PRIDE Faculty and Mentors

Institute Directors

Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MS, MPH, FACP

PRIDE BSM Training Faculty and Staff

David Rapoport, MD: Dr. Rapoport is Associate Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He is the Director of the Sleep Medicine Program and Director of Sleep Disorders Center. He is board certified in Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Rapoport is the Program Director of the ACGME accredited NYU Sleep Fellowship program and coordinates the Research Program at the Sleep Center. He has a long-standing interest in the physiology of OSA. He is PI of the NYU site of an NIH sponsored multicenter epidemiologic study on Sleep Disordered Breathing and Cardiovascular Disease. He is the founder and President of the Foundation for Research in Sleep Disorders.


Indu Ayappa, PhD: Dr. Ayappa is an Associate Professor of Medicine in Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. She oversees the majority of the sleep medicine fellowship research activities along with Dr. Rapoport. Her research interests are in developing new techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea, physiology of the upper airway and investigating the relationship between sleep disordered breathing and daytime function. She is Principal investigator on NIH and industry sponsored research grants. Dr. Ayappa's research database (150 carefully characterized patients with both CPAP compliance data and daytime functional evaluation, plus 2,300 ambulatory evaluations of SDB patients) is a great asset to PRIDE scholars.


Freddy Zizi, MBA: Mr. Zizi is the PRIDE Project Coordinator. He coordinates all programmatic requirements of the Training Institute. He coordinates the implementation of the curriculum and mentoring programs. He works closely with all key personnel in the project to address problems and concerns of the institute faculty and mentees. He maintains the program’s website, which he utilizes to communicate with mentees and mentors. He acts as liaison between mentors and mentees and between mentors and program directors. He coordinates annual meetings of Program Directors and members of the Program Advisory Committee, and NIH meetings with the Coordination Core. Finally, he serves as a liaison between PRIDE faculty from partner institions and NYU School of Medicine.


Jennifer M. Alexander is the PRIDE Coordinator. She assists project staff in all matters pertaining to the execution of program aims. She assists with the development of the syllabus and reading materials for the mentees. She helps track and monitor activities of mentee and ensures that all necessary preparations are made for all staff meetings and monthly webinars, and performs logistical support for mentee travel. She maintains documentation of all training and mentoring activities, evaluation, and semiannual tracking of mentees.

Jennifer is a graduate from Eastern Michigan University where she got her BS in English Language, Literature, and Writing for Teaching and recently completed her Masters in Sociology and Education, Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University.


PRIDE Presenters and Mentors

Art J. Spielman, PhD: Dr. Spielman is Professor of Psychology at the City University of New York. He is also Associate Director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College (New York-Presbyterian Hospital). His research interests include circadian rhythms and medical problems (e.g., cerebral blood flow velocity); insomnia; imaging the brain with laser light to assess regional oxygen concentrations non-invasively. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters. Recently, he and colleague, Dr. Glovinsky, published 'The Insomnia Answer: A Personalized Program for Identifying and Overcoming the Three Types of Insomnia'.

Bill Gerin, PhD: Dr. Gerin is Professor of Behavioral Health; Director, The Mind-Body Cardiovascular Psychophysiology Laboratory. His current research interests include: the role of social stressors and angry rumination in biological dysregulation and development of heart disease, non-pharmacological interventions to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients, white coat hypertension, and stress and health. Dr. Gerin teaches pre- and post-docs in the art of obtaining NIH funding, and experimental and clinical trials methodology.

Bonnie Spring, PhD: Dr. Spring is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Psychology and Psychiatry at Northwestern University. She is the President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. She has extensive experience in training and mentoring junior faculty. For seven years she has served as invited faculty in the NIH summer institute on behavioral clinical trials; for 30 years, she has mentored many students and faculty. She is a past recipient of Society of Behavioral Medicine's Distinguished Research Mentor Award. Her trainees have earned 13 individual mentored research career development awards totaling $2 million.

Carla Boutin-Foster, MD: Dr. Boutin-Foster is a minority investigator and Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. She is Director of an NIH-funded Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research and Community Engagement. Dr. Boutin-Foster's long-term goal is to develop research that will broaden current understanding of the root causes of health disparities in CVD and that will guide the development of effective community-based interventions.

