Daniella Meeker Joins the Schaeffer Center Faculty

By Niles Wilson

When Daniella Meeker was in graduate school, while studying neural prosthetic technology she became very interested in the decision-making processes associated with medicine and health care. Around this time she met Dana Goldman and the rest was history. “I was very persuaded that studying health economics would be an interesting next direction.”

Although she is newly minted Trojan as an Assistant Professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, her relationship with the Center isn’t so new: “I have had very productive collaborations with Schaeffer Center faculty for years, and have always admired the quality of work and the sense of intellectual community that the Schaeffer Center attracts.”

 Some of her experience with the Center came from being a Merkin Fellow, which allowed for the opportunity to conduct research in health policy and neuroscience. One of her recent ongoing projects deals with decision-making as patients near the end of life, whether caused by terminal illness or physical frailty. She described the Merkin Fellowship as allowing her “to expand the scope of questions and interact more productively with Schaeffer Center faculty.”

Prior to joining the Center, Daniella was an Associate Information Scientist for RAND Corporation. Continuing her research, she is most interested in the questions surrounding how patients and clinicians make decisions, since in many instances, “what appears to be the rational choice does not prevail.”