Dr. Joanne Ahola is a psychiatrist in New York. She is medical director of the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, which trains medical students to perform asylum evaluations. She has been a member of PHR's Asylum Network since 1999. She received her medical degree from Stony Brook University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
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.
Dr. Scott Allen serves as medical advisor to PHR's work to stop torture. He has worked extensively with PHR in efforts to ensure that the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC), and the American Psychological Association (APA) prohibit illegal and unethical practices of health professionals. He has also written and spoken extensively about the proper role of health professionals in the management of hunger strikes.
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.
Dr. Atkinson is program director for human rights at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai, where 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. She is also co-director of the Advancing Idealism in Medicine Program and assistant professor of preventative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine.
Since 2004, Dr. Rusudan Beriashvili has been actively involved in the Istanbul Protocol Implementation Project in Georgia. She has participated in several international training programs in the prevention and documentation of torture in Georgia, Egypt, Uzbekistan, and PHR's Istanbul Protocol training in Istanbul.
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 to 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, 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 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.
Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis is a 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).
I began doing asylum evaluations as a volunteer approximately eight years ago. Participating in this way, by 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 numerous 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.
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 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, serving most recently as Syria advisor. Previously, she worked with PHR to assess the health effects facing Sudanese refugee women living in eastern Chad.
Medical Expert / Research and Investigations Advisor
Dr. Haar is an emergency 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 Kaiser Medical Center in Oakland, California.
Sana Hamzeh, 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 is a 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 six investigations of actual and alleged chemical weapons use.
Dr. Howard Hu, an expert in understanding the impact of exposure to toxic chemicals on human health, has served on four fact-finding missions for PHR. An affiliate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Hu is a physician-scientist, trained as an internist, occupational and environmental medicine specialist, and epidemiologist.
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 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 is a human rights defender with extensive experience in Afghanistan and Australia. In 2001, Mazoori fled persecution by the Taliban in Afghanistan and sought asylum in Australia, where he became an active member of the Afghan refugee community. In Australia, he worked interchangeably as an interpreter, refugee youth worker, and client support coordinator with children in immigration detention and out in the community. He has also served as president of an Afghan community association and in 2008 was inducted into the Victorian Refugee Recognition Record (VRRR) for his outstanding contribution to the Afghan community and to the State of Victoria.
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.
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 has provided her expertise in human rights and criminal investigations as a consultant to PHR's International Forensic Program since 1996, and has participated in several investigations of murder, summary executions, and torture. She currently has a teaching position at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus, teaching at the Criminal Justice Program, where she teaches criminal investigation, forensic investigation, and forensic science, as well as law.
Önder Özkalıpcı, MD is a forensic physician with decades of experience and a PHR partner and expert since 1993. Dr. Özkalıpcı is a member of numerous boards and organizations, including the World Psychiatric Association’s Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution, the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine’s International Editorial Board, the Bulletin of Legal Medicine in Turkey, the Society of Forensic Physicians of Turkey, and the Afghanistan Forensic Science Organization.
Dr. Parveen Parmar, an associate professor of clinical 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 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.
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.
Dr. Norma Price is based in Tucson, Arizona. She has been practicing medicine for over 45 years and has more than a decade's experience working with migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Dr. Price serves as a medical expert for Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), and also works with two organizations in Arizona: Samaritans and No More Deaths. Along with partner organizations they work to provide support to asylum seekers who arrive in the United States after trekking for days through the desert.
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.
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 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.
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 is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, and public health researcher in Boston. He is the director of the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He was an adjunct assistant professor of Psychology (Psychiatry) at Harvard Medical School and has taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston College, and Boston University.
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.
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.
Lucia Zuniga has cared for adult and child victims of sexual assault for over 25 years. Trained as one of the first sexual assault nurse examiners in the state of Massachusetts, she went on to pioneer the state-wide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program which has grown to 27 hospitals and seven child advocacy centers as of this writing. As co-chair of the Executive Office of Public Safety’s Evidence Committee in the state of Massachusetts, Zuniga oversaw the production, protocols, training, and statewide implementation of the Adult and Pediatric Evidence Collection Kit. She collaborated with Tufts University to facilitate a workshop managing the concerns and fears of immigrant mothers from Latin American countries around child sexual abuse.