The Charles Lazarus Children’s Abilities Center benefits from highly skilled and experienced team members. They are here to help.
- David Putrino, PT, PhD
Dr. Putrino, is a physical therapist with a PhD in neuroscience. He is Director of Rehabilitation Innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System, Director of the Abilities Research Center (ARC), and Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His work focuses on developing technology-based solutions for individuals in need of more accessible health care. He conducts clinical trials of novel technologies to investigate their effectiveness at reducing and tracking symptoms in various patient populations.
Dr. Putrino collaborates with other clinical investigators both within and beyond the Mount Sinai Health System to determine how innovative technologies can help patients. He also collaborates closely with developers to create technological solutions, such as a face-tracking system that allows people to control a computer completely hands-free.
- Mar Cortes, MD
Dr. Cortes is a neuroscientist and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with a special interest in studying brain plasticity in relation to rehabilitation. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance, and co-director of the ARC, where clinicians and scientists partner with innovators and industry leaders to help individuals achieve maximum performance and wellness.
She completed a fellowship in noninvasive brain stimulation at Harvard Medical School and has extensive experience in clinical neurorehabilitation in Spain (Institut Guttmann, Barcelona) and the United States (Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Boston). Previously, Dr. Cortes held a faculty position at Burke Neurological Institute (Cornell University), where she was director of the Human Spinal Cord Injury Laboratory.
The primary goals of Dr. Cortes’s research are to understand neural plasticity and its clinical implications and to develop novel individualized rehabilitation strategies to improve the quality of life for patients with neurological impairments. In her studies, she uses a combination of brain stimulation techniques, exoskeletons, and robotic devices and virtual reality to help patients with neurological disabilities deal with motor recovery, pain, and spasticity. She focuses on how the brain is connected to the spinal cord and how the descending motor commands are conducted, processed, and executed along the central nervous system axes to perform specific movements in people with spinal cord injury.
- Adam Fry, PhD
Dr. Fry is an instructor at ARC. He 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. Dr. Fry obtained his PhD 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 electroencephalogram biomarkers of neurological injury and developing novel interventions using brain stimulation.
- Laura Tabacof, MD
Dr. Tabacof is a post-doctoral fellow at ARC. She completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Sao Paulo University Medical School in Brazil. She received additional training in neurorehabilitation at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, in cancer rehabilitation in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and in non-invasive brain stimulation at Harvard Medical School. As a postdoctoral fellow at ARC, Dr. Tabacof is investigating the role of novel technology and neuromodulation in the recovery of patients with neurological disabilities. As director of research at the Precision Recovery Program, she spearheads analysis of clinical data and developing future initiatives to better understand the longitudinal course of COVID-19.
- Jamie Wood, PT, PhD
Dr. Wood is a respiratory physiotherapist and health researcher, with a PhD in telehealth in cystic fibrosis. He has more than 15 years of clinical experience, predominantly in respiratory medicine. Prior to joining the Mount Sinai Health System, Dr. Wood led the physiotherapy service for cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia. He is one of only a small number of International Physiotherapy Group for Cystic Fibrosis-accredited airway clearance Instructors worldwide, and teaches airway clearance courses throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. Jamie’s current research focus is finding low-cost technology solutions, such as remote digital monitoring and 3D printing, to help improve the lives of people with chronic disease and disability. He is also the lead physiotherapy investigator on the international BEAT-CF trial, which will use Bayesian statistical models to determine the most effective treatment options for people with cystic fibrosis during exacerbations.
- Jenna Tosto, DPT, PT
Dr. Tosto is a physical therapist with a doctorate in physical therapy from Temple University. She received her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders and biopsychology from William Paterson University of New Jersey. During her studies, she completed multiple clinical and research affiliations at New York University (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.
- Gabriela Rozanski, PhD, PT
Dr. Rozanski completed her master of science degree in physiotherapy at McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada) after earning a PhD from the University of Toronto for her work in characterizing a novel mechanism of neurotransmission. Following a post-doctoral fellowship with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute to study gait asymmetry from stroke, she began practicing as a physical therapist in New York. Dr. Rozanski has treated various patient populations in the community and hospital setting, with a particular interest in neurological conditions and passion for optimizing functional performance.
- Jason Kaulfers, BA
Mr. Kaulfers has more than ten years of experience in a public-school classroom setting with students ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school. Having received his bachelor’s degree from Kean University and becoming certified through the New Jersey Department of Education in English and special education, he is currently a special education teacher in Boonton, New Jersey. After school, Mr. Kaulfers empowers young women outside of the classroom, teaching life lessons through the sport of basketball. He is also a graduate student at Kean University, pursuing a master of arts degree in special education, with a concentration in learning and behavioral disabilities.
- Angelica Russo, MA, LPC
Ms. Russo is a licensed professional counselor and certified New Jersey school counselor. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Kean University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Delaware. Ms. Russo's clinical areas of interest include families and children experiencing divorce, familial upset, grief/bereavement, anger management, self-esteem support, anxiety, and social skills training. She also has provided intensive in-home counseling to at-risk youth and families. During her time working in public schools, she developed and delivered social-emotional lessons to K-5 students. Ms. Russo currently provides psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and young adults.
- Erica Breyman, BSc
Ms. 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 roles at ARC, the Charles Lazarus Children’s Abilities Center, and the Precision Recovery Program. An aspiring physician, Ms. Breyman focuses on neurorehabilitation technologies for individuals with neurological injuries and telehealth strategies. Ms. Breyman aims to combine her passion for medicine and teaching to support and advocate for individuals with physical disabilities and students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- Sophie Dewil, BA
Ms. Dewil completed her bachelor’s degree at Vassar College, where she studied neuroscience and cognitive science. She has worked as a research technician at Vassar College, Indiana University-Bloomington, and Columbia University. As a clinical research coordinator at the Charles Lazarus Children’s Abilities Center, she focuses on investigating novel technologies and their use in improving functional capabilities in patients with stroke and spinal cord injury.