Research Mentors

Research Mentors

The core mentoring faculty is multidisciplinary, including experts in geriatric and palliative medicine, health services research, health disparities, comparative effectiveness, behavioral psychology, genetics, neuroscience, biostatistics and clinical trials. Two groups of mentors from the Core Faculty will be identified. Primary Mentors will comprise senior faculty who will have direct responsibility for mentoring trainees and will be expected to meet with trainees weekly. Secondary Mentors will complement the expertise of primary mentors and will meet with trainees at least monthly to provide additional research guidance in areas not directly related to trainees’ work with their primary mentors. Secondary mentors will also be available to supplement trainees’ career development and guidance. The assigned program director, primary mentor and at least one of the secondary mentors will comprise the Mentorship Committee and will meet together with the trainee on a biannual basis to review trainees’ progress.

Mentors include, but are not limited to the following faculty:

Alex Federman, MD, PhD (Federman Laboratory) is a Professor of Medicine in the Departments of Medicine and Geriatrics, Director of Research in the DGIM, Director of the ECRIP fellowship, former Director of the DGIM Research Fellowship, former Chief of the DGIM, and a past Paul B. Beeson Scholar. He is also a standing member of the NIH Community Level Health Promotion study section. Ongoing trials include an NIA-funded randomized trial of home-based primary care for the homebound and 3 pilot RCTs of behavioral interventions for older adults with pulmonary diseases that are components of R01-funded observational cohort studies.

Jenny J. Lin, MD, MPH is a Professor in the Department of Medicine whose research lies at the intersection of chronic disease management and cancer survivorship. She is PI of an NCI R01-funded study assessing cognitive and behavioral factors impacting management of comorbid diseases in cancer survivors and an ACS grant assessing hypertension management in prostate cancer survivors. She is the Director of the DGIM research fellowship program, Director of Mentoring for the Department of Medicine, and Co-director of the CTSA KL2 program. She has successfully mentored multiple students, research fellows and junior faculty in these roles. 

Albert Siu, MD is a Professor and Chair Emeritus in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. He holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Health Evidence and Policy. Dr. Siu is a health services and policy researcher whose work focuses on chronic and serious illness, their associated functional and symptom burden, and interventions to improve care for older vulnerable populations. This work has included studies of the effectiveness of models of innovative care delivery and their dissemination, as well as studies on methods to identify patients who would most likely benefit from these interventions. 

Emilia Bagiella, PhD is Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Director of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design in the ISMMS CTSA, and Director of the Grant Writing Workshop within the CTSA. She has extensive experience in clinical trial methodology and the design and analysis of longitudinal studies, with a focus on outcome assessment and issues related to evaluating outcomes in different populations.

Nina Bickell, MD, MPH is a primary care internal medicine physician and Professor in the Departments of Population Health Science and Policy and Medicine. She is Director of the NIMHD-funded Center to Achieve and Sustain Improved Health in Harlem, which is designed to improve care in minority communities, and Co-Director of the Center for Health Equity & Community Engaged Research (CHECER). She studies health system-based disparities in breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer treatment. Adults ages 65 and older feature prominently in Dr. Bickell’s research.

Kenneth Boockvar, MD is a geriatrician, Professor in the DGPM, Associate Director for Research at the Bronx VA Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center, and Director of Clinical Studies at Jewish Home Lifecare in New York City. Dr. Boockvar works to understand healthcare transitions for older adults and has pioneered research on medication prescribing during healthcare transitions and developed interventions to improve outcomes. 

Abraham Brody, RN, PhD is Associate Professor of Geriatrics in the ISMMS and at NYU College of Nursing, where he is also Associate Director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. His work focuses on improving quality of care for older adults with serious illness in the home. He is PI of 2 NIH funded large-scale pragmatic clinical trials to improve the quality of care for persons with dementia and their caregivers. He leads the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Leadership Development Program and is Enrichment Program Director of NYU Meyer’s P20 Exploratory Center for Precision Health in Diverse Populations. He mentors both nurse and physician scientists at Mount Sinai and collaborates with Drs. Federman and Siu. Aside from serving as a mentor, he will help identify qualified post-doctoral nursing scientists candidates at the NYU School of Nursing for the T32.

