Teaching Kitchen Leadership

Teaching Kitchen Staff

Program Director, Center for Culinary Medicine
Chef Leah Sarris

Chef Leah obtained her BS in Culinary Nutrition from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University, who is partnering with Tulane in this endeavor. Besides her schooling, her love of food, nutrition and agriculture stem from her past years spent teaching students and the community in the university and non-profit sectors; her work in agriculture through farming and involvement in the Farm to School program; and her experience working in the foodservice industry, in both the restaurant and manufacturing sectors. She is very enthusiastic and dedicated to the program at Tulane, and excited to be part of such a forward-thinking endeavor. To our knowledge, she is the first chef to be formally employed by a medical school.

As program director, Chef Leah spends a lot of time developing and teaching curriculum for medical students, the community and continuing education for the healthcare and foodservice industry. She is working continuously to build community partnerships with local and national organizations and to get students hands-on experience in community outreach, so they too can also understand the rewards and challenges of nutrition intervention.

Email: lsarris@tulane.edu


Director of Research & Development
Dominique Monlezun

Dominique serves as Director of Research and Development for GCCM (New Orleans, LA), Chief Executive Officer for Global System Analytics & Structures (Rome, Italy), and Director of Global Systems Research for UNESCO’s Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights (Rome, Italy). A close family member’s diagnosis of a near fatal disease, worsened by a weak health system, redirected his passion for genetic engineering and artificial intelligence-based machine learning. He now uses Big Data+Business Strategy+Branding to reduce global health inequities by empowering his collaborators and clients on 5 continents to realize their missions. His research in biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and bioengineering at Brigham & Women’s Hospital shaped his larger research training in his first PhD in Global Health Management & Policy (Focus: Biomedical Informatics) and his second PhD in Bioethics (Focus: International Law). Dominique is an Ironman 70.3 triathlete and former collegiate rower coached by a 1984 US Olympic silver medalist. He dedicated his latest volume of poetry on poverty and beauty in healthcare, Neuroanatomy of a Lily, to his wife.

Contact him by emailLinkedIn, or ResearchGate(publications).


Teaching Kitchen Medical Student Club Leaders

President: Hillary Johnson

Hillary is a Louisiana native. She grew up in Baton Rouge and attended college at Tulane University where she graduated with a degree in Anthropology in 2014. After taking a year off to work for her sorority’s national headquarters in both Chicago and Cincinnati, Hillary has returned to New Orleans. She is interested in the surgical field and hopes that her joint MD/MS of Anatomy degree will help her further narrow her interests.

Email: hjohnso2@tulane.edu


Vice-President: David Tran

David was born in San Jose, California, but grew up in Orlando, Florida. He graduated from Emory University with a degree in Environmental Studies. He spent a year working at a community health clinic and another half year managing it. David is unsure of what field he wants to pursue, but has strong feelings towards Emergency Medicine and Pain Management and Rehabilitation.

Email: dtran9@tulane.edu



Service Learning Coordinator: Andy Pham

Andrew Pham was born and raised in Plano, TX. He earned his bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and a masters degree from the University of California at Irvine in 2010. Before beginning medical school at Tulane, he moved to Madison, WI to teach chemistry at the University of Wisconsin. Currently, he is interested in entering the field of anesthesiology.


Email: apham3@tulane.edu


Secretary: Anna Le

Anna grew up in Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from Wofford College with a degree in Chemistry in 2013. Afterward she attended a post-bacc culinary program at Johnson and Wales in Charlotte, N.C. and further fueled her interest of the culinary world by working in a vegetarian and raw vegan restaurant. Before beginning medical school, she taught English in Lang Son, Vietnam for 10 months under the Fulbright ETA program. She chose Tulane SOM because of the opportunity to integrate her culinary and healthcare interests and to address various healthcare issues within New Orleans’ diverse population including the Vietnamese community.  Email: ale4@tulane.ed

Treasurer: Tim Prior

Tim Prior was born and raised in Westport, CT.  He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 with a degree in Chemistry.  While at Wash U, he did research in Alzheimer’s disease for two and a half years.  After college, Tim worked for two years doing innate immunity research at Massachusetts General Hospital.  He is currently doing a MD/PhD at Tulane.  Currently Tim is unsure of what he wants to do clinically but wants to pursue either Immunology or Biochemistry for his research.

Email: timprior10@gmail.com


Community Outreach Program Coordinator: Maggie Smythe

Maggie was born and raised in Swarthmore, PA, a small town right outside of Philadelphia. She tried her hand at midwestern living for four years at Carleton College, where she was an art history major.

She returned to Philadelphia for a year to work in a city-run heath clinic before coming down south for medical school. She hopes to ent
er the field of orthopedic surgery.  Email: msmythe@tulane.edu

Kids Programming Coordinators:
Rachel Cohen and Madi Klavans

Rachel Cohen is a first year medical student at Tulane. She got her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Indiana University and then went on to do a Masters of Pharmacology at Tulane School of Medicine. Last year she worked for an organization in DC called “Food & Friends” that delivered nutritionally balanced meals to underserved locals who are HIV positive or have Cancer.  She hopes to become a primary care physician working with low income individuals. Rachel has worked with kids all through out her young adult life in a variety of circumstances. She is excited to combine her experience working with kids with her passion for preventative medicine through nutrition.  Email: rcohen5@tulane.edu

Madi Klavans was born and raised in St. Petersburg, FL. She attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA where she studied International Politics and Italian. After college, Madi took a year off before starting at Tulane University School of Medicine. Madi hopes to enter the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Email: mklavan@tulane.edu


1 thought on “Teaching Kitchen Leadership

Comments are closed.