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YCCI Society of Mentors

Scholars in YCCI’s educational programs are mentored and monitored by one or more senior faculty members from their department. In addition to these primary mentors, each Scholar is guided by a Career Development Committee. These mentors are senior faculty members from various departments who provide an unbiased perspective on Scholars’ progress and career development and make suggestions about future directions for both research and grant proposals. This integrated program led by an interdisciplinary team of mentors provides scholars with a significantly broader grounding in the essential elements of clinical and translational research. Scholars meet with their committee at least twice a year and committee members also attend Research in Progress meetings at which Scholars present their research.

Members of each committee are chosen based on the breadth, depth, and quality of their clinical and translational research, on their track records in mentoring young scientists, and on their shared commitment to developing an exciting intellectual environment for YCCI trainees. We are fortunate in having a very large pool of senior faculty members who are outstanding investigators in all types of clinical and translational science and who also are experienced mentors. Faculty members shown below are available to serve in the role of Career Development Mentors for our YCCI Scholars.

  • C.N.H. Long Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine (Endocrinology)

    YCCI Director

    While most people move from the bench to the bedside during the course of their research careers, Robert Sherwin, MD, did just the opposite.

    In 1979, he and William Tamborlane, MD, devised a method of delivering insulin to children with Type 1 diabetes that more closely resembled how the pancreas produces it. Their study resulted in the development of the insulin pump, which is now used by hundreds of thousands of patients. This clinical research project also paved the way for the NIH-funded Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), a landmark study which showed that treatment slows the onset and progression of diabetes-related complications.

    A concern about the long term consequences of repeated episodes of hypoglycemia led him to the lab, where he worked with rodents to better understand the brain’s response to low levels of glucose. His research began to shed light on how the hypothalamus activated the counterregulatory response in hypoglycemic animals. In the lab, Dr. Sherwin also helped to develop a mouse model of Type 1 diabetes that shares features of the human immune system to study how the disease triggers the autoimmune response.

    During the last decade, Dr. Sherwin has used cutting-edge imaging advances to move back to human studies to explore how to protect the brain better from hypoglycemia in Type 1 diabetes patients and also to understand feeding behavior in Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Working with a diverse group of researchers—from psychiatrists to pediatricians—his research has revealed dramatic differences between the brain responses of lean and obese children.

    As a seasoned researcher with over 35 years of continuous NIH support, Dr. Sherwin is uniquely qualified to serve as director of YCCI and PI of the CTSA. Because his work spans both clinical and basic science, he is well aware of the need to provide an infrastructure that affords the flexibility to support researchers whether their studies take place in the lab, the clinic, or the community. His commitment to ensuring that YCCI provides support services that span the entire life of research studies is fueled by a conviction that successful research requires a collaborative team effort.

    Having mentored over 100 young investigators, many of whom have gone on to become leaders in their fields, Dr. Sherwin is especially passionate about investing in the careers of tomorrow’s researchers. “I feel that we can have a real impact by directly providing mentorship and an environment where people can transition from being a clinician to being a clinician researcher,” he said.

    The enthusiasm with which Dr. Sherwin pursues his own work serves as an inspiration to his younger colleagues. “There are enough questions to answer,” he said. “For me, the most important thing is to get excited about what you’re doing.”

  • Associate Dean for Health Equity Research and C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine (General Medicine), of Epidemiology (Chronic Disease) and of Public Health (Social And Behavioral Sciences); Associate Dean, Health Equity Research; Founding Director, Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC), Yale School of Medicine; Director, Center for Research Engagement (CRE); Director, Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity; Deputy Director for Health Equity Research and Workforce Development, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI); Director, Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership

    Deputy Director of Health Equity Research and Workforce Development

    Growing up in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, a health professional shortage area, Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, remembers countless stories of loved ones and members of her community who struggled with their health or died prematurely. That experience led her to pursue a career in medicine and conduct research that focuses on vulnerable populations and their interactions with healthcare systems.

    Ever since her arrival at Yale as a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program (CSP), Dr. Nunez-Smith has been on a mission to develop ways of addressing health and healthcare inequities wherever they are found: in patient settings, in the healthcare workforce, and in medical education. As a 2006 YCCI Scholar, she gathered preliminary data for what is now known as PreDict (Patient-Reported Experiences of Discrimination in Care Tool). PreDict is a tool that assesses the patient care experience and measures hospital performance with the goal of improving the quality of care delivery. “The Scholar award was tremendously helpful because it allowed me to launch a line of inquiry that was new and then provided me with the resources to complete the preliminary work that allowed us to be competitive for major NIH grants,” she said.

    Dr. Nunez-Smith went on to develop the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN), a collaborative multi-million dollar research study funded by the National Institute for Minority Health Disparities (NIMHD). ECHORN examines the risk factors and prevalence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease in the Eastern Caribbean, a region for which such data are lacking.

    Both ECHORN and PreDict – which has spurred several related projects undertaken by her mentees – are now incorporated into the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC), for which Dr. Nunez-Smith serves as director. ERIC builds on the local, national, and global experience of Dr. Nunez-Smith and 60 team members that are involved in research aimed at narrowing health and healthcare inequities, as well as disparities in the healthcare workforce and medical education.

    As a former YCCI Scholar, Dr. Nunez-Smith appreciates the benefits of mentorship and serves as academic advisor to Yale School of Medicine students. She also continues her involvement with the CSP as a core faculty member of the Scholars Program and co-director of Community Research Initiatives. “I’m working towards synergy across all of these programs so they’re not siloed,” she said. “The idea is to think about core elements of knowledge for our faculty for population health and health equity and engage stakeholders in our work.”

  • Associate Dean of Research and Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Associate Cancer Center Director, Population Sciences; Co-Leader, Cancer Prevention and Control, Yale Cancer Center; Deputy Director (Public Health), Yale Center for Clinical Investigation

    Deputy Director

    An athlete her entire life, Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH, originally planned on specializing in orthopedics. But college courses in exercise physiology, nutrition and human anatomy led her to shift gears to public health. She ultimately decided to pursue a PhD, rather than an MD, in order to explore the connection between lifestyle factors and chronic disease.

    Since joining Yale in 2001, Dr. Irwin has concentrated on the role of lifestyle behaviors in cancer prevention and prognosis.

    This is increasingly relevant for breast cancer – the focus of much of her work - since mortality has decreased during the past two decades but survivors are at risk for recurrence and debilitating side effects due to treatment. Her work has shown that

    even after women have been diagnosed with breast cancer, they can substantially lower the risk of both recurrence and mortality by exercising. This holds true even for women who don’t become physically active until after their diagnosis.

    She has expanded her research into other cancers, showing that a moderate-intensity walking program improved physical functioning and reduced cancer-related fatigue in patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Dr. Irwin, who considers herself a biobehavioral researcher, is also examining the effect of exercise and weight loss on cancer biomarkers, showing that weight loss decreased C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation related to cancer. Her current research interests are focused on examining whether lifestyle behaviors also indirectly improve survival via improvements in medication adherence.

    “Given the improvement in treatment for many diseases, especially cancer, some people have a window of opportunity to change their lifestyle,” she said. “Others may already be living a healthy lifestyle but have difficulty maintaining it because of treatment, so we need to help them do that.”

    Dr. Irwin hopes that this line of research will lead to incorporating weight management and exercise management into the clinic as part of reimbursable cancer care, in much the same way that cardiac rehabilitation is now standard of care.

    Dr. Irwin is interested in the effects of exercise on other chronic diseases and is excited about her role at YCCI, which is allowing her to collaborate with faculty across the Yale campus. She is focusing on creating efficiencies between centers and expanding resources and opportunities for public health and population science research. She is equally eager to foster opportunities for junior faculty and feels better equipped to mentor younger colleagues after taking YCCI’s course on mentoring.

    “I hope to be able to give back in terms of more collaborations, synergies, efficiencies, and training opportunities,” she said.

  • Dan Adams and Amanda Adams Professor of General Medicine; Chief, Section of General Internal Medicine

    Chief of General Internal Medicine and Professor of Medicine at Yale, Dr. O'Connor's research has focused on the interface between primary care and substance abuse, resulting in nearly 200 scientific papers. His work has been published in leading medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, The Archives of Internal Medicine, The American Journal of Medicine, The Journal of General Internal Medicine, as well as in a number of substance abuse specialty journals.

