The Mindfulness Center

Mind-Body Research Conference April 17, 2015


Deborah Norris, Ph.D.

Founder and Executive Director of The Mindfulness Center, and Director of the Psychobiology of Healing Program at American University. Dr. Norris conducts medical research at major medical centers on the effects of mind-body health.




Advisory Committee:

Marc R. Blackman, M.D.*

Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development in Washington, D.C. VAMC; Assistant Dean for VA Research and Professor of Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine; and Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine


Denise Keyes, M.A.

Senior Associate Dean, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, Division of Professional Communication; Founder and Director, Public Relations and Corporate Communications Program; Executive Director, Center for Social Impact Communication, Georgetown University.


Nance Lucas, Ph.D.

Executive Director of the Center for Consciousness and Transformation, George Mason University and Associate Professor of New Century College.



Scientific Committee:

Stephen Bowles, Col, Ph.D.

Colonel in US Army and Associate Professor of Behavioral Science National Defense University, President and Chair Healthy Psychological Workplace of the District of Columbia Psychology Association.


Julie C. Chapman, PsyD* - Director of Neuroscience, Neurology Service at Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and Assistant Professor of Neurology at Georgetown University School of Medicine.


Kevin W. Chen, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Professor, Center for Integrative Medicine at University of Maryland, School of Medicine.


Kamal Gabry, M.D.

FACE, ABIHM, Former Senior Medical Officer, FDA. Former Chief, Unit on Stress-related disorders, NIMH.


Rollin M. Gallagher, M.D., M.P.H.*

National Program Director for Pain Management, Veterans Health Administration. Co-Chair, Pain Management Work Group, VA-DoD Health Executive Council. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Anesthesiology, Univ. of Pennsylvania. Editor-in-Chief, PAIN MEDICINE.


Roger Luckmann, M.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor and Preventive Medicine Residency Director of Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Memorial Medical Center.


Friedhelm Sandbrink, M.D.*

Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, Psychiatry, and Pain Medicine specialist at the VA Medical Center.

Planning Committee:

Tiffany Kuo, M.P.H. Chairperson of MBW-2015 and serves in a role as Manager, Healthcare Education at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.  She received her Bachelor's in Molecular Cell Biology at University of California, Berkeley, and her Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) at Columbia University in the City of New York.  She is certified as a 200-hr holistic yoga teacher and is present to collaborate, integrate and build new healing models in healthcare. 



Allison Rose, M.H.S. - Past Chair of the Mind-Body Week D.C. 2013 planning committee and a current member of The Mindfulness Center’s Board of Directors.  Ms. Rose has over 15 years of experience as a public health researcher with a focus on women’s health issues, health disparities, and community-based research initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health.  Ms. Rose has presented at national and international conferences, served as lead author and co-author on a number of peer-reviewed publications and scientific reports, and was a lead contributor to the wellness and mind-body content of National Cancer Institute’s award-winning website smoke free women.   Ms. Rose has been teaching yoga and fitness in the Washington D.C. area since 2003, and she currently works as a Health and Fitness Specialist at the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional Wellness Center. 


Jessie Norris Taylor
 - Jessie Norris Taylor is Co-Founder and Co-Director of The Mindfulness Center (TMC) as well as a yoga and meditation instructor. She is 200-Hour ERYT certified with Yoga Alliance and for almost a decade has studied a number of yoga traditions including Hatha, Iyengar, Bikram, Vinyasa and Yoga Therapy. Jessie has also studied meditation at the Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and trained with the Gestalt Psychotherapy Center of Washington, DC. Jessie recognizes the ability of yoga and meditation to balance and enhance all aspects of our lives and to cultivate optimal wellness of mind, body and spirit. Her background includes training in the arts, sustainable design and feng shui, which brings a unique awareness of the flow of energy in and around us to her work. As Creative Director, Jessie is involved with all design aspects of TMC as well as overseeing program and staff development. Through her work and teachings at TMC Jessie hopes to create an environment of healing and wellness from the moment you step in the door and which you take with you throughout life.



Jacqueline Norris - Jacqueline is a graduate of Frostburg State University, where she majored in Business with a concentration in General Management. During her studies at Frostburg, Jacqueline became Vice President of the Society for Advancement of Management, and attended the Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership. At TMC Jacqueline oversees all aspects of business development, marketing and staff training, integrating TMC's mission of mindfulness into all aspects of its functioning and outreach.



Roxanne Lerner - Development Director at The Mindfulness Center. She is an experienced event management professional with years of success in fundraising and development. Roxanne beganher professional career working in Development at a large non-profit organization in New York City and is a graduate of the University of Maryland. Because of her strong belief in the healing power of mind-body practices, Roxanne hopes to continue to spread awareness of the importance of these self-care therapies, through her work at The Mindfulness Center.


