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Katz School of Science and Health

Making the World Smarter, Safer and Healthier

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Welcome

We are research scientists, tech builders and patient-centered clinicians working on problems that matter. We focus on industry sectors that are central to the modern economy: Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Digital Media, as well as Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and Speech-Language Pathology.

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Welcome

We are research scientists, tech builders and patient-centered clinicians working on problems that matter. We focus on industry sectors that are central to the modern economy: Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Digital Media, as well as Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and Speech-Language Pathology.

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People

We are a close-knit community that is international in reach and cosmopolitan by instinct, and in our individual diversity we find common cause with each other. We're deeply embedded in New York City’s rich professional and social milieu, with a vibrant campus life. The Katz School is where bold, purpose-driven people come to connect, create and explore.

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Purpose

Katz faculty, students and alumni are advancing scholarly knowledge and transforming lives through pioneering research, citywide initiatives, new technologies and innovative clinical diagnostics. In the lab, classroom and clinic, we lead with integrity, generosity and a commitment to making the world a smarter, safer and healthier place.

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Possibility

Home to innovative startups and advances in clinical health, New York City is where young health, science and tech professionals come to nurture a promising career. We leverage the city's economic, cultural and social dynamism through mentorships, networking and internships that provide endless possibilities for the next generation of change-makers and entrepreneurs.

Katz News

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OT Researcher Takes Children's Playtime Seriously

Read more about Amiya Waldman-Levi's work

OT Researcher Takes Children's Playtime Seriously

The amount of playtime that children get during a school day has been an ever-present concern among parents, educators and public health officials. Parents who grew up outside worry that their children are missing out on something special and important to their lives. Educators fret that play, an essential part of learning, is being squeezed out by academic programming. And public health officials warn of the health consequences for young people who are deprived of exercise.

“The engagement in play and playful interactions is essential to children’s development, as well as physical and mental health,” said Dr. Amiya Waldman-Levi, a clinical associate professor in the Katz School’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.

A training program proposed by Dr. Waldman-Levi and Dr. Lola Halperin of Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Conn., will prepare teachers serving children who are facing adversity to use play and playfulness as vehicles for fostering children’s growth, with the long-term goal of promoting occupational justice.

Read more

Marian Gidea

Mathematics Professor Named NSF Chair

Read more about Dr. Marian Gidea's appointment

Mathematics Professor Named NSF Chair

Katz School Mathematics Professor Marian Gidea has been appointed to the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a program director in the Mathematical Sciences Division.

“This distinction is awarded only to the most accomplished researchers in their respective fields,” said Dr. Paul Russo, dean of the Katz School and university vice provost. “His appointment as an NSF program director is further validation of his expertise as a national researcher and of Yeshiva University’s prestige as a research university, and we’re excited for him.”

In this annually rotating role, Dr. Gidea will be guiding and evaluating research at the national level. He will be involved in various programs on promoting new directions in science, engineering and technology, on supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, and on influencing STEM education at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels.

Read more

""

STEM, Health Programs Help Fuel YU Surge in Rankings

Read more about our U.S. News rankings

STEM, Health Programs Help Fuel YU Surge in Rankings

Yeshiva University surged to 68th among Best National Universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings on best colleges, rising from 76th in 2021 and 97th in 2020.

The university also placed 33rd in the Best Value Schools category, up from 54th last year. This distinction recognizes the colleges and universities that offer students the best value based on academic quality and average cost of attendance.

President Ari Berman attributed the climb to the “strong execution” of the university’s long-term strategy of growth and investment in STEM and health programs, among other factors. Provost Selma Botman called the ranking an “impressive achievement” that was made possible by excellence in teaching and the introduction of new academic programs.

“The growth in Yeshiva University’s prestige as a research university is directly linked to the rising fortunes of the Katz School Science and Health,” said Dean Paul Russo. “We are advancing scholarly knowledge and transforming lives through pioneering research, citywide initiatives, new technologies and innovative clinical diagnostics.”

Read more

""

Speech Pathology Adds Online Master's Degree

Read more about this 55-credit program beginning in the fall

Speech Pathology Adds Online Master's Degree

The Katz School’s M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology has received approval for a distance education program from the New York State Education Department. It will begin accepting students in the fall of 2022.

The curriculum of the 55-credit program is identical to the residential program, being one of just a few programs in the country specializing in the medical aspects of speech-language pathology.

It’s fully online, has no on-campus requirement, and offers both a full-time (five-semester) and part-time (eight-semester) plan of study. Students will meet weekly with their professors for live online instruction and complete interactive asynchronous learning prior to class.