    Dr. O’Connor has recruited and mentored a number of highly skilled clinical investigators (his faculty included 17 alumni of the RWJ Clinical Scholars Program) who are conducting groundbreaking work in clinical epidemiology, health services research, outcomes research and clinical effectiveness as well as focusing on chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart failure, cancer and substance abuse. Beginning with the recruitment and mentoring of Dr. D. Fiellin, and followed by the recruitment and mentoring of Drs. Justice, L Fiellin, and three new junior faculty—Drs. Tetrault, Becker and Edelman, Dr. O'Connor has built one of the most accomplished internal medicine-based substance abuse research programs in the United States.

    The research portfolio of this investigative group includes topics at the core of the Yale DAHRS program related to opioid dependence, alcohol use disorders, and the overlap between addiction and chronic pain. Dr. O’Connor’s accomplishments as a mentor and academic leader have been recognized by his receipt of two major national mentorship and leadership awards, one from the Association for Medical Education and Research on Substance Abuse (2005) and the other by The Society of General Internal Medicine (2007).

    During his tenure as Section Chief, Dr. O’Connor has successfully recruited a number of female faculty as well as faculty from underrepresented minority groups. He has built an internal medicine-based program focusing on research and education in substance abuse that includes several research staff and seven full-time faculty. Three of the senior faculty have held grants funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. O’Connor is the recipient of an R25 grant, Advancing Clinical Research Training Within Addiction Residency Programs, serving as MPI with Dr. Jeffery Samet.

    Dr. O’Connor has been the Principal Investigator on a number of research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health that explore topics at the core of the Yale-DAHRS program. Topics include:

    1. Integration of primary care and drug abuse treatment services
    2. Strategies for primary care-based opioid detoxification and opioid maintenance treatment
    3. Strategies for treating alcohol dependence in primary care settings
    4. Medical education about substance abuse

    Dr. O’Connor has been a highly active mentor and teacher in general internal medicine and specifically within the field of substance abuse. In recognition of his attributes as a mentor he received the Excellence in Mentorship award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) in 2005 and the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM)/Association of Chiefs & Leaders of General Internal Medicine (ACGIM) Chief’s Award in 2007.

    As Chief of General Internal Medicine (GIM) at Yale, he has transformed the program into the foremost GIM Section in the United States. He is the past President of AMERSA and is President-elect of the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM).

  • Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and of Neuroscience; Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center; Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry; Co-director of Education, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation

    Deputy Director for Interdisciplinary Research

    Rajita Sinha, PhD, has been fascinated by emotions since her youth, when she studied Indian classical dance, a disciplined practice filled with emotional expression. She later studied biological psychology and the physiological manifestations of emotion, working with addicts and people with psychiatric disorders. She was intrigued by brain mechanisms underlying stress, cravings and addiction. “The abundance of choices available in the world, and easy access to commodities, including highly palatable foods and drugs, challenges the body’s motivational systems in novel ways,” she said.

    Today, Dr. Sinha is internationally known for her pioneering research on the neural and biobehavioral mechanisms linking stress to addiction. She directs the Yale Stress Center, which was started with one of the largest interdisciplinary Consortium grants from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of stress and self control effects on addictive behaviors and chronic disease. The collaborative research conducted at the Yale Stress Center by Dr. Sinha and other scientists includes the disciplines of neuroscience, genetics, psychiatry, basic neurobiology, diagnostic radiology, endocrinology, epidemiology and public health and clinical and behavioral outcomes. The Center is also developing and testing interventions to reverse the toxic effects of stress and loss of self control that drive addictive behaviors such as nicotine dependence, excessive alcohol use and overeating of comfort foods. Dr. Sinha is also examining the role of long-term stress and repeated stress exposures in alcohol and substance dependence to develop new therapies to reduce compulsive motivation for alcohol and drugs of abuse.

    Dr. Sinha’s work has shown that addiction itself debilitates the ability to handle stress, which has led her to conduct studies on medications to strengthen the brain circuitry involved in the ability to regulate emotions and cravings. Recognizing a reward/motivation component is obesity and food cravings, she is also conducting research in this area.

    Stress and addictions are major risk factors for cancer and chronic diseases, prompting Dr. Sinha to explore the biological underpinnings of these relationships. “We tend to divide up the body but that’s not how all diseases work,” she said. “What’s breaking the back of health care are the chronic diseases, which often occur in twos, threes, and fours. The challenge is in identifying the major risk factors and starting to address those, which allows us to think more broadly about these diseases.”

    In her interdisciplinary approach, Dr. Sinha utilizes neuroendocrine, physiological, neuroimaging, behavioral, neurocognitive, and clinical outcome approaches to explore stress and addiction interactions and their effect on chronic disease and health outcomes. She has also developed a clinical research core focused on developing large scale data sets to study genetic and environmental interactions that affect the risk of developing addictions and chronic disease. She brings her interdisciplinary focus to her mentees and her leadership role in YCCI, and the most important beneficiaries of this approach are the patients whose health is positively impacted by her work.

  • C.N.H. Long Professor of Immunobiology and of Medicine (Endocrinology)

    Deputy Director

    As a researcher who does both basic science and clinical research, Kevan Herold, MD, is ideally positioned to engage the basic science community in translational research that benefits patients.

    After spending 20 years doing research and teaching at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, Dr. Herold joined Yale in 2006 as the first recruit of the Human and Translational Immunology (HIT) program. He is widely recognized for his work on anti-CD3, a monoclonal antibody that quiets the T cells responsible for destroying insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Starting in preclinical models and moving to investigations in humanized mice, Dr. Herold and his collaborators found that anti-CD3 induced T cells to migrate from the circulatory and lymph systems to the small intestine, where they produced the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-10. When the cells returned to circulation, they had become regulators of the immune response that play a role in arresting the destruction of beta cells.

    He has translated this work to clinical trials in patients, where he has shown that anti-CD3 has a significant effect on preserving insulin production in patients with new onset Type 1 diabetes. He also developed a novel assay to measure beta cell death by determining the level of insulin DNA in the blood that contains epigenetic markers that identify it as being of beta cell origin. He most recently used this assay in subjects at risk for Type 1 diabetes that has challenged previous notions of disease mechanisms.

    Dr. Herold serves as director of the TrialNet Center at Yale, part of a consortium that conducts clinical trials to prevent Type 1 diabetes in those who are at high risk of developing the disease and treat newly diagnosed patients. Relatives of people with Type 1 diabetes have a 10 to 15 times greater risk for developing the disease than people with no family history. Family members are screened for diabetes-related antibodies; those who test positive can participate in studies designed to test medications – including an unprecedented multicenter trial with anti-CD3 - to prevent the disease from occurring. Dr Herold is also collaborating on studies to identify biomarkers in at-risk patients who progress to Type 1 diabetes.

    The treatments Dr. Herold is developing may have an impact on the lives of people who haven’t yet developed diabetes or aren’t aware they are at risk for developing it. “These are the people we’ll ultimately be able to help and that’s quite a strong motivation,” he said.

    In his role as YCCI’s deputy director, Dr. Herold has been instrumental in developing the Immune Monitoring Core and establishing a centralized biorepository for storing and tracking samples that is linked to Yale’s clinical research management system. “The depth it adds to the research is phenomenal,” he said.

  • Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) and Professor of Pathology and of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Chief, Rheumatology, Allergy, & Immunology; Rheumatologist in Chief, Rheumatology

    Richard Bucala, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Epidemiology & Public Health.  He studies the mechanisms by which protective immune responses lead to immunopathology, focusing on MIF-family cytokines and their genetics, which his group first cloned and characterized experimentally.  Currently, his laboratory is leading multidisciplinary efforts to develop immunotherapies tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup. An anti-MIF antibody developed by the group is undergoing clinical testing in oncology, and an anti-MIF receptor antibody, recently FDA approved, is under evaluation in SLE. Dr. Bucala also is credited with the discovery of the fibrocyte, which is being targeted therapeutically in different fibrosing disorders.  He is a co-founder of Cytokine Networks and of MIFCOR, a biotechnology startup begun as a student-advised project.  Dr. Bucala was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Arthritis & Rheumatology and has served on numerous advisory boards for the NIH, the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and private foundations.

  • Professor of Pediatrics (Endocrinology)

    Pediatric endocrinologist Sonia Caprio, MD, recalls a time when obesity was so rare in children that they didn’t get type 2 diabetes, which was referred to as “adult onset diabetes.” Today, pediatric obesity has escalated to epidemic proportions and type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise.

