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Featured Alumni - Clinical Psychology Health Emphasis, PhD

FERKAUF SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY

Dr. Meghan Beier
Dr. Meghan Beier

Meghan Beier, PhD obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2012. She then completed a 2-year National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS)-funded research fellowship at the University of Washington. She is now on faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation Research Program. Dr. Beier is also the founder and CEO of FindEmpathie.com, an online directory that helps patients with medical conditions find a mental health provider who understands their condition. Dr. Beier is an international speaker and consultant on the topics of mood and cognition in MS. She has served a consultant and speaker for organizations such as: Can Do MS, the National MS Society, MS Association of America, MS Hope Day, American Academy of Neurology, and the MS Coalition.  Additionally, she has been featured in the following media: People Magazine, Momentum Magazine, Everyday Health, Psychology Today, RealTalk MS, Hardcore Self Help, and Ask an MS Expert Webinar Series. In the clinic, Dr. Beier assesses and treats cognitive and emotional symptoms in individuals living with MS. Dr. Beier’s research and publications in MS have focused on improving symptom assessment, using technology and tele-medicine, aging, depression, pain, diet, and physical activity. In 2018, Dr. Beier was part of an expert panel that established national guidelines for assessing and treating cognition in people living with MS.

 

Dr. Chi-Ming Chen
Dr. Chi-Ming Chen

Dr. Chi-Ming Chen received his PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2007. He completed his postdoctoral training in Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Chen is currently an associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut and Director of the Temporal, Theoretical, Translational Research and Neural Stimulation (3TRNS) Laboratory, translating neurophysiological knowledge into interventions for neurological and psychiatric disorders. 

 

 

 

Dr. Persis Commissariat
Dr. Persis Commissariat

Persis Commissariat, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and research associate in the Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Section of the Joslin Diabetes Center, and holds an academic appointment as an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Commissariat received her PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2015. She completed her internship in pediatric psychology at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and her postdoctoral fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Commissariat provides individual and family therapy to youth with diabetes, with special interests in adjustment to new diagnosis, diabetes burnout, and treatment adherence issues. Her research focuses on illness identity, new technologies, qualitative methods, and behavior change. She has presented her work at national and international research meetings for the American Diabetes Association, JDRF, International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, and the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange Registry. Dr. Commissariat is the PI of an Impact Award from JDRF to create a peer support program for teens and young adults with type 1 diabetes. She is also the co-creator and co-host of a video series funded by Eli Lilly and Company entitled, “Adulting with Diabetes” with the College Diabetes Network.

 

Dr. Yelena Goldin
Dr. Yelena Goldin

Dr. Goldin received her Ph.D. in 2009. She is board certified in clinical neuropsychology. She is a senior clinical neuropsychologist and research scientist at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Goldin is the Project Director/Principal Investigator of the JFK Johnson Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Center, Assistant Clinical Professor at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. She specializes in neuropsychological evaluations and cognitive rehabilitation with expertise in aging, brain injury, and sex and gender issues. She has extensive experience in basic and clinical research on acquired brain injury. Her work has been highlighted through book chapters, peer-reviewed journals, presentations at national and international conferences, and special focus events, and earned several prestigious awards. Dr. Goldin is the training director of the neuropsychology fellowship program and the research training supervisor for medical residents and fellows at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Goldin is active in professional organizations and holds several leadership positions within the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACMR). She is the co-chair of the BI-ISIG Cognitive Rehabilitation where she is actively leading the next installment of evidence-based review and guidelines for traumatic brain injury and stroke. She has been co-chair of BI-ISIG Girls & Women task force since its inception, and this group has made significant strides to raise awareness of the unique sex and gender needs following brain injury. Dr. Goldin serves on the Evidence and Practice Committee Scientific Sub-Committee. She has also been a contributor to the Program Committee and chair of the Poster Sub-Committee for many years. Dr. Goldin is passionate about improving the lives of people affected by brain injury through her research, clinical work, and advocacy.

 

Dr. Elizabeth S. Gromisch
Dr. Elizabeth S. Gromisch

Dr. Elizabeth S. Gromisch received her PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2015. She completed her clinical internship and post-doctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT. Her dissertation, which laid the framework for the abbreviated Minimal Assessment of Cognitive Function in Multiple Sclerosis (aMACFIMS), was awarded first place in the second annual TCN/AACN Student Project Competition. She is currently a research scientist at the Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, Trinity Health Of New England and holds appointments in the Department of Neurology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Departments of Rehabilitative Medicine and Medical Sciences at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Dr. Gromisch’s research interests in multiple sclerosis (MS) include improving cognitive screening approaches, self-management, resiliency, and treatment adherence. She is a co-developer of the Multiple Sclerosis Resiliency Scale (MSRS), the first multidimensional measure of resiliency to MS-related challenges, which is currently being translated and investigated in other countries. She also co-developed a predictive model of excessive no-shows, using longitudinal data from 3,742 Veterans with MS. Besides conducting her own research, Dr. Gromisch serves as a Capstone Mentor to medical students at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.  

