The Friedman Brain Institute


Education is one of the core missions of The Friedman Brain Institute. Our scientists and physicians play a crucial role in training medical students and graduate students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. They also are instrumental in educating community physicians about advances in the field via our world-class CME program

Students learn about the latest advances in our understanding of brain and spinal cord disorders, current treatments, and the cutting-edge experimental approaches that are driving discoveries in the laboratory and clinic.

We offer doctors further clinical and research training through our residency programs in clinical neuroscience. In addition, the scientists in our postdoctoral training programs have the opportunity to work in some of the best basic science and clinical laboratories in the nation.

Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Research Training

Clinical Residencies (including Research Track)

PhD in Neuroscience

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai occupies a unique position among the leading biomedical research and patient care institutions in New York City. Neither a stand-alone research institution, nor part of a university, we are a medical school and research facility embedded in a hospital.

Our science enterprise is translational in nature. Moving beyond pure research to serve the health and well being of patients, we have an exceptional history of bringing new knowledge to the patient bedside. Indeed, some of our most important discoveries were the result of our physicians’ drive to do something more, something better for their patients.

The Icahn School of Medicine has partnered with the Leon Levy Foundation to make it possible for the best young biomedical academicians to bridge science and medicine in the search for understanding and healing of the brain while, simultaneously, ensuring they have significant research careers in the brain sciences.

Our Physician-Scientist Track, made possible by the Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellowship Program, assures physician-scientists the time and support to become leaders in academic research in psychiatry, neurology, or neurosurgery by eliminating the long delay between research training and protected time for research that most research residency programs enforce. By constructing a meaningful route to equal proficiency in science and medicine via protected time, intensive mentoring, and seed money for research, the Program addresses a major gap in academic medicine—the need for researchers who have mastered a rigorous scientific approach to investigating problems in human development and disease who also understand disease processes and the needs of patients.  


Mentoring is a vital element in the program. In addition to having a direct research mentor, each trainee has a mentoring committee composed of three additional faculty members who oversee the trainee’s progress and help institute mid-course corrections as needed.

Our excellence in translational neuroscience, our team of world-renowned physician-scientist mentors, and our established track record of successfully mentoring physician-scientists toward independent academic careers supports the Foundation’s goal to advance young careers in the brain sciences and enables the Icahn School of Medicine to attract the most gifted young physician-scientists.

Fellowship Program Leadership

Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD, a world leader in basic neuroscience research of neuropsychiatric disorders with a long and highly successful track record of promoting the careers of physician-scientists in both psychiatry and neurology, serves as director of the Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellowship Program.

Dr. Nestler, recently appointed Dean for Academic and Scientific Affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine, is also the Nash Family Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute.

Joining Dr. Nestler is a large team of senior and junior physician-scientists throughout the Department of Neuroscience and the Icahn Institute and Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences who serve as close mentors for our Levy Fellows in conjunction with the mentoring committees. 

Current Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellows

Sam Horng, MD, PhD, and Ivan Chavarria-Siles, MD, MSc, have been selected as the first Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellows. They were chosen based on their individual outstanding medical education performance, their accomplishments in the lab, and their demonstrated commitment to become academic and translational leaders in neuroscience.

James Young, MD, PhD and Drew Kiraly, MD, PhD have been selected to join Sam Horng, MD, PhD, and Ivan Chavarria-Siles, MD, MSc, as Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellows. Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellows are chosen based on their individual outstanding performance in regards to their medical education, their accomplishments in the lab, and their demonstrated commitment to become academic and translational leaders in neuroscience. View Sam Horng's presentation at the Fifth Annual Leon Levy Symposium. 

The Friedman Brain Institute offers regular lectures, seminars and other events that cover a wide range of topics on basic neuroscience and translational efforts for brain and spinal cord disorders.

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