    Dr. Caprio’s research focuses on the pathophysiology of juvenile obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as its treatment. To combat obesity, she worked with registered dietician Mary Savoye, on a study to develop Bright Bodies, a weight management program for children that uses education, exercise and lifestyle modification. Today, hundreds of children are enrolled in Bright Bodies and it is “the pearl of our clinical work,” according to Dr. Caprio, professor of pediatrics (endocrinology).

    Yale was one of the first centers to point out the issue of pre-diabetes, which led to two major studies funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Youth (TODAY) examined different treatments for type 2 diabetes in adolescents and showed that these young patients have more rapidly progressive disease than those who are diagnosed as adults.

    The Restoring Insulin Secretion (RISE) study, for which Yale is one of only three participating centers in the country, also involves adolescents with pre- and early type 2 diabetes. RISE aims to prevent full blown diabetes in these patients by testing a new approach - insulin followed by metformin - compared to metformin alone. “The rational for using insulin for pre-diabetes is that by diminishing the level of glucose toxicity we may be able to prevent further beta cell loss,” said Dr. Caprio.

    She is conducting a study in the Hospital Research Unit with Robert Sherwin, MD, and Rajita Sinha, PhD, using functional MRI to study the effect of glucose and fructose on the brains of adolescents, who are the major consumers of soda in the U.S.

    She is also working with Savoye on a study to reduce fat content in the liver - a precursor to diabetes - by increasing the content of omega fatty acids in the diet. This study utilizes the CTSA-supported metabolic kitchen to prepare meals and the Church Street Research Unit (CSRU), YCCI’s outpatient research facility, to conduct oral glucose tolerance testing.For the past decade, she has been using the CSRU to test children for diabetes or pre-diabetes. In fact, it’s the first stop for every patient in every study she does.“Without that, we can’t determine the next study to do on the child,” she said. “The CTSA is my second home.”

  • Associate Professor of Medicine (General Medicine); Associate Dean for Student Research, Medical Education; Co-Director, National Clinician Scholars Program

    Sarwat Chaudhry, MD is a board-certified internist who completed her clinical training at the University of Chicago. She came to Yale for the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, and now holds a faculty position as Associate Professor of Medicine in the Section of General Medicine. Her work focuses on improving the care and outcomes of hospitalized patients, with a focus on older patients hospitalized for cardiovascular disease. Dr. Chaudhry serves as Associate Dean of Student Research and is Co-Director of the National Clinician Scholars Program at Yale.

  • Anna M. R. Lauder Professor Emeritus of Public Health and Senior Research Scientist in Public Health (Health Policy); Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA)

    Paul D. Cleary, Ph.D. is the Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. He served as Dean of the Yale School of Public Health from 2006 to 2017. He holds secondary positions as Professor of Sociology and in the Institute for Social and Institute for Social and Policy Studies. He directs the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA), which provides infrastructure support to over 50 research and training grants and over 180 affiliated scientists and community members.

    Dr. Cleary received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. His earliest work focused on studies of health behavior. He conducted theoretical and empirical research on smoking as well as patients’ perceptions and responses to physical symptoms and factors affecting use of medical care. He also studied the recognition and management of conditions such as mental illness, alcohol abuse and functional impairment in primary care settings.

    For more than 20 years, Dr. Cleary has been actively involved in research focused on persons infected with HIV. Since early in his career, he has investigated the ways in which infection affects people’s lives and the factors affecting the quality of medical care for infected persons. He led a key component of the HIV Costs and Services Utilization Study (HSCUS), in which his team investigated the physician and clinic characteristics that predict the quality of care that patients receive. He also conducted a major national evaluation of a quality improvement program in HIV clinics funded by the Ryan White Care Act.

    He has studied how organizational characteristics affect the costs and quality of care for persons with AIDS; evaluated a national continuous quality improvement initiative in clinics providing care to HIV infected individuals; and studied the long-term impact of patient-centered hospital care. He is Principal Investigator of one of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) projects funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop information gathering surveys for consumers regarding their health plans and services. He also is Principal Investigator and Director of the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). He has published more than 300 journal articles describing his research.

    Dr. Cleary has been a member of the Academy of Medicine (AOM) since 1994 and served as Chair of two AOM Committees: the Committee on the Ryan White CARE Act: Data for Resource Allocation, Planning and Evaluation in 2002-2003, and the Committee on HIV Screening and Access to Care from 2010 to 2011. He has also been a member of the Connecticut Academy for Science and Engineering since 2007. In 1996, he was selected as a distinguished fellow of the Association for Health Services Research, and in 2002, received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. In 2010, Dr. Cleary was awarded the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care by the Picker Institute.  In 2018, he received the L:eo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Contributions to Medical Sociology.

    From 2005 to 2016 Dr. Cleary chaired the National Advisory Committee for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program. He has served as editor of The Milbank Quarterly, associate editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, consulting editor of the Journal of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, and an editorial board member of The Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine and the Advanced Handbook of Methods in Evidence Based Health Care.

  • Albert E. Kent Professor of Emergency Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine

    “Academic faculty members need to be very proactive in their career trajectory,” said Gail D’Onofrio, MD, MS. “They need someone to help them navigate the academic waters. It’s an active process.”

    Dr. D’Onofrio has extensive experience mentoring dozens of young investigators from multiple disciplines at Yale and other institutions. She is Co-PI with Patrick O’Connor, MD, on a training grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to train Fellows from such fields as emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics to become independent investigators focusing on drug use, addiction, and HIV prevention in general medical settings. She also leads grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) to train primary care residents and students in the professions of medicine, nursing, social work, and counseling. Her mentees include researchers from fellow-CTSA sites like New York University and the University of North Carolina.

    As a mentor, Dr. D’Onofrio has a hands-on approach in helping junior colleagues align their interests with fundable research proposals; write grants; establish a professional network at Yale and in the wider community; and balance professional activities with scholarship.

    Dr. D’Onofrio is a national expert on heart disease in women and internationally known for her work in screening emergency department patients for alcohol and other drug use. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association was the first-known randomized trial comparing three treatment strategies for opioid-dependent patients receiving emergency care. Eighty percent of those treated with buprenorphine in the emergency department were engaged in treatment 30 days later and were less likely to use illicit opioids. Dr. D’Onofrio, co-PI David Fiellin, MD, and other colleagues are currently developing plans to expand this treatment model to multiple sites.

    Dr. D’Onofrio is committed to expanding the cadre of clinical researchers at Yale University. Working with Yale-New Haven Hospital—the fourth largest hospital in the United States—she said “we have the opportunity to enroll patients with a wide range of diseases and to work with community and outreach programs to improve the health of the public. Centralized CTSA-supported resources are critical to these efforts.”

  • John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Cell Biology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Director, Kavli Institute for Neuroscience and Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair (CNNR)

    A native of Italy, De Camilli studied at the Liceo Manzoni in Milan, earned his M.D. degree from the University of Milano in 1972 and obtained a postgraduate degree in medical endocrinology from the University of Pavia in Italy. He was a postdoctoral fellow (1978-79) with Paul Greengard in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale, and subsequently an assistant professor in the Yale Section of Cell Biology. Following a return of a few years to Milan, he moved back to Yale in the late 1980s, where he is now John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience. He became an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1992. From 1997 to 2000 he served as Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and since 2005 he is Founding Director of the Yale Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair (CNNR). He served as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience from 2015 to 2021, and has been the Director of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience since 2015.

    The De Camilli lab is interested in the cell biology of neuronal synapses. His studies on synaptic vesicle dynamics have contributed to the general fields of exocytosis and endocytosis. His research has provided insight into mechanisms of membrane fission and has revealed ways through which membrane-associated proteins can generate, sense and stabilize lipid bilayer curvature. His discovery and characterization of the role of phosphoinositide metabolism in the control of endocytosis have broad implications in the fields of phospholipid signaling and of membrane traffic. Building on this work, he has recently become interested in the role of membrane contact sites in the control of the homeostasis of bilayer lipids. His studies of synapses have also contributed to the elucidation of pathogenetic mechanisms of human diseases. 

  • Ebenezer K. Hunt Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering; Vice Chair, Bioimaging Sciences in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology

    James Duncan, the Ebenezer K. Hunt Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has focused his research and teaching in the areas of biomedical image processing and analysis.

    Duncan, who holds joint appointments in diagnostic radiology and electrical engineering, is the associate chair and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as the vice-chair for bioimaging sciences research in diagnostic radiology. He is particularly interested in the use of model-based mathematical strategies for the analysis of biomedical images. He helped pioneer the use of geometrical models for segmenting deformable (typically anatomical) objects of approximately known shape and for tracking certain forms of non-rigid object motion, and later soft tissue deformation, most notably that of the heart.

