Core Emory Team 

Tammie Quest, MD 

Dr. Quest is Montgomery Chair of the Division of Palliative Medicine at Emory and Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and board certified in Emergency Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 

Dr. Quest is a former president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar. She holds a strong interest in novel palliative care curriculum design and teaching methodologies for both undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate medical trainees that she teaches locally, regionally and nationally. 

Lynn O’Neill, MD 

Dr. O’Neill serves as Vice-Chair of Faculty Development in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Associate Director of the Emory Palliative Care Center and Director of the Emory Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Dr. O’Neill is a 1998 graduate of Emory College. Her areas of expertise include developing and implementing training programs in communication skills.   

Jesse Soodalter, MD 

Dr. Soodalter is a palliative medicine physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University. She has previously conducted research, teaching, and public engagement events related to death, dying, and end-of-life communication at the University of Chicago. She is trained additionally in Hematology and Oncology, and is particularly interested in providing palliative care to patients living with sickle cell disease. 


Jane Lowers, PhD 

Dr. Lowers is an instructor and researcher in the Division of Palliative Medicine. She studies individual, social, and policy factors that affect the health care people receive at end of life, with a focus on adults aging without family caregivers.  



David Kulp

David Kulp is an MSc Candidate in Digital Health and Robert T. Jones Jr. Scholar at the University of St Andrews. David graduated from Emory University in 2020 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in medical ethics. A Fox Center Humanities Honors Fellow, his honors thesis focused on destigmatizing death and dying through a novel undergraduate palliative care curriculum, in partnership with faculty in Emory’s Palliative Care Center.

Ellen Idler, PhD 

Dr. Idler is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology  and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology.  Dr. Idler studies the influence of attitudes, beliefs, and social connections on health, including the effect of self-ratings of health on mortality and disability, and the impact of religious participation on health and the timing of death among the elderly.


Arri Eisen, PhD 

Dr. Eisen is Professor of Pedagogy in the in the Department of Biology, Institute for the Liberal Arts, and the Center for Ethics. Eisen is the director of the program in Science and Society and a leader in the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, a historic program that since 2008 has worked to integrate modern science into the six-hundred-year-old curriculum of the Dalai Lama’s monks and nuns in exile in India. 


Emory Affiliated Faculty 

Kim Loudermilk, PhD

Dr. Loudermilk joined the faculty at Emory in 1998; her teaching focuses on social movements and the media, advertising, contemporary cultural studies, and issues in higher education. In addition to her teaching, she directs the American Studies program, which offers a thriving interdisciplinary major and minor. She also helped to develop and directs the IDEAS (Interdisciplinary Exploration and Scholarship) program, which seeks to bring interdisciplinary thinking to students from across the campus and to promote the value of the liberal arts.  


Robyn Fivush, PhD

Dr. Fivush is Director, Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professor, Dept. of Psychology. Her research focuses on early memory with an emphasis on the social construction of autobiographical memory and the relations among memory, narrative, identity, trauma, and coping. 



Peter Wakefield, PhD

Dr. Wakefield is Professor of Pedagogy and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Institute for the Liberal Arts. Wakefield’s research interests focus on ancient Greek philosophy, the philosophy of teaching, and critical pedagogy. Much of his work at Emory has aimed to give students agency over their own curriculum and education. His writing has also focused on the specific problem of designing pedagogies for traditional academic disciplines that will empower women, African American students, and others who have been excluded from dominant intellectual histories and scholarly dialogues. 

Mark Risjord, PhD

Dr. Risjord is Associate Professor in Philosophy, and has a faculty appointment in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. An interdisciplinary scholar trained in philosophy, Risjord treats philosophical questions as intrinsic to scientific practice. Risjord’s writing has primarily contributed to the philosophy of social science and the philosophy of medicine and nursing.