Meet the Team

The Abilities Research Center (ARC) is comprised of expert clinicians and researchers from different backgrounds all dedicated to maximizing the performance of individuals by implementing the latest technological solutions. Our goal is to find cures for chronic neurological disabilities or maximizing the performance of athletes.

Principal Investigators

Instructor

  • Adam Fry, PhD is an instructor at the Abilities Research Center (ARC). At the ARC, Dr. Fry conducts clinical trials for clients in health-tech and collaborates on a wide range of human performance research projects. The overall goal of his research is to improve performance in everyone from patients to podium toppers. Previously, Dr. Fry obtained his doctorate in Kinesiology from Loughborough University in England, after which he served in the departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery at Stony Brook University where his work focused on identifying EEG biomarkers of neurological injury and interventions using brain stimulation.

Clinical Research Coordinator

  • Leila Nasr 
    Born in the United States and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil by Lebanese immigrants, Leila Nasr speaks four languages: English, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish. She has always had a passion for helping others. Leila graduated from Lehman College in 2017 with a degree in exercise science, which she plans to use to improve the quality of life of people with physical disabilities through technology. Of her many hobbies, Leila loves to cook for friends and family. She is working on a blog that features a collection of delicious, healthy recipes.
  • Erica Breyman
    Erica Breyman completed her Bachelor’s degree at Brandeis University with a dual major in Biology and Chemistry with a concentration in Chemical Biology. She brings laboratory and clinical experience from Brandeis University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Columbia University Medical Center to her position at the Abilities Research Center. As an aspiring physician, she focuses on telehealth strategies and neurorehabilitation technologies for individuals with neurological injuries. As part of the Mount Sinai community, Erica aims to combine her passion for medicine and teaching to support and advocate for individuals with physical disabilities and students pursuing careers in STEM.
  • Sophie Dewil
    Sophie Dewil completed her Bachelor's degree at Vassar College where she studied Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. She has experience working as a research technician at Vassar College, The University of Indiana, and Columbia University. As a clinical research coordinator at the Abilities Research Center, she focuses on investigating novel technologies and their use in improving functional capabilities in patients with stroke and spinal cord injury. She enjoys collaborating with other scientists both within Mount Sinai and in other institutions.

Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Laura Tabacof, MD is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Abilities Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sao Paulo University Medical School in Brazil and received additional training in neurorehabilitation at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, cancer rehabilitation in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation at Harvard Medical School. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Abilities Research Center, Dr. Tabacof is currently investigating the role of novel technology and neuromodulation in the recovery of patients with neurological disabilities. As Director of Research of the Precision Recovery program, she is spearheading analysis of clinical data and developing future initiatives to understand the longitudinal course of COVID-19.

Visiting Scholars

  • Gianluca Di Rosario, MS received a bachelor’s degree in Sport Sciences, Master Degree in Health and Wellness at University of Brescia, Italy. He is currently conducting research projects focusing on Exoskeleton Assisted Walking for SCI inpatient rehabilitation and posturography evaluations for SCI people. His activity is presently focused on the improvement of health and lifestyles through physical training, sports and/or recreation activities for different categories of people, from sedentary to athletes, to those affected by metabolic and psychiatric pathologies or cancer, as a way of disease prevention and medical therapy support.
  • Mark Boodram
  • Anil Ramparain
  • Taylor Patterson, prior Clinical Research Coordinator, completed her bachelor's degree in Chemistry at Williams College where she concentrated in pre-medical studies. She aided in recruitment and conducted ongoing research studies.

Physical Therapists

  • Jenna M. Tosto PT, DPT
    Jenna Tosto is a physical therapist with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Temple University. She received her B.A in Communication Disorders and Biopsychology from William Paterson University of New Jersey. During her studies, she completed multiple clinical and research affiliations at NYU Langone Health, New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She previously served as a physical therapist at NYU Langone Rusk Rehabilitation where she gained experience in adult acute care and adult inpatient neurological rehabilitation. Her areas of clinical and research interest include knowledge translation into neurological rehabilitation practice and the role of novel technology in motor recovery following neurological injury.
  • Loreene Correa-Esnard, MPT, CRT, VRT
    Loreene Esnard has practiced for more than 18 years in a variety of physical therapy settings. She has had clinical experience in acute inpatient rehabilitation at Mount Sinai spinal cord injury and brain injury units, homecare, outpatient, subacute and skilled nursing facilities. She obtained her Masters in Physical Therapy and Bachelor’s in Cardiorespiratory Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse and a Bachelor's degree in Human Movement Studies at Hunter College. Loreene completed specialized training in Vestibular Rehabilitation, kinesio tape therapy techniques and Pilates exercise training. Her areas of clinical interest continue to focus largely on all aspects of recovery of patients who have suffered neurological injuries.
  • Chung-Ying (Owen) Tsai, PT, PhD
    Dr. Tsai is a licensed physical therapist in New York State and Taiwan and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has years of experiences in exoskeletal-assisted walking for individuals with walking difficulties. Dr. Tsai is certified on using the ReWalk, Ekso, and Indego devices. He is also fluent in both English and Mandarin. His research focuses on investigating the effects of applying proper technology, such as virtual reality and exoskeletons, and the biomechanics in injury prevention and movement skills for people with disabilities. His goal is to find the most efficient and effective approaches for clinical practice and evaluation to help people with disabilities recovery more quickly and thoroughly. Dr. Tsai’s research results have been published in several peer-reviewed journals.

Collaborators

The Abilities Research Center works closely with many collaborators who are affiliated with the Mount Sinai Health System and with others who are outside of the Health System. We develop innovative solutions for our patients; we believe that interdisciplinary, inter-departmental, and inter-institutional collaboration is necessary for successful, timely innovation in neurorehabilitation. Our collaborators include:

Within the Mount Sinai Health System

Outside of the Mount Sinai Health System

  • Hao Su, ME, PhD
    Assistant Professor at City College of New York

  • John Krakauer, MD
    Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

  • Gary Thickbroom, MSc, PhD
    Visiting Professor in Neuroscience, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Cornell University

  • Gustavo Moviglia, MD, PhD
    Professor at the Center for Research in Tissue Engineering and Cellular Therapy at Maimónides University

  • Dimitris Kiosses, PhD
    Associate Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College

  • Hermano Igo Krebs, PhD
    Principal Research Scientist at MIT

  • Marom Bikson, MD
    Co-director of Neural Engineering at The City College of New York and the New York Center for Biomedical Engineering

  • Dylan Edwards, PhD
    Director of Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute

  • Tim Vartanian, MD, PhD
    Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University