Who We Are
The Mind Body Medical group at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was founded by Drs. Lee and Mehta in 2013. We are a multidisciplinary team working together to encourage mindfulness practices and promote well-being among Medical School employees, patients, and the community. We also conduct scientific research to further the field of mindfulness in academic settings.
David J. Lee, PhD
Dr. Lee is a chronic disease and occupational epidemiologist in UM's Department of Public Health Sciences, and he is the co-founder of the Mind Body Medical group. He is a practicioner of yoga and mindfulness techniques.
Angela Alvarado, CPT, RYT
As a Health Enthusiast, Angela works closely with individuals to cultivate positive health choices while inspiring everyone to become happier through exercise, proper nutrition, yoga and meditation.
Taghrid Asfar, MD, MSPH
Dr. Asfar has an MD degree from Syria and an MSPH from UM and is currently a Scientist in the Dept of Public Health Sciences. She is a tobacco control researcher who believes in the power of mindfulness practices to help smokers quit smoking. She is interested in using new mindfulness-based interventions to target high-risk groups such as cancer and HIV patients.
Noella A. Dietz, PhD
Dr. Dietz is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. Her research interests are in tobacco control, cancer prevention and control, health disparities, and program evaluation. She also has interest in Mindfulness-based strategies for tobacco cessation and control.
Diana Kachan, PhD
Dr. Kachan is a mindfulness researcher and practitioner as well as a medical student at UM. She founded the Downtown Miami Mindfulness Meditation Group that seeks to connect fellow meditators through weekly meetings.
Laura A. McClure, MSPH
Ms. McClure is a Research Support Manager at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and works with Dr. Lee on various chronic disease and mindfulness studies. She is a yoga enthusiast and is interested in how mindfulness-based practices can improve quality of life and productivity.
Michelle Shnayder, BS
Ms. Shnayder is an MD/MPH student at the UM Miller School of Medicine interested in understanding how mindfulness meditation may improve attention and reduce medical student and physician burnout. She is a co-founder of the Mindful Med Student Interest Group at UM.
Mr. Villegas has owned a transformation fitness company for the past 6 years and now specializes in bringing mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques into companies to improve their work environment and culture. His intention is to change the way we spend our days at work by focusing on being happier and working smarter.
Ashwin Mehta, MD, MPH
Dr. Mehta is the Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. In this role he specializes in the benefits of mindfulness-based practices among cancer patients.
Debra Annane, MA, MPH, RYT
Ms. Annane is a senior research manager at UM. She conducts research on health literacy and self-efficacy among underserved women with breast cancer. She is a certified yoga teacher and ordained Zen Buddhist priest. She also trains with the Center for Mindfulness, Healthcare and Society at UMass and teaches mindfulness-based classes.
Charles Chen, BS
Charles Chen is a MPH candidate at UM. His interests lie in the field of occupational health and global health. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He wishes to expand mindfulness practices to a variety of settings, specifically in the workplace.
Peter J., JD
Peter J teaches yoga at the UM Medical Campus Wellness Center. He has practiced yoga for over 30 years and is certified in Integral Hatha Yoga & Pilates. His teaching approach is to share the fitness, mindfulness, healing, health, and wellness benefits derived from yoga which are informed by his myriad of life experiences.
Sarah Martin, RYT
Ms. Martin is the Yoga Therapist for Sylvester Cancer Center Deerfield Beach. She is a RYT and received her training in 2011 after 5 years of being a dedicated yoga student and falling in love with its benefits. She is also trained in Mindfulness and Meditation and co-leads the Wellness Series with Dr. Stacy Cutrono.
Henry Olano, MPH
Mr. Olano is an MPH student and research associate in the Mind Body Medical group. Henry assists with the Mindful Tuesday programing and logistics, as well as contributes in manuscript composition. Henry was first introduced to mindfulness last year during an MBSR course offered at UM.
Stacey L. Tannenbaum, PhD
Dr. Tannenbaum is a registered dietitian with a PhD in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is an Assistant Scientist at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center working on chronic disease studies. Her main interests are mindful eating and mindfulness among various occupational groups.