The Neuroscience Institute Administration

The administrative team will establish, organize, and lead the Neuroscience Institute to unify, support, and cooperate with neuroscience research programs and efforts within the NYU School of Medicine and associated institutes within the NYU community.

Dr. Richard Tsien serves as the Founding Director of the Institute and Druckenmiller Chair in Neuroscience. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Tsien is an authority in the fields of ion channels, neurotransmission, and neuroplasticity.

Dr. Nina Gray serves as the Institute's Executive Director and the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology's Department Administrator, and is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology. She works with the Director, Associate Director, and administrative team to execute the Institute's mission, with an emphasis on promoting world-class research, education, and synergistic interactions among NYU neuroscientists. Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. Gray studied ion channel biophysics and synaptic physiology as a graduate student at Brown University and a postdoc at Brandeis University.

Carlos Morales serves as the Assistant Director of Finance to the Neuroscience Institute and Department of Neuroscience and Physiology.  Carlos joins us from NYUMC’s Department of Medicine where he served as a Senior Financial Analyst for several Divisions. 

Estefany Benedith, Administrative Assistant, provides support for the Lin, Long, Mar, Dasen, Salzer and Rudy labs. She is currently attending Walden University for her Masters in Marketing.

Aimee Chow, Administrative Assistant, supports the Basu, Buzsaki, Rinberg, Stavropoulos and Tritsch labs.

Dr. Meredith Hasenoehrl, Grants Specialist, oversees the grant application, review, and award processes for grant programs and serves as liaison between the Neuroscience Institute and the NYULMC Sponsored Programs Administration office. She received her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Utah.

Rihan Hassad, Project Coordinator, works with Dr. Gray to manage the Institute’s network of scientific events and educational programs to generate collaboration and foster innovation within the NYU neuroscience community. Rihan has a Masters of Public Health (MPH) from the CUNY School of Public Health. 

Andrea Hines, MA, Operations Manager, oversees administrative procedures, manages space and facilities, and supports faculty recruitment. She earned her masters degree from NYU's Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought.

Michael Lu, Financial Analyst, assists in providing financial management and reporting to the faculty and department.  He is a graduate of the New York University Stern School of Business.

Luna Lioue, MBA, is the Business Manager for the Neuroscience Institute, and she administers pre-award, post-award and compliance.

Dr. Heather McKellar, Senior Manager of Education and Outreach, oversees the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and Physiology and works with the Offices of Communications and Development to publicize the research from our faculty. She also runs the Neuroscience Outreach Group at NYU (NOGN) and the Navigating Your Career Path Series. She is the current president of the Greater New York City Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

John Murray, MBA, serves as the Senior Financial Analyst to the Neuroscience Institute. John joins us from NYUMC’s Department of Medicine where he served as a Project Coordinator.

Theresa Walton, MPA, Senior Grants Specialist, leads the internal pre-award submissions and serve as liaison between the Neuroscience Institute / Department of Neuroscience and Physiology and the Sponsored Programs Administration Office. She collaborates with Senior Management and Program Directors to expedite and facilitate internal processing of proposal submissions to ensure compliance. 

Dr. R. Rachel Weintraub-Brevda, Program Coordinator, is involved in Education and Outreach, including coordinating the Postdoc Program, managing the Leon Levy Fellowship Program, and working with the Senior Manager of Education and Outreach to oversee graduate training. She received her PhD in Cognition, Brain and Behavior from the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Ava Williams serves as the Project Coordinator to Drs. Michael Halassa, Eric Lang, Michael Long, Adam Mar, Marie Monaco, Jack Rosenbluth, and Kal Rubinson. She also serves as liaison between the Sponsored Programs Administration and the NI administration team.

Airena Yates-Merilus, MS, MBA , serves as the Executive Assistant to Dr. Richard Tsien, the Director of the Institute. In addition, she serves as liaison between the Immigration Department and the NI administration team.

Photo credits: Tsien, Gray, Hines, Lioue, Cordero, McKellar (Julie DeMarre Photography), Williams (Kara Marshall, The Camera Lucida), and Fishell (Rene Perez Photography)