Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Faculty & Staff | NYU Langone Health

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Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Faculty & Staff

Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff at NYU Langone’s Institute for Innovations in Medical Education support our research and development mission. Learn more about our programs and divisions.

Leadership and Administration

Our leadership and administration oversee strategy and institutional alignment, general operations and policy, growth, fundraising and partnerships, and communications.

Marc M. Triola, MD, Founding Director

Dr. Triola’s research focuses on the technological revolution in education, especially advances in big data—large, complex data sets—and learning analytics. He has created a “learning ecosystem” that includes interconnected, computer-based online learning tools and new ways to integrate electronic data into educational research. He is the principal investigator of NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education grant and chairs numerous committees at the state and national levels that focus on the future of educational technology development and research for health professions. Learn more about Dr. Triola.

Crystal Mainiero, MPA, Executive Director

Ms. Mainiero leads the development and implementation of the institute’s strategic plan. She oversees all programmatic, financial, and operational areas of the institute. In 2016, she launched the Educator Community, an institution-wide effort at NYU Grossman School of Medicine to support faculty skill development, mentorship, innovation, scholarship, and recognition of educational excellence.

Jesse Burk Rafel, MD, MRes, Assistant Director of UME–GME Innovation

Dr. Rafel is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone. In his role at the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education, Dr. Rafel leverages his expertise in medical education, predictive modeling, and patient care to lead education innovation projects related to the UME–GME transition. Dr. Rafel is passionate about how we can make this transition seamless with the aim of developing trainees who provide exemplary patient care. Learn more about Dr. Rafel.

Kelly Ruggles, PhD, Assistant Director of Biomedical Informatics

Dr. Ruggles is the director of academic programs at Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and leads a lab dedicated to computational multi-omics focused on understanding human health and biology through the application of data visualization, integration, and predictive modeling. In her role with us, she will bridge the initiatives of both institutes by identifying informatics projects and collaborating on advanced analytics initiatives in undergraduate medical education and graduate medical education. Learn more about Dr. Ruggles.

Verity Schaye, MD, MHPE, Assistant Director of Curricular Innovation

Dr. Schaye is a Farber Teaching Scholar, medical director of the inpatient medicine units at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and firm chief of the Department of Medicine. In her role with us, she will partner with key stakeholders to identify needs and develop best practices related to teaching, assessment, and evaluation within the domain of clinical reasoning. This includes the integration of appropriate and effective technologies for diagnostic decision support and collaboration on advanced analytics projects including a recent award from the Program for Medical Education Innovations and Research (PrMEIR) Grants Program. Learn more about Dr. Schaye.

Abigail Ford Winkel, MD, MHPE, FACOG, Assistant Director of Education Scholarship

Dr. Winkel is the vice chair for education in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and assistant director of the Master of Health Professions Education Program, and was previously the associate residency director and residency director in obstetrics and gynecology. In her role with the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education, she will support our efforts to promote educational innovation and scholarship across undergraduate medical education and graduate medical education and will serve as a lead in the NYU Grossman School of Medicine Transition to Residency Advantage Program. Learn more about Dr. Winkel.

Greta Elysée, Program Coordinator

Ms. Elysée works collaboratively with leadership and staff at the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education to support educational research, managing grants, special projects, and initiatives. She is the grant coordinator for the NYU Grossman School of Medicine Transition to Residency Advantage Program, funded by the AMA. She has more than 10 years of experience as a public health professional working in health disparities research, outreach, education, and advocacy. Contact her at

Latisha Holmes, Administrative Coordinator

Ms. Holmes is responsible for day-to-day operations including scheduling, office communications and support, event planning and coordination, facilities, timekeeping, and transactions. She works closely with leadership to support the operations of our programs and projects.

Division of Educational Informatics

The Division of Educational Informatics serves as a technology laboratory for informatics innovation, including digital applications, in driving curricular evolution.

Sabrina Lee, MPA, Senior Director for Education Information Technology and Director, Academic Systems Support

Ms. Lee oversees and manages the IT strategy, services, and technology innovations for the education programs at NYU Langone Health, including for NYU Grossman School of Medicine, graduate medical education, continuing medical education, and Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. She is passionate about the role of educational technology and informatics in transforming curricula and programs. Contact her at

Julio Garcia, Mobile Developer

Mr. Garcia creates custom applications, including iPad apps for workplace-based assessment and self-directed study of clinical topics, to support our educational mission. His expertise includes application development and medical visualization.

Mohammad Paracha, Business Analyst

Mr. Paracha has been in the IT industry for nearly half a decade with the majority of his experience as a business analyst. He works with teams and stakeholders throughout NYU Langone in analyzing complex business requirements and developing plans of action for implementation. He is a Certified Scrum Master® and is excited to implement Agile principles with our team.

Matt Polaniecki, MS, Assistant Director of Educational Informatics

Mr. Polaniecki oversees the delivery of new software applications and key services in support of NYU Grossman School of Medicine students, staff, and faculty. His background is in educational technology and software product management. Contact him at

Jesu Vensuslaus, MS, Senior Developer II (Technical Lead)

Mr. Vensuslaus collaborates with the engineering team to develop custom software solutions in support of our educational mission. He focuses on combining his experience and the use of modern software development technologies to provide educational information technology solutions.

