Faculty and Advisors
The team of multidisciplinary experts that have partnered to provide the didactic training are a group of renowned scientists, many of whom already collaborate to conduct research in health disparities under the auspices of the BHDRC. Mentors include senior faculty, established researchers and experienced mentors in the fields of clinical and basic cardiovascular disease research and behavioral medicine and sleep disorders. Partnerships with community-based organizations also aid in providing training in the conduct of community-based participatory research, an important and innovative approach to preventive medicine. The work of the Institute is accomplished in the context of Brooklyn, New York, a model urban setting in which to conduct health disparities and cardiovascular disease research.
Dr. Boutjdir's major research interests are channelopathies in the cardiovascular system, sudden cardiac death and antiarrhythmic therapy. He has published more than 80 articles in peer reviewed high impact journals and served as Chair and reviewer in several national review committees such as NIH, AHA, Veterans Affairs and March of Dimes. He is also a reviewer in a number of important journals such as Circulation, Circulation Research, Journal of American College of Cardiology and the American Journal of Cardiology and serves on several executive boards, thesis committees and editorial board.
Dr. Boutjdir is responsible for the management of all aspects of the PRIDE Summer Institute. He is the former director of the Summer Institute Program to Increase Diversity (SIPID) and the current director of PRIDE at Downstate Medical Center, the Director of the Training and Mentoring Core of the BHDRC and is part of the AHA International Mentorship Program. Dr Boutjdir has extensive administrative and scientific leadership experience and has successfully directed and managed all aspects of the SIPID and PRIDE programs at Downstate. He is a Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology/Physiology and Pharmacology with extensive experience in training and mentoring both MDs and PhDs, in the conduct of cardiovascular research. To date, more than 56 clinical and basic science fellows have trained with Dr. Boutjdir and are currently working in prestigious academic departments across the nation.
Dr. Boutjdir also has extensive teaching experience. He has been a regular contributor to the teaching programs of cardiovascular physiology and laboratory classes for cardiac electrocardiography at the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cell Biology and Medicine. He also contributed to health disparity courses in the School of Public Health and serves as a Faculty for the didactic courses on Responsible Conduct in Research, as a reviewer during the SIPID and PRIDE mock study section and serves as a mentor. As the Director of the Training and Mentoring Core of the BHDRC, Dr Boutjdir supervised and coordinated the monthly cultural competency and health disparities seminars that are attended by faculty, cardiology fellows and students institution-wide. In addition, he directly supervises the placement of fellows under the Core with mentors who conduct health disparities research.
Faculty and Advisors - SUNY Downstate
Dr. Afable is an Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She has developed curriculum and teaches courses on experimental/quasi-experimental design, program evaluation, urban and immigrant health. She is the Evaluation Consultant to the NYC Department of Health’s East Harlem Healthy Neighborhood Community Activation Grant, which funds 11 East Harlem CBOs. She is currently PI of a pilot evaluation study of a tertiary care childhood obesity program in Brooklyn, funded by the SUNY DMC President’s Health Disparities Fund. Dr. Afable has held post-doctoral appointments in NIH funded training programs for under-represented faculty- National Cancer Institute Diversity Fellow (2007-2009) and National Institute on Aging Fellow at the Center for Aging in Diverse Communities (2009-2011) – at her previous institution, University of California, San Francisco.
Jeffrey S. Borer, M.D., is Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology, Radiology and Surgery at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. For 4 years, he served as Chairman, Department of Medicine, at SUNY Downstate, an administrative position he relinquished in 2013, but continues to serve as Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Director of two research institutes at Downstate. Dr. Borer received a BA from Harvard, a MD from Cornell, trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital, spent 7 years in the Cardiology Branch, NHLBI, and a year at Guy's Hospital (London) as Senior Fullbright Hays Scholar and Glorney-Raisbeck Fellow in the Medical Sciences, completing the first clinical demonstration of nitroglycerin's utility in acute MI following his several years of preclinical studies at NIH. Upon returning to the NIH, he developed stress radionuclide cineangiography, enabling the first non-invasive assessment of cardiac function with exercise. He returned to Cornell for 30 years as Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Pathophysiology. At Cornell and now at Downstate, he performs clinical service, teaching and research, the latter primarily developing prognosticators for regurgitant valve diseases, and assessing the effects of heart rate modification on clinical outcomes, with trials in coronary artery disease and heart failure. He has been an Advisor to the USFDA for 38 years, chaired the CardioRenal Drugs Advisory Committee for 3 terms and the Circulatory Devices Advisory Panel for one term, was a life sciences Advisor to NASA for 24 years, has served as officer/board member of several national professional societies (most recently founding President, Heart Valve Society of America, now expanded to the Heart Valve Society [interntational]), has published almost 500 scientific papers and 6 books, has participated in various roles in numerous clinical trials of therapies, is editor-in-chief of the journal, Cardiology, and has received several awards and other recognitions for his work including, most recently, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Heart Valve Society of America and Society of Heart Valve Disease of Europe (2014), and his selection as one of three Legends of Cardiology at the 10th Annual Complex Catheter-based Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference (2014). His research has been supported by NIH, AHA and, for many years, by several large private foundations.