    Duncan and his research team performed seminal work starting in 1987 on the use of parameterized global shape models to incorporate a notion of known prior object shape into the segmentation process using a Bayesian reasoning strategy, helping lead the way towards the use of strategies for automatically finding certain known anatomical structure from any of a variety of medical (e.g. computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound) and biological (e.g. confocal microscopy) images.

    The strategies he developed have resulted in major advances in bioimaging. He and his research collaborators have applied these strategies to locate the cortical gray matter layer and a variety of co-localized subcortical gray matter structures in the brain as well as to locate the structure near the prostate gland. More recently, Duncan’s team has begun to show that these same techniques will be useful for estimating gray matter-constrained activations from functional MRI data and could help guide the recovery of quantitative biochemical information from MR spectroscopy.

    Beginning in the late 1980s, Duncan also pioneered using shape features on the inner and outer surfaces of the heart wall as material tags for tracking left ventricular motion. This technique was successfully applied to other non-rigid tracking problems in cell biology and became the basis for a variety of efforts internationally. Duncan and his research team used this strategy for more sophisticated analysis in echocardiography. The team’s approach is now recognized in the medical-image-analysis community as among the first to incorporate true physical models into image analysis strategies and has helped develop a more general area of physical/biomechanical model-based re covery of both structural and functional information from biomedical images. Duncan’s laboratory has also developed initial forms of these techniques to estimate brain shift during epilepsy neurosurgery and guide fractionated prostate radiotherapy, among other uses. His work has resulted in three U.S. patents.

    Duncan is the principal investigator of major research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Before coming to Yale in 1983, he worked for Hughes Aircraft Company. He holds a B.S.E.E. from Lafayette College, an M.S. from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

    Duncan is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He is president of the International Society for Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention and is a member of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the I.E.E.E. Computer Society, among other professional organizations.

  • Albert L Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, of Computer Science, and of Statistics & Data Science

    After graduating from Harvard with a A.B. in physics in 1989, Prof. Mark Gerstein earned a doctorate in theoretical chemistry and biophysics from Cambridge University in 1993. He did postdoctoral research in bioinformatics at Stanford University from 1993 to 1996. He came to Yale in 1997 as an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and since 1999, in the Computer Science Department. He was named an associate professor in 2001, and the following year became co-director of the Yale Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Program. Gerstein has published appreciably in the scientific literature, with >400 publications in total, including a number of them in prominent venues, such as Science, Nature, and Scientific American. His research is focused on bioinformatics, and he is particularly interested in data science & data mining, macromolecular geometry & simulation, human genome annotation & disease genomics, and genomic privacy. 

  • Humana Foundation Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics) and Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and of Investigative Medicine; Director, Yale Program on Aging; Director, Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center; Director, Yale Center for Disability and Disabling Disorders; Director, Yale Training Program in Geriatric Clinical Epidemiology and Aging-Related Research

    As increasingly more people live active lives well into their seventies, eighties, and beyond, geriatric physicians are charged with helping their elderly patients live not only longer, but healthier lives. In his research and clinical practice, Thomas Gill, MD, Director of the Yale Program on Aging, addresses this challenge by drawing upon the wealth of knowledge from his clinical practice to inform his research.

    Dr. Gill’s research focuses on the mechanisms of the aging process and the impact of the inevitable decline in function - and the increase in disability - in older patients. His ongoing study, the Yale Precipitating Events Project, which began in 1998, has been closely monitoring a large cohort of elderly patients over more than 20 years, and has shed new light on the resiliency of older people to recover from debilitating events that can frequently occur during daily life. The study has changed how both family and professional caregivers view disability in the elderly, and how to manage it. An earlier clinical trial led by Dr. Gill showed that home-based physical therapy, or “prehabilitation,” is an effective strategy for preventing injury and stopping the effects of decline before they start. Dr. Gill is currently leading a large multi-site clinical trial that is evaluating the effectiveness of an evidence-based intervention to reduce the risk of serious fall injuries among vulnerable older persons.

    As a clinician, Dr. Gill, who began his career at Yale as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar in 1991, sees the results of his research play out in the lives of the patients he treats, and finds new questions to ask as well. To him, research and clinical training go hand in hand. He encourages his clinically trained mentees to “take advantage of their clinical knowledge and experience when framing their research questions and hypotheses,” in order to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields.

  • Robert E. Hunter Professor of Therapeutic Radiology and Professor of Genetics; Chair, Department of Therapeutic Radiology

    Radiation oncologist Peter M. Glazer, MD, PhD, is the chair of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology. He has dedicated his career to helping cancer patients receive the highest quality of care available in a supportive environment.

    “When patients are undergoing radiotherapy for cancer, it can be a sensitive and challenging time for them and their families,” he says. “Our team does everything possible to keep our patients safe and comfortable throughout treatment.” 

    Dr. Glazer makes it his priority to provide patients seeking care at Smilow Cancer Hospital and its Care Centers with the most advanced technologies and evidence-based treatments. “We take great pride in giving our physicians the best tools to treat cancer,” he says.

    As a professor of both therapeutic radiology and genetics at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Glazer researches new therapeutic strategies for treating cancer and the role of altered DNA repair in tumor progression. His research was recently recognized by the National Cancer Institute of the NIH with a prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award of $7 million that will support his efforts to develop novel DNA repair inhibitors for cancer therapy.

  • Professor of Medicine (General Medicine) and of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Founder and Director, Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale School of Medicine; Director, Adult Primary Care Center, Quality Improvement; Chair, National Clinician Scholars Program; Director, National Clinician Scholars Program

    “Remember what you are striving to accomplish as a researcher,” Cary Gross, MD, tells his mentees. “We are not simply trying to generate new knowledge, we are trying to generate knowledge that is relevant, and can eventually help people.” As a physician, researcher, and mentor, Dr. Gross is focused on easing the leap from the lab to real-world patient care.

    In his outcomes research, Dr. Gross examines the disconnect between evidence produced by clinical trials, and the experiences and needs of patients and populations. He has received NIH-funded grants to explore barriers to clinical trial enrollment, the impact of non-cancer illnesses on older persons with cancer, and the dissemination of new cancer screening and treatment methods into clinical practice. After documenting that older persons are disproportionately excluded from clinical research, Dr. Gross also demonstrated that applying trial results to patients who were above the age limit of trial eligibility was associated with a higher risk of harm.

    As a founding director of Yale’s Cancer Outcomes Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Dr. Gross leads and conducts research on how to improve the care and outcomes of cancer patients. In a recent viewpoint published in JAMA, Dr. Gross and a colleague advocated for a new paradigm in cancer research, one that focuses on improving efficacy and value, as well as ensuring population health impact and generating new knowledge.

    Beyond his outcomes research, Dr. Gross serves as Director of the National Clinical Scholars Program, which is a key part of the YCCI training program and aims to create the next generation of change agents in the American healthcare system, by using an inter-professional training program that focuses on research skills, experiential training in leadership, and building a nuanced understanding of social determinants of health as well as health policy.

    Gross tells his mentees that their own research project may be only one step removed from directly influencing patient care, or it may be several steps, but the end goal is the same. Researchers who truly wish to effect change must “work with stakeholders who may have different perspectives than you, to understand the knowledge gaps that must be addressed to improve health and well-being.”

  • William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology; Chair, Department of Neurology; Neurologist-in-Chief, Yale New Haven Hospital

    Dr. Hafler is the William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor and Chairman Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine and is the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. He graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from Emory University with combined B.S. and M.Sc. degrees in biochemistry, and the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. He then completed his internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins followed by a neurology residency at Cornell Medical Center-New York Hospital in New York.