 

Dr. Marci Gluck
Dr. Marci Gluck

Dr. Marci Gluck is currently the director of Behavioral Sciences at the NIH/NIDDK Obesity and Diabetes Clinical Research Section, Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch. Her area of expertise includes the integration of physiological, neuropsychological and psychosocial factors in the study of obesity and eating behaviors. Her research aims to identify mechanisms controlling individual differences in the ability to regulate food choices and gain better understanding of how behavioral and neurocognitive processes influence food intake and metabolic factors. She obtained a BA from University of Pennsylvania and received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from Yeshiva University. She completed her clinical internship at the Yale University School of Medicine followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship at the NY Obesity Research Center of Columbia University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and in addition to her scientific career, she maintains a small private psychotherapy practice. She is currently the PI of a study examining the neuromodulatory effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on fMRI food cue reactivity, food intake and weight change in individuals with obesity. Dr. Gluck is a Fellow of The Obesity Society and member of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) where she has served on the scientific planning committee and was elected co-chair of several other committees. She has presented at both national and international conferences, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Top Paper Symposium Award presented at Obesity Week. She was selected to review the Management and Outcomes of Binge-Eating Disorder (BED) for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and most recently, Dr. Gluck was nominated by the Women Scientist Advisors Executive Committee to present at the NIDDK Lab & Branch Chief’s meeting.

 

Dr. Jessica Lawson
Dr. Jessica Lawson

Dr. Jessica Lawson graduated in 2017 and completed a 2.5 year clinical research postdoctoral fellowship in the Program for Obesity, Weight and Eating Research at Yale School of Medicine. She is currently an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine and a full time clinical health psychologist within VA Connecticut’s VISN1 Clinical Resource Hub. Since graduating, she has co-authored 12 peer-reviewed publications (6 first author) and presented her scholarly work at national conferences. She is currently expanding her program of research to explore the use of telemental health in the delivery of psychological services. She is involved in teaching, training and supervision at Yale School of Medicine and VA Connecticut. 

 

 

Dr. Michelle Lent
Dr. Michelle Lent

Dr. Michelle Lent received her PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2012. She completed her clinical internship at the Temple University Katz School of Medicine and then received a National Research and Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study the impact of social support on bariatric surgery outcomes. Dr. Lent is currently an Assistant Professor in Geisinger Medical Center’s Obesity Institute and recently published a study in JAMA Surgery evaluating the relationship between preoperative clinical factors in bariatric surgery patients and long-term postoperative weight loss.  She also serves as the Geisinger clinical lead for two Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) studies on healthy lifestyles and bariatric surgery.

 

Dr. Clara Li
Dr. Clara Li

Dr. Clara Li received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2013. She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Dr. Li is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at ISMMS. She is also an Assistant Director of the Adult Neuropsychology Center and the Adult Psychology Internship Program at ISMMS. In addition to providing training in neuropsychology, Dr. Li also conducts neuropsychological evaluation on adult patients with memory loss and dementia.  Dr. Li has published peer-reviewed manuscripts and chapters on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and has presented her research at international conferences.  Dr. Li’s research, funded by the National Institutes of Aging, focuses on developing clinical tools for assessing cognitive function in diverse elderly populations. She serves as a co-investigator at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at ISMMS. Dr. Li is also the site principal investigator of multicenter clinical trials for memory loss and AD. More recently, Dr. Li has received a NIH Loan Repayment Program award to expand her research on subjective cognitive decline in preclinical AD. 

 

Dr. Sarah Pillemer
Dr. Sarah Pillemer

Dr. Sarah Pillemer received her PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2017 where she was a student in Dr. Roee Holtzer’s lab. She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Pillemer is currently a Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a Clinical Neuropsychologist at The Miriam Hospital. Dr. Pillemer specializes in neuropsychological and psychosocial research, with a particular focus on variables that affect cognitive functioning in older adults. Specifically, her research has investigated the effects of social support and mobility on cognitive functioning in older adults, multiple neuroimaging studies examining social variables, mobility, and biomarkers of decline in older adults, factors that influence dementia caregiving, and screening tools to identify cognitive impairment in older adults. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Pillemer performs neuropsychological evaluations for diagnostic and treatment planning purposes with cognitively impaired and medically complex adults presenting with a wide variety of neurological, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders.