Dr. Carla Boutin-Foster is an Associate Professor of Medicine who graduated from Downstate Medical College and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr Boutin Foster is currently Associate Dean of Diversity Education and Research. Her research activities focus on identifying the psychological and social determinants of health outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease and on the social epidemiology of health disparities in cardiovascular disease. She is the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health and Community Health. Her previous funding includes a grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to identify attributes in the doctor-patient relationship that are most associated with health behavior modification in patients with coronary artery disease. She was the recipient of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the role of social support in outcomes of patients with coronary artery disease. She was also awarded a K01 from the NHLBI to evaluate the impact of depressive symptoms, social support, and stress on health behavior modification in Latino patients with coronary artery disease. She is also co-investigator on an NHLBI program project to that test the impact of a culturally-tailored educational program on medication adherence in African-Americans with hypertension. She has published several papers describing her work in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to research, teaching and clinic duties, she is the Associate Director of the Center for Multicultural and Minority Health and plays an active role in recruiting diverse residents. The goal of the Center is to collaborate efforts in medical education, minority faculty development, community outreach, and research that will enhance the quality of health care of the underserved. Dr. Boutin-Foster has also been involved in numerous community-based participatory research initiatives and has collaborated with several community organizations and agencies in developing initiatives that focus on health disparities and improving health care outcomes for the underserved.
Clinton D. Brown is a practicing Nephrologist in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Brown graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1975 and has been in practice for 42 years. He completed a residency at Harlem Hospital Center. Dr. Brown also specializes in Internal Medicine. He currently practices at SUNY Downstate Medical Center Orthopedic Associates and is affiliated with Kings County Hospital Center.
Humberto Brown is Director of Health Disparities Initiatives at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. In this capacity he is assigned as a loaned executive to the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, an independent 501(c)3 organization that partners SUNY Downstate Medical Center and the Brooklyn Borough President's Office on community based participatory research. Prior to his tenure at Downstate, Mr. Brown held positions in the psychiatric division of Harlem Hospital, where he helped create a cultural sensitivity and education pro-gram for psychiatric residents and other mental health workers. At the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, Mr. Brown trained high school students to understand the role of culture in healing, and to acquire the human relations tools necessary for delivering health care to a multicultural clientele.
Mr. Brown was also integrally involved in the Institute's National Cancer Institute funded research study, Prostate Cancer Control with Community Barbers. As part of the research team, he conducts focus and advocacy training groups related to prostate health with African American and African Caribbean barbers and their customers. Representing Arthur Ashe Institute and SUNY Downstate Center, Mr. Brown also serves as Chairman of the Committee on Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine of the Community Coalition to Increase Diversity in the Health Care Professions, a coalition committed to offering a community grounded voice to this issue in New York City. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center
Dr. Marilyn Fraser-White is the Deputy Executive Director at the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. Dr. Fraser is also a member of the faculty of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and the faculty of the Institute’s Health Science Academy, serving as a mentor and instructor for talented minority students interested in the health professions. Dr. Fraser serves as the Director of the Community Engagement core of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, a partnership with Arthur Ashe Institute, the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President. As a senior member of the Institute’s staff, Dr. Fraser leads by example. She has recruited a talented bench for the Institute’s research, training and outreach endeavors, and participates actively in advising the CEO on how to strengthen the administrative infrastructure of the organization. Dr. Fraser’s expertise in community based participatory approaches to partnership development in research and collaboration has served the Institute well. She is a sought after expert and provides counsel to numerous academic institutions, research organizations and community partners on the topic. A skilled researcher, Dr. Fraser has assumed primary responsibility for the Institute’s research portfolio development. In this role she has secured millions of dollars to support the evaluation of the Institute’s best practice urban health approaches. Among Dr. Fraser’s stellar achievements is a recent and one of the most prestigious international awards. She is the recipient of the 2013 Fulbright Research Specialist Award, and chose to leverage her opportunity to practice abroad on behalf of the Institute. In this capacity, she expertly managed the Institute’s replication of its award winning social determinants of health externship program in Trinidad and Tobago at University of the West Indies.
