Section on Tobacco, Alcohol & Drug Use Staff
Our staff support research and education in NYU Langone’s Section on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use.
David Abai, Research Data Associate
Mr. Abai recruits and enrolls participants into the Million Veteran Program. He is himself a participant in the program and a veteran of the U.S. Army. He previously worked on targeted smoking cessation and genetic research projects at the Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System.
Claire Callahan, Research Data Associate
Ms. Callahan is a research assistant for multiple smoking cessation studies conducted at NYU Langone Health, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System. She graduated from NYU in 2018 with a bachelor of science in applied psychology.
Sonya Chemouni Bach, Research Data Associate
Ms. Chemouni Bach is a research assistant for the study comparing an opt-out with an opt-in approach for smoking cessation in VA primary care clinics, as well as for a pilot study evaluating a comprehensive relapse prevention intervention for smokers who quit before going for knee or hip replacement.
Miguel Barrios-Barrios, MD, Research Assistant
Dr. Barrios-Barrios recruits participants in English and Spanish and is the liaison between principal investigators and participants in a smoking cessation study at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn and Bellevue.
Wanda Bonilla, Research Coordinator
Ms. Bonilla is working on a study evaluating the effectiveness of extended-release naltrexone in reducing opioid relapse among people released from New York City jails. She has previously worked on research on treatment for people with addiction disorders and performed case management and counseling for social service organizations in New York City.
Chemi Chemi, Research Data Associate
Ms. Chemi works on a project to develop a mobile health tool for opioid treatment and HIV and hepatitis C care among inpatient detox patients. She also works on a project evaluating mobile applications for their effectiveness in reducing substance use disorder.
Amy Chen, Research Coordinator
Ms. Chen works on a study of the effectiveness of financial incentives in smoking cessation treatment.
Ritu Dhar, Research Data Associate
Ms. Dhar provides administrative support to Scott E. Sherman, MD, MPH, and is working as a research assistant on multiple studies.
Omar El-Shahawy, MD, PhD, MPH, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. El-Shahawy researches tobacco control and program evaluation. He currently studies novel and alternative tobacco products, focusing on tobacco use by young adults, tobacco cessation, and disparities in tobacco control. Dr. El-Shahawy collaborates on tobacco control research programs with several universities and other institutions in the United States and abroad. He is a co-investigator on the NYU Abu Dhabi Public Health Research Center.
Steven Floyd, Research Data Associate
Mr. Floyd assists with research in substance use. He is currently obtaining his master’s degree in social work.
Sasha Gonzalez, Clinical Research Coordinator
Ms. Gonzalez works on a study of the effectiveness of financial incentives in smoking cessation treatment.
Yaa Haber, PhD, Project Manager
Dr. Haber is project manager for the study comparing an opt-out with an opt-in approach for smoking cessation in VA primary care clinics, as well as for a pilot study evaluating a comprehensive relapse prevention intervention for smokers who quit before going for knee or hip replacement.
Melanie Harris, Associate Research Coordinator
Ms. Harris works on developing tools, recruiting, training, and troubleshooting barriers for multiple facilities. She is a certified practice facilitator who has experience introducing new screening workflows and implementing them into primary care practices.
Janki Jethalal, MBS, Research Assistant
Ms. Jethalal is a research assistant for smoking cessation studies at NYU Langone and works primarily on a study comparing an opt-out approach with an opt-in approach for smoking cessation in VA primary care clinics. She obtained her master’s in biomedical science from Rutgers School of Graduate Studies.
Alex Kingsepp, Project Coordinator
Ms. Kingsepp helps New York City Treats Tobacco (NYCTT) establish tobacco use treatment systems in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, developing relationships with and providing technical assistance to healthcare organizations. She also tracks program performance, managing data collection and evaluation efforts.
Lei Lei, MA, Research Coordinator
Ms. Lei is coordinator for a study to improve tobacco cessation outcomes among cancer patients and for the study of text messaging to engage and retain veterans in smoking cessation counseling. She has extensive experience working with cancer patients, immigrants, minorities, and populations with limited English proficiency.
