About Us

Founding Director

 Eric Petersen, MD, MS

Eric grew up in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado Boulder for his undergraduate training in aerospace engineering. He then went on to attend the University of Colorado School of Medicine for medical school. Eric completed his general surgery residency at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix and his surgical critical care fellowship at Stanford. During his two years of research time away from surgical residency, he obtained his master’s degree in aerospace medicine from Wright State University and completed an aerospace medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Eric worked as a SpaceX flight surgeon for the Demo-2 mission and 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 

Program Coordinator

 Jason Taylor

Contact: jason.taylor@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


Rebecca Paxton (UA COMP)

Sofia Fabrega (UA COMP)

Contact APEX

Interested in joining the team or partnering? 

Please reach out to one of the team members above!

Mail Address:

Banner Medical Institutes

Attn: Jason Taylor - Surgical Residency Dept

1441 N. 12th Street

Phoenix AZ  85006