James R. Doty, MD

James R. Doty, MD

Director and Founder, CCARE
Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University

James Doty, MD, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and the Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education as Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of CA, Irvine and medical school at Tulane University. He trained in neurosurgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP) and in neuroelectrophysiology focused on the use of evoked potentials to assess the integrity of neurological function. His more recent research interests have focused on the development of technologies using focused beams of radiation in conjunction with robotics and image-guidance techniques to treat solid tumors and other pathologies in the brain and spinal cord. He spent 9 years on active duty service in the U.S. Army Medical Corp.

As Director of CCARE, Dr. Doty has collaborated on a number of research projects focused on compassion and altruism including the use of neuro-economic models to assess altruism, use of the CCARE developed compassion cultivation training in individuals and its effect, assessment of compassionate and altruistic judgment utilizing implanted brain electrodes and the use of optogenetic techniques to assess nurturing pathways in rodents. Presently, he is developing collaborative research projects to assess the effect of compassion training on immunologic and other physiologic determinates of health, the use of mentoring as a method of instilling compassion in students and the use of compassion training to decrease pain.

Dr. Doty is also an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist having given support to a number of charitable organizations including Children as the Peacemakers, Global Healing and Family & Children Services. These charities support a variety of programs throughout the world including those for HIV/AIDS support, blood banks, medical care in third world countries and peace initiatives. Additionally, he has endowed chairs at major universities including Stanford University and his alma mater, Tulane University. He is on the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit foundations including the University of Southern California Brain and Creativity Institute, the Friends of New Orleans (FONO) and the Dalai Lama Foundation of which he is Chairman. He is also on the International Advisory Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

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Emma Seppala, PhD

Emma Seppala, PhD

Associate Director, CCARE

Emma Seppala, Ph.D. is Associate Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. She obtained her BA from Yale, her MA from Columbia University and her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University. Emma’s areas of expertise are health psychology, well-being, and resilience. She has examined the impact of meditation on happiness, social connection, and compassion. She has also investigated the effects of yoga-based interventions for combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder. She is the recipient of a number of grants and awards including the James W. Lyons Award awarded by Stanford University for service to the Stanford campus: she helped found Stanford’s first class on the Psychology of Happiness and taught a large number of well-being programs for students. Emma’s research has been cited in numerous television and news outlets including ABC News and The New York Times as well as books such as Congressman Tim Ryan’s Mindful Nation and documentary films such as Free the Mind. Emma often gives talks on the psychology of health and well-being  to academic, corporate, and governmental institutions including places such as Google, the National Science Foundation, and a US Congressional Hearing. In addition to her work at Stanford, she is also a popular Psychology Today blogger and contributor to Scientific American Mind, the Huffington Post, Mindful and Spirituality & Health magazines.

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Kelly Haehnel

Kelly Haehnel

Administrative Associate, CCARE

Kelly received her B.S. degree from Boston University and has worked in academic administration at the Stanford University School of Medicine since 2007. She has a long-standing interest in psychology and human behavior and more recently became intrigued with positive psychology after taking classes on mindfulness, forgiveness and willpower. She first discovered CCARE’s work in 2010 after attending the scientific symposium which presented progress on compassion research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Having been inspired to contribute to the Center’s mission, Kelly joined CCARE and provides a range of administrative support.

Jessica Waala

Jessica Waala

Research and Outreach Associate, CCARE
Netta Wang

Netta Wang

Intern, CCARE

Netta Wang is currently a senior at Aragon High School with big dreams to help awesome people do awesome things for the world. She is the co-founder of Didomi, a web service to help struggling nonprofits build online fundraisers and stronger donor bases. Since 2012, Netta has also served on the Youth Executive Board of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter and finds passion at the intersection of entrepreneurship and positive change. Netta first discovered CCARE after meeting an intern at the San Francisco Thiel Fellowship Summit in 2014, and soon fell in love with the research on positive psychology. As an intern, Netta aims to continue promoting the developing field of compassion research, and spread the power of kindness not only in humanitarian work but in all aspects of regular life.

Romi Chiorean

Romi Chiorean

Videographer

Romi Chiorean shares his time between art studio practice and filmmaking. He has studied fine art and photography since his youth and entered the field of filmmaking over ten years ago. Romi studied Ceramics and Painting at the Academy of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Art Restoration and Computer Graphics at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles. Romi has a long standing interest in the subconscious mind and representation of mental activity that cannot always be expressed in words but is commonplace in visual art and music. Besides his work for CCARE, Romi provides video services for a number of Silicon Valley companies such as Cloudera, LucidWorks, Mirantis and a number of startups.

Christopher Wesselman

Christopher Wesselman

Photographer

Chris’ diverse background includes degrees in Finance & Slavic Languages from the University of Pennsylvania and professional experience in international banking and investor relations. He has been a small business owner, an entrepreneur/consultant, and has worked in high tech with Apple & Stanford. Chris has been a formal student of Zen Buddhism since 1997, and hopes to complete his lay ordination (Jukai) in 2013. He would like to broaden his lifelong interest in compassion and mindfulness, and how to successfully apply these transformational concepts in everyday life.

Chris’ interest in photography dates back to his first cameras, a Kodak Brownie and a hand-me-down Leica from his mother. He has had a keen interest in documentary and travel photography, though his recent focus has been on non-profit organizations working for positive change. These volunteering efforts have included CCARE, the Gyuto Vajrayana Center, the Vajrapani Institute, TeachAIDS, Zen Heart Sangha, and his alma mater Dunn School (where he serves on the Board of Trustees). He is also a pro bono photographer for Stanford’s Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, as well as the School of Education where he has provided technology & computer support for the last 10 years.

Kimi Helton

Kimi Helton

Graphic Designer
 
Kimi creates designs that are both playful and professional. She has done design work for various companies and organizations, including Stanford University’s compassion research center. She specializes in event flyers, web ads, and postcard advertisements designed to attract the eye and drive action. Kimi’s priority is creating designs that reflect her client’s vision and brand as much as possible, and involves the client in the creative process from beginning to end. View her work here.