    Dr. Hafler received training in immunology at the Rockefeller University then at Harvard where he joined the faculty in 1984. He was one of the Executive Directors of the Program in Immunology at Harvard Medical School and was on the faculty of the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology program where he was actively involved in the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

    Hafler, in many respects, is credited with identifying the central mechanisms underlying the likely cause of MS. His early seminal work demonstrated that the disease began in the blood, not the brain, which eventually led to the development of Tysabri to treat the disease by blocking the movement of immune cells from the blood to the brain. He was the first to identify myelin-reactive T cells in the disease, published in Nature, showing that indeed, MS was an autoimmune disorder. He then went on to show why autoreactive T cells were dysregulated by the first identification of regulatory T cells in humans followed by demonstration of their dysfunctional state in MS. As a founding, Broad Institute associate member, Hafler identified the genes that cause MS, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature. More recently, he identified the key transcription factors and signaling pathways associated with MS genes as potential treatment targets. Finally, he recently discovered that salt drives induction of these pathogenic myelin reactive T cells, both works published in Nature. Hafler was the Breakstone Professor of Neuroscience at Harvard, and became Chairman of Neurology at Yale in 2009, where he has built an outstanding clinical and research program that strongly integrates medical sciences. Hafler is among the most highly cited living neurologists and has received numerous honors including the Dystel Prize from the AAN for his MS research, the Raymond Adams Award from the ANA, and was the recipient of the NIH Javits Investigator Award, and The Dale McFarlin Prize by the International Society of Neuroimmunology. He is a member of AOA, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and was elected into the National Academy of Medicine.

  • Ensign Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Professor of Pharmacology; Director, Center for Thoracic Cancers; Chief of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital; Associate Cancer Center Director, Translational Science

    Dr. Herbst is nationally recognized for his leadership and expertise in lung cancer treatment and research. He is best known for his work in developmental therapeutics and the personalized therapy of non-small cell lung cancer, in particular the process of linking genetic abnormalities of cancer cells to novel therapies.

    Learn more about Dr. Herbst >>

    Prior to his appointment at Yale, Dr. Herbst was the Barnhart Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Section of Thoracic Medical Oncology in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (UT-MDACC) in Houston, Texas. He also served as Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology and Co-Director of the Phase I Clinical Trials Program.

    Dr. Herbst’s primary mission is the enhanced integration of clinical, laboratory, and research programs. He has worked over several decades as a pioneer of personalized medicine and immunotherapy to identify biomarkers and bring novel targeted treatments and immunotherapies to patients, serving as principal investigator for numerous clinical trials testing these agents in advanced stage lung cancers. This work led to the approval of several therapies (such as gefitinib, cetuximab, bevacizumab, axitinib), which have revolutionized the field and greatly enhanced patient survival. He and his Yale colleagues were among the first to describe the PD-1/PD-L1 adaptive immune response in early phase trials and to offer trials of PD-L1 inhibitors atezolizumab and pembrolizumab to lung cancer patients. His leadership in targeted therapeutics resulted in a 2020 ASCO plenary talk and publication of results of the third-generation EGFR-inhibitor osimertinib for the treatment of resected EGFR-mutant NSCLC in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    In 2015 and again in 2020, his team at Yale was awarded a Lung Cancer SPORE (P50 grant) by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which has identified new immunotherapies and mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to EGFR targeted therapies. His work has also been funded by ASCO, AACR, the United States Department of Defense, and by a AACR/ Stand Up to Cancer Dream Team grant.

    His work on "umbrella” trials has galvanized the field of targeted therapy and cancer drug approvals at the FDA. Nationally, he works closely with public-private partnerships to develop large master protocol clinical studies. He was co-leader for the BATTLE-1 clinical trial program, co-leads the subsequent BATTLE-2 clinical trial program. and is principal investigator (PI) of the Lung Master Protocol (Lung-MAP). He testified on this before the House of Representatives 21st Century Cures committee and served as a prominent figure in this area, for nine years as a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Cancer Policy Forum, for which he organized several meetings focused on policy issues in personalized medicine and tobacco control. He is currently the Vice Chair for Developmental Therapeutics for the Southwestern Oncology Group (SWOG) Lung Committee and PI of the SWOG 0819 trial.

    After earning a B.S. and M.S. degree from Yale University, Dr. Herbst earned his M.D. at Cornell University Medical College and his Ph.D. in molecular cell biology at The Rockefeller University in New York City, New York. His postgraduate training included an internship and residency in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. His clinical fellowships in medicine and hematology were completed at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, respectively. Subsequently, Dr. Herbst completed a M.S. degree in clinical translational research at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Dr. Herbst is a highly respected clinician­ scientist who has been a champion of translational medicine for decades, recently authoring a high-profile review of the 20-year progress in lung cancer. He has authored or co-authored more than 350 publications, including peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters. His work has appeared in many prominent journals, such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Work published in Nature was awarded the 2015 Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award by the Clinical Research Forum. His abstracts have been presented at the annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the World Conference on Lung Cancer, the Society of Nuclear Medicine Conference, and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer.

    He is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a member of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), where he serves as an elected member of its board of directors and chairs the Tobacco Task Force. He has been a major proponent of efforts to promote tobacco control and regulation (including e-cigarettes), authoring multiple policy statements and leading frequent Capitol Hill briefings. In 2019 he was elected to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) board of directors. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and an elected member of the Association of American Physicians. He is vice chair of the Southwestern Oncology Group’s (SWOG) Lung Committee.

    For his lifetime achievement in scientific contributions to thoracic cancer research, Dr. Herbst was awarded the 2016 Paul A. Bunn, Jr. Scientific Award by the IASLC at their 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Vienna, Austria. A team of Yale Cancer Center investigators led by Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, was awarded the 2018 Team Science Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) for its pioneering work in advancing our understanding of Immunotherapy. In 2020, Dr. Herbst was awarded the AACR Distinguished Public Service Award for Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Science Policy. 

  • C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine (General Medicine) and Professor of Public Health (Health Policy)

    With treatments constantly improving and patients living longer, HIV is now considered a chronic disease, and affects people in all walks of life, including many elderly. However, this wasn’t always the case. Amy Justice, MD, PhD, CNH Long Professor of Medicine and of Public Health began conceptualizing HIV as a chronic disease in 1997, when combination antiretroviral therapy began to take off. This was fully ten years before many in the field adopted the same way of thinking.

    As it was clear those with HIV would be living longer, Justice realized the importance of studying the impact of the disease on patients as they aged. That same year, Justice began the now renowned Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS). In the past  20+ years, VACS has followed more than 60,000 HIV-positive veterans who are matched to 120,000 HIV-negative veterans to determine how HIV, which, like many chronic diseases that take their toll on all systems of the body, affects medical and psychiatric health simultaneously. There are several smaller studies nested within the larger sample that include survey data, a tissue repository, and more in-depth evaluation of pulmonary and cardiac disease. Through the study, Justice has chronicled the shifting outcomes of chronic HIV infection, and seeks to use the disease as a model for better understanding chronic disease of all varieties.

    VACS received funded as a consortium by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The consortium will have a particular focus on how alcohol and substance abuse affects the health of people living with HIV for the long term.

    Dr. Justice draws upon her extensive experience analyzing large and complex observational dataset in her role as lead advisor to the Clinical Research Leadership Committee. This group is charged with shaping policy and resolving research issues identified in the context of health care delivery. Justice works with the committee to ensure that informatics services are research- and user-friendly.

    As a mentor, Dr. Justice finds that the mentor/mentee relationship is a mutually beneficial one. While she imparts guidance to them, her mentees she says, “see holes in arguments that may no longer be obvious when you’ve been working with something for a long time. It certainly keeps you on your toes.”

  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary); Section Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

    Dr. Kaminski is an internationally renowned expert in genomics of chronic lung disease, biomarkers discovery and molecular mechanisms of Pulmonary Fibrosis, as well as a role model and an established mentor.

    Among his key scientific achievements are: The discovery of novel molecules  with significant active roles in pulmonary fibrosis, including matrix metalloproteases (MMP7, MMP19) and phosphatases (SHP2, MKP5) , demonstrating that microRNAs, a family of small non-coding RNAs, are differentially expressed in IPF, and that some of them (let-7, mir-29, mir-33) are mechanistically involved in lung fibrosis, and the discovery that the outcome of patients with IPF can be predicted based on the expression of peripheral blood proteins and genes, a finding with practical implication because of the need for risk stratification and transplant prioritization. More recently Dr. Kaminski's team identified a potential antifibrotic role for thyroid hormone signaling, a novel discovery with significant therapeutic implications, and performed single cell RNA sequencing on >300,000 cells obtained from patients with advanced lung disease and created an online freely available data dissemination tool ( Dr. Kaminski has authored more than 275 research papers (including in Nature Medicine, NEJM, Nature Genetics, PNAS, Science Translational Medicine, Science Advances, Lancet Resp Medicine, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine), review articles and book chapters and has given numerous invited talks at national, international conferences, and NIH workshops. Dr. Kaminski has been consistently funded by NIH since 2003 and is currently PI of multiple NIH grants including the NIH-MHLBI funded training program "Training in Translational lung Biology and Pathobiology.

