Research Mission & Leadership
The Office of Science and Research is led by Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, Senior Vice President and Vice Dean for Science, Chief Scientific Officer. She is advised by an accomplished team of researchers and other professionals with diverse expertise.
Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, Senior Vice President and Vice Dean for Science, Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Bar-Sagi serves as the principal strategist to advance our research enterprise. She is also a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and the Department of Medicine. Prior to joining NYU Langone in 2006, Dr. Bar-Sagi was chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at SUNY Stony Brook. She received her PhD from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and conducted her postdoctoral fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Dr. Bar-Sagi is a world-renowned cancer biologist whose research has had a major impact on the understanding of mechanisms that control tumor initiation and progression. The focus of her work is the Ras oncogene and its role in the regulation of cell proliferation and survival, tumor immunity, cellular metabolism, and cell-to-cell signaling. Her laboratory is credited with identifying key molecular events that mediate Ras activation by extracellular signals and regulate its intracellular activity. She was also the first to show that oncogenic KRas is directly involved in conferring immune suppression, a discovery that establishes a new mechanistic paradigm for therapeutic interventions.
A current focus of her laboratory is to elucidate the contribution of oncogenic Ras to the metabolic adaptation of tumor cells. Her efforts in this area have established a new paradigm for nutrient delivery into tumor cells involving the scavenging of extracellular protein by macropinocytosis. This nutrient delivery mechanism, previously unobserved in mammalian cells, has broad implications for understanding the metabolic vulnerabilities of Ras-driven tumors. The Bar-Sagi Lab is exploring the potential to exploit such vulnerabilities as a strategy for targeting these aggressive tumors.
Dr. Bar-Sagi is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award and an NCI Merit Award. She was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, and serves on the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors. She has served as the chair of the scientific advisory board of Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and is on the review board for Stand Up to Cancer, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and the Starr Foundation.
Laura Ahlborn, Vice President for Research Enterprise
Ms. Ahlborn leads the conceptualization, development, and implementation of research strategy for NYU Langone. She is responsible for coordinating research faculty recruiting, financial and space planning, and development of other resources to ensure that NYU Langone is positioned to meet its research mission goals and that resources are appropriately aligned with growth objectives. Her team also runs programs that assist faculty in growing extramural grant funding, facilitates research-related communications and training, and oversees research-focused performance metrics and dashboards.
Prior to joining NYU Langone in July of 2010, Ms. Ahlborn spent five years at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Health System, where she was the senior executive director of research planning and management. She led Penn Medicine's research strategic planning process and represented the needs of the faculty in planning for a new 400,000 square foot translational research building. Previously, Ms. Ahlborn had a 20-year career as a consultant working with academic medical centers and health systems nationally. She began as an analyst and rose to the level of partner with APM/CSC Global Health Solutions, where her primary interest was in strategic and business planning.
Imad Alsayed, MD, MS, Vice President for Clinical Research Operations and Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Alsayed, research associate professor, oversees the development and implementation of clinical research operations across NYU Langone Health. Through the management of the Clinical Research Support Unit and Human Research Regulatory Affairs, which encompasses Human Research Regulatory Services and IRB operations, he oversees the processes and systems that ensure responsible conduct of human subjects research. Additionally, Dr. Alsayed leads strategic relationships with affiliates and other external clinical research partners to develop innovative approaches to clinical trial execution, subject recruitment, trial monitoring, and data analysis.
Prior to joining NYU Langone, Dr. Alsayed gained extensive experience in clinical research through leadership appointments at GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Bayer, Covance, and Parexel International. He ran large global and multifunctional clinical development organizations, tasked with conducting phase I through IV clinical trials. He was instrumental in steering strategic transformation initiatives focused on eClinical technology and organizational/process reengineering to improve compliance, quality, and efficiency of human clinical research. In addition, he led new product introduction and real-world evidence generation for several new HIV, cardiovascular, and oncology drugs. Learn more about Dr. Alsayed.
Bruce Cronstein, MD, Director of NYU Langone’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Dr. Cronstein is the director of the Division of Translational Medicine; the Dr. Paul R. Esserman Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine; and professor, Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Pathology. He is the founding director of the Masters in Clinical Investigation Training Program at NYU School of Medicine. Board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology, he previously served as the director of rheumatology and director of the Arthritis Clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.
Dr. Cronstein has served on numerous committees at NYU Langone and the American College of Rheumatology. He was a member of the New York chapter of the Arthritis Foundation Grant Review Committee, where he later served as chair. He is also a past president of the New York Rheumatism Association. He is currently a member of the boards of directors of the New York chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology.
Dr. Cronstein has been a recipient of the Clinical Investigator Award from the NIH and the Irene Duggan Arthritis Investigator Award. He also received the Whitehead Presidential Fellowship from NYU. Dr. Cronstein is also the recipient of the Howley Award of the Arthritis Foundation for Research and was named a Master of the American College of Rheumatology.
