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Our Team

COVID Mind Study Leadership Team

COVID Mind Study Yale Collaborators & Advisors

  • Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Biomedical Engineering; Director of Graduate Studies, Biomedical Engineering

    Richard E. Carson received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1983 in Biomathematics. From that time on, he has focused his research on the development and application of mathematical techniques for the study of human beings and non-human primates with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a noninvasive imaging technology that uses radiopharmaceuticals to trace in vivo physiology and pharmacology. From 1983 until 2005, Dr. Carson was an integral part of the PET program at the National Institutes of Health, rising to the rank of Senior Scientist. In 2005, Dr. Carson joined the faculty of Yale University as Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Diagnostic Radiology. He is Director of the Yale PET Center, a state-of-the-art facility focused on quantitative PET techniques using novel radiopharmaceuticals. Dr. Carson is also Director of Graduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Carson’s research interests are concentrated in the following areas: 1) New algorithms for image reconstruction with PET, 2) Development of mathematical models for novel radiopharmaceuticals to produce images of physiological parameters, 3) Use of receptor-binding ligands to measure drug occupancy and dynamic changes in neurotransmitters by analysis of PET tracer signals, and 4) applications of PET tracers in clinical populations and preclinical models of disease. Dr. Carson has published over 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals, given over 175 invited lectures and is a member of the editorial board of two of the leading journals in the field of brain PET, the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, and the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. Dr. Carson was awarded the Kuhl-Lassen award from the Brain Imaging Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine in 2007. He became a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2008 and was awarded the Sheffield Distinguished Teaching Award from the Yale School of Engineering. In 2009, he was named the winner of the Ed Hoffman Memorial Award from the Computer and Instrumentation Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. In 2010, Dr. Carson was named as a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. In 2016, Dr. Carson was given the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Radiology Research. In 2017, Dr. Carson received the Edward J. Hoffman Medical Imaging Scientist Award from the IEEE. In 2018, Dr. Carson gave the Henry N. Wagner Jr. Lectureship at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging annual meeting in Philadelphia. In 2019, Dr. Carson was named as a Fellow of the IEEE. In 2023, Dr. Carson received the Yale University Graduate Mentor Award. For complete list of publications, please click here
  • Professor of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience and of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging; Co-Director of the T32 Translational Alcohol Research Program, Psychiatry and Public Health

    Dr. Cosgrove uses positron emission tomography (PET) to gain insights into the brains of people after they’ve stopped using alcohol and drugs. Trained as a clinical psychologist who worked with individuals managing alcohol and drug addiction, Dr. Cosgrove transitioned to conducting research in order to find more effective ways of helping patients recover from addiction and avoid relapse. Her laboratory develops and uses creative PET imaging paradigms to track changes in critical neurochemicals during the recovery from addiction.
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Director, Molecular Imaging Program, NCPTSD, VA; Director, Mood, Anxiety, and Cognitive Sciences Division

    Irina Esterlis is a clinical neuropsychologist and neuroreceptor imager with extensive training in the application of SPECT and PET to the study of mental illness and comorbid disorders. Dr. Esterlis has developed two novel paradigms to interrogate both the acetylcholine and glutamatergic systems in vivo in human, and these are being currently applied to the study of mood and addiction disorders. She has received awards from Society of Nuclear Medicine, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Esterlis' current work includes the study of the metabotropic glutamatergic receptor involvement in bipolar depression and suicide, as well as the effects of depression on synaptic aging. Dr. Esterlis is also initiating new work in the study of neurotransmitter alterations in adolescent depression and suicidality.
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine); Director, Operations Core, Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center; Student Thesis Chair, Internal Medicine

    Dr. Ferrante is a Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine physician at the Yale School of Medicine who conducts epidemiologic and clinical research at the interface of critical care medicine and geriatrics. The overarching goal of her research program is to understand and improve the functional outcomes of older ICU patients. Dr. Ferrante is a strong advocate of integrating geriatrics principles into critical care medicine and increasing collaboration between the subspecialties and geriatrics. To that end, she co-founded/co-chairs the Aging in Critical Care Interest Group of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and co-chairs the Medical Subspecialties Section of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). Her funding includes a Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders in Aging Career Development Award and an upcoming R01, both from the National Institute on Aging. From a clinical perspective, Dr. Ferrante is an attending physician in the medical intensive care unit (MICU) of Yale New Haven Hospital, where she is the physician leader of STEPS-ICU early mobilization program. Active projects: Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging (NIH/NIA K76): The PREDICT Study (PRE-ICU Determinants of Post-ICU FunCTional Outcomes among Older Adults)Pilot award, Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (P30 AG021342): Feasibility, Acceptability, and Barriers to Implementation of a Geriatrics Bundle in the ICU: a Pilot Study (ACE-ICU)COVID-19 in Older Adults: A Longitudinal Assessment(VALIANT) (P30 AG021342-18S1, mPI of study) Completed Grant Funding: GEMSSTAR (Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Subspecialists' Transition to Aging Research) awardee Pepper Center Career Development Award T. Franklin Williams Scholar (ATS/AAIM-ASP Career Development Award in Geriatrics) Parker B. Francis Research Opportunity Award (converted from a Parker B. Francis Fellowship Award after concurrent receipt of K) Awards (selected): Jo Rae Wright Award, American Thoracic Society, 2023 Critical Care Early Career Achievement Award, American Thoracic Society, 2022 Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award, American Geriatrics Society (AGS), 2021 Inaugural Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in Internal Medicine, American Geriatrics Society (AGS), 2019 Intensive Care Global Rising Star Award, Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS), 2018 AGS/Merck New Investigator Award, 2016 Iva Dostanic Physician-Scientist Award, Yale School of Medicine, 2016 Training: Internal Medicine residency: Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship: Yale School of Medicine, 2015 Geriatrics Research Fellowship: Yale School of Medicine, 2015 Master of Health Science degree: Yale School of Medicine, 2016
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of Neurology