    Dr. Kaminski’s awards include the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis Marvin I. Schwarz Award for Pulmonary Fibrosis, the University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award, the American Thoracic Society Recognition of Scientific Achievements award, the Helmholtz Institute International Fellow Award, the European Respiratory Society Gold Medal for Interstitial Lung Disease, and the Andy Tager Excellence in Mentoring Award. Kaminski recently completed his term as Deputy Editor of Throax BMJ, and as the President of the Association of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine Division Directors where he drove gender equality, career development and wellness in pulmonary medicine initiatives.

    Dr. Kaminski is passionate and committed about training physician scientists and PhD researchers for the challenges of 21st century pulmonary medicine. He has mentored 34 post-doctoral trainees, and many of them hold prominent faculty positions.


  • Professor with Tenure of Pediatrics (Critical Care Medicine)

    We are interested in the molecular mechanisms that cause critical illness in infants and children. We enroll patients with birth defects or other critical illness that cannot be explained by an acquired illness and perform exome sequencing in order to identify candidate genes that may explain the child's disease. Then we model the candidate gene in order to understand its function. In the context of birth defects, we employ the high-throughput human disease model, Xenopus tropicalis in which we can knockout desired genes and examine consequent phenotypes in just three days.

    Traditionally gene discovery in these patients was very challenging, but now not only is candidate gene discovery feasible but we can rapidly model the human disease and understand gene function in model organisms or patient cells depending on the optimal approach.

  • Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Professor in the Institute for Social and Policy Studies, of Investigative Medicine and of Public Health (Health Policy); Director, Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE)

    “Our job is to help people who have great promise to achieve that promise,” said cardiologist Harlan Krumholz. Considered to be one of the leading experts in the world on quality-of-care research, Dr. Krumholz’s research over the last two decades has fundamentally elevated the quality of care for patients with cardiovascular disease. As director of the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), one of the nation’s first and most productive research units dedicated to improving patient outcomes and promoting better population health, he is eager to harness the wealth of data available via electronic health records. He is passionate about the ability of research to generate knowledge that produces insights that can help millions of people.

    Dr. Krumholz is equally passionate about mentoring the next generation of clinical investigators and has had a substantial impact on a large number of junior investigators. He is finishing 20 years as director or co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Program, which has trained physician health leaders at Yale for more than four decades. He was the primary architect of the program’s enhanced training curriculum, which he saw as foundational to translating science into practice. When the RWJF program closes in 2016, he will serve as director emeritus of the Yale National Clinician Scholars Program, part of a national interprofessional fellowship program designed to prepare future clinician leaders to improve health and health care in the US through scholarship and action at the national, state, and local levels.

    Dr. Krumholz has served as primary mentor for for almost 100 individuals, many of whom have developed successful research careers. “Helping younger colleagues develop the skills they need to make the breakthroughs of the future is one of the most gratifying and essential aspects of my work,” he said.

    He feels that Yale has a small town culture that fosters an open, collaborative environment that is especially beneficial to early-stage investigators. He tells his mentees that while research presents challenges and frustrations, they should pursue areas about which they care deeply. “It has to be something that doesn’t feel like work,” he said, “but actually feels like a calling.”

    While Dr. Krumholz has much to offer his younger colleagues, he is often motivated and inspired by them. “The impact of my work would have only been a fraction of what it’s been if I hadn’t had the benefit of working with brilliant young people who have inspired me and are were tireless in their efforts to produce knowledge that’s going to help future generations,” he said.

  • Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research and Professor of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience; Co-Director, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Chair, Department of Psychiatry; Chief of Psychiatry, Yale-New Haven Hospital; Director: NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism; Director, Clinical Neuroscience Division, VA National Center for PTSD

    Complex but common mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, alcoholism, and depression continue to challenge scientists, who seek ever better treatments for patients. John H. Krystal, MD, has made a career of delving to molecular levels of the brain to better understand how these psychiatric disorders function, and finding novel treatments for them in order to improve the lives of patients and their families.

    One of these novel treatments, for which Dr. Krystal is well known, made use of the street drug ketamine, infamously known as “Special K.” Dr. Krystal and a team of investigators successfully used the drug in the 1990’s to safely and transiently produce in healthy people symptoms and disturbances in brain function associated with schizophrenia and to probe the neurobiology of alcohol intoxication and alcoholism. His laboratory then discovered the rapid antidepressant properties of ketamine in humans. Ketamine is now administered widely for treatment-resistant symptoms of depression and one form of ketamine is now in Phase III clinical trials.

    Dr. Krystal has mentored several YCCI Scholars who study how the mechanisms of the brain at the molecular level impact behavior, relating to such disorders as cocaine addiction, mood disorder, delusions, and schizophrenia.

    “I learned very early on,” he said, of the days when he was a mentee himself, “to ask the important question, rather than the easy question, and then to design the most powerful experiment that could destroy it: what we used to call the ‘killer experiment.’ If the hypothesis could withstand these kinds of tests, then it might be more powerful.” Dr. Krystal feels that it is an important part of the scientific process to mentor young investigators, and pass on the lessons he has learned. “In some way, the way I can best have an impact on my field is by training people who will be future innovators.”

  • Dean, School of Nursing, Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing and Professor of Epidemiology

    Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM, MPH, FAAN is Dean and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor, Yale University School of Nursing, and Professor of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Kurth is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Medicine, and of the American Academy of Nursing; and is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. She served on the US Preventive Services Task Force which sets screening and prevention guidelines for the nation.

    An epidemiologist and clinically-trained nurse-midwife, Dean Kurth’s research focuses on HIV/reproductive health and global health system strengthening. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIAID, NIDA, NIMH, NICHD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNAIDS, CDC, HRSA, and others, for studies conducted in the United States and internationally. She chairs the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), the 190+-university member academic global health association.

    Dr. Kurth has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and scholarly monographs. She has received awards for her science and leadership including Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Award and Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame award. She chairs the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Board on Global Health, and is a member of the NAM Climate and Health Initiative.

  • Professor of Medicine (Cardiology); Director, Cardiology; Director of Yale UCLP Clinical Research Program Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, The Barts Heart Center and Queen Mary University of London, Cardiology

    Alexandra J. Lansky, MD, is Professor of Medicine in the section of Cardiology at the Yale School of Medicine and a practicing cardiologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital, in New Haven, CT. Dr. Lansky joined Yale in 2010 as Director of the Yale Heart and Vascular Clinical Research Program and the Cardiovascular Research Center (YCRC), which specializes in the conduct of national and international cardiovascular clinical trials with specific expertise in the evaluation of interventional devices. She most recently received a dual appointment as Chair of Cardiovascular Research at Queen Mary University in London as part of the Yale and London based Barts Heart Center transatlantic research collaboration. From 2004 to 2010 Dr. Lansky was Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Director of Clinical Services at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy, a practicing cardiologist at New York-Presbyterian, and Chief Scientific Officer of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation Clinical Trials Center.Prior to that she was an interventional cardiologist on faculty at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, and at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY.

    She has dedicated her career to leading clinical and angiographic evaluations of more than 500 clinical trials in a broad range of ischemic cardiovascular therapeutic areas, including pharmacologic and interventional device trials, many of which are landmark trials in the field and/or leading to FDA approval in the United States. She has served as the principal investigator on numerous national and international imaging studies, device, DES and neuroprotection trials. Dr. Lansky has authored and coauthored over 500 academic peer-reviewed manuscripts in the fields of interventional cardiology, angiography, and women’s cardiovascular health. She chaired the American Heart Association Statement on Interventions in Women and most recently the Academic Research Consortium defining Neurologic Endpoints in clinical cardiovascular trials.

    Dr. Lansky has been recognized for her outstanding clinical research contributions with several prestigious awards including: Masters of Arts Privatim from Yale University in 2017; Thompson Reuter’s 2014 and 2016 “Most influential Scientific Minds for Clinical Medicine”; 2012 Wenger Award of Clinical Excellence in Women’s health, Visiting Professor at Fu Wai Hospital, Bejing, China and Honorary Professor, University College London.

    Dr. Lansky is board certified in cardiovascular diseases. A graduate of the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA, she received her residency training in internal medicine, cardiology, and interventional cardiology at Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC. Dr. Lansky is a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology,the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions.

