The Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine is pleased to welcome the following new faculty:
Nelly Alia-Klein, PhD
Dr. Alia-Klein has been recruited to serve as Professor of Psychiatry, working closely with the Bronx VA, and will hold a secondary appointment in the Department of Neuroscience.
Known for her gene-brain behavior studies in anger and aggression phenotypes, Dr. Alia-Klein uses multiple neuroimaging techniques and neuropsychological tests to explore the neurobiological underpinnings of reactive aggression, that characterize Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Her interests emphasize the integration into prediction of individual differences, including polymorphisms and epigenetic patterns, personality traits, and responses to provocation.
In her new role, Dr. Alia-Klein will serve as co-director of the Neuropsychoimaging of Addiction and Related Conditions (NARC) research program. With her team at NARC, she will also be studying the efficacy of select interventions including neurofeedback, using Brain Computer Interface and targeted brain stimulation with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to reduce reactivity to provocation. Dr. Alia-Klein will help expand research at Mount Sinai in the area of psychiatric disorders of self-regulation as evident in drug addiction and Intermittent Explosive Disorder with well-characterized phenotypes.
As part of her research in gene-brain-behavior modeling, Dr. Alia-Klein will collaborate with the institutes for Genomic and Multiscale Biology, Genetics and Genomics Sciences, Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute at Mount Sinai, as well as institutions and consortia throughout the U.S. and the world. Dr. Alia-Klein is particularly committed to educational outreach and impact on the general public of the neurobiological study of anger and aggression. She is also deeply committed to the application of research for interventions that enhance self-regulation and quality of life for people suffering from psychiatric disorders.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Alia-Klein was a Scientist at the Medical Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English Literature from Adelphi University in New York and her doctorate in Psychology from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University.
Anne-Claude V. Bédard, PhD
Dr. Bédard will serve as Assistant Professor (Research Track) in the clinical and translational ADHD research program in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
In her new role, Dr. Bédard will continue her research on impaired cognition in childhood neuropsychiatric disorders, with the ultimate goal of developing effective compensatory strategies or interventions that will improve cognitive performance and influence the trajectory of such disorders. Her work is also focused on examining the brain mechanisms underlying working memory in youth with and without ADHD, and in particular, the neural effects subserving the therapeutic effects of guanfacine on working memory.
Dr. Bédard’s past research has helped elucidate the effects of methylphenidate on critical cognitive processes such as working memory and inhibition. Her findings have also been influential in developing conceptualizations regarding the core deficits in ADHD, among which spatial working memory is emerging as an important construct.
In 2010, Dr. Bédard was awarded a grant from the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, and in 2012 she received the Mount Sinai Robin Chemers Neustein Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct innovative research integrating her long-standing interests in spatial working memory and psychopharmacology with her newly developed neuroimaging skills. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Bédard completed her doctorate at the University of Toronto in Medical Science/Neuroscience where she conducted a highly influential series of studies in neurocognition as it relates to ADHD.
Rita Z. Goldstein, PhD
Dr. Goldstein has been recruited to serve as Professor of Psychiatry and will hold a secondary appointment in the Department of Neuroscience.
Nationally and internationally known for her neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies in drug addiction, Dr. Goldstein formulated a theoretical model known as Impaired Response Inhibition and Salience Attribution (iRISA). The model uses multiple neuroimaging modalities—including MRI, EEG/ERP, PET and neuropsychological tests—to explore the neurobiological underpinnings of iRISA in drug addiction and related conditions. Her work has contributed to the development of relevant machine-learning algorithms for innovative analyses applied to this multidimensional data set.
Dr. Goldstein’s interests also include pharmacological fMRI, including administering oral methylphenidate to cocaine addicted individuals to improve self-control, neurofeedback such as Brain Computer Interface, and brain stimulation with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. She has also been exploring the contribution of individual differences, including polymorphisms in monoaminergic genes, to addiction and aggression, with a focus on the neural mechanisms underlying reinforcement learning and extinction, choice and decision-making, and self-awareness and insight into severity of illness.
In her new role, Dr. Goldstein will serve as chief of Neuropsychoimaging of Addiction and Related Conditions (NARC) Research Program. She will be responsible for directing the lab in its continued use of multimodality functional neuroimaging methods to explore the neurobiological bases of impaired cognitive and emotional functioning in human drug addiction and other disorders of self-control. An important application of this research is to facilitate the development of intervention modalities that would improve treatment outcome in drug addiction and other chronically relapsing disorders of self-regulation.
Dr. Goldstein will contribute to Mount Sinai’s research efforts in the area of psychiatric neuroimaging, neuropsychology, and cognitive neuroscience, and play an important role in enhancing translational research in drug addiction, Intermittent Explosive Disorder and related disorders, bridging the gap between basic research in the Department of Neuroscience and clinical interventions and treatment in numerous facilities including Bronx VA, Phoenix House, and Samaritan Village.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Goldstein was a tenured Scientist at the Medical Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Tel Aviv University in Israel and her doctorate in Health Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami in Florida.
Matthew Majeske, MD
Dr. Majeske will serve as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of the Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic. A nationally recognized expert in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Dr. Majeske will be a member of Mount Sinai’s ECT service and provide consultation and treatment to patients referred for ECT. In his new role, he will also work as a study psychiatrist on the clinical trial, PRIDE, which compares the effects of ECT with the use of medication alone in prolonging remission from depression in elderly patients. Dr. Majeske’s clinical interests also include treatment-resistant mood disorders, geriatric psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Dr. Majeske has a long background in New York City teaching hospitals. For nearly 20 years, he was Unit Chief at St. Vincent’s Hospital until the facility closed. During his tenure at St. Vincent’s, he also directed the ECT service. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, he was Director of the Adult Inpatient Service at Elmhurst Hospital Center as well as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York Medical College.
Born and raised in Michigan, Dr. Majeske completed his medical degree and residency at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his fellowship training in forensic psychiatry at New York University.
Ariz Rojas, PhD
Dr. Rojas will serve as Assistant Professor in the Division of Tic, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Related Disorders.
Dr. Rojas specializes in evaluating and treating children, adolescents, and adults with obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, tic disorders, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. She also supervises research assistants, graduate students, and residents, as well as delivers lectures on cognitive behavioral therapy. Her clinical research has focused on evidence-based treatments for pediatric OCD, parent-child interventions, and the role of acculturation in the mental health of Hispanic youth.
She first came to Mount Sinai in 2011 as a postdoctoral fellow working in the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Treatment Center and the Center for Excellence in ADHD and Related Disorders. During her fellowship, Dr. Rojas conducted diagnostic evaluations, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention, habit reversal, group therapy, parent management training, and psychological testing. She was also responsible for supervising and teaching clinical psychology externs and psychiatry residents.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, she completed a predoctoral internship in clinical child and pediatric psychology at Children’s Hospital Boston at Harvard Medical School. She received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida with a concentration in pediatric psychology. She was also a recipient of the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences.