Division of Environmental Pediatrics Team | NYU Langone Health

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Division of Environmental Pediatrics Team

Meet our team of faculty and staff.



Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP

Associate Professor, Departments of Environmental Medicine, Pediatrics, and Population Health



Akhgar Ghassabian, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Departments of Environmental Medicine, Pediatrics, and Population Health

Our Team


Yelena Afanasyeva, MS, Senior Data Manager

Ms. Afanasyeva oversees a wide range of data management activities for the Children’s Health and Environment Study, from electronic data capture to data processing, harmonization, and preservation with a focus on data integrity and reproducibility. She is also in charge of data management for the NYU Women’s Health Study in the Department of Population Health. She has a master’s degree in applied mathematics.


Garry Alcedo, Program Manager

Mr. Alcedo provides research and operational support for the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes study. He comes to us from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, where he spent five years in various capacities supporting the principal investigator and research team, including as the study coordinator for the Infant Development and Environment Study Seattle site. Mr. Alcedo graduated from the University of Washington, receiving a BS in physiology with a minor in bioethics and humanities.


Sandra Gualtero Bolanos, MS, Program Coordinator

Ms. Gualtero Bolanos coordinates administrative and programmatic elements for the Center for the Investigation of Environmental Hazards. Before joining our team, Ms. Gualtero Bolanos worked at Pure Earth, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to mitigating toxic exposures in low- and middle-income countries. Before that, she worked for several organizations in the area of environmental sustainability. Ms. Gualtero Bolanos earned a BS in chemical engineering from Universidad Del Valle in Colombia and an MS in environmental engineering from Columbia University.


Kasandra Cisneros, Program Coordinator

Ms. Cisneros provides divisional organizational and operational support, as well as focused project support with the Center for the Investigation of Environmental Hazards. She comes to us from NYU Langone’s Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health, where she spent two years as surgical coordinator for the gynecology department. Ms. Cisneros earned her BA in political science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a concentration in gender and global public policy. She is completing her MS in global affairs at NYU School of Professional Studies with a focus in environmental justice.


Melanie Jacobson, PhD, MPH, Research Scientist

Dr. Jacobson is an epidemiologist who studies the effects of environmental exposures on reproductive function, birth outcomes, and pediatric health. Her areas of interest include the potential health effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on women and children and chemical exposures in relation to endogenous hormones and hormonally mediated health outcomes. Dr. Jacobson received a PhD in epidemiology from Emory University and an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics from Tufts University School of Medicine. Before coming to NYU Langone’s Division of Environmental Pediatrics, she was a lead research scientist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s World Trade Center Health Registry, where she conducted research on the health effects of environmental exposures from the 9/11 attacks on women and children.


Linda Kahn, MPH, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Kahn applies a life course approach to reproductive epidemiology. Her research interests span three interrelated areas: the role of prenatal environmental exposures in child and adolescent health; predictors of male and female pubertal development and fertility; and health outcomes of assisted reproduction in both women and children. Dr. Kahn received a PhD in epidemiology and an MPH in population and family health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has extensive teaching experience, both at Columbia and as part of the Bard Prison Initiative, where she is an instructor in the public health certificate program. Before her career in public health, she spent two decades as a book editor and collaborator specializing in women’s studies, psychology, health, maternity, and childcare.


Mrudula Naidu, MS, MPH, Program Manager

Ms. Naidu oversees research operations and all of Dr. Trasande’s grant-related activities. Before joining our team, she worked as a research coordinator for the medical education research group at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She previously served as a research associate in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received an MPH with a concentration in global health from NYU and an MS in pharmacy administration from St. John’s University.

Educational Videos

Watch Dr. Leonardo Trasande speak about the effects of chemical exposure from the World Trade Center disaster on adolescent heart and lung health.

Dr. Trasande is a frequent guest on the online parenting forum Kids in the House. Watch his educational videos to learn about how certain environmental exposures affect children’s health.