  • Professor (Adjunct) of Genetics

    Richard Lifton is Professor, Adjunct of Genetics. Lifton was the Chair of the Department of Genetics from 1998-2016, Sterling Professor of Genetics and Internal Medicine, Founder and Executive Director of the Yale Center for Genome Analysis and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale School of Medicine.He graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, then received MD and PhD degrees (in Biochemistry) from Stanford University. Following clinical training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he continued on the faculty at Harvard Medical School before being recruited to Yale in 1993.

    Lifton has used human genetics and genomics to identify rare mutations with large effect and elucidate biochemical mechanisms underlying diverse common diseases.In the particular case of hypertension, which affects more than a billion people worldwide and is a principal risk factor for heart attack, stroke and heart failure, together the leading cause of death worldwide, Lifton’s work has identified mutations and biochemical mechanisms that drive blood pressure to the highest and lowest blood pressures compatible with survival, implicating altered renal salt reabsorption in blood pressure variation. This work has also identified a previously unrecognized pathway that orchestrates the balance between salt and potassium homeostasis, providing a mechanism for dietary potassium’s ability to lower blood pressure. These findings provided the scientific basis for reducing salt balance in the prevention and treatment of hypertension, strategies that are used worldwide. Finding mutations underlying extreme outliers of common disease to identify pathways that can manipulated for health benefit has been broadly applied.

    In 2009 Lifton’s group developed exome sequencing, selectively sequencing all of the genes in the human genome at very low cost, and demonstrated the utility of the technology by performing the first clinical diagnosis by genome-level sequencing. This technology has been widely used for discovery of hundreds of disease and trait loci. Lifton’s group has used this technology to discover genes underlying diverse cardiovascular, renal, and neoplastic diseases. These include discovery of mutations in chromatin modifiers that underlie congenital heart disease, and discovery that hormone-producing tumors are commonly caused by single somatic mutations.

    Lifton is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.He has served on the Governing Councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Advisory Council to the NIH Director, the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Whitehead Institute of MIT, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Simons Foundation for Autism Research and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has also served as Co-Chair of the Planning Committee for the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative.

    Lifton has received the highest scientific awards of the American Heart Association, the American Society of Nephrology, the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, the American Society of Hypertension, the International Society of Hypertension, and the International Society of Nephrology.He received the 2008 Wiley Prize for Biomedical Sciences and the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

  • Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology in the Yale Child Study Center; Chair, Yale Child Study Center; Deputy Dean for Professionalism and Leadership, Office of the Dean, School of Medicine

    Dr. Linda Mayes is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and Director of the Yale Child Study Center. She is also Special Advisor to the Dean in the Yale School of Medicine. Trained as a pediatrician, Dr. Mayes’s research focuses on stress-response and regulatory mechanisms in young children at both biological and psychosocial risk. She has especially focused on the impact of prenatal substance use on children’s long-term outcomes. She has made contributions to understanding the mechanisms of effect of prenatal stimulant exposure on the ontogeny of arousal regulatory systems and the relation between dysfunctional emotional regulation and impaired prefrontal cortical function in young children. She has published widely in the developmental psychology, pediatrics, and child psychiatry literature.

    Given the nature of her work with children at significantly high-risk for developmental impairments from both biological and psychosocial etiologies, Dr. Mayes also focuses on the impact of parenting on the development of arousal and attention regulatory mechanisms in their children, and specifically on how substance abuse impacts reward and stress regulatory systems in new parents. With other colleagues in the Center, she studies how adults transition to parenthood, especially when substance abuse is involved, and the basic neural circuitry of early parent-infant attachment using both neuroimaging and electroencephalographic techniques. She and her colleagues have developed a series of interventions for parents including an intensive home-based program called Minding the Baby.

    Dr. Mayes's research programs are multidisciplinary, not only in their blending basic science with clinical interventions but also in the disciplines required including adult and child psychiatry, behavioral neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, and neuropsychology.

    She is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor in psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South where she is working on intervention programs to enhance child and family resilience.

  • Professor Emeritus of Anesthesiology

    Prof. Miller is the founder and previous Director of the Yale Center for Medical Informatics (YCMI) and of Yale’s Biomedical Informatics research training program. Biomedical Informatics is a discipline at the intersection of biomedicine and the computing and information sciences. The field focuses on the creative application of computers in clinical medicine, biomedical research, and medical education. In clinical medicine, the growing use of computers in patient care, education, and research makes the field increasingly important. In biomedical research, informatics is rapidly becoming a critical component of virtually all bioscience fields. Prof. Miller's research includes major initiatives in clinical, neuro-, and genome informatics, as well as interdisciplinary research at the intersections of these fields.

  • Professor Adjunct; Division Chief; Vice Chair, Research

    Dr. Niklason is the Nicholas M. Greene Professor at Yale University in Anesthesia and Biomedical Engineering, where she has been on faculty since 2006. Dr. Niklason’s research focuses primarily on regenerative strategies for cardiovascular and lung tissues. Niklason’s engineered blood vessels are currently in clinical trials, and are the first life-sustaining engineered tissue to be studied in any Phase III trial. Niklason’s lab was also one of the first to describe the engineering of whole lung tissue that could exchange gas in vivo, and this work was cited in 2010 as one of the top 50 most important inventions of the year by Time Magazine. She was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2014, and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.

    Niklason received her PhD in Biophysics from the University of Chicago, and her MD from the University of Michigan. She completed her residency training in anesthesia and intensive care unit medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and completed post-doctoral scientific training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer (Aetna)

    Harold Paz, MD, MS is executive vice president and chief medical officer of Aetna. Before joining Aetna, Dr. Paz served as chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, senior vice president for Health Affairs for Penn State University, dean of its College of Medicine and professor of medicine and public health sciences for eight years. Prior to his appointment to Penn State, he served as dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and chief executive officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Group, the largest multispecialty group practice in New Jersey, and professor of medicine. During his tenure at Penn State, Dr. Paz initiated the formation of the Penn State Hershey Health System, which includes four hospitals, 64 ambulatory care practices, and 18 affiliated hospitals.

    Dr. Paz received a master of science in life science engineering from Tufts University and his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He completed his internship and residency at Northwestern University, where he served as chief medical resident and instructor in clinical medicine. He was a Eudowood Fellow in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. In addition, he was a post-doctoral fellow in environmental health science at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

    Dr. Paz has focused his medical practice on pulmonary medicine with a special interest in patients with sarcoidosis. His research looks at critical care clinical outcomes, health system organization, and health care effectiveness. A pioneer in the field of quality management, he was among the first to study clinical outcomes in the intensive care unit. From this early work, he recognized the need to formally train physicians in quality, and in 1993 he started the first fellowship of its kind in quality management.

  • Professor of Nursing and in the Child Study Center; Professor, School of Nursing and Yale Child Study Center

    Lois S. Sadler is a Professor at the Yale School of Nursing and the Yale Child Study Center, where she teaches master’s and doctoral nursing students in the areas of family studies, child and adult development, pediatric health promotion, research, research ethics and adolescent health. Dr. Sadler received her BS degree from the University of Massachusetts, her MSN degree from Yale University School of Nursing, and her PhD from the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. She has worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with teen parents in New Haven since 1979.

    Dr. Sadler’s research is in the area of the transition to parenthood among urban adolescent parents and their families, adolescent pregnancy prevention, and evaluation of specialized support programs for at-risk young parents and their children. Her publications and presentations are in the area of adolescent primary health care issues, community-engaged research, high risk families, adolescent parenthood, and home visiting. In 2014, the home visiting program, Minding the Baby®, developed and tested with colleagues from the Yale Child Study Center was designated by the Department of Health and Human Services as an evidence-based home visiting model, one of only 19 models nationwide. The MTB program is being implemented in Connecticut, Florida, Denmark, England and Scotland. A home visiting program adapted from MTB is being implemented and tested in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

    Dr. Sadler’s current research includes serving as mPI with Dr. Nancy S. Redeker on an NINR-funded community-based mixed methods study of sleep patterns and healthy sleep intervention development with multicultural community families raising young infants and children.

  • George R. Cowgill Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) and Professor of Cellular And Molecular Physiology; Co-Director, Yale Diabetes Research Center, Internal Medicine

    Gerald Shulman, MD, PhD, has long been fascinated by diabetes and metabolism. As a young boy attending a summer camp for children with diabetes where his father was the camp physician, he was struck by his fellow campers lining up for their insulin shots. In college, while studying biochemistry and physiology, he got hooked on the intricacies of metabolism. He came to Yale in 1983 as a postdoctoral fellow in order to use NMR spectroscopy to study biochemistry in humans in real time.