The program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating speech, language, swallowing and communication cases for people of every age. Upon graduation, students are prepared to apply for certification from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), as well as state licensure.

“We are excited to expand our ability for students to take advantage of our program’s holistic approach to patient care and inclusive coursework so they may enter the workforce as qualified allied health professionals,” said Dr. Marissa Barrera, program director and assistant dean of health sciences.

Sivan Tehila

Katz Leaders Address Cybertech Conference

Read more about what they had to say

Katz Leaders Address Cybertech Conference

Two Katz School leaders, Dean Paul Russo and Sivan Tehila, shared their expertise and insights on the resilience to disinformation and talent development in cybersecurity, respectively, at Cybertech NYC, the largest conference on cybersecurity in North American in October in Manhattan.

In a panel discussion on society’s resilience to disinformation in social media, Dr. Russo said AI algorithms are amplifying the forces of disinformation, hate speech, political polarization and terrorism worldwide with a bias toward inflammatory content.

He said systematic changes should include government regulation; university researchers working with social media companies to encourage transparency in data and algorithms; changes to privacy, data policies and technology that would balance incendiary content with alternative perspectives; creating “friction” to avoid over-posting by the most egregious users; imposing timeouts for binge participants; and developing training that would encourage smarter and savvy users.

In another panel discussion on women in cybersecurity, Tehila, the newly appointed program director for Katz’s cybersecurity master’ program, said one of the reasons there are few women in the profession is that they’re not exposed to cybersecurity at a young age.

When she moved to New York in 2019, she founded Cyber Ladies NYC. which has since grown to 250 women. She added that she’s encouraging women to join the industry by developing a cyber program at the Manhattan High School for Girls, participating in conferences like Cybertech, and providing a high-quality cyber curriculum at Yeshiva University.

Cybertech, according to its website, is the cyber industry’s foremost B2B networking platform conducting industry-related events all around the globe [where businesses can] learn all about the latest technological innovations, challenges, and solutions to combating threats within the global cyber arena.

""

S&P Global Real Estate Threatened by Climate, Students Show

Read more about the analysis

S&P Global Real Estate Threatened by Climate, Students Show

A Katz School student team’s analysis confirmed that climate change threatens the value of S&P Global’s real estate investments along the East Coast.

“We showed S&P that the public real estate companies they’re tracking are at a growing risk due to the increasing intensity of hurricanes,” said Atreish Ramlakhan, a master’s candidate in the artificial intelligence program.

Higher temperatures are leading to more natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires and floods. These, in turn, are resulting in damaged property, lost income and disruptions to business activity that threaten to alter how assets, such as real estate, are valued and properly assessed for risk.

S&P Global is a publicly traded company headquartered in Manhattan with $6 billion in revenue as of 2017. Atreish said his team employed a series of algorithms that used geolocation data to pinpoint where hurricanes landed in the vicinity of assets that belong to real estate investment trusts (REIT), which are companies that own, operate or finance income-generating real estate.

Ramlakhan was joined by artificial intelligence students Xiaolan Li, Aishwarya Singh and Zeyu Wang; data analytics students Jacob Goodman, Humayra Kausar and Shichao Zhou; and mathematics student Brian Livian in the research that was presented to high-level S&P Global executives. They used S&P data and the programming language Python to conduct asset mapping, web scraping and text parsing, and to develop the mathematical algorithms for their findings.

They also pored through climate reports issued by the International Panel on Climate Change and companies’ SEC filings, the latter shedding light on losses related to hurricane damage and subsequent capital expenditures for infrastructure repairs and increased insurance premiums.

“We looked at hundreds of companies,” said Atreish, “and from there, we looked at the aggregate impact on those companies’ financial health.”

Hurricane seasons are becoming unusually devastating because climate change is making storms more likely to stall once they hit land, pumping more rain and wind into coastal towns and cities for longer periods of time. Their presentation confirmed the suspicions of high-level S&P executives—that the REITs’ exposure to climate-induced hurricane damage ranges in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Their presentation was stellar,” said Dr. Yuri Katz, who advised the students and is senior director of data science at S&P Global Market Intelligence. “It exceeded expectations.”

Dr. Jochen Raimann

Study Quantifies Filtration System's Benefit

Read more about Dr. Jochen Raimann's work

Study Quantifies Filtration System's Benefit

The incidence of life-threatening diarrhea plummeted among residents in several rural villages in Ghana over a five-month period after they began using water purified with repurposed hemodialyzers, according to a study published by a Katz School professor in Scientific Reports in July.