Dr. Hussain received Ph.D. degrees from the Oklahoma State University and University of Copenhagen, Denmark. After postdoctoral trainings at the Boston University School of Medicine and Gladstone Foundation Laboratories, University of California, San Francisco, he joined Medical College of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor, became Associate Professor, moved to SUNY Downstate Medical Center and became a Tenured Professor in 2002. In 2014, he was appointed as a Distinguished Professor of SUNY. American Heart Association elected him as a Fellow in 2001. He is the founder and President of "Chylo, Inc." and a co-founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal "Nutrition & Metabolism (Lond)."
Mahmood received National Merit Scholarship (India) and a DANIDA Fellowship (Denmark) for his studies. He received several awards from the American heart Association such as Irvine H. Page Award, the National Center; Leonard Horowitz Award, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Affiliate; and ATVB Special Recognition Award. At SUNY, he received Promising Inventor Award and Chancellor's Recognition Award and has been an Honoree for several times of the Million Dollar Club. He was bestowed with an Outstanding Achievement Award in Crete, Greece.
Dr. Hussain had made several seminal observations. He demonstrated that bone marrow plays a significant role in chylomicron catabolism. His associates have described two independent pathways for lipid absorption by the intestine; characterized protein-protein interactions between apolipoprotein B and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) and established their importance in lipoprotein assembly; defined the role of MTP in the circadian regulation of plasma triglyceride and showed that CLOCK regulates MTP involving SHP; described the role of IRE1β in lipid absorption, atherosclerosis, and enterocyte differentiation. Another area of his research is the identification of microRNAs that affect lipid metabolism. His group showed that miR-30c lowers plasma lipids and atherosclerosis.
Michael A. Joseph, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at Downstate. He completed his MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology at Yale University and his Ph.D. in Epidemiologic Science at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Joseph's research interests are in social epidemiology, particularly issues of behavioral and cultural determinants of cancer screening practices among communities of color, and he is currently extending his research endeavors internationally through collaborations with the University of Zimbabwe School of Medicine in Harare, Zimbabwe. Dr. Joseph teaches Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of public health Program and previously served as Course Director for Fundamentals of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of NY. He will participate in the Institute through didactic and hands-on laboratory application of epidemiologic, statistical analytic tools such as SPSS and Principles of Biostatistics.
Dr. LaRosa is Distinguished Service Professor and Vice Dean of the School of Public Health Program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. From 1991-1994 she was the first Deputy Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health. She is co-author of the legislatively mandated 1994 NIH Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research. Dr. LaRosa has published in the areas of heart disease, women's health, workplace health promotion and disease prevention. She is a fellow in the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Nursing and the American Heart Association. She is a board member and Vice Chair of the Bedford Stuyvesant Family Center. Dr. LaRosa has received numerous awards for her work such as the 1994 NIH Director's Award and NIH Merit Award for her outstanding contribution to women's health, the 1993 American Heart Association for her outstanding contribution to the prevention and treatment of heart disease in women, and State University of New York Distinguished Service Professor award in 2012.
Professor of Medicine, Neurology, Public Health, Molecular & Cell Biology,Director, Non-Invasive Cardiology and Director of Cardiology fellowship program at Downstate. Dr. Lazar received his medical degree from the SUNY at Syracuse and completed his postgraduate training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He received his MPH from Columbia University School of Public Health. Dr. Lazar is currently Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology and Director of the Cardiovascular Fellowship Training Program at Downstate. He is also Clinical Assistant Dean in the College of Medicine. Dr. Lazar's research interests include: brain-heart interactions, arterial stiffness, the epidemiology of coronary heart disease in women, in high risk populations, and health disparities. He is a member of the editorial board of some 8 journals, serves as a reviewer for many more peer-reviewed journals. He is widely published with more than 100 peer reviewed manuscripts and has embarked upon several international collaborations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Cardiology and the American College of Chest Physicians. He has previously served as Chair of the Cardiovascular Network and New York State representative of the Governor's Council of the American College of Chest Physicians, and on the American Society of Echocardiography Research Committee. He has received multiple accolades for academia including the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Over the past decade, Dr Lazar has been awarded four different Empire Clinical Research Investigator Training Grants. He will be responsible for the lectures on Pathophysiology of Hypertension and Basic Cardiac Pathophysiology, a tour of the non-invasive cardiac laboratory, will serve on the mock study section and as a mentor.
