Neuroscience Institute Leadership
The leadership team at the Neuroscience Institute supports collaborative research programs within NYU Langone and in the larger NYU academic community.
Neuroscience Institute Administration
Our directors and administrators endeavor to meet the needs of our research teams. Their strategic decisions ensure that the Neuroscience Institute remains a leader in the field.
Richard Tsien, DPhil, Director
Dr. Tsien is the founding director of the Neuroscience Institute, the Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience, and chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Tsien is an authority in the fields of ion channels, neurotransmission, and neuroplasticity. Learn more about Dr. Tsien.
Heather McKellar, PhD, Executive Director
Dr. McKellar is the executive director of the Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology. She works with our director, faculty, and administrative team to execute the Neuroscience Institute’s mission, with an emphasis on promoting world-class research, education, and synergistic interactions among NYU neuroscientists.
Carlos Morales, Director of Finance
Mr. Morales is the director of finance for the Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology. Mr. Morales came to us from NYU Langone’s Department of Medicine, where he served as a senior financial analyst for several divisions.
Nia Boyd, MPH, MBA, Project Associate
Ms. Boyd provides administrative and program support for the Neuroscience Institute, focusing on the graduate and postdoctoral programs. Not only does she come to the team as an NYU College of Arts and Sciences alumna, but she also has her master’s degrees in public health and business administration from Stony Brook University.
Rihan Hassad, MPH, Senior Project Coordinator
Ms. Hassad works with Dr. McKellar to coordinate scientific events, educational and outreach programs, the aim of which is to generate collaboration and foster innovation within the NYU neuroscience community. She has a master’s degree in public health from the School of Public Health at the City University of New York (CUNY).
Andrea Hines, MA, Manager of Administration and Operations
Ms. Hines oversees administrative procedures, manages space and facilities, and supports faculty recruitment. She earned her master’s degree from NYU’s Center for Experimental Humanities (formerly the Draper Program).
Luna Lioue, MBA, Business Manager
Ms. Lioue provides support in multiple areas, including human resources, purchasing, accounts payable, and core services billing.
Iveta Margova, Grants Specialist
Ms. Margova facilitates the submission and award processes for research faculty. Previously, she worked in the Department of Microbiology as a grants assistant, and moved to Neuroscience Institute in June 2019.
Jim Mathew, MBA, Finance Manager
Mr. Mathew is the finance manager for the Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology. He came to us from a major academic medical center, where he served as a senior financial analyst for several years. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from Hofstra University.
Gabriela Serrano, Project Coordinator
Ms. Serrano provides administrative support for Neuroscience Institute laboratories and educational initiatives.
Holly Wasserman, EdD, OTR/L, Program Manager
Dr. Wasserman manages education and outreach programs including graduate training, the postdoctoral program, and the Leon Levy Fellowship Program in Neuroscience. She came to us with many years of administrative and higher-ed experience as the program director for a well-established Graduate Occupational Therapy program. She received her EdD in educational leadership from the University of New England and her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Boston University.
Airena Yates-Merilus, MS, MBA, Executive Assistant and Senior Program Coordinator
Ms. Yates-Merilus is executive assistant to Dr. Richard Tsien. As senior program coordinator, she manages the immigration and volunteer processes, serving as a liaison between the immigration services and volunteer services teams and the Neuroscience Institute administration. She is also on the Administrative Core for the U19 grant led by Dr. Tsien. In this role, she works closely with Dr. Tsien and the department administrator to coordinate all aspects of faculty affairs.
Our dynamic graduate training program is led by faculty and staff who are passionate about mentoring a new generation of neuroscientists.
Niels Ringstad, PhD, Graduate Program Director
Dr. Ringstad, associate professor in the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, is the director of the graduate studies for the neuroscience and physiology graduate program. He is also the co-director of Skirball Institute’s molecular neurobiology program, part of the core neuroscience curriculum. His research investigates neuropeptide signaling, biogenic amine-gated channels, and behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. Learn more about Dr. Ringstad.
Dayu Lin, PhD, Graduate Program Advisor
Dr. Lin, associate professor in the Neuroscience Institute, is the program advisor for the graduate program in neuroscience and physiology. She studies neural mechanisms of social behaviors. Learn more about Dr. Lin.