    Today, he is known for pioneering the use of in vivo NMR spectroscopy to study glucose and lipid metabolism in both humans and rodents. Leading an interdisciplinary team of chemists, NMR spectroscopists, cell biologists, clinical physiologists, electrical engineers, organic chemists, nutritionists and nurses, he is focused on understanding the mechanisms of insulin resistance. His research has led to the identification of fatty metabolites that build up in liver and muscle cells and trigger the insulin resistance that leads to type 2 diabetes. “It’s not so much how much fat we have that leads to insulin resistance and diabetes, it’s the intracellular accumulation that causes problems,” he said.

    His research, which utilizes such CTSA-supported resources as the Hospital Research Unit and the Magnetic Resonance Research Center, has led to major advancements in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying diabetes. His team found that treatment with leptin, a hormone that controls feelings of fullness, reverses hyperglycemia in rats with poorly controlled type 1 and type 2 diabetes. While previous studies had shown that leptin lowered plasma glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, Shulman’s group found that leptin actually inhibits the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a major neuroendocrine pathway that controls the body’s reaction to stress and regulates digestion, energy storage, and metabolism.

    Dr. Shulman and his colleagues identified the molecular mechanism by which insulin inhibits glucose production by the liver and why this process stops working in patients with type 2 diabetes. They showed that acetyl CoA is a key molecule in regulating the conversion of amino acids and lactate to glucose and that reversal of this process, due to inflammation in fatty tissue, leads to increased hepatic glucose production in rats and humans. “None of the drugs we currently use to treat type 2 diabetes target the root cause,” he said. “By understanding the molecular basis for hepatic insulin resistance we now can design better and more effective drugs for its treatment.”

    Studying the effects of mitochondrial protonophore 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a weight loss agent that is known to be toxic, Dr. Shulman found that its toxicity was related to its peak plasma concentrations. He showed that reformulating it can safely reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and reduce blood glucose, triglyceride and insulin concentrations in rodents with NAFLD and type 2 diabetes. He went on to develop a new oral, controlled-release form of DNP known as CRMP, which is equally effective with no adverse effects. The next step will be to translate these findings so that this approach can be used to safely and effectively treat patients with diabetes.

  • Anita O'Keeffe Young Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine; Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital

    Many Yale faculty members have been honored for their research impact, but some, like Hugh Taylor, MD, have been recognized as mentors as well. Named as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist’s Mentor of the Year in 2013, Dr. Taylor sees the mentoring process as a “win-win” for both mentors and mentees. “I find that bringing in young, bright minds will inform my research,” he says, “and hopefully I can impart my experience to them. Together as a team, we are better than either of us alone.”

    Dr. Taylor’s clinical research centers on implantation, endometriosis and menopause. His basic science research focuses on uterine development, the regulation of developmental gene expression by sex steroids, endocrine disruption, and stem cells. He is a recipient of eight National Institutes of Health research grants, and directs the Yale Center for Reproductive Biology.

    Dr. Taylor, who has published more than 200 articles in his field, has also been awarded the International Fundacion IVI Award< for best clinical research record in reproduction medicine, chosen from a pool of prestigious candidates for the impact his body of research has made on the field of reproduction medicine.

    While Dr. Taylor says he always knew in his heart that he was headed toward a career focused on research and investigation, it was his mentors when he was in training at Yale who helped guide him toward his particular field. Those mentors, he says, “made that area exciting and accessible, and showed me the potential value for that research, and how it could make a big difference.”

    Making a difference is an important piece of the advice Dr. Taylor gives his own mentees. He advises junior scholars to “look for areas that are underserved, where they could use a fresh new approach. That's where you are really needed, and where you will have success.”

  • Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics) and Professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies; Section Chief, Geriatrics

    Dr. Tinetti is the Gladys Philips Crofoot Professor of Medicine and Public Health and Chief of Geriatrics at Yale School of Medicine. Her current research and clinical focus is on clinical decision-making for older adults in the face of multiple health conditions, measuring the net benefit and harms of commonly used medications, and the importance of cross-disease universal health outcomes. She is leading a national effort,(Patient Priorities Care) to develop and test an approach to health care that aligns clinical care and decision-making with the specific health priorities of older adults with multiple conditions. This initiative involves: 1) helping older adults identify the health goals they most desire in the face of tradeoffs and the health care they are willing and able to receive (their healthcare preferences)to achieve these goals; and 2) guiding clinicians to translate these goals and preferences into care decisions. She is evaluating the feasibility of this approach in clinical practice and its effect on patient reported outcomes and healthcare utilization. She also chairs a group of advisors helping health systems be Age-Friendly. Dr. Tinetti’s work is funded by the NIH and several foundations. She has published over 250 original peer reviewed articles.  She has served on several national advisory committees including the FDA, NCQA, NQF. Dr. Tinetti has received numerous awards and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.

  • Director, US Medical Affairs and Clinical Development (Respiratory), Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    As Director of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Dr. Wang recognizes the importance of having the opportunity to train the next generation of clinical researchers and to expose them to opportunities outside of academia. Her current position at BIPI and former positions as Senior Director of Clinical Research at Replidyne Inc and Vice President of Clinical Development at Sanofi Pasteur afford her the ability to offer trainees the industry perspective of clinical research and insights into the drug development process.

    At the same time, Dr. Wang is well acquainted with conducting research at an academic institution. Earlier in her career, I had a primary appointment as Associate Professor in Pediatrics and cross appointment at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. Her academic research examined diagnostic evaluation, prognostic markers, and interventions in respiratory infections, particularly those due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

  • Professor Adjunct of Psychiatry

    I have a strong history in the conduct of clinical trials and cohort studies.  My clinical research spans several decades and has been predominantly funded by federal research grants.  A list of some of these projects are listed below and include datasets amenable to secondary analyses:

    1) The Yale Pink and Blue study, a large cohort study of ~2700 women who were followed for psychiatric and obstetric complications and outcomes through pregnancy and into the postpartum period.

    2) The Symptom Onset Study randomized 193 women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder to treatment with sertraline or similarly appearing placebo that was initiated at the onset of premenstrual symptoms.  Monthly and daily ratings were collected for at least 2 evaluation cycles and 6 cycles of double blind treatment.

    3) Project START (Screeening to Augment Referral to Treatment) randomized 176 pregnant women with hazardous substance use to psychological treatment provided on-site or usual care, and followed them for 2 years.

    4) The Progesterone treatment for Cocaine (ProCo) study randomized 40 women with pre-conceptional cocaine use disorder to postpartum treatment with oral micronized progesterone or placebo

    5) Comparison of Screening measures for detection of substance misuse in pregnant women.  This is a 3-center cross-sectional study of 1200 gravidas.  The goal was to compare 5 screening instruments on measures of merit.

    6) Project MISA is a study of ways to integrate use of motivational interviewing into a general medical setting.

    7) A new project to help pregnant women stop using alcohol through administration of an electronic motivational interview and text messages.

  • Ira V. Hiscock Professor of Biostatistics, Professor of Genetics and Professor of Statistics and Data Science

    Dr. Hongyu Zhao is the Ira V. Hiscock Professor of Biostatistics and Professor of Statistics and Data Science and Genetics. He received his B.S. in Probability and Statistics from Peking University in 1990 and Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. His research interests are the developments and applications of novel statistical methods to address scientific questions in genetics, molecular biology, drug developments, and precision medicine.

    Some of his recent projects include large scale genome wide studies to identify genetic variants underlying complex diseases, genetic risk prediction, single cell analysis, biological network modeling and analysis, disease biomarker identification, genome annotation, cancer genomics, microbiome analysis, image analysis, and wearable device data analysis. He has published over 590 articles in statistics, human genetics, bioinformatics, and proteomics, and edited two books on human genetics analysis and statistical genomics. He has trained over 80 doctoral and post-doctoral students, many of whom are holding tenured or tenure-track positions at major universities in the states and overseas.

    Dr. Zhao has served as an editor and/or associate editor of leading statistical and genetics journals, including as a Co-Editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association Theory and Methods and a co-Editor of Statistics in Biosciences. He was the recipient of the Mortimer Spiegelman Award for a top statistician in health statistics under the age of 40 awarded by the American Public Health Association and the Pao-Lu Hsu Award from the International Chinese Statistical Association. His research has also been recognized by the Evelyn Fix Memorial Medal and Citation by UC Berkeley, a Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award by the March of Dimes Foundation, election to the fellowship of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.