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Jonathan Reisman was born and raised in New Jersey. After graduating from college, he worked and traveled in Russia for over a year, studying the international environmental movement and its impact on Russian business and politics since the end of the Soviet Union. He also conducted anthropological studies of native peoples of the Russian Far East. He then attended Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, and is currently a third-year resident in internal medicine and pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He also conducts ongoing public health research in the Arctic and in India.