Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Faculty & Staff

Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Faculty & Staff
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Institute for Innovations in Medical Education Faculty & Staff

At the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education, our faculty and staff use technology to advance medical education for faculty and learners. Our founder, Martin Nachbar, MD, (1937–2015) established the Hippocrates Project, the forerunner of the Division of Educational Informatics, in 1987. The project pioneered the use of computers and communication technologies, including simulation, three-dimensional animation, modeling, and online learning, in medical education.

In 1993, Dr. Nachbar and his wife, Felice Aull, PhD, launched LitMed, the Literature, Arts and Medicine Database, at NYU School of Medicine. One of the largest medical humanities websites in the world, LitMed is an online, annotated resource of literature, music, and other arts related to the science of healing.

Our Leadership

Our faculty and staff create new methods and technologies and support innovation in medical education.

Marc M. Triola, MD, Founding Director

Dr. Triola’s research focuses on the technological revolution in education, especially advances in big data—large, complex data sets—and learning analytics. He has created a “learning ecosystem” that includes interconnected, computer-based elearning tools and new ways to integrate electronic data into educational research. He is the principal investigator of NYU School of Medicine’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education grant and chairs numerous committees at the state and national levels that focus on the future of educational technology development and research for health professions. Learn more about Dr. Triola.

Crystal Mainiero, MPA, Executive Director

Ms. Mainiero leads the development and implementation of the institute’s strategic plan. In 2016, she launched the Educator Community, an institution-wide effort at NYU School of Medicine to support faculty skill development, mentorship, innovation, scholarship, and recognition of educational excellence.

Lynn Fischoff, Administrator

Ms. Fischoff is responsible for the institute’s administrative and fiscal operations. She works closely with leadership to support the operations of our programs and projects.

Sarah MacArthur, MD, Director for Digital Health Innovation and Entrepreneurialism

Dr. MacArthur helps to foster a learning ecosystem for medical students, house staff, and faculty focused on education, technology, medicine, and business. Her projects include the Healthcare Makerthon, which includes the Healthcare Challenge initiative. It involves assessing best practices in academic digital health and in engaging medical students and residents in the business of medicine. Learn more about Dr. MacArthur.

Division of Educational Informatics

The Division of Educational Informatics serves as a technology laboratory for informatics innovation, including digital applications, in driving curricular evolution.

Ben Adams, Senior Director for Education Information Technology

Mr. Adams is passionate about the intersection of technology, learning, and user experiences. He has more than 20 years of experience in educational technology as a consumer, developer, and partner. Contact him at

Sabrina Lee, MPA, Director

Ms. Lee oversees the division’s medical education initiatives and designs several NYU School of Medicine projects. She presents regionally and nationally on the role of educational technology in the medical curriculum, computer-assisted instruction, and education data warehousing. Contact her at

Eric Feng, MS, Programmer

Mr. Feng is a programmer who works with the team to improve the learning experience in educational information technology. He analyzes, designs and develops web applications to help with collecting and analyzing data.

Helen Finkelstein, MS, Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence Developer

Ms. Finkelstein is responsible for Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence Development in the IIME Division of Educational Informatics Education Data Section. She has extensive experience in the full software development cycle, as well as years of experience as a SQL Server DBA, SQL Server and Business Intelligence developer. She applied her skills to serve different industries, including higher education, e-commerce, and marketing. In her most recent role, she participated in a range of SQL Server data warehouse development, Business Intelligence and programming tasks to assist financial, health and education departments.

Jenny Fong, Developer

Ms. Fong combines her background in science, education, and technology to help develop applications within the institute to support the educational mission.

Julio Garcia, Mobile Developer

Mr. Garcia creates custom applications, including iPad apps for workplace-based assessment and self-directed study of clinical topics, to support our educational mission. His expertise includes application development and medical visualization.

Marina Marin, MSc, Chief, Education Data Section

Ms. Marin is responsible for NYU School of Medicine’s education data warehouse. She develops an advanced analytics strategy based on the integration of data from the educational and clinical missions. This data analytics ecosystem may involve aggregated interactive dashboards for self-service reporting, basic descriptive statistics, fully automated predictive and prescriptive analytics, pattern mining, and natural language processing.

Nivedha Satyamoorthi, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Developer

Ms. Satyamoorthi serves as a Datawarehouse/Business Intelligence Developer in the Division of Educational Informatics Education Data Section within the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education. She has extensive experience in architecting many data warehouse projects using enabling technologies. Responsible for creating an data analytics platform for the ParentCorps project.