Mia Malone, Senior Research Coordinator
Ms. Malone manages a clinical trial investigating the efficacy of oral versus extended-release naltrexone for alcohol dependence treatment in primary care at Bellevue. She previously worked on targeted smoking cessation and genetic research projects at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System.
Ryan McDonald, MA, Program Manager
Mr. McDonald oversees several National Institutes of Health (NIH)–funded clinical trials and coordinates the fellowship in addiction medicine. He has managed research projects involving medication-assisted alcohol and drug treatments and relapse prevention.
Antonia Polyn, MPH, Research Coordinator
Ms. Polyn oversees research to test screening and interventions in primary care settings for unhealthy drug and alcohol use.
Mohammed Rahman, Research Coordinator
Mr. Rahman recruits and enrolls participants for the Million Veteran Program at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses.
Mittal Rana, Research Data Associate
Mr. Rana works on the Integrating Financial Management Counseling and Smoking Cessation Counseling to Reduce Health and Economic Disparities in Low-Income Immigrants (FISCAL) study to help reduce health and economic disparities in low-income and immigrant smokers at Bellevue and NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn. He graduated from NYU College of Arts and Science as a University Honors Scholar in 2018 and has entered medical school for the graduating class of 2023.
John Rezkalla, MBS, Research Data Associate
Mr. Rezkalla is a research assistant for the study comparing an opt-out with an opt-in approach for smoking cessation in VA primary care clinics. He also works on the NIH All of Us study, which will be recruiting at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System.
Ivelisse Rozon, MS, LMHC, Research Coordinator
Ms. Rozon is a research coordinator in the Section on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use. She is a licensed mental health counselor who has extensive experience in the field of health psychology behavioral health research. Ms. Rozon is currently an interventionist in various tobacco cessation research studies across NYU Langone, Bellevue, and the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan campus.
Ann Rounds, Program Coordinator
Ms. Rounds is the program coordinator for the Comparative Effectiveness and Implementation Research Training Program and provides administrative support to Donna Shelley, MD, MPH.
Nadina Santana-Correa, Research Coordinator
Ms. Santana-Correa works on a study evaluating the effectiveness of extended-release naltrexone in reducing opioid relapse among people released from New York City jails. She has worked on large clinical trials investigating treatment interventions for people with substance use disorders.
Nina Siman, MA, MSEd, Senior Data Analyst
Ms. Siman manages databases and assists with the planning, designing, and implementation of statistical analyses using analytic software for a cardiovascular disease prevention study and a smoking cessation intervention. She is also the contact person among DataCore, external partners, and national evaluators.
Kaitlyn Van Allen, MPH, Project Coordinator
Ms. Van Allen helps NYCTT establish tobacco use treatment systems in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, developing relationships with and providing technical assistance to healthcare organizations.
Lizzy Vargas, Research Coordinator
Ms. Vargas manages tobacco cessation projects targeted toward underserved and mental health populations across NYU Langone, Bellevue, and the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan campus.
Alexandria Vittitow, Research Coordinator
Ms. Vittitow assists on a randomized clinical trial comparing extended-release naltrexone with oral naltrexone for alcohol dependence treatment in primary care.
Christina Wysota, MPH, Research Coordinator
Ms. Wysota works on institutional review board (IRB) submissions, survey development and collecting, managing, and analyzing data for multiple tobacco projects. She earned her master’s in public health from NYU in 2018.
Jenny (Hui) Yan, MPH, Program Coordinator
Ms. Yan provides support for research operations, including IRB coordination, grant submissions, trainings compliance, and daily administrative and operational needs. She is the local site coordinator for the Million Veteran Program and serves on its national field advisory committee. She also trains student interns in research and public health for the Program on Applied Health Services Research and Smoking Cessation Intervention internship.
Anika Zaman, Research Data Associate
Ms. Zaman manages data for clinical trials, conducts screenings, analyzes medical records, and schedules appointments for patients.