Dr. Jonathan Marmur is a Professor of Medicine, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Chief of the Division of Cardiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. As an interventional cardiologist, his research interest is in the biologic response to vascular injury, with a particular focus on hemostasis and thrombosis, and the use of biomarkers to predict future adverse cardiovascular events. He has extensive experience and skills in recruiting patients for clinical research in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.
Dr. Samy I. McFarlane is a Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology. He is the President of the American College of Physicians for the Brooklyn District and is the author/ co-author of over 300 publications with several being among the most cited and most accessed articles in their respected journals. His research in the areas of diabetes, hypertension and bone metabolism has been supported by major national and international institutions including the National Institute of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and the National Kidney Foundation among others. He is a 2 term member of the National Institute of Health committee (NIDDK) and served as a member and a chair for major special review NIH committees (SRO). He also served as a journal Editor for multiple journals and numerous times as a journal reviewer and manuscript consultant.
His major areas of interest are in Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease prevention especially among minority population. He is also a known leader in the medical community for promoting minority trainees; many of whom hold leadership positions and were able to advance in academic careers. He is also the vice- president and co-founder of the Caribbean Diabetes Initiative, Inc., a non-for profit organization that provides diabetes care to the indigent populations in various Caribbean island and educate the local health care providers about the care for the diabetic patients in forms of workshops and medical seminars targeting the providers in their native land. He is an invited speaker at national scientific meetings and major universities. His efforts have been recognized through many awards he received over the years including recognitions from the United States armed forces, the USA House of Representatives, the Gold P Foundation for Humanism in Medicine among others.
As an Educator, Dr. McFarlane has edited and co-authored the popular review book First Aid for Medicine Clerkship by McGraw-Hill and co. that is now in its third edition. He also won several awards as an educator including the outstanding educator, the AOA, pioneer in public Health and was selected among America's top Physicians and best doctors awards several times.
Dr. McKenzie earned his MD from Meharry Medical College, Nashville Tennessee and completed residency training at Kings County Hospital in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. McKenzie serves as the president of The Provident Clinical Society, Brooklyn affiliate of the National Medical Association; adviser to the board of the Empire State Medical Association; former chairman of the Health Committee of the N.A.A.C.P-Brooklyn Branch; and was appointed voting member to the New York State Health Research Science Board. Dr McKenzie conducts regular community health forums on a range of health disparity topics and contributes regularly as health editor of several publications.
Dr. Moro Salifu is a tenured Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn. He is also the Edwin C. and Anne K. Weiskopf Endowed Chair in Nephrology and Transplantation. He has served as fellowship program director since 2003, division chief of nephrology, and director of the kidney transplant program at SUNY Downstate since 2008. He has trained and mentored many residents and fellows, across different institutions in New York and in several States.
Board-certified in internal medicine and nephrology, Dr. Salifu is known for his outstanding research, and clinical and administrative skills. He is highly respected within the Downstate community as well as in the national nephrology community. He is a productive investigator whose research interests include vascular biology, chronic kidney disease progression, and kidney transplant outcomes. He is the recipient of numerous grants including being the principal investigator of a multi-million dollar award from the National Institutes of Health to advance the work of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center.
Dr. Salifu is the recipient of numerous awards, including best educator of the year, Best Doctor US News and World Report, Castle Connelly Top Doctor, Worldwide Registry of Executives and Professionals, Kings Of Kings County, just to name a few. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals nationally and internationally. A fellow of the American College of Physicians, he is also a member and journal reviewer for nephrology and transplant societies and has served on many local and national professional committees. He is the past president of the New York Society of Nephrology for the 2013-14 academic year.
Phyllis Supino, Ed.D., is Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Public Health, Director of Clinical Epidemiology & Clinical Research/Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Downstate; she also is Adjunct Research Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. Previously, she was Associate Research Professor of Public Health in Medicine and Associate Research Professor of Public Health/ Weill Cornell Medical College (1990-2008) and Director, Section of Data Management, Epidemiology and Educational Programs, Cardiovascular Pathophysiology at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center. She was awarded the Howard Gilman Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research and Teaching in Cardiovascular Diseases and named 'Best Research Mentor of the Year Award' at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1997. She is the author or co-author of more than 60 scientific articles, book chapters and monographs and principal editor and contributing author of a new textbook, Principles of Research Methodology: A Guide for Clinical Investigators (Springer-Verlag 2012). She is a member of the NY Academy of Medicine, AHA, American Statistical Association, and Kappa Delta Pi-An Honor Society in Education. She will lecture about Principles of Research Methodology.
