Alumni

Profiles of Selected Alumni 

Mount Sinai is proud to feature some of our highly successful graduates from the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Under the mentorship of Mount Sinai’s accomplished and dedicated faculty thesis advisors, our students are prepared for a variety of careers, including academia, biotechnology, education, scientific writing and consulting, engineering, health care administration, and others.

Stephen D. Ginsberg, PhD 1993 (Advisor: John H. Morrison, PhD)
Thesis title: "Quantitative neurochemical analysis of the macaque hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus"
Current position: Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Physiology, Neuroscience, New York University

Gregory M. Miller, PhD 1993 (Advisor: Marie Gibson)
Thesis title: "Neuromodulation of luteinizing hormone secretion in the mouse"
Current position: Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University

Steven Siegel, MD, PhD 1994 (Advisor: John H. Morrison, PhD)
Thesis title: "Neurochemical characterization of specific cell populations in the macque monkey hippocampus."
Current position: Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California

Cynthia Shannon Weickert, PhD 1995 (Advisor: Maryann Blum)
Thesis title: "Molecular studies of postnatal striatal development"
Current position: Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD 1996 (Advisor: John H. Morrison, PhD)
Thesis title: "Glutamate receptor plasticity in the hippocampus: implications for age-related memory and learning deficits"
Current position: Professor, Department of Neurology, USCF School of Medicine

Angela Ho, PhD 1998 (Advisor: Maryann Blum)
Thesis title: "Characterization of the cytokine-neurotrophic cascade associated with neurotoxin-induced plasticity of dopaminergic neurons in young and middle-aged mice"
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Boston University

Vanja Nagy, PhD 2006 (Advisor: George W. Huntley, PhD)
Thesis title: "Novel role and regulation of the matrix metalloprotease family during long-lasting hippocampal synpatic and behavioral plasticity"
Current position: Team Scientific Leader, Molecular Neurobiology Group, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, Vienna, Austria

Bonnie Fletcher, PhD 2007 (Advisor: Peter Rapp, PhD)
Thesis title: "Arc expression in models of hippocampal dysfunction"
Current position: Associate, Finnegan Intellectual Property Law firm

Jul Lea Shamy, PhD 2007 (Advisor: Peter Rapp, PhD)
Thesis title: "Aging and lesion-induced changes of frontotemporal integrity in the macaque monkey"
Current position: Senior medical writer, Regeneron

Tao Ma, PhD 2008 (Advisor: Robert Blitzer, PhD)
Thesis title: "Interactions between the MAP kinase and mTOR pathways in protein synthesis-dependent LTP"
Current position: Associate Professor, Wake Forrest School of Medicine

Pamela Kennedy, PhD 2009 (Advisor: Matthew Shapiro, PhD)
Thesis title: "Linking motivation and memory: hippocampal contributions to associative memory retrieval based on internal state"
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, UCLA

David Carpenter, PhD 2009 (Advisor: Cheuk Tang, PhD)
Thesis title: "Novel medical image processing techniques for the detection of abnormalities of functional and structural connectivity in the brain"
Current position: Product Manager, Siemens Healthcare

Blake Gurfein, PhD 2009 (Advisor: Gareth John, PhD)
Thesis title: "Interleukin-11 regulates autoimmune demyelination"
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF

Allyson Friedman, PhD 2010 (Advisor: Klaude Weiss, PhD)
Thesis title: "Neural basis of repetition priming and switch cost in a multi-tasking network"
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Hunter College

Ioana Carcea, PhD 2010 (Advisor: Deanna L. Benson, PhD)
Thesis title: "Molecular mechanisms of cortical axon guidance"
Current position: Assistant Professor, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Ian S. Maze, PhD 2010 (Advisor: Eric Nestler, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: "Histone methylation-dependent transcriptional regulation of cocaine-induced behavioral and structural plasticity"
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Patrick Coskren, PhD 2011 (Advisor: Patrick Hof, MD)
Thesis title: "Construction and analysis of morphologically detailed neuron models to study the physiological implications of age-related morphological changes in pyramidal cells in the dorsolateral PFC of rhesus monkeys"
Current position: Software Engineer, Google Inc.

Yanna Zorina, PhD 2011 (Advisor: Ravi Iyengar, PhD)
Thesis title: "Integration of cannabinoid 1 receptor and interleukin-6 receptor signaling pathways in neuronal differentiation and regeneration"
Current position: Scientist, Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.