Clinton D Brown, MD: Clinton D Brown, MD is Director of the BHDRC and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Renal Diseases at Downstate. Dr. Brown received his education at prestigious institutions with a long history of high quality training and of serving the medically underserved. He earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his postgraduate training at Harlem Hospital where he was instrumental in providing medical services to African-Americans in that community at a time when there was a stark lack of services in the area. Dr. Brown completed his nephrology fellowship at Downstate. Dr Brown became a Rockefeller Scholar at the Rockefeller University where he conducted research in lipid metabolism. Dr. Brown's clinical and research interests are in the areas of lipid disorders, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, kidney disease and hemorheology. He has served as PI for many clinical trials that involve treatment of high blood cholesterol, hypertension and the anemia of kidney disease. Dr Brown will lead and participate in the panel discussions on Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Faculty along with other Minority Faculty at Downstate and serve on the Advisory Committee.

Daniel F. Kripke, MD: Dr. Kripke is Professor of Psychiatry (Emeritus) at the University of California, San Diego. He has written hundreds of medical articles and has given invited lectures in 18 countries. Dr. Kripke established one of the first sleep clinics in the United States and published the first controlled clinical trial of bright light treatment. He has trained and mentored several sleep researchers and clinicians, many of whom were minority.

James R. Gavin III, MD, PhD: Dr. Gavin is a minority investigator and Clinical Professor of Medicine and Senior Health Advisor on Health Affairs, Emory University School of Medicine. He has a long and distinguished history of research and commitment to minority faculty development. He served as senior scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Director of the HHMI-National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program. He is Senior Program Consultant and National Program Director of the Harold Amos Minority Medical Faculty Development Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition to serving as n external member of the Advisory Committee, He will assist in identifying senior minority faculty to increase the pool of mentors.

John Allegrante, PhD: Dr. Allegrante is Professor of Health Education and Deputy Provost of Teachers College. He holds joint appointments in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. He has had over two decades of funding from the NIH to support research on health behavior and health outcomes in chronic disease. He is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.

Jose Laredo, MD: Dr. Laredo is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCSD and Medical Director of the UCSD Sleep Medicine Center. He is currently undertaking an NIH-funded epidemiological study of sleep-health in Hispanics in San Diego County. Dr. Laredo is co-investigator in the largest NIH sponsored research project to study Hispanics (Study of Latinos [SOL]) that seeks to follow longitudinally the health of 16,000 Hispanics in the US. Other research projects include the investigation of the role of peripheral chemoreceptors in the development of hypertension in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the association of sleep apnea with asthma.

Judith Ockene, MD: Dr. Ockene is Professor of Medicine, Division Chief of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, and Associate Vice Chancellor of Faculty Administration at the Medical School. Some of her research interests include the prevention and control of disease, management of chronic illness, and the relationship of lifestyle behaviors to disease. She has been the PI on numerous studies including the national Women's Health Initiative.

Karina W. Davidson, PhD: Dr. Davidson is the Herbert Irving Professor of Behavioral Medicine in Medicine and Psychiatry, and the Director of the Center for Behavioral & Cardiovascular Health within General Medicine at Columbia University. Her research focuses on the biopsychosocial mechanisms explaining why depression and anger predict worse outcomes for patients with CVD. She is the PI on am NHLBI-funded program project (PULSE) examining novel depression phenotypes and their pathophysiological and behavioral mechanisms underlying ACS recurrence risk.

Katherine Seelman, PhD: Dr. Seelman is Professor of rehabilitation science and technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research and education interests include science and technology R&D trends that enhance independence for people with disabilities and older adults; end-user and stakeholder participation; Disability Studies; Science, Technology and Public Policy and International Rehabilitation. In 2002. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell appointed her to two disability State Advisory Committees.

Kenneth L. Lichstein, PhD: Dr. Lichstein is Professor at the University of Alabama. He has 30 year history of studying sleep and over 20 years of continuous external funding to bear in his duties as a lecturer and grantsmanship mentor. Over the past decade, he has actively studied normal and disturbed sleep in different ethnic groups including African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. He has had a commitment to training a diverse group of sleep health providers.