“This is a major public health outcome particularly since diarrhea is well known to be associated with deleterious consequences, such as acute kidney injury and death particularly in younger children and the elderly,” said Dr. Jochen Raimann, who teaches in the Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship program.

Dr. Raimann, who is a board member of Easy Water for Everyone, the nonprofit organization which funded the study, and his colleagues collected data between February and December 2018 in four rural communities in the Ada-East district of Greater Accra Region in Ghana before and after the implementation of the NUF500, a hemodialyzer membrane filtration system manufactured by the Israeli company NuFiltration.

“The filtration system used in this study was clearly associated with a substantial reduction in the incidence of self-reported diarrhea compared to the prior period and compared to a control group without the system,” said Dr. Raimann.

An analysis of monthly household surveys found that the risk of developing diarrhea among the 400 villagers who consumed purified water declined by 72 percent after the installation of the filtration system. The incidence of diarrhea fell to 0.05 cases per person per month from 0.18 compared to the four control villages where the number of cases declined to 0.08 ppm to 0.11.

“This translates into an incidence rate ratio of 0.38, which is a remarkable public health effect of a 62-percent risk reduction relative to that in the control villages,” said Dr. Raimann, citing a follow-up paper published recently in Water Supply. “This is achieved with the use of a device that is very simple to use and tremendously cost-effective.”

In many countries, contaminated water is the underlying cause of acute gastrointestinal disease, and recent international research efforts by the International Society of Nephrology have shown that diarrhea is the leading cause of acute kidney disease in developing countries and contributes to high mortality rates among weaned children younger than 5 years of age and the elderly.

The World Health Organization and the World Bank estimated that 1.1 billion people worldwide have access only to unsafe drinking water. Eighty-eight percent of all diarrheal diseases, according to the WHO, are caused by the consumption of unsafe drinking water and lack of adequate sanitation. In the villages that were studied by Dr. Raimann’s team, surface water from ponds, creeks and rivers polluted by coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) and viral pathogens was the main source of drinking water.

The study, “Public Health Benefits of Water Purification Using Recycled Hemodialyzers in Developing Countries,” was conducted with the approval and support of Ghana Health Services and the federal and local government. The researchers provided villages with filtration systems containing re-sterilized hemodialyzers repurposed from their use in kidney dialysis. The devices are capable of producing up to 132 gallons of water per hour free of bacteria and viruses for domestic use.

“The remarkable aspect of this filtration system,” said Dr. Raimann, “is that not only does it not require electricity to produce clean drinking water, it’s built of hemodialyzers that were used in clinical therapy of renal failure patients and saved by re-sterilization from going to waste.”

He said the NUF500 filtration system can help achieve “Sustainable Development Goal-6,” one of 17 goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030.

“The use of repurposed hemodialyzers that had already saved lives once in kidney dialysis treatment can again serve as an affordable means of water purification, saving lives all over the globe,” he said.

""

OT Researcher Takes Children's Playtime Seriously

Read more about Amiya Waldman-Levi's work

OT Researcher Takes Children's Playtime Seriously

The amount of playtime that children get during a school day has been an ever-present concern among parents, educators and public health officials. Parents who grew up outside worry that their children are missing out on something special and important to their lives. Educators fret that play, an essential part of learning, is being squeezed out by academic programming. And public health officials warn of the health consequences for young people who are deprived of exercise.

“The engagement in play and playful interactions is essential to children’s development, as well as physical and mental health,” said Dr. Amiya Waldman-Levi, a clinical associate professor in the Katz School’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.

A training program proposed by Dr. Waldman-Levi and Dr. Lola Halperin of Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Conn., will prepare teachers serving children who are facing adversity to use play and playfulness as vehicles for fostering children’s growth, with the long-term goal of promoting occupational justice.

Read more

Marian Gidea

Mathematics Professor Named NSF Chair

Read more about Dr. Marian Gidea's appointment

Mathematics Professor Named NSF Chair

Katz School Mathematics Professor Marian Gidea has been appointed to the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a program director in the Mathematical Sciences Division.

“This distinction is awarded only to the most accomplished researchers in their respective fields,” said Dr. Paul Russo, dean of the Katz School and university vice provost. “His appointment as an NSF program director is further validation of his expertise as a national researcher and of Yeshiva University’s prestige as a research university, and we’re excited for him.”

In this annually rotating role, Dr. Gidea will be guiding and evaluating research at the national level. He will be involved in various programs on promoting new directions in science, engineering and technology, on supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, and on influencing STEM education at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels.

