STAR U: Mentors & Research

Each STAR U Scholar will work with a Columbia faculty to design a research project aimed towards providing them with skills and research experience related to their unique interests. Below is a list of potential faculty mentors and links to their current research. In the application, students will be asked to specify which faculty member(s) they would like to work with and why.

  1. Dritan Agalliu, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology (in Neurology). His laboratory investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the blood-brain barrier and uses genetic approaches to understand brain vasculature.
  2. Amelia K. Boehme, PhD, MSPH, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in Neurology. Dr. Boehme's research focuses on the role infections and inflammation have on stroke risk, and the role of inflammation post-stroke on stroke outcomes.
  3. Sandra M. Barral Rodriguez, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neurogenetics (in Neurology, the Sergievsky Center, and the Taub Institute). Her research efforts focus in gene mapping of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other human neurodegenerative diseases.
  4. Karen L. Bell, MD is a Professor of Neurology (in the Sergievsky Center and Taub Institute). Her work investigates the causes of memory disorders in older adults. She is actively involved with outreach, education, and retention for numerous clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases.
  5. Adam M. Brickman, PhD is a Professor of Neuropsychology (in Neurology and the Taub Institute). His research focuses on the integration of neuroimaging and cognitive experiments to understand the biological sources of cognitive aging, dementia, and late-life health disparities.
  6. Stephanie Cosentino, PhD is a Professor of Neuropsychology (in Neurology and the Taub Institute) whose research focuses largely on how thinking, behavior, and self awareness break down in dementia.
  7. Phillip L. De Jager, MD, PhD is the Weil-Granat Professor of Neurology (in the Taub Institute) and his work uses neuroimmunology to understand, characterize, and treat neurodegenerative diseases.
  8. Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, MPhil is a Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology (in the Sergievsky Center) whose group investigates the relationship between infection, inflammation, and stroke, the potential causes of atherosclerosis and ischemic stroke, and risk factors and inflammatory markers for stroke.
  9. Yunglin Gazes, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology (in Neurology and the Taub Institute) who studies neural decline and cognitive changes of aging using neuroimaging techniques.
  10. Yian Gu, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences (in Neurology, Epidemiology, the Sergeivsky Center, and the Taub Institute). Dr. Gu investigates lifestyle factors and their influence on brain aging, cognitive aging, and neurodegenerative diseases. She also uses biological measurements to determine the lifestyle-brain relationship.
  11. Jose Gutiérrez-Contreras, MD, MPH is the Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Neurology. His group studies stroke prevention, treatment and care, mechanisms that underlie pathological changes in arteries and how that impacts the brain, as well as the influence of HIV on stroke and dementia.
  12. . Christian Habeck, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neuroimaging (in Neurology and the Taub Institute). His research uses network analysis techniques of neuroimaging and non-parametric statistical approaches for assessing robustness in brain-behavior associations.
  13. Roger Lefort, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology investigating molecular signaling in synaptic dysfunction.
  14. Jose Luchsinger, MD, MPH is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology. His laboratory researches the relation of vascular, metabolic, and dietary factors on aging outcomes such as cognition and health disparities in aging minority populations.
  15. Jennifer J. Manly, PhD is a Professor of Neuropsychology (in Neurology, the Sergievsky Center, and the Taub Institute). Her research examines the racial/ethnic disparities in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.
  16. Vilas Menon, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences (in Neurology and the Taub Institute). His major research interests include assessing cell type-specific interactions in the context of neurological disease, developing network-based models of dysregulation in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis, and identifying potential therapeutically targetable systems in these diseases. 
  17. James M. Noble, MD, MS is an Associate Professor of Neurology (in the Taub Institute and Sergievsky Center). His work centers on health literacy, vascular risk factors, and systemic inflammatory markers as contributors to stroke and dementia health disparities.
  18. Hiral Shah, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology that identifies best practices for human rights protection for those with cognitive impairment and dementia. She also investigates how to overcome barriers of mental health & neurodegenerative diseases stigma.
  19. Scott A. Small, MD is the Boris and Rose Katz Professor of Neurology (in the Taub Institute, Sergievsky Center, Radiology, and Psychiatry). His group uses translational neurosciences approaches to study hippocampal changes in neurodegenerative disease to help identify pathogenic mechanisms related to Alzheimer's diseases, cognitive aging, and Schizophrenia.
  20. Andrew Teich, MD is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology. His lab investigates the mechanisms underlying impairment of synaptic plasticity in neurodegenerative disease. He also uses computational techniques to analyze genome expression of Alzheimer's patients.
  21. Carol Troy, MD, PhD is a Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology and Neurology (in the Taub Institute). Her lab focuses on the regulation and function of the caspase family of proteases in the mature nervous system. 
  22. Olajide A. Williams, MD is an Associate Professor of Neurology that spear heads initiatives and research in community-based educational interventions to minimize stroke detriments in minority populations.
  23. Ai Yamamoto, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Pathology and Cell Biology. Her lab examines the molecular mechanism of protein trafficking events that modulate neural function and neurodegeneration. 
  24. Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. Her research focus pertains to how social and cardiovascular exposures from across the life-course influence cognitive function, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, stroke and other related health outcomes in old age. Her work is on cognitive aging with a focus on minority populations.