Faculty and Mentors - Other Institutions
Dr. Akinboboye, MD, MPH, FACC FACP FAHA FASNC FSCCT DABMS MBA is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, NY. He is also the Medical Director of Queens Heart Institute., in Rosedale, Queens. NY. Dr Akinboboye was on the faculty of Columbia University from 1995 to 2000 as Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine. He is president emeritus of the Association of Black Cardiologists. He obtained a Master of Public health Degree from the School of Public health at Columbia University in 1998. He also received a Master's degree in Business Administration from Columbia business School in 2001. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, hypertension, cardiac CT sleep medicine and nuclear cardiology.
Dr. Ola Akinboboye has received numerous awards. He was selected by Castle Connolly as one of America's Top Doctors in the New York Metro area from 2005 to 2013. He was recognized by New York Magazine as one of New York's best heart doctors 2006-2008, New York's superdoctors in 2013, and on the cover of the Network Journal 2/2008, as one of the Best Black Doctors in the New York tri-state area. He was also recognized by US News and World reports as one of the best cardiologists in the United States. He received a humanitarian award from the College of Medicine at University of Ibadan in Nigeria in 2005 for his ongoing efforts to spread expertise in the techniques of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in Nigeria. He also received an award from the Association of Black Cardiologists for his dedicated service as a board member from 1999 to 2005.
Dr. Carla Boutin-Foster is an Associate Professor of Medicine who graduated from Downstate Medical College and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Her research activities focus on identifying the psychological and social determinants of health outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease and on the social epidemiology of health disparities in cardiovascular disease. She is the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Public Health and Community Health. Her previous funding includes a grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to identify attributes in the doctor-patient relationship that are most associated with health behavior modification in patients with coronary artery disease. She was the recipient of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the role of social support in outcomes of patients with coronary artery disease. Currently, she has a KO1 from the NHLBI to evaluate the impact of depressive symptoms, social support, and stress on health behavior modification in Latino patients with coronary artery disease. She is also co-investigator on an NHLBI program project to that test the impact of a culturally-tailored educational program on medication adherence in African-Americans with hypertension. She has published several papers describing her work in peer-reviewed journals.
In addition to research, teaching and clinic duties, she is the Associate Director of the Center for Multicultural and Minority Health and plays an active role in recruiting diverse residents. The goal of the Center is to collaborate efforts in medical education, minority faculty development, community outreach, and research that will enhance the quality of health care of the underserved. Dr. Boutin-Foster has also been involved in numerous community-based participatory research initiatives and has collaborated with several community organizations and agencies in developing initiatives that focus on health disparities and improving health care outcomes for the underserved.
Dr. Chahine is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at Laval University in Quebec city, Canada. His expertise is in channel structure-function studies and mutagenesis studies at both molecular and biophysical levels. Specifically, his expertise is in ion channelopathies, using techniques such as side directed mutagenesis and confocal microscopy. He has published many paper related to long QT syndrome, Brugada syndrome and cardiac arrhythmias in general. Honors include appointment as Senior Investigator at the Joseph C. Edwards Foundation, Montréal, Canada; Invited Professor at the Institut de Physiologie et Biologie, Cellulaires, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France; Invited Scientist at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences Okazaki, Japan; a Junior-2 fellowship at the Fond de la recherché en santé du Québec (FRSQ), Canada; and a Research Scholar at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) Canada. He is an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Pharmacology of Ion Channels and Channelopathies and sits on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, World Journal of Cardiology, and the KBM Journal of Cardiovascular Research. He is a member of several study section committees. Dr. Chahine is a present member of the Biophysical Society, the Society of Neurosciences, and the American Heart Association. He currently receives research support from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health, and has completed research projects for the Canada Foundation for Innovation and a NIH consortium grant.
Dr Chung is a clinical and molecular geneticist who directs the clinical genetics program at Columbia University and performs human genetic research. She is the Herbert Irving associate professor of pediatrics and medicine. She received her B.A. in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in genetics. Dr. Chung directs NIH funded research programs in human genetics of obesity, breast cancer, and birth defects including congenital diaphragmatic hernia and congenital heart disease. She was the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award, the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, and a career development award from Doris Duke. Dr. Chung is renowned for her teaching and mentoring. She is a member of the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy and has won many awards for teaching including the Charles W. Bohmfalk Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, American Medical Women's Association Mentor Award, and Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. Dr. Chung enjoys the challenges of genetics as a rapidly changing field of medicine and strives to facilitate the integration of genetic medicine into all areas of health care in a medically, scientifically, and ethnically sound, accessible, and cost effective manner.
