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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, Yale PET Center; 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 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals, given over 150 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.

    For complete list of publications, please click here

  • Professor of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience and of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

    Dr. Cosgrove uses positron emission tomography (PET) to gain insights into the brains of people after they’ve stopped using alcohol and tobacco. Trained as a clinical psychologist who worked with individuals suffering from 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); Director, Operations Core, Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center

    Dr. Ferrante is a Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine physician at the Yale School of Medicine who conducts 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).  She is currently funded by a Beeson award from the NIH/NIA and the Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center.  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.  

    Research Interests: Functional outcomes after a critical illness among older adults

    Mentors: Thomas Gill, M.D. (Geriatrics) and Margaret Pisani, M.D., M.P.H. (Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine)

    Current Grant Funding:

    1. Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging (NIH/NIA K76) 2017-2022
    2. Pilot award, Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (P30 AG021342) 2020-2021
    3. COVID-19 in Older Adults: A Longitudinal Assessment (P30 AG021342-18S1, mPI of study) 2020-2021

    Completed Grant Funding:

    1. GEMSSTAR (Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Subspecialists' Transition to Aging Research) awardee 2015-2017
    2. Pepper Center Career Development Award 2015-2017
    3. T. Franklin Williams Scholar (ATS/AAIM-ASP Career Development Award in Geriatrics) 2015-2017
    4. Parker B. Francis Research Opportunity Award (converted from a Parker B. Francis Fellowship Award after concurrent receipt of K) 2017-2018

    Awards (selected):

    1. Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award, American Geriatrics Society (AGS), 2021
    2. Inaugural Arti Hurria Memorial Award for Emerging Investigators in Internal Medicine, American Geriatrics Society (AGS), 2019
    3. Intensive Care Global Rising Star Award, Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS), 2018
    4. Outstanding Recent Graduate Award, Stony Brook School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, 2018
    5. Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Star Research Award, 2017
    6. AGS/Merck New Investigator Award, 2016
    7. Iva Dostanic Physician-Scientist Award, Yale School of Medicine, 2016

    Internal Medicine residency: Columbia University Medical Center 2007-2010

    Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship: Yale University 2011-2015

    Geriatrics Research Fellowship: Yale University 2013-2015

  • 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

    Ansel obtained his Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. The two prongs of his research include the characterization of novel PET imaging targets and paradigms, and applying these paradigms to study psychiatric conditions in new and innovative ways.  Current projects include using PET to image the glutamate system via mGluR5 receptors in alcohol use disorder; imaging the effects alcohol has on the brain's immune system; characterizing novel radiotracers of immune-related targets in the brain; endogenous opioid signaling in the context of cannabis use; and method development for analyzing multimodal imaging datasets using MRI and PET data. 

  • Professor

    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 B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire profiling (AIRR-seq or Rep-seq)
    • Immune signatures of human infection and vaccination responses


  • Professor of Psychiatry; 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 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 Center for Lung Disease; 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 activities fall under two domains. He is the Director of the Program for Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP) that is active in a range of research projects across the translational continuum from studies relevant to the etiology and pathophysiology of psychotic illnesses to efforts to improve the clinical treatment, and design of systems of care for schizophrenia spectrum disorders. STEP is also focused on 3 other missions of workforce development, best practice care and policy toward an overall mission to improve the capabilities of young adults with psychotic 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.