Cognitive Neurology Research Training | NYU Langone Health

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Cognitive Neurology Research Cognitive Neurology Research Training

Cognitive Neurology Research Training

Research faculty in the Center for Cognitive Neurology are dedicated mentors, and offer research training opportunities to medical students, residents, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and clinical fellows.

Cognitive Neurology Fellowship

The Center for Cognitive Neurology is pleased to announce a new Cognitive Neurology Fellowship. The fellowship is for one year with an optional research-focused second year. We are currently interviewing candidates for an open position in the 2024–25 academic year, as well as the 2025–26 academic year.

The Cognitive Neurology Fellowship aims to recruit the most qualified aspiring cognitive neurologists to a dynamic and rigorous training program, educating trainees on the latest and most comprehensive approaches to the diagnosis and management of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This program will also advance trainee careers as related to translational and clinical research, clinical trials, and general career development skills.

Year 1 of the fellowship involves approximately 60 to 70 percent outpatient clinical time with faculty in the Pearl I. Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment, NYU Langone’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and other centers. The aim of year 1 is to build clinical acumen in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and begin developing a research project with a mentor. An optional year 2 would be offered for fellows to spend up to 90 percent of time working on a research plan developed during year 1, with the hope that this will lead to independent external funding from foundations and/or the National Institutes of Health. Clinical practice and research exposure will be augmented by didactics, journal clubs, and conferences.

For more information, please contact Arjun V. Masurkar, MD, PhD, Cognitive Neurology Fellowship director, at

Resident and Medical Student Research

Residents and medical students interested in research opportunities should contact the investigator they are interested in working with. Research projects open to residents and medical students are detailed below.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Allal Boutajangout

Allal Boutajangout, PhD, MHS, leads research projects in the following areas:

  • Therapy and immunotherapy of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases
  • Identification of novel blood biomarkers for predicting and monitoring disease progression that will be crucial for detection of early-stage AD
  • Development and characterization of novel transgenic mouse models for AD
  • Development of new antibody targeting multiple neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, prion diseases, frontotemporal dementia, traumatic brain injury, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Residents, fellows, and students will have the opportunity to learn the following techniques: histopathology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and neuropathology.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Fernando R. Goni

Fernando R. Goni, PhD, leads research projects in the following areas:

  • The team is inoculating monoclonal antibodies in AD transgenic mice with different human apoE backgrounds. Two different monoclonals are being tested. The resident or student will learn techniques about purifications from brains, running gels and blots, and using statistics to compare groups.
  • For the prion project (no infectious agents on the samples), residents and students would be involved with extractions, gels, blots, and ELISAs.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Karyn D. Marsh

Karyn D. Marsh, PhD, is studying the association of neighborhood disadvantage and cognitive decline by examining the role of neighborhood deprivation compared to the role of race/ethnicity in subjective cognitive decline using validated instruments, the Brief Cognitive Rating Scale and Area Deprivation Index. The study is cross-sectionally examining the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and subjective cognitive decline in a racially and ethnically diverse group of community-residing older adults in New York City.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Arjun J. Masurkar

Arjun J. Masurkar, MD, PhD, leads research projects in the following areas:

  • To study memory decline in early AD, the team is investigating the cellular basis of early memory decline in AD and its treatment by using optogenetics, electrophysiology, and imaging in transgenic models, computational modeling, and molecular pathologic studies of human postmortem tissue.
  • For digital biomarkers of preclinical and prodromal AD, the team is studying potential new methods to detect AD at its very earliest stages by leveraging digital technology. These include analysis of response dynamics on tablet-based cognitive testing, quantitative gait assessment, and actigraphy monitoring of sleep.
  • To study anxiety in early AD, the team is examining anxiety as a sign of AD at early stages as well as a potential indicator/mediator of faster progression. The aim is to improve assessment of AD-specific anxiety and improve understanding of its relationship to imaging and other biomarkers.
  • Multiple projects relate to subjective cognitive decline (SCD) as a sign of preclinical AD. These include studies to refine SCD assessment as a predictor of future decline, examine relationships to biomarkers, and explore validity across heterogeneous populations.
  • Regarding sensory dysfunction in early AD, the team is examining the role of visual pathway dysfunction and olfactory dysfunction as an early indicator of AD.
  • To study vascular disease and AD, the team is investigating the interrelationships between microvascular disease and AD at the level of neurocognitive phenotyping and imaging.

Research Opportunities with Frances Prelli

Frances Prelli leads research projects in the following areas:

  • For an AD study, the team is looking for compounds structurally comparable to our ABeta peptoid AB17-21P that can block AB-ApoE binding superior to our peptoid.
  • For a prion disease study, the team is inhibiting the role of PrP-AB in AD.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Joel Salinas

Joel Salinas, MD, MBA, leads research projects in the following areas:

  • disentangling the association between psychosocial determinants (i.e., related psychologic, social, and economic environment measures) and risk of AD/ADRD dementia and markers of vulnerability for cognitive decline using epidemiologic cohorts, such as the Framingham Heart Study and the HAALSI-Dementia Study
  • helping launch a new online longitudinal study using very-high-frequency, very-high-dimensional data streams
  • helping to design a supportive psychosocial intervention for Hispanic caregivers of persons with dementia

Research Opportunities with Dr. Henrieta Scholtzova

Henrieta Scholtzova, MD, PhD, leads research projects in the following areas:

  • preventing and treating AD by stimulation of innate immunity
  • characterization of squirrel monkeys to determine what aspects of vascular contributions to cognitive impairments and dementia can be modeled
  • development of bio-fluid and imaging biomarkers in AD research and/or vascular dementia, with the goal of measuring, developing, and validating biofluid/imaging biomarkers that are being developed for humans or have already been used in human trials or clinic
  • development of therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative disorders, predominately AD
  • development of novel amyloid imaging diagnostic techniques
  • assessment of white matter changes being recognized as a predictor of future cognitive declines

Students and residents have the opportunity to help with histology and analysis.

Research Opportunities with Dr. Thomas M. Wisniewski

Thomas M. Wisniewski, MD, leads research projects in the following areas:

  • proteomic studies using postmortem AD and other neurodegenerative diseases brain tissue using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry methods
  • testing stimulation of innate immunity as a therapeutic approach for AD in a variety of animal models, including a non-human primate model of AD (aged squirrel monkeys)
  • proteomic studies in down syndrome tissue at different stages of disease
  • testing modulating the interaction between apolipoprotein E4 and amyloid β as a therapeutic approach for AD
  • using proteomic methods to better understand the pathogenesis of epilepsy and sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP)
  • development of novel antibodies directed to pathology-associated β-sheet structure for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases
  • the development and testing of affibodies as a therapeutic approach for multiple neurodegenerative diseases
  • the evaluation of plasma biomarkers in patients with COVID-19 linked to neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, blood–brain barrier breakdown, and AD

Postdoctoral Research

NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology is pleased to offer National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32–funded postdoctoral positions in neurodegenerative research. The goal of this program is to train scientists and clinician–scientists to be future leaders in the field of neurodegenerative research and the aging brain.

Graduate Student Research

Graduate students who are interested in conducting brain aging research are required to select a thesis advisor and perform lab rotations. Please consult your school’s program policies and requirements for more information about choosing a lab.