Dr. Cronstein’s research interests focus on the role of adenosine and its receptors as an endogenous inhibitor of inflammation, promoter of fibrosis and wound healing, and endogenous regulator of bone and cartilage homeostasis. Learn more about Dr. Cronstein.
Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives
Dr. Elbel leads the planning and development of enterprise-wide research programs and initiatives. In this role, he works on a variety of strategic initiatives, including new program development, strategic partnerships, and analytics to maximize research success. He is also an associate professor in NYU Langone’s Department of Population Health, where he heads the Section on Health Choice, Policy, and Evaluation, and at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In addition, Dr. Elbel serves as the founding director of the NYU Langone Comprehensive Program on Obesity, a novel, institution-wide initiative designed to determine unique causal pathways and strategies for treating and preventing obesity.
Dr. Elbel’s research focuses on how individuals make decisions that influence their health, with a particular emphasis on evaluation, obesity, and food choice. His work uses behavioral economics to understand health decision-making among vulnerable groups and the role and influence of public policy on these decisions. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the New York State Health Foundation, and the Aetna Foundation.
Dr. Elbel earned his BA from the University of Texas at Austin and his MPH and PhD in health policy/health economics from Yale University. Learn more about Dr. Elbel.
Anny Fernández, MS, Assistant Vice President, Science and Research Operations
Anny Fernández is the assistant vice president for science and research operations for the research mission. Serving as chief aide to the senior vice president/vice dean for science, Ms. Fernández has primary responsibility in assisting in the oversight, direction, and coordination of the enterprise level operations of the Office of Science and Research. She oversees the strategic development of the infrastructure, integration, and optimization of research services, as well as financial and administrative affairs within all areas of the Office of Science and Research. She is also responsible for Sponsored Programs Administration and Research Administrative Informatics.
Ms. Fernández has extensive experience in finance and operations, as well as designing and leading strategy execution. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. She has held positions with Columbia University, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYU Langone Health, and the New York City Department of Education's Budget Office. She joined NYU Langone in July 2010.
Adriana Heguy, PhD, Assistant Dean for Advanced Technologies
Dr. Heguy is the assistant dean for advanced technologies, with scientific and operational oversight for the Division of Advanced Research Technologies (DART). DART is dedicated to facilitating basic, clinical, and translational research at NYU Langone through the collaborative utilization of technologically demanding scientific resources. Dr. Heguy joined NYU Langone in 2013 as the director of the Genome Technology Center. During her tenure in that position, she built a highly successful, state-of-the-art genomics laboratory that offers a diverse array of solutions for defining the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, single-cell heterogeneity, and the microbiome.
Dr. Heguy has over 110 publications in the fields of genomics, genetics, and molecular biology, and has worked for a decade in the biotechnology field. Before joining NYU Langone, Dr. Heguy directed the Beene Translational Oncology Core at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She was also an assistant professor of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell School of Medicine. Dr. Heguy received her PhD from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, under the direction of Michael Karin, PhD, and she carried out her postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University. Learn more about Dr. Heguy.
Judith Hochman, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences
Dr. Hochman is co-director of NYU Langone’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Harold Snyder Family Professor and associate director of the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, and director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center at NYU Langone. She is an internationally recognized clinical trialist and expert in ischemic heart disease, having served as study chair for National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-funded international clinical trials testing the role of revascularization for patients with ischemic heart disease.
Dr. Hochman has also served on the NHLBI Board of External Experts, the American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association(AHA) Task Force on Practice Guidelines, the AHA Strategic Advisory Coordinating Committee, and the FDA Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee. She is study chair of the NHLBI-funded international ISCHEMIA comparative effectiveness trial testing two initial management strategies for patients with ischemia.
Dr. Hochman has served as a mentor for numerous trainees who have gone on to have successful independent careers. She is the recipient of the 2008 AHA Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award, the 2014 Clinical Research Prize of the AHA, and the 2016 Distinguished Scientist Award (Clinical Domain) of the ACC. She was recently selected to direct the AHA-funded Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Research at NYU Langone. Learn more about Dr. Hochman.
Keith Micoli, PhD, Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs
Dr. Micoli’s passion is encouraging postdocs and graduate students to take responsibility for their own success and providing the resources they need to develop their own careers. He has developed numerous formal programs to foster postdoctoral training, including courses in ethics, grant writing, lab management, and communication skills. He has also expanded his role to include career development programs for graduate students. Dr. Micoli has organized the popular career discussion series, bringing in professionals with PhDs who have pursued a wide variety of careers to discuss their transition into the field and tips on being competitive when new job opportunities come along. In addition, working with Joel Oppenheim, PhD, Dr. Micoli organizes a biannual, two-day career symposium entitled “What Can You Be with a PhD?” featuring 100 speakers and attended by more than 1,300 graduate students and postdocs.
Dr. Micoli developed his interest in postdoctoral training at a national level by volunteering with the National Postdoctoral Association. He served four terms on its board of directors, including four years as board chairman. Prior to joining NYU Langone, Dr. Micoli taught as an adjunct assistant professor of biology at Samford University and was an instructor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama. Learn more about Dr. Micoli.
