The Barbara and Maurice Deane Healthy Brain Initiative


The Deane HBI, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will integrate transformative clinical and translational research programs. This groundbreaking and enduring program will enable  Mount Sinai patients to participate in research, allowing Mount Sinai researchers to explore how the brain changes with age. We perform both clinical and translational research.

Clinical Research

At Mount Sinai, our seamless approach to the integration of clinical care and research ensures that patients have access to today’s newest and most promising cognitive therapies in the form of advanced clinical trials. Mount Sinai’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) is a comprehensive research facility and clinical program dedicated to the study and treatment of both normal aging and dementia. Physician-scientists at the ADRC conduct pioneering clinical research that aims to improve diagnosis, delay progression, and enhance the well-being of those with memory loss, in addition to helping us learn more about healthy cognition. Our clinicians and scientists partner with patients to make transformational changes in cognitive treatment at every level.

Clinical Trials

Through our collaborations with research centers at Mount Sinai, such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, we give our patients access to the newest and most promising therapies in the form of clinical trials. As part of The Friedman Brain Institute, we are active in research programs seeking to discover the underlying causes of cognitive and related neuropsychiatric disorders.

Translational Research

Translational research is research specifically designed to improve health outcomes, applying knowledge from basic biology and clinical trials to techniques and tools that address critical medical needs.  Our multidisciplinary team of translational scientists is dedicated to investigating the underlying mechanisms of memory loss in both those suffering from cognitive decline and those experiencing normal cognitive changes associated with aging.  With the state-of-the-art resources available within The Friedman Brain Institute, we conduct innovative translational research that will revolutionize the way we treat cognitive decline.

Meet the Researchers

The following experts drive new and enduring research projects that provide insights into improved diagnostics, more effective treatments, and the neurological processes of healthy aging.

Fanny Elahi, MD, PhD

Fanny Elahi, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Pathology, Molecular and Cell-based Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She serves as Director of Fluid Biomarker Research for the Center for Cognitive Health and Co-Director of the Genomics Core of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Dr. Elahi is focused on evaluations of vascular and white matter disease contributions to brain dysfunction and degeneration, leading to psychiatric, behavioral, cognitive, motoric, and sensorial changes. These pathologies can manifest as recognized clinical syndromes, such as CADASIL syndrome, typical or atypical Alzheimer’s disease syndromes, frontotemporal dementia syndromes (FTD), or Lewy body disorders (LBD). Elahi’s research program focuses on the dysfunction of the brain’s vasculature in aging and neurodegenerative disorders, examining the link between small vessel disease, white matter disease, and neurodegeneration. For more information, visit

Samuel E. Gandy, MD, PhD

Samuel E. Gandy, MD, PhD, is the Mount Sinai Professor of Alzheimer's Disease Research, Associate Director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and Chairman Emeritus of the National Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer's Association. Dr. Gandy is an international expert in the metabolism of amyloid, a protein that clogs the brain in patients with Alzheimer's. In 1989, Gandy and his team discovered the first drugs that could decrease formation of amyloid. Dr. Gandy has written more than 150 original papers, book chapters, and reviews on this topic.

Alison M. Goate, DPhil

Dr. Goate is the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). She has worked on the genetics of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) since 1987, and is the founding director of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s disease at ISMMS. Over the last three decades she has been part of many gene finding teams that have successfully identified disease causing variants for both AD and FTD. Dr. Goate is a leader in the study of late onset AD genetics using integrative genomic approaches to identify novel genetic risk factors. Her lab collaborated with Dr. John Hardy to identify Trem2 as a risk factor for AD and has highlighted the enrichment of AD risk variants in microglial enhancers, regulatory elements in DNA that control gene expression in immune cells of the brain. She is now building upon these insights using genome-editing in induced pluripotent stem cells to understand the molecular mechanisms of disease and to develop novel therapeutics.

Trey Hedden, PhD

Trey Hedden, PhD focuses his research on applying innovative neuroimaging techniques to aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders. His laboratory integrates multiple brain markers from neuroimaging (structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion imaging, and positron emission tomography biomarkers) to build a comprehensive picture of how aging affects cognition at the individual level. Dr. Hedden’s work seeks to improve diagnosis for neurodegenerative diseases by identifying potential preclinical pathology in otherwise normal older individuals.

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, MD

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, MD, is a movement disorders neurologist whose clinical interest focuses on cognitive changes across a variety of neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Jimenez-Shahed uses advanced imaging techniques, coupled with an individual’s cognitive performance, to obtain state-of-the-art measures of several domains of cognitive function.  Her research interests include the development and use of wearable sensors to measure disease manifestations and investigating the intraoperative neurophysiology of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation for movement disorders.

Ana Pereira, MD

Ana Pereira, MD's research focuses on furthering our knowledge of the neurobiology of aging and Alzheimer's disease by investigating the molecular selective vulnerability of neural circuits to synaptic changes and neuronal loss. She seeks to explore the mechanisms underlying these susceptibilities along with effective therapeutic interventions. The Pereira Lab also investigates risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders, such as intermittent hypoxia that occurs in sleep-disordered breathing. These studies aim to develop novel preventive measures and therapeutic targets for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Pereira conducts translational and clinical studies using state-of-the-art neuroimaging and neuropsychological measures, including a clinical trial for a potential novel therapeutic intervention for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Towfique Raj, PhD

Research in the laboratory of Towfique Raj, PhD, focuses on the mechanisms underlying the regulation of gene expression and how neurodegenerative diseases disrupt these mechanisms. He uses genetic association studies to identify regions of the genome with functional effects on tissues and cells of the brain. Dr. Raj applies methods from statistical and population genetics to large-scale genotyping and sequencing studies to discover novel susceptibility alleles for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. He collaborates extensively with colleagues to develop and apply methods for constructing causal regulatory networks to understand the mechanisms driving complex diseases such as dementia. The lab’s translational work is primarily computational, with an emphasis on integrative data analysis and the development of statistical and computational approaches.

Erin L. Rich, MD, PhD

The laboratory of Erin L. Rich, MD, PhD, combines hypothesis-driven behavioral tasks, large-scale neurophysiological recordings, and computational approaches to unravel the relationships between neural dynamics and cognition, in particular learning and memory. Her studies aim to provide insights into basic principles of neural encoding and dynamics that organize function in cognitive and emotional centers of the brain. Dr. Rich is interested in the biological basis of behavior and memory and believes that understanding how these processes arise from neural activity can give us novel insights into the origin and treatment diseases such as dementia.

Mary Sano, PhD

Dr. Sano, is Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also the Director of Research and Development at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital. Dr. Sano is a neuropsychologist by training and has been involved in designing and conducting clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and mild cognitive impairment of aging. Her research interests are in clinical trial design and the impact of pharmacological treatments on the functional abilities of individuals with cognitive impairment. She pioneered remote assessment of cognitive and behavioral problems maximizing the opportunity to detect, treat and manage patients with ADRD. Other areas of interest include the role of depression in cognitive impairment and dementia, women’s attitudes about prevention of memory loss, and measuring quality of life in diseases of aging.

Click Here to Return to the Main Page