Division of Education Analytics

Marina Marin, MSc, Director

Ms. Marin is responsible for NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s education data warehouse. She develops an advanced analytics strategy based on the integration of data from the educational and clinical missions. This data analytics ecosystem may involve aggregated interactive dashboards for self-service reporting, basic descriptive statistics, fully automated predictive and prescriptive analytics, pattern mining, and natural language processing.

Helen Finkelstein, MS, Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Developer

Ms. Finkelstein has extensive experience in the full software development cycle, as well as years of experience as an SQL Server database administrator and business intelligence developer. She applied her skills to serve different industries, including higher education, ecommerce, and marketing. In her most recent role, she participated in a range of SQL Server data warehouse development, business intelligence, and programming tasks to assist financial, health, and education departments.

Akshay Ravi, MS, Information Management Developer

Mr. Ravi has more than six years of experience working in the field of data architecture and business intelligence, optimizing data flows and building interactive dashboards to facilitate data analysis and exploration. He is a Tableau expert and a Certified Scrum Master®.

Nivedha Satyamoorthi, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Developer

Ms. Satyamoorthi has extensive experience in architecting many data warehouse projects using enabling technologies. She is responsible for creating a data analytics platform for the ParentCorps project.

Division of Education Quality

The faculty and staff in the Division of Education Quality are leaders in the design of systems that support curricular evaluation. They focus on providing consistent and meaningful feedback to learners, faculty, and leadership to track competence across the undergraduate-to-graduate medical education continuum.

Colleen Gillespie, PhD, Director

As a social scientist, Dr. Gillespie designs and conducts formative and summative evaluations of research at the intersection of medical education and health services. She oversees curricular evaluation and reform at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and specializes in assessing physicians’ competence in communication with patients, including the use of standardized patient simulation. She maintains the undergraduate and graduate medical education registries, enabling NYU Langone researchers to make use of longitudinal educational data. Learn more about Dr. Gillespie or contact her at

Nikola Koscica, MS, Data Analyst

Mr. Koscica automates and optimizes data analysis and reports regarding student and curriculum outcomes. His goal is to guide discussions and decision-making regarding medical education activities so that they can assist the medical school in training the best possible doctors, and from that the best possible patient outcomes.

Ilan Reinstein, MS, Associate Research Scientist

Mr. Reinstein comes to the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education with a strong background in building robust computational frameworks and pipelines to perform advanced analyses on educational data and develop innovative and effective learning analytics practices. Mr. Reinstein has experience applying mathematical models to the development of statistical software in both academic and business environments. His previous position was with NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he completed a master’s degree in applied physics.

Program for Digital Learning

Our Program for Digital Learning staff design, develop, implement, and evaluate digital learning resources for medical education.

So-Young Oh, MA, MS, Program Manager for Curriculum Development and Digital Learning

Ms. Oh develops and evaluates online learning strategies and methods for medical education. She leads the production of digital learning resources and provides workshops on educational theories, curriculum design, active learning, and technology-enhanced education. Contact her at

Gregory Dorsainville, MPS, Manager, AR/VR

Mr. Dorsainville applies his knowledge and love of science, technology, and human–computer interaction to improving the medical-education experience. He supports the design, development, and application of customized technological solutions for medical education, including augmented and virtual reality technologies for anatomy and pathology.

Jillian Halpern, MA, Instructional Designer

Ms. Halpern supports curriculum design and digital learning resource development. She works on the production of ebooks and online learning modules and provides support for Brightspace to leverage technology-enhanced education.

Violetta Kraja, MS, Senior Multimedia Designer

Ms. Kraja is a designer and educator who specializes in motion graphics, animation, and print and digital layout. Her work combines innovative graphic design with digital and interactive media for the medical school curriculum.

Educator Community

The Educator Community supports, fosters, and recognizes faculty at NYU Langone who lead and advance its educational mission.

Michael Poles, MD, PhD, Co-Director

Since 2016, Dr. Poles has served as co-director of the Educator Community, in partnership with Crystal Mainiero. In April 2018, Dr. Poles was appointed the assistant dean of medical education for preclinical sciences. He has served as the director of the gastroenterology section of NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Core Principles of Medicine course for 15 years and the colorectal cancer pillar director for 7 years. In addition, he has served as the director of the fellowship program in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and gastroenterology section chief at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System. An enthusiastic teacher known for his excellent lectures, Dr. Poles has received medical school awards for both basic science and clinical teaching. In 2010, he was awarded VA Teacher of the Year and is a six-time awardee of Gastroenterology Teacher of the Year. Learn more about Dr. Poles.

Lisa Ng-Zhao, Program Manager

Ms. Ng-Zhao brings extensive experience coordinating complex and large-scale projects in an academic medical center. She oversees planning, management, and organizational tasks for various projects. Specifically, she works closely with Ms. Mainiero and Dr. Poles on the Educator Community, an institution-wide effort at NYU Grossman School of Medicine to support teaching faculty. Contact her at