The team of multidisciplinary experts, assembled to provide the didactic training and/or serve as a mentor to the scholars, is a group of group of faculty with national recognition in stroke prevention and intervention, behavioral medicine, and community-engaged research. They are well-regarded and accomplished researchers with a history of obtaining independent funding from NIH and/or other agencies.

Training Core Directors

Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD (Core Director)

Girardin Jean-Louis, PhDGirardin Jean-Louis, Ph.D.: Dr. Jean-Louis is Professor of Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine. He is well known in the field of Sleep Medicine and has made a significant contribution in the literature on sleep and cardiovascular health, circadian rhythm, and health disparities research. He serves on the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board of the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, the Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology (CASE) study section, and the NHLBI Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group (ZHL1 CSR-X). He has been involved in several  important NIH-funded studies, which have led to 200 publications, 80 in peer-reviewed journals and 120 in scientific conference proceedings and book chapters. Dr. Jean-Louis maintains an active research program at the Center for Healthful Behavior Change, working with several minority fellows, residents, medical students, and college students. His research interests include: associations of metabolic syndrome with sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease, effects of sleep apnea on ocular blood flow, eye diseases and circadian-rhythm dysfunctions, and insomnia in medical and psychiatric disorders. He is currently ascertaining effects of a behavioral model to increase adherence to physician-recommended OSA evaluation and treatment among blacks. He is also conducting a five-year, multi-site trial assessing effects of sleep restriction of metabolic and molecular markers of cardiovascular disease.

Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD (Co-Director)

Gbenga Ogedegbe, MDGbenga Ogedegbe, MD: Dr. Ogedegbe is a Professor of Population Health and Medicine at New York University School of Medicine and Director of the Division of Health and Behavior.  He is a board-certified internist, hypertension specialist and clinical epidemiologist. As a physician-scientist, the programmatic focus of his research is the translation into clinical practice, and dissemination of evidence-based behavioral interventions targeted at hypertension-related outcomes and blood pressure control in African Americans who receive care in community-based primary care practices. He has extensive experience in the development and implementation of practice-based trials of behavioral interventions targeted at minority populations. He is the PI of an NHLBI- funded R01 trial, Project Leader of two NIH-funded trials including Columbia University’s P60 Health Disparities Center for Health of Urban Minorities. He has completed several studies that examined the barriers faced by minority populations regarding medication adherence, expectations of hypertension management, and self-efficacy in this population. Dr. Ogedegbe is a permanent member of the NIH study section – Behavior, Medicine, Intervention and Outcomes (BMIO3).

Olajide Williams, MD (Co-Director)

Olajide Williams, MDOlajide Williams, MD: Dr. Williams is Chief of Staff/Chief Medical Officer of Neurology and Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. He is Director of Acute Stroke Services at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Williams’s research is focused on community-based behavioral interventions and stroke disparities. He is the Principal Investigator of an NINDS/NIH R01 RCT to improve stroke symptom recognition and response, and co-Principal investigator of an NINDS/NIH U54 Center for Stroke Disparities Solutions. Dr. Williams has published several important peer reviewed articles including “Hip Hop Stroke” and its related articles, and the book, “Stroke Diaries”.


Carla Boutin-Foster, MD

Carla Boutin-Foster, MDCarla 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, MDClinton Brown, MD: Dr. Brown is the Director of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Research Center and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Renal Diseases, SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Brown’s clinical and research interests are in the areas of lipid disorders, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, sleep, kidney disease, and hemorheology.  He has served as Principal Investigator for several clinical trials that involve treatment of high blood cholesterol, hypertension and the anemia of kidney disease.  He has played an important role in recruiting minority participants for these clinical trials.  Over the past twenty years, his laboratory has been very active in providing research opportunities for high school and college students from the neighboring community.


Judith Mitchell, MD

Judith Mitchell, MD, FACC, FAHA: Dr Mitchell is the Director of the Heart Failure Clinic and Co-Director of the SIPID. Dr. Mitchell will bring the clinical expertise to the Institute. She is Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Heart Failure Center at Downstate. Dr. She is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and the AHA, and she is board certified in cardiovascular diseases, nuclear cardiology and echocardiography. Her commitment to abolishing disparity in health care through research and education is unwavering. She serves as an active member of the local AHA disparity group. Dr. Mitchell is widely published including several book chapters. One of her recent publication in the American Heart Journal was entitled "Observations Regarding Outcome in Minorities in the Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial". She is a reviewer for several journals including Circulation, Journal of the National Medical Association, American Family Physician and ACC journal. She is very proud of her participation in the training of over 50 cardiology fellows over the past decade who practice in various settings near and far.


