Meet the Team

Rita Z. Goldstein, PhD, Chief
Rita Goldstein is a Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She received her PhD in Health Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami, FL, in 1999 after completing a year-long internship in neuropsychology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center on Long Island. She completed her 3-year post-doc training in imaging in addictive disorders at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In 2002, Dr. Goldstein received her license in clinical psychology and became Assistant Scientist at the medical research department at Brookhaven National Laboratory, advancing to the Associate position in 2004, and to a Scientist position in 2006; tenure was awarded in 2008. She moved to the Icahn School of Medicine in January 2013. Her research has been independently funded by several federal and private agencies (including NIDA, NIMH, and National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression). During the last decade her research interests have focused on functional neuroimaging in cocaine addiction, with specific emphasis on using multimodal imaging (including pharmacological fMRI, PET and EEG/ERP) to study the role of dopamine and prefrontal cortical deficits in iRISA (Impairments in Response Inhibition and Salience Attribution) in this population.

Nelly Alia-Klein, PhD, Co-Chief
Nelly Alia-Klein is an Associate Professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University in New York City in 2002 followed by an internship at Hillside Hospital in adult psychology. She completed a 3 year post-doctorate in neuroimaging of addiction at Brookhaven National Laboratory T32 training program. Alia-Klein’s research interests concentrate on gene-brain-behavior mechanisms underlying violent behaviors and drug addiction. She has both the expertise and clinical experience to conduct innovative and integrated basic and clinical translational research studies that aim to elucidate complex psychopathology.

Scott J. Moeller, PhD
Scott Moeller is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2010, where he studied conscious and unconscious determinants of behavioral and emotional self-control, and how these concepts could be applied to substance abuse. He then completed a NIDA-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Rita Goldstein and moved with her research team to Mount Sinai in 2013. His current research uses sensitive behavioral, imaging, and genetic paradigms to explore how drug-addicted individuals make drug-related choices, and to what extent such choices reflect deliberative, self-aware decisions or instead reflect a lack of insight into behavior or illness severity.    

Muhammad A. Parvaz, PhD
Muhammad A. Parvaz is an Assistant Professor in the department of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University in 2011, studying deficits in reward sensitivity in drug addiction and their quantification using electrocortical biomarkers. His postdoctoral work at Brookhaven National Lab and at ISMMS included studying deficits in reward sensitivity and emotion (dys)regulation in drug addiction using structural and functional MRI and EEG techniques. As a cognitive neuroscientist with a background in biomedical engineering, he places special emphasis on implementing cutting-edge analytical tools in neuroimaging to study neurobiological underpinnings affective disabilities underlying psychiatric disorders. Currently, his research involves developing and testing a non-pharmacological intervention to alleviate negative affect in cocaine addiction based on real time neurofeedback training using EEG. This project is funded through an NRSA training grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Anna Zilverstand, PhD
Anna Zilverstand is a postdoctoral fellow at NARC. She received her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Maastricht University, Netherlands, in 2014, studying cognitive control in anxiety, and attention hyperactivity deficit disorder. During her PhD (Advisor: Rainer Goebel), she implemented real time fMRI neurofeedback training for both clinical groups, being funded by the BrainGain Smart Mix Program of the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Prior to her PhD, Anna completed a 2-year Research Master’s Program in Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience, and a Bachelor of Psychology at Maastricht University, graduating with distinction. During her studies she focused on functional imaging and EEG methods for studying clinical populations, and worked as a research coordinator on these topics. Her current focus is studying cognitive control in addiction and aggression, and establishing real time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback training to enhance cognitive control in clinical populations.

Gabriella Gan, PhD candidate
Gabriela Gan graduated in Psychology from Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf in Germany in 2008 (Dipl.-Psych., equiv to MSc). As a PhD student, she studied the acute effects of alcohol on brain responses during inhibitory control and experimentally-induced aggression using functional and arterial spin labeling MRI at the Section of Systems Neuroscience at Technische Universität Dresden in Germany (supervisors: Michael N. Smolka, Ulrich S. Zimmermann). Gabriela joined NARC in August 2014 to investigate the neural underpinnings of reactive aggressive behavior by comparing brain responses and brain structure in populations with and without high trait anger (e.g., intermittent-explosive disorder).  She also aims to better understand how psychoactive drugs such as alcohol or cocaine affect neural processes during social decision making such as engaging in aggressive behavior.

