Amy Florian combines her personal experience and the best of neuroscience and psychology with a good dose of humor in teaching people about how to prepare for, cope with, and support their loved ones through all the losses and transitions of life. She holds a Master’s Degree and is a Fellow in Thanatology (the highest level of certification in the field of grief studies from the Association for Death Education and Counseling). She taught a graduate class at Loyola University of Chicago for almost 10 years, and she has worked with over 2,000 grieving people in the past 30 years. In 2008, Amy founded Corgenius, a company that specializes in training professionals about death, loss, aging, and transition, and she educates audiences around the globe. She has published over 150 articles, and is a repeat award-winning author. Her latest book, which won a 2017 International Book Award and was the gold medal winner of the Indies Award in the category of Grief and Grieving, is titled “A Friend Indeed: Help Those You Love When They Grieve.” Amy was honored to be a 2017 recipient of the Chicago Business Journal’s Women of Influence award. It is her passion to help people heal, and make a difference in their lives. She also makes fabulous homemade cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies!




Cathryn R. Nagler is the Bunning Food Allergy Professor and Professor of Pathology, Medicine, Pediatrics and The College at the University of Chicago She graduated with honors from Barnard College, Columbia University. Dr. Nagler obtained her Ph.D. from the Sackler Institute of Biomedical Science at N.Y.U. School of Medicine and did a postdoctoral fellowship at M.I.T.  She was Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Immunology) at Harvard Medical School prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2009.  Dr. Nagler has participated in numerous review panels for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, NIDDK and NIAID, including the Food Allergy Expert Panel.  She is in her second term on the research advisory board for Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).  She has served the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) as Section Editor for the Journal of Immunology, Instructor for the Introduction to Immunology and Advanced Immunology courses and as member of the Program, Clinical Immunology, Publications and Awards Committees. She was an inaugural senior editor for the AAI’s new journal ImmunoHorizons. She is currently Deputy Editor for the Journal of Immunology.  She has also served as an elected Councilor of the Society for Mucosal Immunology and is an Associate Editor of the journal Mucosal Immunology. She recently began teaching in the FOCIS Advanced Course in Basic and Clinical Immunology and joined the FOCIS Education Committee. Dr. Nagler has a long-standing interest in the mechanisms governing tolerance to dietary antigens and the potential immunomodulatory features of the oral route of antigen administration. Her most recent work examines how commensal bacteria regulate susceptibility to allergic responses to food.  She has applied insights gained from studying pre-clinical gnotobiotic murine models of cow’s milk allergy to launch a new company, ClostraBio, which is developing microbiome-modulating therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of food allergy.




Justine Shih is a second year singer-songwriter originally from Columbus, Ohio. She grew up classically training in piano and violin, and has played with the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, for which she served as concertmaster. Later, she picked up songwriting and taught herself guitar to accompany the melodies and lyrics she writes everywhere she goes about love, loss, life, and anything that tells a story. Outside of music, Justine is currently studying neuroscience at UChicago and enjoys lab research. She has served as president of UChicago Science Olympiad, is on the board of the Taiwanese American Student Association, and is a part of the Underground Collective.




Nirali Trivedi is a fourth-year Economics major at The University of Chicago and is the CEO of RALI Bottle, a smart water bottle that tracks hydration and nudges users to drink more water. She wants to create sustainable technology products designed with behavioral economics that make everyday life easier. Nirali was awarded The U.S. Department of State Public Diplomacy Award for her project, “Economic Empowerment for Women in Calama, Chile” where she facilitated the growth of 20 female-run small businesses. She also graduated Army ROTC Basic Camp at Fort Knox and has worked at The Council of Economic Advisers to the President at The White House.