Paula Busse, MD is an immunologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine. She is an expert in asthma in the elderly and collaborates extensively with Drs. Federman and Wisnivesky on studies of older adults with chronic illnesses and has a growing portfolio of NIH funded projects examining the immunological features of asthma in older adults and immunosenescence. She has experience in mentoring residents and postdoctoral fellows interested in asthma and immunologic diseases.

Joel Erblich, PhD is a behavioral health scientist and biostatistician and Associate Professor of Psychology at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the ISMMS. He collaborates extensively with Drs. Federman and Wisnivesky. His research focuses on the interactions of emotional, cognitive, behavioral and genetic factors in addictive behaviors. Dr. Erblich is also involved in numerous multidisciplinary training and education grants.  Aside from serving as a mentor, he will help identify qualified post-doctoral health psychology candidates at CUNY for the T32.

Allison Goate, PhD is Professor of Neuroscience and is a member of the ADRC. Her laboratory studies the molecular genetics of dementias and addiction in human populations. She will be primary mentor for scholars interested in genetics, and will facilitate scholars’ access to other genetics laboratories as needed.

Nathan Goldstein, MD is a geriatrician, Professor in the DGPM and the Bronx VA GRECC, and Site Chair of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital. He studies pain management in older adults with complex comorbidities with a focus on cardiovascular diseases, the use of advanced technologies like cardio-defibrillators for patients near the end of life, proactive palliative care for patients with ventricular assist devices, and physician-patient communication.

Julius Hedden, PhD is a Professor of Psychiatry. His laboratory focuses on integrating multiple brain markers to help build a comprehensive picture of the relation between brain function and cognition during aging and neurodegenerative disease. His published work examines behavioral and neuroimaging measures of age-related changes in memory and executive control processes. He will be primary mentor for scholars interested in signaling and molecular pathways in dementia, and will facilitate scholars’ access as needed to other laboratories conducting similar work.

Lina Jandorf, MA. Professor Jandorf of the Departments of Population Health Science and Policy and Oncological Sciences is Director of Minority, Outreach, Recruitment and Education (MORE) for the Tisch Cancer Institute. Her work focuses on reducing health disparities in cancer incidence and mortality via increased screening and early detection, with an emphasis on colon cancer. She works extensively with community-based organizations in New York to improve design and delivery of interventions to meet the needs of high-risk patients in minority and economically disadvantaged communities, including older adults. 

Amy Kelly, MD, MPH is a geriatrician, Associate Professor in the DGPM, Vice Chair for Health Policy and Faculty Development in the DGPM, and has a faculty appointment in the GRECC at the Bronx VA. Dr. Kelley’s research focuses on applying population health strategies to identify older adults at high risk of poor outcomes, burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias on individuals, their families, and society, and particularly those belonging to vulnerable social and demographic subgroups.

Monica Rivera Mindt, PhD is a neuropsychologist and Professor of Psychology and past Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Fordham University, with a joint appointment in Neurology at the ISMMS. She is President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society and editor of Culture & Gender in Neuropsychology for the Clinical Neuropsychologist journal. She has mentored trainees on 8 NIH awards (2 F31, 5 R25, 1 minority supplement) and 2 NSF Graduate Research fellowships. She received the Professor of the Year Award from Fordham University. Her research addresses health disparities among underserved older adult populations. She will be able to steer T32 candidates through her varied academic and professional society affiliations.

Sean Morrison, MD is Professor and Chair of the DGPM, Director of the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, a practicing geriatrician and palliative medicine physician, and an internationally recognized health services researcher. He has grown the Hertzberg Institute into the largest academic palliative care program in the country. He is founding Director of the NPCRC-an organization dedicated to palliative care research funding. He has conducted NIH-funded research to improve care for persons with serious illness and their families and mentored multiple junior investigators who have moved on to successful careers as academic researchers. In addition to serving as a mentor, he will leverage his position as System Chair of Geriatrics to ensure full access to research and clinical resources for the T32 scholars (see letter of support).