Kevin Fiscella, MD, MPH: Dr. Fiscella is Professor of Family Medicine and Community & Preventive Medicine, and the Wilmot Cancer, University of Rochester School Medicine. He is Associate Director of the Center for Communication and Disparities Research, Co-Director of Community Engagement for the University of Rochester CSTI and Co-Director of the Greater Rochester Practice-Based Research Network. He has worked for over twenty-five years in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). He has served on numerous national committees related to disparities and quality including those for the National Quality Forum, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Lisa Cooper, MD, MPH: Dr. Cooper is Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Her research program focuses on patient-centered strategies for improving outcomes and overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. She has conducted several observational studies to better define barriers (e.g., patient attitudes, beliefs, and preferences) to equitable care across racial and ethnic groups and mechanisms for disparities in health status and healthcare (e.g., patient-physician communication, race discordance between patients and physicians). She is the PI of the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities -- Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Disparities. Her research links patient and clinician attitudes and behaviors with health outcomes.

Michael Grandner, PhD: Dr. Grandner is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology (CSCN) at the University of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Division of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Medicine. He is currently studying how sleep and sleep-related behaviors are related to longevity, mental health, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Research projects currently involve home-based sleep assessments, polysomnography and actigraphy, neurobehavioral performance and neuropsychological functioning, metabolic measurements such as insulin resistance, dietary preferences, psychological health and quality of life assessments. He also studies sleep and health at the community and population level.

Robert E. Fullilove, EdDDr. Fullilove is Associate Dean for Community and Minority Affairs, Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences and the co-director of the Community Research Group. Previously, he served on the Board of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. He has also served on five IOM study committees that have produced reports on a variety of topics including substance abuse and addiction, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. In 2003, he was designated a National Associate of the National Academies of Science. In 1998 he was appointed to the Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention (ACHSP) at the CDC, and in July, 2000, he became the committee's chair. Finally, in 2004, he was appointed to the National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the NIH.

Samy McFarlane, MD: Samy McFarlane, MD is Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at Downstate. Currently he is Director of the sub-specialty Fellowship Program in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension. He was selected for the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award, 2002-2003 by his students. He is also one of five mentors in an important NIH-training grant: Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health. As a mentor, Dr. McFarlane has won 2 international Awards in 3 years for research projects conducted by his fellows. He is the PI on several clinical trials, and has been extraordinarily successful in recruiting the largest number of patients for the DREAM study, which is an international trial to determine whether or not commonly prescribed drugs could prevent diabetes. Dr. McFarlane's is a co-founder of the Brooklyn Diabetes Task Force, an organization aimed at empowering the community through education and advocacy. He has published over 40 articles over the past 2 years including book chapters, reviews and original research in major journals. He also serves as guest and section editor for several medical journals. Dr McFarlane will lecture about Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and health disparities, will contribute to the mock study section and as a mentor.

Susan M. Czajkowski, PhD: Dr. Czajkowski is a research psychologist at NHLBI, Dr. Czajkowski develops and manages several programs of research within the Behavioral Medicine Scientific Research Group, Division of Prevention and Population Sciences. She is Project Officer for the Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease (ENRICHD) Patients Study, a multicenter clinical trial which evaluated the effects of treating depression and low social support in recent heart attack patients. She is a fellow in the Society of Behavioral Fellowships Community Service Award, presented for extraordinary commitment in the area of public health medicine, and a member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. She is Project Officer of a study which assessed the post-surgical adjustment of men and women coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery patients.  In her role as NHLBI Coordinator of Health-Related Quality of Life Studies, she provides guidance to Institute staff and clinical investigators in the design, implementation, and analysis of the health-related quality of life outcomes of patients enrolled in Institute-sponsored clinical research studies.

Thomas A. Mellman, MD: Dr. Mellman is Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research at Howard University College of Medicine. He is the Principal Investigator representing Howard for the Georgetown Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science supported by a Clinical Translational Science Award from NIH. Dr. Mellman's primary research interest over the years has been the role of sleep in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the early aftermath of trauma. His additional research interests include other aspects of the psychobiology and treatment of PTSD, evidence-based practices in psychopharmacology, and the role of stress in health disparities. He has a consistent track record of mentoring junior investigators and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD: Dr. Buxton is an Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Pennsylvania State University. He is also a Harvard Medical School Associate Neuroscientist in the department of Medicine and Brigham and Women's Hospital Adjunct Associate Professor. Dr. Buxton’s research primarily focuses on 1) the causes of chronic sleep deficiency in the workplace, home, and society, and 2) the health consequences of chronic sleep deficiency, especially cardiometabolic outcomes, and the physiologic and social mechanisms by which these outcomes arise. Successful aging is a central focus of this work. Ongoing interdisciplinary human studies involve sleep loss, aging, and insomnia, as well as health disparities.