Iman Osman, MD, Assistant Dean for Translational Research Support
Dr. Osman is a medical oncologist; the director of NYU Langone Health's Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group since 2002; and professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, the Department of Medicine, and the Department of Urology. She also served as the associate director of NYU Langone’s cancer center, now known as Perlmutter Cancer Center, from 2011 to 2015. In 2015 Dr. Osman launched the Center for Biospecimen Research and Development as a partnership between the Office of Science and Research and the Department of Pathology to support the increased demand across the research enterprise for standardized, high-quality human biospecimens. In this role, Dr. Osman focuses on increasing clinical trial support for investigator-initiated trials, improving the accessibility of existing biospecimen resources to investigators, increasing institution-wide banking efforts and capacity, and implementing a campus-wide universal consent and policy for human biospecimen collection and storage to ensure regulatory compliance. She also spearheads research and development projects to further enhance the processing, informatics, and analysis of human specimens. Dr. Osman is currently leading a critical effort to integrate research data generated from human specimens with HIPAA-protected clinical data to increase both the value of NYU Langone’s biospecimen resources and the competiveness of our investigators seeking both federal and nonfederal funding.
Dr. Osman’s research interests focus on biomarkers development and identification of new targets of treatment for melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer. She has published more than 150 publications and is funded by both federal and nonfederal grants for her work.
Jeremy Paul, PhD, Assistant Dean for Basic Science Research Operations
Dr. Paul, research associate professor of the Department of Cell Biology, has responsibility for institutional research laboratory operations and resource planning, as well as the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, Division of Comparative Medicine, and research emergency resilience.
Dr. Paul has been at NYU Langone since 2008, initially serving as executive director of the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine and then concurrently as senior executive director of the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine and department administrator for the Department of Cell Biology from 2013 to 2016. In addition to these roles, he has been involved with numerous institutional committees and initiatives at NYU Langone. He joined the Office of Science and Research team in May 2016.
Prior to joining NYU Langone, Dr. Paul was the director of the Frontiers of Science program at the New York Academy of Sciences from 2003 to 2008. He also worked in the biotechnology sector in the New York City area for more than a decade—first at Progenics Pharmaceuticals, then Cadus Pharmaceuticals, which he helped found—and subsequently, OSI Pharmaceuticals and Aton Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Paul received his AB in biology from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He conducted his postdoctoral research at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Chicago in the laboratories of Donald F. Steiner, MD, and Michael Garavito, PhD. Learn more about Dr. Paul.
Robert J. Schneider, PhD, Associate Dean for Technology Ventures and Alliances
Dr. Schneider, the Albert B. Sabin Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Pathogenesis, Department of Microbiology, is the associate dean for Technology Ventures and Alliances. In this role, Dr. Schneider oversees the activities of technology transfer, therapeutics discovery and development and medical device development programs as well as commercialization activities. In 2013 he became the inaugural associate dean for the Office of Therapeutics Alliances at NYU Langone, a unique approach to accelerate the translation of basic discoveries to therapeutics development in the academic environment by creating a virtual biotech within academia.
Dr. Schneider is a founding scientist of six biotechnology/small pharmaceutical companies: ImClone Systems (New York), PTC Therapeutics Inc. (New Jersey), Canji (San Diego), Gencell (Paris), Charterhouse Pharmaceuticals (London), and ENB Therapeutics (New York). He is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in oncology, inflammation, and more recently, adult tissue stem cells and tissue regeneration.
Dr. Schneider also trained more than 20 postdoctoral research fellows and awarded 35 PhD degrees from his laboratory. He received a number of awards in recognition of his achievements, including the 2012 Susan E. Donelan Hope for the Future Award for breast cancer research from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute; the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award and Commencement address from the University of Delaware; and the 2010 Judah Folkman Memorial lecture from the Chemotherapy Society, among others.
Dr. Schneider received his PhD in biomedical sciences from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and completed his postdoctoral training at Stony Brook University and Princeton University. He also serves as a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Learn more about Dr. Schneider.
Naoko Tanese, PhD, Associate Dean of Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Tanese is director of Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and professor, Department of Microbiology. Building on her previous roles as co-director of the NYU School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program and director of Basic Science Faculty Mentoring, Dr. Tanese leads recruitment and admissions for the PhD and MD/PhD programs and ensures that recruits receive outstanding training throughout their tenure, via coursework, pairing with the right thesis mentors, and career development. Together with program directors and training faculty, she creates and implements graduate courses and a curriculum that prepares trainees for a broad array of cutting-edge career paths.
Dr. Tanese received her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, studying the replication of retroviruses. She subsequently conducted her postdoctoral research at University of California at Berkeley, where she investigated proteins involved in gene expression. A faculty member at NYU Langone Health since 1993, Dr. Tanese’s current research focuses on understanding the pathogenic basis of Huntington’s disease, which could ultimately lead to the development of new therapies and treatments. Learn more about Dr. Tanese.