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Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Programs & Divisions Educator Community

Educator Community

In 2016, the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education launched NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Educator Community to inspire and support faculty who lead and advance the medical school’s educational mission. The goals of the Educator Community are to foster and recognize excellence in teaching and learning, build community and connect the avenues by which we organize and communicate across departments and programs, strengthen mechanisms to support the career advancement of medical educators, and cultivate opportunities for educational innovation and scholarship.

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Our Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and staff provide strategic direction concerning initiatives that advance our educational mission and support our faculty in their roles as educators.

Michael Poles, MD, PhD, Co-Director, and Crystal Mainiero, MPA, Co-Director

Since 2016, Michael Poles, MD, PHD, has served as co-director of the Educator Community, in partnership with Crystal Mainiero, MPA. 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 and the colorectal cancer pillar director. 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, Assistant Director

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 medical education events, projects, and programs. Specifically, she works closely with the co-directors of the Educator Community, an institution-wide effort at NYU Grossman School of Medicine to support teaching faculty. Contact her at