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Battelle Health & Analytics Newsletter

Battelle Health & Analytics Newsletter

Featured Expert

Steve Risser

Steve Risser, Senior Research Leader

Steve Risser is always working to make medical devices and other products stronger, smaller, safer or more functional. Over his 30-year career in materials science, he has been instrumental in the development of dozens of innovations across a diverse range of industries. Since joining Battelle in 1999, Steve has worked on projects spanning electromagnetics, electrochemical properties and biomolecular interfaces for medical, defense and industrial clients. As part of the Battelle NeuroLife™ team, he helped to develop a flexible sleeve attached to a neural implant that allowed a paralyzed man to regain conscious control of his hand and fingers. More recently, he has been focused on designing the next generation of batteries for wearable medical devices and other consumer products. Over the years, Steve has worked on more than 250 projects, led and supported five strategic initiatives, helped spin off a company and assisted in monetizing close to a dozen inventions. His work has earned several R&D 100 Awards and resulted in 26 U.S. patents and more than 30 refereed journal publications. Earlier this year, he was recognized as a Battelle Distinguished Inventor and Battelle’s Inventor of the Year for 2017. In recognition of these contributions, Steve was promoted in October 2017 to Senior Research Leader.


Tesfa N. Alexander, Ph.D.

Tesfa N. Alexander, Ph.D., Health Communications Director

Tesfa N. Alexander is bringing an evidence-based approach to the development of health communications that make a real difference in public health outcomes. Tesfa joined Battelle in April 2017 as Director of Health Communications. He leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers committed to improving the effectiveness of health education strategies and tactics. They are working on a number of projects with federal agencies and nonprofit groups on campaigns spanning a range of public health topics. Tesfa’s role spans the scientific and creative aspects of public health communications. He works directly with Battelle’s clients to understand their goals and translate study findings into creative outputs. 

Erica Peters, Ph.D.

Erica Peters, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist

Erica Peters is a Principal Research Scientist on the Battelle Health and Analytics team working to determine how use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are intertwined. Her current work builds on 15 years of research and clinical work in substance use and addiction. Erica has devoted her research career to understanding addiction and substance use behaviors in adults. She is especially interested in looking at the complex interactions that occur when multiple substances are used concurrently. Moving forward, Erica plans to turn more of her attention to marijuana use. She is tasked with building a new research group at Battelle focused on marijuana research. The program will build on Battelle’s history of tobacco and nicotine research.  

Michael Schwemmer, Ph.D.

Michael Schwemmer, Ph.D., Research Scientist

Michael Schwemmer is making medical devices and healthcare systems a whole lot smarter. A Research Scientist and Statistician on the Battelle Health Analytics team, he applies advanced machine learning methods to solve complex problems in neurotechnology, quality measure development, and other aspects of healthcare. He is an applied mathematician with six years of experience in applying computational and mathematical techniques to problems in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and physics. He is an expert in modeling complex systems and has published scientific papers in mathematics, physics, neuroscience, engineering, psychology, and neuroscience journals. At Battelle, his current work is focused on utilizing deep learning neural network tools.

Jeffrey Geppert

Jeffrey Geppert, Senior Research Leader

Jeffrey Geppert believes in the power of analytics to make a difference in the world. As a Senior Research Leader on the Battelle Health and Consumer Solutions team, Jeffrey is working to make that goal a reality. He heads up Battelle’s work on hospital and physician quality measures for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In this role, he leads the team responsible for maintaining the CMS measure inventory and the blueprint that defines the processes and decision criteria that are used to develop new quality measures. In addition, Jeffrey and his team use analytical engines to scan hundreds of thousands of updates and articles posted in the biomedical literature each month. Using a tool such as Battelle Sematrix™, they are able to analyze very large data sets to find meaningful information that could potentially impact CMS measure development.

Greg Daphnis

Greg Daphnis, Project Manager, Health and Analytics

Greg Daphnis is keeping the work of quality measure development moving. A Project Manager on the Battelle Health and Analytics team, he makes sure Battelle’s quality measure projects stay on schedule and on budget. Greg joined Battelle in March 2016 and brings more than 13 years of experience in project management for healthcare analytics. He currently supports two major projects: the Measures Management System project and the Electronic Clinical Quality Measure project, both funded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).