Dr. Christopher Dant has over 40 years' experience first as medical researcher and as a medical writer and writing consultant in biopharmaceutical, government, and academic settings. Dr. Dant received his MA and PhD in genetics and molecular biology from Indiana University and University of Michigan and was a postdoctoral scholar at University of Vermont. He was formerly a senior writer in academic and pharmaceutical settings, a peer-reviewed medical journal (JAMA, Ann Int Med) editor, and recently managed grants at Stanford's Medical School. In 2005-2010, he established and built the Clinical Publications Division at Genentech in California. He spent several years as a consultant at the NIH reviewing R and K grants. He currently serves on the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School and Norris Cotton Cancer Center and consults with Stanford Medical School, University of California at San Francisco, Johns Hopkins, Harvard Medical School. He lectures widely in academic and biopharma settings on NIH career and research grants, manuscript writing, and basic scientific writing for scientists.
Karina W. Davidson PhD: Dr. Davidson is Professor of Behavioral Medicine in Medicine and Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. She is also the Director of the Center for Behavioral & Cardiovascular Health, and is a clinical health psychologist by training. She is one of the Associate Directors of the Clinical & Translational Science Award at Columbia University Medical Center. Her program of research focuses on behavioral and psychosocial interventions for patients with cardiovascular disease. She has conducted randomized controlled trials of anger management and depression treatment for both hypertensive and post-myocardial infarction patients. She and her colleagues recently completed a multi-site, multi-project NIH contract exploring the etiology, course and randomized controlled treatment of depressive symptoms in patients with acute coronary syndromes, and this research continues by examining depression phenotypes and their biobehavioral mechanisms in a NHLBIfunded program project. She is currently conducting, with a number of colleagues across the nation, an NHLBI-funded randomized controlled trial to test if enhanced depression treatment vs current treatment improves survival in ACS patients at sites across the U.S.
Keith C Ferdinand, MD, is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine and the Tulane Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was previously Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Xavier University, New Orleans and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Ferdinand received his medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, certified in the subspecialty of nuclear cardiology, and a specialist in clinical hypertension certified by the American Society of Hypertension.
Dr. Ferdinand is Immediate Past Chair of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and has served as Chief Science Officer and past chair of the Association of Black Cardiologists. He has also served as a board member of the American Society of Hypertension,the Southwest Lipid Association, and the International Society of Hypertension in Blacks.
As an investigator, Dr. Ferdinand has conducted numerous trials in the fields of cardiology, cardiovascular disease,lipids and cardiometabolic risk, especially in racial and ethnic minorities. Dr Ferdinand's participation in research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine,Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, Clinical Lipidology, and the journal Cardiorenal Medicine, and Hypertension.
Dr. Ferdinand serves on the editorial review board of Hypertension, Journal of Clinical Hypertension, the Journal of the American Society of Clinical Hypertension, Cardiorenal Medicine, as well as The Medical Roundtable-CV. He has lectured nationally on topics including cardiovascular disease in the African American population, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular outcomes. In 2004, Dr. Ferdinand received the Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award of the American Heart Association and the Walter M. Booker Community Service Award of the Association of Black Cardiologists. In 2010, he was recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Health Trust with an award for journalism, as well as the Charles Drew award for medical excellence in conjunction with the National Minority Quality Foundation. Most recently, in 2015, Dr. Ferdinand was inducted into the Association of University Cardiologists.
Icilma V. Fergus, MD was appointed Director of Cardiovascular Disparities at Mount Sinai Medical Center in 2011. Prior to that she served as Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Columbia University Harlem Hospital Center. Her current academic appointment is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, New York. She is a Barnard and SUNY Downstate graduate. She completed her residency and Chief residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center. Dr. Fergus completed her cardiology fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Fergus is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.
Dr. Fergus has authored numerous articles related to heart disease and congestive heart failure in peer-reviewed journals and a co-author in the new book entitled "Cardiovascular Disease in Ethnic Minorities". Her current research interests involve cardiovascular disparities, Hypertension and heart disease in women. She has been an investigator in several clinical trials including NHLBI sponsored trials and DOH trials.
Dr. Fergus is an active member of many professional memberships, including the American Society of Hypertension, American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Fergus is President and served on the board of the Association of Black Cardiologists for six years including two years as secretary and has been the Chair of Community Programs for the past three years. She is a prominent educator in the Harlem community, sits on the Community Advisory board of Touro College and is a member of the Harlem Chamber of Commerce's Healthy Eating and Living Committee. She is also a member of the New York City Affiliate of the AHA.