Read more

""

STEM, Health Programs Help Fuel YU Surge in Rankings

Read more about our U.S. News rankings

STEM, Health Programs Help Fuel YU Surge in Rankings

Yeshiva University surged to 68th among Best National Universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings on best colleges, rising from 76th in 2021 and 97th in 2020.

The university also placed 33rd in the Best Value Schools category, up from 54th last year. This distinction recognizes the colleges and universities that offer students the best value based on academic quality and average cost of attendance.

President Ari Berman attributed the climb to the “strong execution” of the university’s long-term strategy of growth and investment in STEM and health programs, among other factors. Provost Selma Botman called the ranking an “impressive achievement” that was made possible by excellence in teaching and the introduction of new academic programs.

“The growth in Yeshiva University’s prestige as a research university is directly linked to the rising fortunes of the Katz School Science and Health,” said Dean Paul Russo. “We are advancing scholarly knowledge and transforming lives through pioneering research, citywide initiatives, new technologies and innovative clinical diagnostics.”

Read more

""

Speech Pathology Adds Online Master's Degree

Read more about this 55-credit program beginning in the fall

Speech Pathology Adds Online Master's Degree

The Katz School’s M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology has received approval for a distance education program from the New York State Education Department. It will begin accepting students in the fall of 2022.

The curriculum of the 55-credit program is identical to the residential program, being one of just a few programs in the country specializing in the medical aspects of speech-language pathology.

It’s fully online, has no on-campus requirement, and offers both a full-time (five-semester) and part-time (eight-semester) plan of study. Students will meet weekly with their professors for live online instruction and complete interactive asynchronous learning prior to class.

The program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating speech, language, swallowing and communication cases for people of every age. Upon graduation, students are prepared to apply for certification from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), as well as state licensure.

“We are excited to expand our ability for students to take advantage of our program’s holistic approach to patient care and inclusive coursework so they may enter the workforce as qualified allied health professionals,” said Dr. Marissa Barrera, program director and assistant dean of health sciences.

Sivan Tehila

Katz Leaders Address Cybertech Conference

Read more about what they had to say

Katz Leaders Address Cybertech Conference

Two Katz School leaders, Dean Paul Russo and Sivan Tehila, shared their expertise and insights on the resilience to disinformation and talent development in cybersecurity, respectively, at Cybertech NYC, the largest conference on cybersecurity in North American in October in Manhattan.

In a panel discussion on society’s resilience to disinformation in social media, Dr. Russo said AI algorithms are amplifying the forces of disinformation, hate speech, political polarization and terrorism worldwide with a bias toward inflammatory content.

He said systematic changes should include government regulation; university researchers working with social media companies to encourage transparency in data and algorithms; changes to privacy, data policies and technology that would balance incendiary content with alternative perspectives; creating “friction” to avoid over-posting by the most egregious users; imposing timeouts for binge participants; and developing training that would encourage smarter and savvy users.

In another panel discussion on women in cybersecurity, Tehila, the newly appointed program director for Katz’s cybersecurity master’ program, said one of the reasons there are few women in the profession is that they’re not exposed to cybersecurity at a young age.

When she moved to New York in 2019, she founded Cyber Ladies NYC. which has since grown to 250 women. She added that she’s encouraging women to join the industry by developing a cyber program at the Manhattan High School for Girls, participating in conferences like Cybertech, and providing a high-quality cyber curriculum at Yeshiva University.

Cybertech, according to its website, is the cyber industry’s foremost B2B networking platform conducting industry-related events all around the globe [where businesses can] learn all about the latest technological innovations, challenges, and solutions to combating threats within the global cyber arena.

""

S&P Global Real Estate Threatened by Climate, Students Show

Read more about the analysis

S&P Global Real Estate Threatened by Climate, Students Show

A Katz School student team’s analysis confirmed that climate change threatens the value of S&P Global’s real estate investments along the East Coast.

“We showed S&P that the public real estate companies they’re tracking are at a growing risk due to the increasing intensity of hurricanes,” said Atreish Ramlakhan, a master’s candidate in the artificial intelligence program.

Higher temperatures are leading to more natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires and floods. These, in turn, are resulting in damaged property, lost income and disruptions to business activity that threaten to alter how assets, such as real estate, are valued and properly assessed for risk.

S&P Global is a publicly traded company headquartered in Manhattan with $6 billion in revenue as of 2017. Atreish said his team employed a series of algorithms that used geolocation data to pinpoint where hurricanes landed in the vicinity of assets that belong to real estate investment trusts (REIT), which are companies that own, operate or finance income-generating real estate.