    Dr. Fesharaki is currently a neuropsychiatrist, as well as a basic neuroscience researcher focusing on Traumatic Brain Injury and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. He has a diverse training background, which include a mixture of clinical adult psychiatry, clinical behavioral neurology/neuropsychiatry and bench neuroscience skills.  This combination of aforementioned skills has in turn given him a unique vantage point to have the opportunity to apply what he continues to learn in the laboratory to enrich his clinical treatment.  His current research focus is to develop a robust animal model of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), as well as investigation of potential treatment modalities.  He is also involved in a collaborative research study investigating synaptic density alterations in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD).
  • Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and of Psychiatry; Associate Director of Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

    Ansel obtained his Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. His research program features core areas of translational characterization of novel PET radiotracers, developing new imaging paradigms to improve quantification of brain neurobiology, and human neuroimaging research studying mechanisms underlying diverse psychiatric conditions. Research efforts are complemented by didactic activities lecturing at Yale and individual mentoring of trainees. Current projects include characterizing novel PET radiotracers of immune-related targets in the brain; developing novel imaging paradigms to study acute alcohol effects on neuroimmune and glutamate systems; assessment of dopamine release from smoked cannabis; method development for analyzing multimodal imaging data from fMRI-PET or PET-PET datasets; and implementing Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to identify different sources of PET radiotracer uptake.
  • Anthony N Brady Professor of Pathology; Co-Director of Graduate Studies, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

    Dr. Steven Kleinstein is a computational immunologist with a combination of big data analysis and immunology domain expertise. His research interests include both developing new computational methods and applying these methods to study human immune responses. Dr. Kleinstein received a B.A.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University. He is currently Professor of Pathology (with a secondary appointment in Immunobiology) at the Yale School of Medicine, and a member of the Interdepartmental Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB), and the Human and Translational Immunology Program. Specific areas of research focus include:High-throughput single-cell B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire profiling (AIRR-seq, Rep-seq, scRNA-seq+VDJ)Multi-omic immune signatures of human infection and vaccination responses
  • Professor of Psychiatry and of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences); Director, Translational Psychiatric Epidemiology Laboratory, Clinical Neurosciences Division, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD

    Robert H. Pietrzak completed a B.A. in Psychology at Clark University, and M.P.H. in Epidemiology and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Pietrzak is Director of the Translational Psychiatric Epidemiology Laboratory in the Clinical Neurosciences Division of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD and Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences) at Yale School of Public Health. His primary research interests include the psychosocial and genetic epidemiology of traumatic stress and resilience across the lifespan; dimensional models of stress-related psychopathology; and the effect of stress on cognition.
  • Associate Professor Term; Medical Director, Post-COVID Recovery Program, Winchester Chest Center; Medical Director, Winchester Center for Lung Disease, Winchester Center for Lung Disease

    Dr. Possick attended Yale University School of Medicine and continued at Yale to complete both a residency in Internal Medicine in 2005 as well as a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in 2008. She is the Medical Director of the Winchester Center for Lung Disease and leads both the Comprehensive Pulmonary Medicine Program, which forms the foundation of the Winchester Center's consultation practice, and the Post-COVID Recovery Program, which provides evaluation and support for survivors of SARS-CoV-2 infection with persistent respiratory symptoms or complications. She also practices in the Thoracic Oncology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital, focusing on treatment-related complications and pulmonary comorbidities in patients with lung cancer.  Though her clinical practice is quite diverse, she specializes in the evaluation of the complex pulmonary problems encountered by individuals undergoing treatment for malignancy, particularly pulmonary toxicities related to chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy; pulmonary graft-versus-host disease related to stem cell transplantation; and the management of pulmonary comorbidities in the setting of lung cancer.Beyond this focus, she is committed to improving patient/caregiver health literacy, improving transitions of care, and fostering multi-disciplinary collaboration in the care of the multi-morbid population with chronic lung disease. She leads the core clinical faculty who precept the Fellows' Clinic at the Winchester Center for Lung Disease and is devoted to enriching the ambulatory pulmonary curriculum for the PCCSM fellows, residents and students.
  • Associate Professor of Cardiology and Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Health Program

    Dr. Erica S. Spatz, MD, MHS is a general cardiologist and a clinical investigator at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). Her clinical and research interests include the development of individualized approaches to preventing and managing cardiovascular disease, along with tools to help patients become more active in their healthcare decisions.
  • Professor of Psychiatry; Director, STEP Program

    Dr. Srihari's scholarly focus is on improving the outcomes of early course schizophrenia spectrum disorders. His research interests span the translational continuum from studies of etiology and pathophysiology to interventions on clinical samples, to service level innovations. As Director of the STEP Program, he leads activities that connect this research to the missions of delivering a model service (the STEP Clinic), disseminating clinical best practices (via Learning Health Networks), education and workforce development and influencing policies that support the public health mission of early Intervention for schizophrenia spectrum disorders.  In his curricular work, he has led the development and implementation of an Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) based approach to enabling psychiatrists in training to ask, access, appraise and apply the best available scientific evidence to their practice and to audit the health of the populations they are responsible for.Dr. Srihari also consults with academic and non-academic healthcare systems that seek to initiate or refine early intervention services for recent onset or 'first-episode' psychosis.

COVID Mind Study Team