 

Dr. Natalie Pilipenko
Dr. Natalie Pilipenko

Dr. Natalie Pilipenko received her PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2013. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology at McLaren Regional Medical Center/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Consortium for Advanced Psychology Training (CAPT). She is board certified in Clinical Health Psychology. Dr. Pilipenko holds the position of the Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Family Medicine Residency, Columbia Center for Community and Family Medicine. She is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine in Medicine and Psychiatry at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital.  Dr. Pilipenko’s work includes medical education, research, and direct clinical care. Her primary research and clinical interests include: integrated primary care, trauma, patient health and illness beliefs, acquisition of patient-centered interviewing skills.

 

Dr. Paige (Weinger) Siper
Dr. Paige (Weinger) Siper

Dr. Paige (Weinger) Siper received her PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2013. She completed her clinical internship at the Mailman Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine prior to completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Siper was the recipient of an Autism Speaks Translational Research Postdoctoral Fellowship. She is currently Chief Psychologist of the Seaver Autism Center and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai. Dr. Siper’s research focuses on biomarker discovery in children with neurodevelopmental disorders using an electrophysiological technique known as a visual evoked potential (VEP). Dr. Siper is currently using VEPs to identify biological markers of idiopathic and single-gene forms of ASD in samples inclusive of severely affected individuals. She is also the co-developer of the Sensory Assessment for Neurodevelopmental Disorders (SAND), which is a novel measure used to quantify the sensory domain as it relates to DSM-5 criteria for ASD. Dr. Siper is particularly interested in the integration of neural and behavioral findings in order to develop effective biomarkers that can be used to identify subtypes, monitor disease trajectory, and objectively measure treatment response. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Siper is also involved in the neuropsychological assessment and treatment of children with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders.

 

Dr. Jessica Spat-Lemus
Dr. Jessica Spat-Lemus

Dr. Spat-Lemus received her PhD in Clinical Psychology with Health Emphasis and training in Clinical Neuropsychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2014. She completed an APA-Accredited Clinical Internship in Neuropsychology at West Virginia University School of Medicine. Following this, she completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychology – in the Department of Neurology, within the Division of Epilepsy and the Center for Cognitive Health – at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. At present, Dr. Spat-Lemus is an Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology at Weill Cornell Medicine’s (WCM) Department of Neurological Surgery. As a Spanish-speaking, lifespan neuropsychologist, she conducts comprehensive Spanish and English-language neuropsychological assessments including evaluations for elective neurosurgery and Wada testing, with patients presenting with a variety of neurological diseases. As a complement to neurocognitive assessments, she provides cognitive remediation services. She currently serves as a Director of Clinical Training for the Neuropsychology Externship Program at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Department of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Spat-Lemus is the Course Director for a unique and successful national CME course that brought together neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuropsychologists, and neuropsychologists-in-training to explore the multidisciplinary needs of adults and children with neurosurgical/neurological disorders. In addition to researching and publishing on the neurocognitive performance in patients with neurological and medical disorders, Dr. Spat-Lemus has also co-written book chapters and presented at national and international symposiums and lectures on the cross-cultural aspects of neuropsychological testing. More recently she served as a Symposium Co-Chair at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, with the overall discussion aimed at describing the essential collaboration between neuropsychology and neurosurgery when conducting intra- and extra-operative language mappings for surgical planning with culturally, linguistically, and other historically under-represented populations.  

 

Dr. Dara Steinberg
Dr. Dara Steinberg

Dara Steinberg, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She serves as the Psychosocial Director and Co-Director of the Center for Comprehensive Wellness in the Division of Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation. In this role she treats pediatric patients with hematological and oncological conditions presenting with a range of emotional and behavioral concerns. She also oversees the educational and neuropsychological components of the program. Dr. Steinberg is actively engaged in research and was recently awarded a St. Baldrick’s Supportive Care Grant. She enjoys training psychology and medical students at all levels, and building awareness of the connection between physiological and psychological awareness. Dr. Steinberg graduated magna cum laude with a BA, with honors in psychology, from Brown University and went on to earn her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. During this time she worked with Jonathan Feldman, Ph.D., researching pediatric and adult asthma, and psychological and cultural factors affecting health outcomes. She completed her clinical internship and 2-year-post doctoral fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Prior to starting at Columbia, she was a pediatric psychologist on the consultation liaison service at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

 

Dr. Molly Tanenbaum
Dr. Molly Tanenbaum

Molly Tanenbaum, PhD is an Instructor in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on improving health and quality of life outcomes for people with diabetes, with an emphasis on the role of technology and diabetes devices. In 2019, she received a 5-year K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from NIDDK to refine and test a multicomponent behavioral intervention to promote adoption and sustained use of continuous glucose monitoring technology in adults with type 1 diabetes. The majority of Dr. Tanenbaum’s clinical work at Stanford is devoted to providing consultation and behavioral medicine interventions with youth, adolescents and adults living with diabetes. Dr. Tanenbaum earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 2015. She completed her clinical internship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and her postdoctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine. 

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