Henry Sacks, MD, PhD is Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Pediatrics, and Geriatrics, and is Director of the ISMMS Clinical Trials Unit. He has a productive record of leading collaborative studies and enrolling hundreds of study subjects from minority and low income populations. While Co-Director of Mount Sinai’s NIH-funded Clinical Research Curriculum Award (K30), he oversaw the work of up to 30 scholars per year.

Girish Nadkarni, MPH, MD is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Nephrology, as well as Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Digital Health at Mount Sinai and Co-Director of the Clinical Intelligence Center. His work focuses on bringing informatics, data science, and technology into the clinical care of patients with the aim to improve outcomes. His current research has focused on machine learning for risk prediction and clinical translation. He is also leading initiatives within the institute on natural language processing.

Gaurav Pandey, PhD is Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences. His lab develops and applies computational methods for building predictive and network models of complex biological processes and diseases. Using such approaches, they have gained successful insights into immunological processes, large-scale interactions between genes and proteins and survival of breast cancer patients. His past research has focused on the development and application of data mining and machine learning methods for a wide variety of biomedical problems, such as predicting protein function, genetic interactions, disease phenotypes and health effects of environmental exposures, from large complex biomedical and environmental data sets.

Mary Sano, PhD is a neuropsychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at ISMMS, Director of the ADRC, and Director of Research and Development at the Bronx VA. She is an internationally recognized expert in ADRD. Her research focuses on pharmacological and behavioral treatments for AD and MCI. Through her directorship roles, she will direct dementia-related resources to T32 scholars, facilitate access to basic science training opportunities in dementia research, clinical trials projects, and to data from large, national multisite trials and cohort studies.

Jeanne Teresi, PhD is the Director of the Research Division at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. She has doctorates in Gerontology and Measurement and Statistics, and 30 years of experience in health disparities research, measurement and applied biostatistics, and extensive experience in the oversight of analyses from multi-site studies. She is a consultant to the National Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) projects.

Zhidong Tu, PhD is Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences. He is a computational biologist performing systems biology research to understand the interconnection between human aging and age-related diseases. He works from a multi-disciplinary background in biology, computer science and computational biology to investigate complex biological problems in aging and geroscience using systems modeling and large-scale genomic data-driven approaches. His recent work focuses on the difference between “healthy” aging and “common” aging: aging associated with diseases; his group found that a large number of genes with potential protective effects may be responsible for the “healthy” aging. He has also performed substantial research on identifying the human brain aging subtypes and linking that with Alzheimer’s disease development.

Barbara Vickrey, MD, MPH is Professor and System Chair of the Department of Neurology.  She leads a multi-year, stroke prevention/intervention research program in health disparities funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She serves on the Science Committee of the American Academy of Neurology and is immediate Past President of the American Neurological Association. Her wide-ranging accomplishments include demonstrating that collaboration among health care systems, community organizations, and caregivers can improve quality of care and outcomes for dementia patients. She also designed health care delivery innovations ranging from better control of post-stroke risk factors in underserved populations to new ways to care for veterans with Parkinson's disease. Dr. Vickrey was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2011.

Juan Wisnivesky, MD, DrPH is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the DGIM. He obtained a DrPH in Biostatistics at Columbia University with a concentration on comparative effectiveness methods. He co-directs the CPC T32 research training program. As former Co-director of the CTSA KL2 program and the Pepper Center OAIC training core, he actively participated in the selection, training and evaluation of multiple scholars. He was Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he oversaw the full (basic, translational, and clinical) research enterprise of the department and developed a highly successful mentoring program for junior research faculty. He led the academic fellowship and research program of DGIM from 2009-2015. With Dr. Lin, he implemented the National Mentoring Network Mentoring Training Program at ISMMS, an evidence-based program research mentoring skills development; >100 mid-career and senior faculty from multiple departments at Mount Sinai have participated in the training. Dr. Wisnivesky will serve as a bridge to the broad array of resources in the Department of Medicine and coordinate program OAVP activities with the CPC T32 he directs.