Office of the Senior Vice President of Research

From explorations focused on the development of new treatments and therapeutics to faculty and student-led research driving groundbreaking innovations in health and medicine, research programs at SUNY Downstate span a broad spectrum of interests from the basic sciences; to translational research; to clinical trials; to population research and health equity; to health information technology; to evidence-based research for nursing, healthcare, and education. Our investigators are making discoveries that are changing the world of biomedicine and healthcare.

David Christini, Senior Vice President for Research

Profile Page

Research Pulse

Councils & Committees

Reporting to President Riley - meets quarterly.

Research Advisory Council Organization (PDF)

  • David Christini (Chair; Senior Vice President for Research)
  • Deborah Gustafson (co-Vice Chair; representing HRAC; Neurology; 10/1/20 – 9/30/2024)
  • Todd Sacktor (co-Vice Chair; representing LRAC; Physiology & Pharmacology; 10/1/20 – 9/30/2024)
  • Jack DeHovitz - 4 years (Member, Medicine; 10/1/20-9/30/2024)
  • Tracey Wilson - 3 years (Member, SPH; 10/1/20-9/30/2023)
  • Carla Boutin-Foster - 2 years (Member, Medicine; 10/1/20-9/30/2022)
  • Tim Bigdeli - 2 years (Member, Psychiatry; 10/1/2020-9/30/2022)
  • James Knowles - 2 years (Member, Cell Biology; 10/1/2020-9/30/2022)
  • Sabina Hrabetova - 3 years (Member, Cell Biology; 10/1/20-9/30/2023)
  • Juan Marcos Alarcon - 3 years (Member, Pathology; 10/1/20-9/30/2023)
  • Jacquelyn Meyers - 3 years (Member, Psychiatry; 10/1/20-9/30/2023)

Reporting to Senior Vice President for Research - meets monthly.

  • Deborah Gustafson (Chair; Neurology; 10/1/2020-9/30/2024)
  • Jack DeHovitz (Medicine; 10/1/2020-9/30/2024)
  • Tracey Wilson (School of Public Health; 10/1/2020-9/30/2023)
  • Carla Boutin-Foster (Medicine; 10/1/2020-9/30/2022)
  • Tim Bigdeli (Psychiatry; 10/1/2020-9/30/2022)
  • Jenny Libien (Pathology; 10/1/2020-9/30/2023)
  • Barbara Kitchener (College of Nursing; 10/1/2020-9/30/2022)
  • Richard Coico (Cell Biology; 10/1/2020-9/30/2022)
  • David Kaufman (School of Health Related Professions; 10/1/2020-9/30/2023)

Reporting to Senior Vice President for Research - meets monthly.

  • Todd Sacktor (Chair; Physiology and Pharmacology)
  • James Knowles (Cell Biology)
  • Sabina Hrabetova (Cell Biology)
  • Juan Marcos Alarcon (Pathology)
  • Jacquelyn Meyers (Psychiatry)
  • Sergios-Orestis Kolokotronis (School of Public Health)
  • Ellen Hsu (Physiology and Pharmacology)
  • Henri Tiedge (Physiology and Pharmacology)

New Research Services & Biostatistical Support

For the next 6 months, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (SVPR) is piloting a collaboration with the University at Albany’s Data Management & Analytics Center (DMAC) to provide consultations and support to SUNY Downstate researchers. If these services prove beneficial to our Downstate research community, we expect to continue this collaboration beyond the 6-month pilot period.

What is DMAC?

DMAC is a University at Albany center offering technical assistance and data management support to staff and faculty. Its mission is to build data capacity by assisting scholars with accessing, managing and analyzing data at various stages of the research data lifecycle. The process of utilizing DMAC starts with a free consultation session. Short-term projects for Downstate researchers that arise out of such consultations will be paid for by the Office of the SVPR.

What services does DMAC provide?

Direct services generally fall into four categories – analytic support, research-related services, survey services, and research technology services. Please see DMAC flyer.

DMAC will provide free consultations up to 1 hour and short-term support up to 3 hours (paid for by the Office of the SVPR). Pricing for more extensive services will typically be at the expense of the investigator and determined by project length and complexity. We encourage faculty to incorporate DMAC into the budget of sponsored projects for larger projects and more extensive services.

Who is eligible?

During this 6-month period, all full-time, salaried SUNY Downstate faculty are eligible to utilize the services. Residents, fellows, and postdoctoral researchers with a Downstate appointment are also eligible. At this time, students should work with faculty mentors for project-related support.

How do I schedule a consultation?

For more information on DMAC, or to schedule a consultation with one of the DMAC researchers, contact: Sandra McGinnis, Lead Researcher at

Is there an option for on-campus biostatistical support?

On-campus biostatistical support resources are limited (which was a motivation for piloting the DMAC collaboration). That said, Dr. Jeremy Weedon reports to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and continues to be available for faculty whose biostatistical support needs are more advanced. Faculty are welcome to contact him directly at:

DHSU Symposium Grant Program

The Office of the SVPR aims to advance research and discovery efforts across the DHSU community by promoting and enhancing collaborations among investigators. Through the support of Research Symposia, the Office of the SVPR aims to: 1) better inform the DHSU community (both faculty and trainees) about the diverse ongoing research efforts on campus; 2) kindle new and expanded research collaborations by facilitating face-to-face interactions; 3) identify tangible next steps towards building integrated research programs; and 4) help faculty prepare to respond to future collaborative extramural research grants. Creating synergies among DHSU investigators could also help individual projects expand into larger programs with increased impact and visibility.

Please find details here along with the agenda template

DHSU SVPR Seed Grant Program (2021)

Onboard a Voluntary Researcher (non-faculty)

Grant Writing Support

We are pleased to launch two programs to provide grant writing support to faculty at Downstate. Faculty can request only ONE of the following services at a given time.

1) The Grant-Writing Consultancy Service Initiative will enable faculty to request services from recommended grant writing consultancy firms.

2) Mentorship Financial Support Request will enable faculty to work with a newly identified grant-writing mentor and request funds to compensate the mentor for their time and effort / support Request

Research Ramp-up Plans for Downstate Research Activities

Research Ramp-up Plans for both Human Participants and Laboratories can be found here, along with guidelines for completing your plan. All plans must be sent to for approval, prior to ramping up your research.