Dr. Fergus is also Mrs. Rowe mother of three and married to Robert Rowe. She enjoys decorating, gardening, reading and traveling. She is an active member in her community and is the Chapter president of Jack and Jill Incorporated– Rockland County Chapter. She has been featured in numerous articles and magazines including Essence, Heart and Soul and Girlfriends Magazines. She has also been a guest speaker on several radio and TV stations including the CNN's Black in America part 1. Dr. Fergus continues to be very active in communities where health care disparities are present.
Celia B. Fisher, PhD, is the Marie Ward Doty University Endowed Chair, Professor of Psychology is the founding Director of the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education and the NIDA funded HIV/Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Institute. She is current chair of the American Public Health Association's Ethics Section Planning Committee on Revising the Ethics Code and has chaired the Environmental Protection Agency's Human Studies Review Board, the HHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections Subcommittee on Children's Research, the American Psychological Association's Ethics Code Task Force, the Society for Research in Child Development Common Rule Task Force and the NYS Licensing Board for Psychology; served on the NIMH Data Safety and Monitoring Board, the IOM Committee on Clinical Research Involving Children, the NIH Research Study Section on Societal and Ethical Issues and the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Task Force on The Revision to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences; recipient of the 2010 Health Improvement Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Human Research Protection and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
A founding editor of the journal Applied Developmental Science, Dr Fisher is author of Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologists (3rd Edition, 2013, Sage Publications), co-editor of 8 books including Ethics in Applied Developmental Psychology: Emerging Issues in an Emerging Field (with W. Tryon, 1990, Ablex Publications), The Handbook of Ethical Research with Ethnocultural Populations and Communities (with J. Trimble, 2006, Sage Publications) and Research with High-Risk Populations: Balancing Science, Ethics, and Law (with D. Buchanan & L. Gable, 2009, APA Publications), and author of over 150 theoretical and empirical publications in the areas of ethics in medical and social science research and practice and on life span development. She has received federal funding from NSF, the Department of Education and various NIH programs including NICHD, NIDA, NIAID, ORI, NRCC and NIAAA. Her federally funded research programs focus on ethical issues and psychosocial wellbeing of vulnerable populations including ethnic minority and LGBTQ youth and families, active drug users, medically ill youth, college students at risk for drinking problems, and adults with impaired consent capacity.
James R. Gavin III, MD, PhD is Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia and at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Gavin has a long and distinguished history of research and commitment to minority faculty development. He is a past president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA (2002-2005). He served as senior scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) from 1991-2002 and director of the HHMI-National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program from 2000-2002. Dr. Gavin is immediate past National Program Director (1993 - 2013) of the Harold Amos Minority Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Approximately 220 scholars have completed all four years of the AMFDP. Of these, more than 80 percent are still in academic medicine, including 3 directors of categorical institutes at the NIH, 40 professors, 59 associate professors, and 78 assistant professors. In addition to serving as faculty and on the advisory committee to the Institute, Dr. Gavin will assist in identifying and recruiting senior minority faculty to increase the pool of mentors and assignment of mentees. Dr. Gavin is African American. He will continue to serve as a faculty member of the Institute by leading seminars on Career Development, Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Faculty.
Dr. Joseph is the Interim Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate's School of Public Health. Dr. Joseph earned his BS in Health Science at Brooklyn College, his MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University, and his PhD in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan SPH. He completed postdoctoral training in cancer prevention and control at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Joseph is presently collaborating with colleagues from SUNY Downstate and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health on an NIH-funded cluster randomized trial that is testing the efficacy of a CBPR-based behavioral intervention to reduce heterosexual Black men's HIV transmission risks. Dr. Joseph is the Director of the Training/Education Core of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center; in this role he provides underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students with education and training to pursue advanced study in the area of health disparities research. Dr. Joseph has administrative and direct teaching experience of several graduate courses on biostatistics and epidemiology. Because of his knack for explaining difficult concepts in a simplified, yet exhaustive fashion, his course at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, "Biostatistics for Non-Statisticians", is widely popular. He will participate in the PRIDE-CVD through didactic teaching and hands-on applications of biostatistics using SPSS.
Dr. Cheryl L. Kunis is Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University in the Department of Medicine and Division of Nephrology. Dr. Kunis graduated with honors and distinction in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and received an M.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
After completing a three year clinical/research fellowship in Nephrology at the New York University School of Medicine, she joined the faculty at Columbia University. As a member of the Nephrology division, she has been the principal investigator on a number of clinical trials and has authored a number of papers in glomerular and other renal diseases. Dr. Kunis has a large clinical nephrology practice and has been expanding her medical skills to include clinical ethics. She is focusing on global bioethical issues in the treatment of end stage renal disease and is presently completing an MS degree in bioethics at Columbia University.
