Where are they now?
The Mount Sinai NIDA Training Program, that is about to pass a quarter century in age, has strengthened considerably over the years. We’ve shown an improvement in outreach to obtain a higher caliber of eligible trainees and to establish a clinical training program that will take advantage of the bench-to-bedside environment of our institution. As can be seen from the outstanding quality and productivity of our trainees, we are proud to say that our initiatives have been a resounding success. During the most recent period, our trainees have authored or co-authored more than 50 publications in high impact journals, including Science, Neuron, Cell, and Journal of Neuroscienceand one of our past trainees has even been invited to a NIDA panel as an expert on the use of buprenorphine to treat heroin addiction. Here’s an update of where are some of our past trainees now:
- Dr. Amin Mazloom: He is currently a Bioinformatics Scientist at Sequenom Inc. in San Diego, Californina. While a postdoctoral fellow in the Ma'ayan Laboratory, Dr. Mazloom was the first author of the study, "Recovering Protein-Protein and Domain-Domain Interactions from Aggregation of IP-MS Proteomics of Coregulator Complexes" published in PLoS Computational Biology, 2011 Dec;7(12):e1002319. PMID: 22219718
- Dr. Mary Kay Lobo: She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Lobo's research focuses on the genetics, function, and behavioral roles of the two striatal medium spiny neuron subtypes and their circuits in the basal ganglia in neuropsychiatric diseases.
- Dr. Dinah L. Ramos-Ortolaza: She is currently a Research Associate at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ponce, Puerto Rico. Dr. Ramos-Ortolaza is a co-investigator on two NSU grants: 1) The effects of chronic morphine treatment in fear conditioning in male and female rats at different stages of the estrous cycle; 2) Acute morphine after fear learning: implications for sex-specific PTSD treatment.
- Dr. Susana Neves: She is currently an Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics here at Mount Sinai. Dr. Neves is an investigator on a multi-investigator grant: R01 DK087650 - Dynamics Underlying Tissue Integrity.
- Dr. Marta Filizola: She is currently an Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Structural Biology here at Mount Sinai. She has two current DA grants: R01DA020032 - Opioid Receptor Oligomerization: Prediction & Validation, and R21DA017976—Informatics of GPCR Dimers in Drug Abuse Mechanisms.
- Dr. Andrew Kolodny: He is the chairman of Clinical Services at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY where he continues to study outcomes of buprenorphine maintenance in office-based practice.
- Dr. William Clarke: He came with a background in endocrinology and was introduced to drug abuse research in this program. He is currently an Associate Professor at U Texas, San Antonio and is a principal investigator on P01DA016719 Opioid Receptors and Cellular Signaling Mechanisms. Although this is his first DA grant he has a long history of research on serotonin receptors funded by MH, GM, and HD.
- Dr. Carol Venanzi: She is a Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology who was also introduced to drug abuse research in our program. Her project (R15DA018153-Multivariate, Cluster and CoMFA Analysis of GBR Analogs) is designed to search for drugs binding to the dopamine transporter in the hope that they will prove useful in treatment of cocaine abuse.
- Dr. James Koch: He was one of the Psychology majors who were introduced to the pharmacology of drug abuse in our program. He went on to do Research at the Monell Center in Phildelphia and is currently on the Psychology faculty at U. Wisconsin, Oshkosh where he was a recent recipient of R03DA015227—Cannabinoid Antagonist Influences on Ingestive Behavior.
- Dr. Eva Chmielnicki: She is an Associate Editor at Nature Neuroscience.
- Dr. Michael DeVivo: He is a Senior Scientist at Memory Pharmaceuticals and is involved in development of drugs that affect multiple aspects of memory processes including both enhancement and extinguishment of memories. Such drugs can be useful in blocking the memory processes involved in the development of addicted states, a major issue related to the use of opiate based pain–killers.
Dr. Lakshmi A. Devi is Professor of the Pharmacology & Systems Therapeutics, Psychiatry and Neuroscience Departments. She is the Associate Dean for Academic Enhancement and Mentoring as well as Director of the Interdisciplinary Training in Drug Abuse Research Program.
Dr. Yasmin L. Hurd is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, and Neuroscience. She is the Chief of the Center of Excellence in Mood and Motivation in the Brain Institute. She also serves as Chair of the Minority Health Research Committee (MHRC). Dr. Hurd is the Director of the MSTP Program at Icahn School of Medicine.
Lakshmi A. Devi, PhD
Annenberg Building, Room 19-84
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029