The Friedman Brain Institute

Research Scholars Program

We live in a time of unprecedented discovery within the brain. More than ever before, technological advances in genetics, stem cells, proteomics and imaging enable a deeper understanding of the molecular and physiological processes of this most complex system.

At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, we imagine a future where this knowledge of the brain offers limitless potential to better treat and even cure neurological and psychiatric disease. The Friedman Brain Institute (FBI) Research Scholars Program renews the efforts of our already world-class neuroscience research program by supporting fresh approaches by up-and-coming scientists.

Science and Research

The FBI Research Scholars Program supports innovative and collaborative pilot brain research across the Mount Sinai Health System. We aim to give our most promising researchers — whether they are in the early phases of their careers or are more established and venturing into a new area of investigation — the freedom and flexibility to follow science wherever it leads. Emphasis is placed on translational research — driving creative ways to advancing discoveries in the laboratory into the new diagnostic tests and treatments in the clinic.

Our Program is open to all Mount Sinai Health System faculty. Priority is given to early and mid-career investigators who seek to form new collaborations with colleagues in other disciplines and to senior scientists who wish to undertake a project outside of their usual area of investigation. Projects are designed with a goal of generating the preliminary data needed to secure external funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other sources.


We are funded through an established Friedman Brain Institute Research Scholars Fund. Support for the Program is sustained through ongoing philanthropy by our most generous donors for which a Research Scholar Award is made in their name.

Research Scholars are selected on a competitive basis by an expert review committee led by the Director of the Friedman Brain Institute who ensures that the process is objective, thorough and achieves the right balance of support for basic, clinical and translational research. Research Scholars present their work at an annual dinner where donors get to know the science and the scientists they are supporting.

We thank this year’s donors — Joseph DiSabato and Nancy Sakamoto, Michael and Beth Fascitelli, Richard and Susan Friedman, Stuart Katz and Dr. Jane Martin, Joshua and Beth Nash, Ram Sundaram and Preethi Krishna, the Lipschultz Family, Harvey Schwartz, Scherr Family and Zhao Family — for their spectacular support of this exciting science.

Friedman Brain Institute Research Scholars Announcement. Watch on YouTube


Fascitelli Research Scholar Award

Dalila Pinto, PhD, Melissa Umphlett, MD and Madeline Fields, MD

Harvey Schwartz Research Scholar Award

Muhammad A Parvaz, PhD and Cheryl M Corcoran, MD

Jane Martin and Stuart Katz Research Scholar Award

Fanny M Elahi, MD, PhD, Kuan-Lin Huang, PhD and Alison M Goate, D.Phil

Joseph and Nancy DiSabato Research Scholar Award

Sarah Ann Levy, Phd

Lipschultz Research Scholar Award

Xiaoting Wu, PhD and Denise J Cai, PhD

Nash Family Research Scholar Award

Haeyoung Baang, MD

Ram Sundaram & Preethi Krishna Research Scholar Award

Ki A Goosens, PhD and Mone Zaidi, MD, PhD, MBA

Richard and Susan Friedman Research Scholar Award

Sairam Geethanath, PhD and Shilpa R Taufique, PhD 

Scherr Family Foundation Research Scholar Award

Graham J Britton, PhD and Stephanie K Tankou, MD, PhD

Zhao Research Scholar Award

Michael S Breen, PhD and Makiko Yasuda, MD, PhD

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