Ramlakhan was joined by artificial intelligence students Xiaolan Li, Aishwarya Singh and Zeyu Wang; data analytics students Jacob Goodman, Humayra Kausar and Shichao Zhou; and mathematics student Brian Livian in the research that was presented to high-level S&P Global executives. They used S&P data and the programming language Python to conduct asset mapping, web scraping and text parsing, and to develop the mathematical algorithms for their findings.

They also pored through climate reports issued by the International Panel on Climate Change and companies’ SEC filings, the latter shedding light on losses related to hurricane damage and subsequent capital expenditures for infrastructure repairs and increased insurance premiums.

“We looked at hundreds of companies,” said Atreish, “and from there, we looked at the aggregate impact on those companies’ financial health.”

Hurricane seasons are becoming unusually devastating because climate change is making storms more likely to stall once they hit land, pumping more rain and wind into coastal towns and cities for longer periods of time. Their presentation confirmed the suspicions of high-level S&P executives—that the REITs’ exposure to climate-induced hurricane damage ranges in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Their presentation was stellar,” said Dr. Yuri Katz, who advised the students and is senior director of data science at S&P Global Market Intelligence. “It exceeded expectations.”

Dr. Jochen Raimann

Study Quantifies Filtration System's Benefit

Read more about Dr. Jochen Raimann's work

Study Quantifies Filtration System's Benefit

The incidence of life-threatening diarrhea plummeted among residents in several rural villages in Ghana over a five-month period after they began using water purified with repurposed hemodialyzers, according to a study published by a Katz School professor in Scientific Reports in July.

“This is a major public health outcome particularly since diarrhea is well known to be associated with deleterious consequences, such as acute kidney injury and death particularly in younger children and the elderly,” said Dr. Jochen Raimann, who teaches in the Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship program.

Dr. Raimann, who is a board member of Easy Water for Everyone, the nonprofit organization which funded the study, and his colleagues collected data between February and December 2018 in four rural communities in the Ada-East district of Greater Accra Region in Ghana before and after the implementation of the NUF500, a hemodialyzer membrane filtration system manufactured by the Israeli company NuFiltration.

“The filtration system used in this study was clearly associated with a substantial reduction in the incidence of self-reported diarrhea compared to the prior period and compared to a control group without the system,” said Dr. Raimann.

An analysis of monthly household surveys found that the risk of developing diarrhea among the 400 villagers who consumed purified water declined by 72 percent after the installation of the filtration system. The incidence of diarrhea fell to 0.05 cases per person per month from 0.18 compared to the four control villages where the number of cases declined to 0.08 ppm to 0.11.

“This translates into an incidence rate ratio of 0.38, which is a remarkable public health effect of a 62-percent risk reduction relative to that in the control villages,” said Dr. Raimann, citing a follow-up paper published recently in Water Supply. “This is achieved with the use of a device that is very simple to use and tremendously cost-effective.”

In many countries, contaminated water is the underlying cause of acute gastrointestinal disease, and recent international research efforts by the International Society of Nephrology have shown that diarrhea is the leading cause of acute kidney disease in developing countries and contributes to high mortality rates among weaned children younger than 5 years of age and the elderly.

The World Health Organization and the World Bank estimated that 1.1 billion people worldwide have access only to unsafe drinking water. Eighty-eight percent of all diarrheal diseases, according to the WHO, are caused by the consumption of unsafe drinking water and lack of adequate sanitation. In the villages that were studied by Dr. Raimann’s team, surface water from ponds, creeks and rivers polluted by coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) and viral pathogens was the main source of drinking water.

The study, “Public Health Benefits of Water Purification Using Recycled Hemodialyzers in Developing Countries,” was conducted with the approval and support of Ghana Health Services and the federal and local government. The researchers provided villages with filtration systems containing re-sterilized hemodialyzers repurposed from their use in kidney dialysis. The devices are capable of producing up to 132 gallons of water per hour free of bacteria and viruses for domestic use.

“The remarkable aspect of this filtration system,” said Dr. Raimann, “is that not only does it not require electricity to produce clean drinking water, it’s built of hemodialyzers that were used in clinical therapy of renal failure patients and saved by re-sterilization from going to waste.”

He said the NUF500 filtration system can help achieve “Sustainable Development Goal-6,” one of 17 goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030.

“The use of repurposed hemodialyzers that had already saved lives once in kidney dialysis treatment can again serve as an affordable means of water purification, saving lives all over the globe,” he said.

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