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Natalie Rodden, M.D., M.A., is originally from Indiana and attended the University of Notre Dame. She then went to medical school at Tulane University, where she founded the Catholic Medical Association Student Section, a national organization with the goal of preparing students to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine. She completed internal medicine residency at the University of Utah and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Upon fellowship completion in 2016, she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she has since led the palliative medicine inpatient consultation service at St. Anthony North Health Campus in Westminster, CO. In addition, she helps with the hospital’s ethics committee and provides education to medical trainees. Dr. Rodden recently completed a master’s degree in bioethics from The Ohio State University and travels around the United States providing education and advocacy about palliative medicine and end of life ethical issues.
Dr. Robin Pierucci is Jewish convert to Catholicism, a wife, mother of three, and a practicing neonatologist. She also has a master’s degree in bioethics as well as completing the National Catholic Bioethics Center ethics certificate course. In addition to her full-time clinical duties within the NICU, Dr. Pierucci remains active in perinatal palliative care, as well as leading ongoing performance improvement projects for drug exposed infants and their families. She has multiple publications in peer and non-peer reviewed journals and has spoken around the country on multiple perinatal and ethical topics. Additionally, Dr. Pierucci has appeared on a number of programs aired on EWTN including, Women of Grace, The Journey Home, EWTN Live, and her documentary about in vitro fertilization. She has been a member of the Catholic Medical Association for many years and has recently became an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and a board member of the American College of Pediatrics.
Fr. Tad currently serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and directs the Center's National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes and speaks widely on bioethics and medical ethics. Since 2001, he has given several hundred presentations and invited lectures, and participated in debates and roundtables on contemporary bioethics throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He has taught bioethics classes for seminarians at St. John's Seminary in Boston, Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut. As an undergraduate Fr. Tad earned degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He later earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain. He worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Father Tad studied for 5 years in Rome at both the Gregorian University and the Lateran University, where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo. He has testified before members of the Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia and Oregon State Legislatures during deliberations over stem cell research and cloning. He writes a monthly newspaper column on bioethics that is nationally syndicated to more than 40 diocesan newspapers in the U.S., and which has also been carried by newspapers in England, Poland and Australia. He has done commentaries for numerous media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, CNN International, ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, and the New York Times.
Dr. David A. Prentice is Vice President and Research Director for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics at the John Paul II Institute, The Catholic University of America, and Advisory Board Chair for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, a unique comprehensive stem cell center in Kansas that he was instrumental in creating. Previously he served at Family Research Council, and prior to that spent almost 20 years as Professor of Life Sciences at Indiana State University, and Adjunct Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Prentice received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Kansas, and was at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Texas Medical School-Houston before joining Indiana State University where in addition to his research and teaching, he served as Acting Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and Assistant Chair of Life Sciences. He has been recognized with various awards, established Stem Cell Research Facts, an educational website providing scientific facts about adult stem cells, and is a founding member of Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics, and an advisory board member for the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity.
Sarah Kinsworthy, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and is licensed under the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (LPC-S# 62437). She is also a Registered Play Therapist and an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Trained Therapist. She earned a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Counselor Education from Sam Houston State University (2010), a master’s degree (M.A.) in Counseling from Sam Houston State University (2006), and a bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in Psychology from Texas A & M University (2003). She has been practicing since 2006.Dr. Kinsworthy has received numerous awards for her work in counseling at the university and professional levels. She is a published author, with articles in multiple peer-reviewed counseling journals. She has also received several grants at the university and community levels for her work in the field of counseling.Dr. Kinsworthy specializes in the areas of play therapy, depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, and counselor supervision. She works with individuals, families, children, and groups.
Mrs. Fontenot is a member of the Board of Directors for Down Syndrome Association of Houston (DSAH) and Past President. During 12 years as a volunteer, she has taught adults with Down syndrome, created summer Camp Ability, delivered New Baby Luv Baskets to new mothers, promoted adoption of babies with Down syndrome, and provided information and support to families who received a prenatal diagnosis. She represents DSAH at local and state levels where she advocates for individuals with Down syndrome to have inclusive education, integration in community living, and acceptance as valuable members of society. Mrs. Fontenot also trains parents to advocate in Special Education, state legislative issues, and government benefits. She has 9 years of experience teaching inclusive CCE classes at her home parish of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and promotes Special Education in Catholic schools. She holds a B.S. in Education and M.C.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from LSU. She is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist since 1993. Mrs. Fontenot and her husband of 25 years, Will, have two sons and one daughter, Tricia (17), who has Down syndrome.
Rev. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., completed his Bachelor’s Degree (B.S.E.) in Bioengineering, summacum laude, at the University of Pennsylvania, and then earned his Ph.D. in Biology from M.I.T. in the laboratory of Professor Leonard Guarente, where he was a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He was ordained a priest in the Order of Preachers in May of 2004. He completed his Pontifical License in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) in Moral Theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, in 2005, and a Pontifical Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, in 2015. Fr. Austriaco currently serves as Professor of Biology and of Theology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. He is also a research fellow at the Center for Religious Studies and Ethics at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. His NIH-funded laboratory at Providence College (www.austriacolab.com) is investigating the genetics of programmed cell death using the yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans, as model organisms. His first book, Biomedicine and Beatitude: An Introduction to Catholic Bioethics, was published by the Catholic University of America Press in 2011. It was recognized as a 2012 Choice outstanding academic title by the Association of College and Research Libraries.
J.D. Flynn is the editor-in-chief of Catholic News Agency, a global news service owned by the EWTN media network. Flynn has served previously as Special Assistant to Bishop James Conley in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, as chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver, and has taught canon law at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. He has a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America, and a master's degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Flynn and his wife are involved in several projects developing and promoting inclusive special education in Catholic schools and religious education programs. He has published writing in First Things, National Review, the National Catholic Register, and other publications, and was a contributor to "Special Children, Blessed Fathers," a 2015 book on parenting disabled children. He lives in Denver with his wife and their three children: Max, Pia, and Daniel.
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