Zhiling Zou, PhD
Zhiling Zou is a visiting scholar at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She received her PhD in cognitive psychology from Southwest University (in China), studying memory deficits in heroin addicts. Her recent research focuses on the influence of impulsivity on drug addiction. Specially, she is interested in investigating how impulsivity immediate the craving process, and how training of impulsivity help craving deduction.

Keren Bachi, PhD
Keren Bachi is a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This fellowship is funded by the Postdoctoral NIDA T32 Training in Pharmacology of Drug Abuse at the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics. Bachi received her PhD in Social Welfare from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College studying recidivism and disciplinary misconduct outcomes of an equine-facilitated prison-based program. Her clinical and research experience center on addictions, prison-inmates, released prisoners, and at-risk adolescence in individual and group settings. Her current research interest pertains to the contribution of environmental elements to the addictive cycle encompassing craving (drug expectation) and bingeing (loss of control) and the underlying brain networks subserving these symptoms. Additionally, she is working to bridge research and the clinical practice by offering a social and environmental perspective and the integration of basic and translational research in drug addiction.

Kristin Schneider, BA
Kristin Schneider has recently graduated from New York University with honors, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Having previously worked on research regarding legal decision making, Kristin has become particularly interested in addiction treatment and prevention. She intends to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology, focusing on risk and resilience factors related to addiction disorders, as well as community interventions for the primary prevention of such conditions. As our Clinical Research Coordinator, she looks forward to learning more about the particular behavioral and neural correlates of addiction, in addition to better understanding pharmacological treatments and other interventions for inhibitory control disorders.

Fred Uquillas, BA
Fred Uquillas received his BA in Psychology with a focus in Neuroscience from the University of California Berkeley. He has worked at the Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory under Robert Levenson, PhD, where he helped study the physiological correlates of neurodegenerative disease on emotion and cognitive control. He also worked at the D’Esposito Brain Imaging Laboratory under Mark D'Esposito, MD, and was a Biology Fellow thanks to the support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Integrative Biology Department of UC Berkeley, in addition to being appointed a student researcher for the San Francisco Veteran's Affairs Medical Center. Utilizing fMRI methods and pharmacological tools, his research efforts focused on trying to better understand how dopaminergic modulation of frontostriatal networks influence working memory and decision making.

Rebecca Preston-Campbell, PhD 
Rebecca Preston-Campbell is a postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Hofstra University, with her clinical background strongly rooted in evidence-based treatment modalities, specifically cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness based approaches. She received training at the New York State Psychiatric Institute studying sex differences in behaviors related to cocaine and alcohol use disorders in various groups of men and women, including current cocaine and/or alcohol users. Her research interests concentrate on factors involved in impaired self-regulatory behaviors that are often implicated in the development and maintenance of substance use and impulse control disorders.

Pias Malaker, BS
Pias Malaker is a recent graduate from the Biomedical Engineering program at Stony Brook University. He has previously volunteered with the group at their previous institution. He intends to pursue his medical degree to become a surgeon. Pias will work with the group as a Data Entry Specialist. He is responsible for database management and development.

Anita Kalaj, MA
Anita has been at Mount Sinai for the past 3 years coordinating both clinical research and serving as administrative manager in two different labs in the Department of Neurology and Department of Geriatrics. She was recruited by NARC and the Brain Imaging Center in November 2013, to cover similar responsibilities.

Thomas Maloney, PhD - Laboratory Operations Manager

Alumni:
Anna Konova, PhD
Michail Misyrlis, PhD candidate

Volunteers:
Lucia Bederson
Sophie Kanter
Preet Korani
Anthony Surace
Meghav Parikh
Vishwas Parwani
Naomi Spilka


Contact Us

Tel: 855-795-4837
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Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
The Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine
1470 Madison Ave, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10029