Clinical Psychology at the Columbia University Teachers College and at the New York University School of Medicine.

Ricardo Restrepo-Guzman, MD, MPH

Physician/Psychiatrist; Associate Clinical Professor

Dr. Restrepo-Guzman is a psychiatrist interested in the field of cultural psychiatry and human rights, and currently manages a substance abuse and mental health program that he developed at the Long Beach VA Hospital, which is affiliated wtih the University of California, Irvine. He has conducted medical evaluations and clinical treatment of people who have survived torture and other forms of abuse and has been a PHR volunteer since 1998. He has worked with immigrant populations in the United States for over 15 years.

Altaf Saadi, MD

Altaf Saadi is a neurologist, clinical instructor of medicine, and fellow at the National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, which focuses on addressing health inequities through scholarship and action. Her fellowship is also supported by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. She completed her neurology training at the Partners Neurology Program at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals in Boston, where she also served as chief resident.

Satu Salonen, MD

Faculty physician and refugee clinic assistant director, Family Health Center of Worcester, MA Clinical instructor, UMass

Joseph Shin, MD

Co-medical director of Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, PHR's oldest medical school asylum clinic

Dr. Joseph Shin is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital with a passion for advancing human rights through education, advocacy, and research. He serves as co-medical director for PHR’s oldest medical school asylum clinic, the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, overseeing clinical operations for medical forensic evaluations for asylees and survivors of torture.

Stephen Soldz, PhD

Anti-Torture Advisor

Stephen Soldz is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, and public health researcher in Boston, and was a co-author of PHR's report "Experiments in Torture." He is the director of the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He was adjunct assistant professor of Psychology (Psychiatry) at Harvard Medical School, and has taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston College, and Boston University.

Muriel Volpellier, MA, MD

Expert Consultant, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Dr. Muriel Volpellier, MA, MD is a long-time partner of PHR’s work on sexual violence in conflict zones in Central and East Africa, and has recently joined our efforts to build capacity in Iraq for the forensic examination and documentation of international crimes, including sexual violence. Dr. Volpellier provides technical support on training and institutional capacity development.

Jan L. Willems, MD, PhD

Colonel MC (retired), Professor (retired)

Dr. Jan Willems is an expert in the field of pharmacology and toxicology, and was a professor of environmental health (now retired) at the University of Ghent Medical School.

Brigadier General Stephen Xenakis, MD

Anti-Torture Advisor

Stephen N. Xenakis, MD is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist with many years of clinical, academic, and management experience. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1998 at the rank of Brigadier General and entered an active career in starting up medical technology companies and clinical practice. He has advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior Department of Defense officials on psychological health and the effects of blast concussion. He is actively engaged with Physicians for Human Rights and Human Rights First, the only retired military general and physician to speak out publicly against torture and the involvement of health care practitioners in torture.