Petrie-Flom Welcomes 2018-2019 Student Fellows

We are so excited to welcome a new crop of Student Fellows to the Petrie-Flom Center family. These six students are a fantastic cohort of health law policy, biotechnology, and bioethics scholars who join us from Harvard Law School, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, and the HMS Center for Bioethics.

They will each undertake a year-long research project with mentorship from Center faculty and affiliates, and will also regularly be blogging here at Bill of Health. Keep an eye out for their bylines!



Rebecca Friedman is in her third year at Harvard Law School. Prior to becoming a Student Fellow, she participated in the Health Law and Policy Clinic with HLS’ Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation. After law school, Rebecca plans to pursue a fellowship to provide direct representation for Medicaid beneficiaries in North Carolina and advocate for fair access to quality healthcare. As a Fellow, Rebecca will study the potential for Medicaid to cover doula services and analyze how racial and socioeconomic disparities in prenatal care and childbirth could be mitigated as a result.


Mark Satta is a third year JD Candidate at Harvard Law School. Prior to law school, Mark earned his PhD in philosophy from Purdue University. Mark’s research interests include epistemology, bioethics, and philosophy of law. He is particularly interested in the intersection of social epistemology and health law. Journals where Mark’s work has been published include Philosophical Studies and Analysis.


James Toomey is a third-year law student at Harvard Law School. His fellowship project seeks to understand the perspectives of seniors on when and how the law should intervene in their decision-making if they were to develop dementia. Previously, he worked on issues related to the financial exploitation of seniors with Professor Francis Shen and at SIFMA. James graduated from Cornell University in 2016 with a B.A. in Government and English. In law school, he traveled to Switzerland in January 2018 with the Cravath International Travel Fellowship to study the Swiss constitutional regulation of biotechnology. His research interests include bioethics, regulation of biotechnology, elder law, and law enforcement.


Alexandra Slessarev is a third-year JD/MPH student at Harvard. Her public health research interests include maternal and reproductive health, state-level Medicaid implementation, and the intersection of health and the environment. Prior to starting my dual-degree program, Alexandra spent a year working as a research assistant at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco, where she worked on several projects related to long-acting reversible contraception provision and education.


Rahul Nayak is a fourth year MD candidate at Harvard Medical School. His research interests are in pharmaceutical policy, physician prescribing habits, and access to healthcare. He attended Duke University, where he studied biomedical engineering and economics. He then was a pre-doctoral fellow at the NIH Department of Bioethics. His research focused on ethical issues in resource allocation decisions and informed consent and led to first-author publications in JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, and Bioethics.


Mark Robinson joins the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School from the graduate program in bioethics at Harvard Medical School, where he is exploring a project about the intersection of technology and ethics. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he has a Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he held the Presidential Fellowship. He is also the author of a forthcoming book about the ethical and scientific impacts of the increasing financialization of neuroscience (and of translational science and medicine in general) published by MIT Press.


The Petrie-Flom Center Staff

The Petrie-Flom Center staff often posts updates, announcements, and guests posts on behalf of others.

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