Samy McFarlane, MD

Samy McFarlane, MDSamy McFarlane, MD: Dr. McFarlane is Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at SUNY Downstate.  He is Director of the sub-specialty Fellowship Program in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension.  He is also Director of the University Hospital and Kings County Hospital Center Osteoporosis units, an ADA recognized diabetes center of Excellence located at Kings County Hospital.  He is the PI on several clinical trials, and has been extraordinarily successful in recruiting the largest number of patients for the DREAM study.  Dr. McFarlane's is a co-founder of the Brooklyn Diabetes Task Force, aiming at empowering the community through education and advocacy.  Dr. McFarlane is a prolific writer and serves on the editorial board of several journals.


Mitchell Elkind, MD

Mitchell Elkind, MDMitchell Elkind, MD: Dr. Elkind gained his medical degree in 1992 from Harvard Medical School, and subsequently trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, MA. He holds a Masters degree in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Currently, Dr. Elkind is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University, and the Associate Chairman of Neurology for Clinical Research and Training. His research is focused on inflammatory and infectious biomarkers in stroke risk prediction, as well as acute stroke therapy. Dr. Elkind is the Principal Investigator of 3 independent investigator awards from NIH/NINDS. He is a Co-PI of the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), an epidemiological study of stroke risk factors, and the principal investigator of NeuSTART (Neuroprotection with Statin Therapy for Acute Recovery Trial), a clinical trial evaluating short-term high-dose statin therapy in acute stroke. He is also the PI of the Levels of Inflammatory Markers in Treatment of Stroke (LIMITS) study, a multicenter study evaluating the role of inflammatory biomarkers in stroke prognosis, and a co-investigator and laboratory director for the Vasculopathy and Infection in Pediatric Stroke Study (VIPS). He is the former Neurology Residency Program Director at Columbia University Medical Center, and is currently the editor of the Resident and Fellow Section of the journal Neurology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association, as well as a member of the American Neurological Association.


Daniel Labovitz, MD

Daniel Labovitz, MDDaniel Labovitz, MD:  Dr. Labovitz is an Assistant Professor at in the Department of  Medicine and in the Saul R Corey Department of Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center.  Dr. Labovitz isaboard-certified vascular neurologistand neuro-epidemiologist and is the director of the Stern Stroke Center.He completed his residency, fellowship and epidemiology training at Columbia University.Recentprojects have used the Montefiore Stroke Registry for publications on imaging of intracerebral hemorrhage and diagnosis of transient ischemic attack.


Randolph Marshall, MD

Randolph Marshall, MDRandolph Marshall, MD: Dr. Marshall is a Professor of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and Associate Attending Neurologist on the Stroke Service at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Marshall received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1982, and his master's and medical degree from the University of California in 1988. After completing his Neurology Residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital he completed 2 years of a Cerebrovascular fellowship with Dr. J.P. Mohr at the Neurological Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical center, then joined the faculty of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1994. Dr. Marshall has a clinical practice in Neurology with a focus on cerebrovascular diseases and stroke. He also co-directs the Cerebral Localization Laboratory, and conducts an active research program on cerebral hemodynamics and brain function including the investigation of brain reorganization after stroke using function MRI. He has been continuously funded by NIH grants for his research since his appointment at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He also participates in several clinical trials for acute stroke therapy stroke prevention and stroke recovery. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association.


Penny Feldman, PhD

Penny Feldman, PhDPenny Hollander Feldman, PhD: Dr. Feldman is Senior Vice President for Research and Evaluation at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) and Director of its Center for Home Care Policy and Research.  She oversees a research portfolio focused on improving the quality, outcomes and cost-effectiveness of home-based care, helping older people better manage chronic conditions and problems at home, developing age-friendly communities for a growing older population, and supporting informed policy-making. Recent projects for which Dr. Feldman served as PI include comparative effectiveness grants funded by AHRQ and NHLBI focused on improving outcomes among high risk, complex patients, and an NHLBI cluster randomized 3-arm trial designed to improve blood pressure control among African American patients with uncontrolled hypertension.

A national leader in the field of home health research, Dr. Feldman is the author of numerous publications. She has served as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Improving the Quality of Long-Term Care, the National Commission on Nursing Work Force for Long-Term Care, and the Home Health Care Steering Committee for the National Quality Forum. Currently affiliated with the Department of Public Health at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Feldman previously served on the faculty at Harvard University in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Bonnie Spring, PhD

Bonnie Spring, PhDBonnie Spring, PhD: Dr. Spring is Professor of Preventative Medicine and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University. She is the Director of the Center for Behavior and Health- Institute for Public Health and Medicine.  Dr. Spring received her Ph.D. in Psychology at Harvard University. Her laboratory conducts research on behavioral risk factors (obesity, poor quality diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use). She also develops cutting-edge technologies that support self-regulation and healthy behavior change. In addition, she creates on-line learning tools to support skill mastery in evidence-based practice and team science. Her interests include Behavioral Medicine; Cigarette smoking; Clinical Trial Methodology; Internet Intervention; Physical activity; Preventive Medicine; Psychology; Weight management and obesity. Dr. Spring is well published with over 150 publications in these areas.