About Us

Founding Director

Eric Petersen, MD, MS

Eric grew up in Colorado, where he received his undergraduate training in aerospace engineering and attended medical school. He is graduating general surgery residency at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix and will complete surgical critical care fellowship at Stanford next year. He obtained his master's in aerospace medicine and became board certified in aerospace medicine in 2019 and worked as a SpaceX flight surgeon for the Demo-2 mission. He continues to work as a contractor for launch/landing missions with SpaceX.

Contact: Petersen.MD@outlook.com

Executive Director

Mira Milas, MD, FACS

With roots in Houston, TX, Dr. Milas is an avid space enthusiast. After Biochemistry at Rice University, she graduated from UT Houston medical school and went on to Emory to complete general surgery residency and endocrine surgery fellowship. Dr. Milas is widely published with over 200 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, web-based programs and video-based surgical illustrations. She is no stranger to developing complex programs. While at the Cleveland Clinic, she was the founder of the multidisciplinary Thyroid Center. She has been with the University of Arizona and Banner University since 2015 and is the Chief of Endocrine Surgery and the Academic Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery.

Contact: Mira.Milas@bannerhealth.com

Organizational Chart

Department: University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix Department of Surgery

Chair: Nathaniel Soper, MD, FACS

Program Directors:

Founding Director: Eric Petersen, MD, MS
Executive Director: Mira Milas, MD, FACS

Steering Committee Members:


Gordon Riha, MD (Billings Clinic)

Morgan Crigger, MD


Alex Vaicius, MD

Michael Zhou, MD

Morgan Vonasek, MD

Lawrence Parawan, MD

Emmalie Berkovsky, MD


Rebecca Paxton (UoA COMP)