Dr. Lewis is in his 11th year as a faculty member in the cardiovascular division at Brigham and Women's Hospital and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was one of the first recipients of the Minority Faculty Development Award, which is a 7 year award given to promising young physicians with research potential. He is involved with several large, international clinical trials and has approximately 80 publications during his career. He also received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the role of quality of life assessment in clinical decision making in patients with heart failure and several grants from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lewis is Chair of the American Heart Association Heart Failure and Transplant committee and Director of the Cardiology clerkship for Harvard Medical School students who rotate at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is also Chair of the AHA Founders Affiliate Research Committee and a member of the AHA Founders Affiliate Board of Trustees. Dr. Lewis is an international expert in the area of quality of life and heart failure and serves on scientific committees to review grants for the American Heart Association and the FDA Task Force for the Standardization of Definitions for Endpoint Events in Cardiovascular Trials. He is also an Associate Editor for Circulation-Heart Failure and on several editorial boards of other journals.
Susana Morales, MD, is the Director of the Center for Multicultural and Minority Health and Associate Chair of Educational Affairs and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University Associate. She is also an attending physician of the NY-Presbyterian Hospital (NY-Weill Cornell Campus). The mission of the Multicultural Center she directs is to promote cultural diversity among the faculty and house staff of the Department of Medicine; to foster research in minority health and health policy; to educate physicians on the sociocultural influences affecting patient's health, beliefs and behaviors; and to expand the relationship of the Department and the larger institution with the community. Dr. Morales will serve as a faculty for the Institute, bringing expertise in cultural competency training, health disparities and teaching and mentoring tools for recruiting and retaining minorities in medicine.
Dr. Ravenell is an Assistant Professor of Population Health and Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, and Director of the new Perlmutter Cancer Institute Center for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities. Dr. Ravenell's research focus is clinical and community-based approaches to improving hypertension control and reducing colorectal cancer health disparities among African American men. He was a co-Investigator on the first NIH-funded cluster-randomized trial testing a barbershop-based behavioral intervention to improve blood pressure control in Black men. Dr. Ravenell is 1) PI of a NHLBI R01 project to test community-based strategies to improve blood pressure control and colon cancer screening in Black churches in New York City, 2) project leader on an NIH-funded barbershop-based trial of behavioral interventions to improve hypertension control and colorectal cancer screening among Black men, and 3) co-PI of a CDC-funded U48 grant to test the comparative effectiveness of two interventions to improve blood pressure and increase colon cancer screening among black men in New York City. The three aforementioned studies form the NYU Men's Health Initiative, a research initiative focused on testing community-based interventions to increase hypertension control and colorectal cancer screening among 1440 black men aged 50 years and older. To date, MHI has provided blood pressure screening and education about cardiovascular disease and colon cancer prevention to nearly 7000 black men over age 50, and enrolled over 1,100 older black men in hypertension and colon cancer community intervention trials from 100 faith-based organizations and 70 black-owned barbershops in New York City.
Dr. Rodriguez was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Washington Heights, Manhattan. He graduated on the Dean's List at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and subsequently obtained his M.D. and M.P.H. degrees concurrently from Columbia University. He completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Columbia University Medical Center and then completed a four-year fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases and Advanced Echocardiography also at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Rodriguez joined the faculty at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003 and held a joint appointment at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and in the Division of Cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center. He was the first Dominican from the surrounding community of Washington Heights to be full-time faculty in Cardiology. His research focuses on: cardiovascular health disparities, minority cardiovascular health, hypertensive heart disease, and heart failure. His research has been published in a variety of journals including Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the American Journal of Cardiology, the American Journal of Medicine, Hypertension, and Stroke. Dr. Rodriguez has been the recipient of the American Heart Association Clinically Applied Research Grant and the Association of Black Cardiologists Hawthorne - Searle Young Investigator Award. Dr. Rodriguez is the principal investigator of a Career Development Award funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar and past recipient of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award.
Dr. Rodriguez has joined Wake Forest University as Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in 2011, where he is currently the principal investigator of ECHO-SOL, a national multi-center study of cardiac structure and function in Hispanic/Latinos across the United States. His research grant application was awarded a perfect score from the National Institutes of Health, a very rare accomplishment.
Dr. Rodriguez is active in various organizations, including the American Heart Association, where he serves as chair of the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Research Committee and the, Genomics, Translational Outcomes & Observational Epidemiology Peer Review Committee. He also serves as a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In addition to all of the above, Dr. Rodriguez also serves as faculty advisor for the Latino Medical Student Association, remains a board certified cardiologist, sees patients and performs cardiovascular procedures at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina where he lives with his wife and two children.