Heather Dark, M.S. - Research Assistant at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the Behavioral Biology Branch where she is primarily responsible for drafting manuscripts for publication; assisting with ongoing data collection, management, and analysis; and protocol management.  Heather received her Bachelor's in Psychology at UNCG and her Master's in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Maryland.


Troy Hernandez - Troy is the Director of Sponsorship Sales and Personal Trainer at The Mindfulness Center. He received his Bachelors Degree in Music from Towson University in 2003, where he also studied Business and Fitness. Troy has studied with International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Professional Stacy Wig, specializing in a holistic fitness approach including training, nutrition, and competition. He has studied Business Coaching with Shawn Doyle from The Alternative Board. His career has successfully led him to being a consultant for numerous companies throughout Maryland, while helping people reach a healthier and happy lifestyle. Troy is passionate about development and with focus and dedication, he continues to inspire others to achieve personal growth and professional success.

Philosophy: Being fit is not a destination; it’s a way of life. It takes commitment, hard work, and dedication. To achieve success, your dreams must be bigger than your excuses. We are given one opportunity at life and it’s our choice whether we take advantage of it or take it for granted. Set goals, train hard, eat healthy, and let nothing stand in your path to success. Be passionate about the life that you want to live and remember, no matter how slow you go, you are ahead of everyone who hasn’t taken their first step.


Rozanne Weissman - Rozanne Weissman is “Chief Guru” of Rozanne Weissman & Associates, an integrated marketing communications consultancy based in Washington, DC, and Account Executive for a Fortune 50 firm for Whelan Group Seminars, an international business writing training firm. A strong writer and editor, Weissman started her career as a business and consumer reporter and moved into PR and marketing communications where her writing skills, creativity, and insights set her work apart.  Weissman brings more than 20 years of award-winning management and hands-on experience for both private and public employers and clients in strategic planning, positioning, and corporate/nonprofit partnerships; branding and corporate identity; integrated marketing communications; public service, public affairs, and advertising national campaigns; digital and social media; creative problem solving, community outreach, electronic and print publications, website redevelopment, content creation, audiovisuals, and radio and TV shows.


Greg Scott - Greg Scott is a celebrated artist known for his paintings, and he is also a skilled Curator and Designer. A native Washingtonian, Mr. Scott began his journey as a professional artist at the Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, Ohio, and received his Bachelor’s degree (BFA) from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y. Greg has exhibited his work in public galleries and private shows in New York, Los Angles, Atlanta and Washington, DC. Greg took a multi-year hiatus from his painting and designing career to care for his sick mother and father, who he lost in 2005, and 2007, respectively. After this experience, Greg was inspired to expand his horizons by joining the Panda Palliative Care Team at Children’s National Health System. To further his knowledge in the area of palliative care and stress management, Mr. Scott has taken Mind, Body and Wellness courses, Meditation Teacher Training, and is certified in Reiki One. Recently, Greg joined The Mindfulness Center as a volunteer and has enjoyed many of the courses and workshops offered there. Greg Scott is the Gallery and Exhibit Coordinator for Children’s National Health System. His responsibilities include managing two gallery spaces and all artwork appearing in the hospital corridors, as well as coordinating outdoor community art programs and activities. In addition, Greg advocates for and works with outside community art programs that deal with at-risk children, as well as children with disabilities. Greg’s passion is giving back and making people smile. 

“My ultimate goal is to help every individual on the planet to discover the magic and strength within themselves. If I can bring a smile or a positive attitude to a child or an individual, then I have done my job. My reward is to reach and teach others about different methods to accomplish a balance lifestyle and create a better future for ourselves”.



Whittney Matlock - Technology guru turned holisitc therapist.  After several years experience in corporate IT integration and support Whittney escaped into the world of massage therapy and body-mind medicine.  This began a 20 year passion for helping people discover the healing power of awareness.  He specializes in Myofascial Yoga Therapy.  A technique focused on pain management and postural alignment through hands on therapy supported by yoga inspired home work he assigns to clients.  As he developed his approach to supporting clients in their healing journeys, he has maintained his passion for technology.  He worked for several years with Fairfax Public Access supporting the production of a variety of TV shows along with providing technical support for several conferences produced in the DC area.

Mike Cohn - Website Developer and Mind-Body practices enthusiast.

* The participation of this individual does not imply any endorsement by the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center of the personal activities of these employees, The Mindfulness Center, or Mind-Body Week, D.C.