My Body Odyssey Experts

MBO interviews a wide range of experts in the fields of science, medicine, health and wellness for insight into the odysseys of our protagonists – average people facing above-average health challenges and doing exceptional things to stay healthy and active.

Steven Phillips, MD


A world-renowned expert on Lyme and other vector-borne diseases,  Dr. Steven Phillips provides expert commentary on our opening season two episode, The Steep Climb of Chronic Lyme. Dr. Phillips has treated over 20,000 patients from over 20 countries and published extensively in peer-reviewed medical literature. Dr. Phillips has also co-written the general interest book, Chronic: The Hidden Cause of the Autoimmune Epidemic and How to Get Healthy Again, which details his own harrowing experience with Lyme disease and his decades long efforts to fully understand/effectively treat the condition.  A Yale-trained MD, he has served as an expert for the states of CT, NY, RI, and VT, and also provided expert testimony at the Infectious Diseases Society of America hearing in Washington, D.C. in 2009. He is currently spearheading a development effort toward more effective drug treatments for Lyme and associated infections.

My Body Odyssey guest Michael Riddell, PhD

Michael Riddell, PhD


MBO learned an enormous amount about the balancing act which is diabetes from Dr. Riddell, himself a Type One Diabetic and avid athlete. Riddell’s team of students and fellows is advancing new therapeutic approaches and technologies that will enable people living with diabetes to exhibit better metabolic control. He is helping to develop an “exercise-smart” artificial pancreas for active people living with type 1 diabetes, and also helps establish community-based sport programs, like the Dskate Hockey Program, that translate research findings to families of children living with type 1 diabetes. He is considered the international authority on exercise and stress hormones and how they affect diabetes metabolism.

My Body Odyssey guest expert Divya Muthappa, MD

Divya Muthappa, MD


Coming from a family of physicians, Dr. Muthappa always knew she would be a doctor. As a young adult, she shadowed her father, a general surgeon, and attended Tufts University, graduating with a double major in biology and environmental studies, and a minor in dance. These early experiences sparked her passion for medicine, which she continued to grow while studying at St. George’s School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. After earning her MD, Dr. Muthappa found her way to Philadelphia, and at Drexel University College of Medicine she began to focus on internal medicine. After her residency at Hahnemann University Hospital, Dr. Muthappa opened Health Choice, a primary and internal medicine office in Texas along with her husband, Dr. Aria Dayani.

My Body Odyssey guest expert Mark Stoutenberg, PhD, MSPH

Mark Stoutenberg, PhD, MSPH


Dr. Stoutenberg grew up playing (American) football and later became part of a US D1 college coaching team. He earned his PhD in Exercise Physiology (2008) and Master of Science in Public Health (2011) from the University of Miami. Dr. Stoutenberg’s current research examines how health systems can better connect their patients to existing community resources to increase physical activity levels, improve dietary habits, and reduce the incidence of obesity and chronic disease, with a specific focus on enhancing clinical-community linkages in populations experiencing racial, ethnic, or geographic disparities.

My Body Odyssey guest expert John Wee, MD

John Wee, MD


Dr. Jon Wee is the Esophageal Surgery Section Chief, Director of Robotics in Thoracic Surgery, and co-Director of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is also an Associate Program Director for Thoracic Surgery and is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wee received his medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine and completed his surgical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He then went on to complete his cardiothoracic surgery training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery.

My Body Odyssey guest expert Shoshana Bennett, PhD

Shoshana Bennett, PhD


Dr. Shosh is a pioneer in the field. She is a survivor of two life-threatening postpartum depressions. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, and is a former president of Postpartum Support International. Dr. Shosh helped develop the official Postpartum Support International training curriculum for professionals which is now considered the gold standard in the field. As a noted guest lecturer and keynote speaker, she travels throughout the US and abroad, training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. She earned three teaching credentials, two master’s degrees, a Ph.D. and is licensed as a clinical psychologist.

My Body Odyssey guest expert Mary O'Neal, MD

Mary O’Neal, MD


Dr. O’Neal is an expert in Women’s Neurology. She is the Director of the Women’s Neurology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She’s written multiple papers on this subject and edited several books including: the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Continuum edition of “Neurological Illness in Pregnancy”, “Women’s Neurology- what do I do now?”, the Neurologic Clinics edition on the “Neurology of Pregnancy” and “Neurology and Psychiatry of Women: A Guide to Gender-based Issues in Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment”. She also directs a Harvard Medical School course in Women’s Neurology and Psychiatry and for many years directed the Neurology of Pregnancy course at the AAN.

My Body Odyssey guest expert Jeffrey Sparks, MD, MMSc

Jeffrey Sparks, MD, MMSc


Jeffrey A. Sparks is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas, and completed residency in internal medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. Following residency, he completed a fellowship in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received a Master of Medical Sciences degree in patient-oriented research from Harvard Medical School.

My Body Odyssey guest expert Jacob Meyer, PhD

Jacob Meyer, PhD


Dr. Meyer is focused on understanding and translating the powerful mental health effects of exercise and movement. Originally from Madison, WI, he completed his B.S. at St. Olaf College before completing his Master’s degree, PhD, and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the faculty at ISU in the fall of 2017 and currently performs research that looks at (1) how to integrate exercise into the care and treatment of people suffering from mental health conditions and (2) how the time people spend sedentary influences their mood and wellbeing, and what we might be able to do to change sedentary time.

Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH

Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH


Dr. Kathryn Schmitz is a leading researcher in exercise oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Schmitz’s research focuses on people living with and beyond cancer and investigates the role exercise in improving physiologic and psychosocial outcomes including symptoms, treatment tolerance, and other chronic diseases. Dr. Schmitz is also the author of Moving Through Cancer, an exercise and strength-training program for cancer survivors.

Lisa Lowe, DPT

Lisa Lowe, DPT


Lisa Lowe is a Doctor of Physical Therapy in the Boston area. Lisa has a background in long distance running, triathlons and rowing. She competed in women’s rowing at Ithaca College during her undergraduate years, moved to Boston for Riverside Boat Club’s High Performance program, and currently rows with Community Rowing Inc. within their Para-Rowing program. Lisa also volunteers as a member of the PT support for the US Para-National team athletes at CRI. As a rower and rehab professional she wants to help others find their balance and empower them to truly be able to focus on their training with less derailment from injury.

Kristine A Carlson, MD

Kristine A. Karlson, MD


Kristine Karlson MD is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Connecticut Medical School, where she also completed a family medicine residency. After a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Michigan, she moved to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in 1997, where she currently serves as the section chief for Family Medicine as well as director of the Sports Concussion Program. She competed in the 1992 Olympics in rowing and continues to travel with the US national rowing team, including serving as a team physician to the 2008 US Olympic team. She and her husband Dave can be found Nordic skiing or cycling, depending on the season.

My Body Odyssey guest expert Mohamad Bydon

Mohamad Bydon, MD


Dr. Bydon is a neurosurgeon who is fellowship-trained in complex spinal surgery and spinal oncology. As a neurosurgeon and clinician-scientist, Dr. Bydon is Principal Investigator of the Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory. The lab is focused on data analytics, patient safety, surgical outcomes, and novel therapeutic treatments for spine disease. Dr. Bydon is also Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Neurosurgical Registry, a database focused on improving outcomes and safety for patients. Dr. Bydon helped MBO better understand the enormous potential benefits and the not insignificant risks involved in neurosurgery, both in the operating room and in the rehab process. Dr. Bydon’s own body odyssey involves playing tennis and going on walks with his family in their home in Rochester, Minnesota.