Jerko Steiner, MSc, Lead Developer

Mr. Steiner is in charge of our engineering teams’ solutions development in support of our educational mission. He works closely with our leadership to define the infrastructure strategy for educational information technology. His collaborative initiatives include clinical predictive analytics, machine learning, and educational research.

Jesu Vensuslaus, MS, Developer

Mr. Vensuslaus collaborates with the engineering team to develop custom software solutions in support of our educational mission. He focuses on combining his experience and the use of modern software development technologies to provide educational information technology solutions.

Division of Education Quality

The faculty and staff in the Division of Education Quality are leaders in the design of systems that support curricular evaluation. They focus on providing consistent and meaningful feedback to learners, faculty, and leadership to track competence across the undergraduate-to-graduate medical education continuum.

Colleen Gillespie, PhD, Director, Evaluation

As a social scientist, Dr. Gillespie designs and conducts formative and summative evaluations of research at the intersection of medical education and health services. She oversees curricular evaluation and reform at NYU School of Medicine. She specializes in assessing physicians’ competence in communication with patients, including the use of standardized patient simulation. She maintains the undergraduate and graduate medical education registries, enabling NYU Langone researchers to make use of longitudinal educational data. Learn more about Dr. Gillespie or contact her at

Vikashini Savadamuthu, MPA, Evaluation Manager

Ms. Savadamuthu manages projects and optimizes evaluation processes, data analysis, and reporting. She also advances continuous quality improvement strategies for medical education.

Division of Learning Analytics

The faculty and staff of the Division of Learning Analytics work with health professions educators to design education research studies and mechanisms for robust data collection and innovative analysis.

Martin Pusic, MD, PhD, Director

Dr. Pusic is an expert in human cognition related to education metrics, health informatics, and the longitudinal assessment of clinical skills. He develops cognitive simulations for clinical trainees. He has conducted a series of studies—in radiograph interpretation, signal detection theory, item response theory, and the principles of deliberate practice—showing that serial learning can be optimized in ways unique to the practice of medicine.

He is a co-investigator on NYU School of Medicine’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education grant and has received funding from MedU, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Learn more about Dr. Pusic or contact him at

Greta Elysée, Program Coordinator

Ms. Elysée works collaboratively with IIME leadership and staff to support educational research, managing grants, special projects, and initiatives. She also develops our internship program. She has more than 10 years of experience as a public health professional working in health disparities research, outreach, education, and advocacy. Contact her at

Educator Community

NYU School of Medicine’s Educator Community supports faculty in leading and advancing the educational mission. The community aims to foster and recognize excellence in teaching and learning, support faculty skill development, mentorship, innovation, and scholarship.

Lisa Ng-Zhao, Project Manager

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 projects. Specifically, she works closely with Ms. Mainiero and Dr. Poles on the Educator Community, an institution-wide effort at NYU School of Medicine to support teaching faculty. Contact her at

Michael Poles, MD, PhD, Director, Educator Community

Since 2016, Dr. Poles has served as Director of the Educator Community, in partnership with Ms. Mainiero. Dr. Poles has been Director of the Gastroenterology Section of the Medical School Core Principles of Medicine Course (CPM-GI) for the last 16 years and the Colorectal Cancer Pillar Director for 7 years. He is Fellowship Program Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Gastroenterology Section Chief at the Manhattan VA Hospital. Dr. Poles is an enthusiastic teacher and has a reputation for giving excellent lectures. He 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.

Program for Digital Learning

Our Program for Digital Learning staff design, develop, implement, and evaluate digital learning resources for medical education.

Gregory Dorsainville, MPS, Senior Multimedia Developer

Mr. Dorsainville applies his knowledge and love of science, technology, and human–computer interaction to improving the medical-education experience. He supports the design, development, and application of customized technological solutions for medical education, including augmented and virtual reality technologies for anatomy and pathology.

Jillian Halpern, MA, Junior Instructional Designer

Ms. Halpern works as a Junior Instructional Designer with the Program for Digital Learning to support curriculum design and digital learning resource development. She works on the production of eBooks, online learning modules, and provides support for Brightspace to leverage technology-enhanced education.

Violetta Kraja, MS, Senior Multimedia Designer

Ms. Kraja is a designer and educator who specializes in motion graphics, animation, and print and digital layout. Her work combines innovative graphic design with digital and interactive media for the medical school curriculum.

So-Young Oh, MA, MS, Program Manager for Curriculum Development & Digital Learning

Ms. Oh develops and evaluates elearning strategies and methods for medical education. She leads the production of digital learning resources and provides workshops on educational theories, curriculum design, active learning, and technology-enhanced education. Contact her at