Research on Disparities in Aging and Dementia

The Division of General Internal Medicine of the Department of Medicine and the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at MountSinai are excited to offer an interdisciplinary, 2-year research training fellowship. The program focuses on clinical, translational, epidemiological, behavioral health, and health services research involving older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and other older adult populations that experience inequities in healthcare and health outcomes. The program brings together scientists from many disciplines across the Mount Sinai campus to collaborate on novel approaches to studying these populations.

The overarching goals of this postdoctoral research training program are to launch the careers of new researchers in the fields of dementia and disparities in aging and to who are prepared to apply a foster their embrace of a multidisciplinary approach to research at the intersection of geriatric medicine and vulnerable populations.

The program prepares scholars for successful research careers through:

  1. Research Training that provides well-matched interdisciplinary mentorship teams, diverse project opportunities, promotion of interdisciplinary collaboration, excellent research didactics through degree granting programs [MPH, MS], research skills development specific to the challenges of working with older adults populations, and training in the responsible conduct of research;
  2. Insight into Clinical Care and Experiences of Older Adult patients for trainees who lack such exposure. This occurs through limited clinical geriatrics training involving didactics and direct care responsibilities or shadowing for non-clinician scientists
  3. Professional Career Skills Building through seminars on manuscript and grant writing and oral presentation skills, networking and collaboration opportunities, works in progress meetings, interdisciplinary journal clubs, and exposure to non-academic careers to broaden perspectives on professional avenues for improving care and outcomes for older adults.

Launched in 2020, the training program recruits two new post-doctoral scholars each academic year. Over 20 faculty researchers and a large team of research staff support the efforts and learning of trainees.

Eligible candidates will have an MD, DO, PhD or equivalent doctoral degree and a demonstrated commitment to a research career that focuses on older adult populations. Stipend and tuition are provided along with an allowance for travel and research expenses.

The program’s goals are to:

  1. Develop scholars’ insight into the causal factors of health outcomes and potential targets for improvements in the care of older adults
  2. Develop scholars’ interdisciplinary research skills
  3. Build scholars’ insight into the experiences of vulnerable older adults
  4. Foster scholars’ appreciation for interdisciplinary research
  5. Launch scholars’ into successful research careers

The core mentoring faculty is multidisciplinary, including experts in geriatric and palliative medicine, health services research, health disparities, epidemiology, comparative effectiveness, behavioral psychology, genetics, neuroscience, biostatistics and clinical trials.

This is a non-ACGME program.

We accept applications on a rolling basis in the fall-winter preceding the fellowship start date. To apply, submit the following materials here

  1. A cover letter describing yourself and your interests in the post-doctoral fellowship training; 
  2. Your curriculum vitae; 
  3. Information about your citizenship and/or visa status. 

Three letters of recommendation will be required after the initial screening process, though these can be sent initially if desired. Letters of recommendation should be from faculty members who are familiar with the applicant's qualifications. One of these letters must be from the director of the current or most recent clinical training program. 

Please direct all inquiries to: 

Name: Maria Peralta
Title: Project Manager
Address: 1216 5th Ave, Suite 551, New York, NY 10029
Phone: (212) 824-7571
Fax: (212) 824-2317

Minority Applicants 

We encourage members of underrepresented minority groups to apply. Many research projects conducted by the faculty focus on the care of minority or underserved populations.

Second Year:

Julia L. Frydman, MD is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine specialist who joined the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai as an Assistant Professor in August 2021. She completed her MD at Harvard Medical School, an Internal Medicine residency at New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center, and a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at Mount Sinai. Dr. Frydman attends on the inpatient palliative care consultation service and is currently completing a Master of Science in Clinical Research at Mount Sinai. Her research focuses on racial disparities in access to high-quality palliative medicine. Specifically, she plans to develop interventions that improve serious illness communication and end-of-life outcomes for patients with serious illness and their caregivers. 

Louisa Holaday, MD, MHS is an Internal Medicine physician and an Instructor in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She completed medical school at the University of Michigan, where she also did her undergraduate work with a focus in Metropolitan Studies. She was born and raised in New York City, and returned home for residency in Primary Care/Social Internal Medicine at Montefiore, where she was Chief Resident. She recently completed the National Clinician Scholars Program at Yale University. Her research focus is on the effects of neighborhood and community on health, including policy-relevant research addressing the social context and built environment that contribute to healthy aging.

First Year:

Leah Estrada, PhD, MPhil, MA, RN, CPN is a nurse scientist who earned her PhD at the Columbia School of Nursing. She was a National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Nursing Research Ruth L. Kirschstein Pre-doctoral Research Fellow and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar. Leah’s dissertation examined palliative care services and potentially avoidable hospitalizations for racial and ethnic historically marginalized nursing home residents approaching end of life across the United States. Using data from a larger NIH funded study; she linked a nationwide survey on nursing home palliative care services with data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Her desire to pursue a career as a nurse scientist was fueled from prior work as a nurse in an intensive care unit for a diverse population, where palliative care was necessary but underutilized. Her long-term goal is to become an independent nurse scientist that generates knowledge to achieve health equity in palliative care for Spanish-speaking older adults.

Jacqueline Becker, PhD is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist who joined the Division of General Internal Medicine (DGIM) at Mount Sinai as an Associate Scientist in July 2019. She completed her doctoral degree at Fordham University, doctoral residency at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, and a two-year clinical neuropsychology post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at Northwell Health. Dr. Becker’s research interests have broadly involved an interdisciplinary approach to how cognitive functioning impacts and is impacted by chronic illness, particularly in elderly and underserved populations. More specifically, her research is focused on the impact of cognitive dysfunction on medical and psychosocial outcomes in older adults, as well as health behaviors (e.g., medication adherence) that contribute to those outcomes. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Becker has expanded her research to study cognitive impairment in patients post-COVID-19.  Dr. Becker is currently an Assistant Professor in DGIM at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. 

Maria Loizos, PhD is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist in the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), a clinical supervisor in the Adult Neuropsychology Center and Adult Psychology Internship Program, and an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She completed her predoctoral internship training with specialization in neuropsychology at Staten Island University Hospital (Northwell Health) and her postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a minor in clinical neuropsychology from Yeshiva University, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Dr. Loizos provides neuropsychological consultations for adult patients with memory loss and dementia.  She also trains psychology doctoral candidates to administer neuropsychological tests and interpret cognitive data.  Dr. Loizos's recent research projects focus on developing clinical tools to improve brain health in diverse elderly populations. Currently, Dr. Loizos works in the ADRC where she has protected research time. She serves as a co-investigator on a number of trials aimed at improving the relationship between older adults and technology use.