John Steele, PhD 2011 (Advisor: Sam Gandy, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: "Molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's cerebral amyloidosis: a preclinical study of latrepirdine as a prospective Alzheiner's therapeutic"
Current position: Assistant Professor, Humboldt State University

Erik Bloss, PhD 2011 (Advisor: John H. Morrison, PhD)
Thesis title: "Structural and molecular plasticity in the aging prefrontal cortex"
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Spruston Lab, HHMI, Janelia Farm

Xiaosi Gu, PhD 2011 (Advisors: Jin Fan, PhD and Patrick Hof, MD)
Thesis title: "A role of the insular cortex in emotional awareness"
Current position: Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Jennifer DiNieri, PhD 2011 (Advisor: Yasmin Hurd, PhD)
Thesis title: "Prenatal cannabis exposure and neuropsychiatric outcome"
Current position: Associate Scientific Director, KnowledgePoint360

Jessica Walsh, PhD 2013 (Advisor: Ming-Hu Han, PhD)
Thesis title: "Molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying behavioral responses to social defeat stress"
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Malenka Lab, Stanford University

Lauren Friedman, PhD 2014 (Co-Advisors: Deanna L. Benson, PhD and Zhenyu Yue, PhD)
Thesis title: "Molecular mechanisms underlying striatal circuitry in development and degeneration"
Current position: Director, Scientific Affairs, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation

Katherine Collins, PhD 2014 (Advisor: Daniela Schiller, PhD)
Thesis title: "Taking Action in the Face of Fear: The Neural Substrates of Active Avoidance Learning in Humans”
Current position: Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS); Research Scientist, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Cheng Jiang, PhD 2016 (Advisor: Stephen Salton, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: "The Roles of VGF in Depression and in Response to Antidepressant Treatment”
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University

Madeline Pfau, PhD 2017 (Advisor: Scott Russo, PhD)
Thesis title: " Inhibitory synaptic control of social behavior”
Current position: Medical writer, ApotheCom

Efrain Ribeiro, MD, PhD 2017 (Advisor: Eric Nestler, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: " The role of nucleus accumbens somatostatin interneurons in cocaine induced plasticity”
Current position: Pathology Resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Mitra Heshmati, MD, PhD 2017 (Advisor: Scott Russo, PhD)
Thesis title: "Inhibitory synaptic control of social behavior”
Current position: Resident, Anesthesiology, Washington University

Stacy M. Ku, MD, PhD 2017 (Advisor: Ming-Hu Han, PhD)
Thesis title: "Microcircuit dysfunction of midbrain neurotransmission in social stress and depression”
Current position: Vice President, Specialty Pharmaceuticals Equity Research, Cowen and Company

Zach Lorsch, MD, PhD 2018 (Advisor: Eric Nestler, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: " Transcriptional networks of resilience in a mouse model of depression”
Current position: 4th year medical student, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Erin K. Flaherty, PhD 2018 (Advisor: Kristen Brennand, PhD)
Thesis title: "Aberrant NRXN1 splicing arising from 2-16.3 heterozygous dewletions impacts neuronal function”
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Maniatis Lab, Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University

Meghan Flanigan, PhD 2018 (Advisor: Scott Russo, PhD)
Thesis title: "Orexin signaling in GABAergic lateral habenula neurons modulates aggressive behavior”
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Kash Lab, UNC

Hope Kronman, MD, PhD 2019 (Advisor: Eric Nestler, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: "Medium spiny neuron subtypes: baseline differences and epigenetic priming by stress"
Current position: 3rd year medical student, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Grace Mosley, MD, PhD 2019 (Advisor: James Iatridis, PhD)
Thesis title: "Interaction of sex effects and intervertebral disc degeneration in a rat model of chronic back pain pathogenesis"
Current position: 3rd year medical student, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Nikos Tzavares, PhD 2014 (Advisor: Robert Blitzer, PhD)
Thesis title: "The role of Wnt in controlling mTOR in synaptic plasticity"
Current position: Manager, Imaging Core Facility, Mount Sinai

Sam Golden, PhD 2014 (Advisor: Scott Russo, PhD)
Thesis title: "The role of the nucleus accumbens in stress and aggression-related disorders"
Current position: Assistant Professor, Dept of Biological Structure, University of Washington

HaoSheng Sun, PhD 2015 (Advisor: Eric Nestler, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: "Epigenetic mechanisms of depression and drug addiction: essential role of ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers"
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Hobert Lab, Columbia University

Hannah Cates, PhD 2016 (Advisor: Eric Nestler, MD, PhD)
Thesis title: "A novel role for E2F3 in cocaine action: splicing and transcriptional mechanisms"
Current position: Assistant Professor of Biology at Adelphi University

Barbara Juarez, PhD 2016 (Advisor: Ming-Hu Han, PhD)
Thesis title: "The role of midbrain dopamine neurons in mediating individual alcohol drinking behaviors"
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Zweifel Lab, University of Washington

Bridget Matikainen-Ankeny, PhD 2017 (Advisor: Deanna Benson, PhD)
Thesis title: "The effect of a Parkinson's-linked mutation on striatal circuit development"
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Kravitz lab, Washington University

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Application Deadline
December 1