KL2 Scholars

KL2 scholars complete a rigorous training program that guarantees exposure to a wide range of clinical and translational research methods in both classroom and experiential settings.

Current KL2 Scholars

  • Talea M. Cornelius, PhD, MSW

    • Instructor in Medical Sciences

    Project: Reactions to Acute Care and Hospitalization

    Dr. Cornelius conducts research focused on understanding health behaviors in the social context in which they are performed. In particular, her work explores processes of health-related power and influence, interdependence in change over time, and how partner support can both facilitate and/or undermine health-promoting behaviors. Recent projects include an examination of how the presence of close others (i.e., a spouse/partner, a child) in the Emergency Department (ED) impacts patients' ED experience, the effect of romantic partners on blood pressure both short and long term, and a qualitative study describing couples' experiences following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Dr. Cornelius is also exploring novel applications of dyadic analysis to interdependent, individual-level processes.

    Talea M. Cornelius, PhD, MSW, Instructor in Medical Sciences
  • Andrea T. Duran, PhD, MPhil, MS

    • Assistant Professor, Medical Science (in Medicine)

    Project: Implementing Telehealth-enhanced Hybrid Cardiac Rehabilitation among Acute Coronary Syndrome Survivors: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

    Very short bio: Dr. Duran is an Assistant Professor of Medical Science at the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, as well as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar Alumna. She received her PhD in Kinesiology at Columbia University and completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Implementation Science in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Her current research focuses on developing equitable, theory-informed, multilevel implementation strategies for integrating evidence-based physical activity guidelines and novel behavioral interventions into diverse healthcare and community settings, with the aim of reducing health disparities in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dr. Duran’s interest in the behavioral sciences and CVD prevention is driven by her dedication to address the high rates of physical inactivity and CVD in disadvantaged communities. 

    andrea duran
  • Lisa Eisler, MD

    • Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

    Project: Predicting and Improving Management of Allogeneic Transfusion in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Spine Surgery

    Dr. Eisler is a practicing pediatric anesthesiologist with an interest in how preparation for surgery improves postoperative outcomes. Her specific clinical question at this stage of her research career is whether optimization for childhood spinal fusion surgery can impact the need for perioperative blood transfusion and related complications. She is also interested in targeting pediatric populations with multiple comorbidities for preoperative assessment and intervention, with outcomes of interest ranging from immediate postoperative events to patient- and parent-reported outcomes such as satisfaction. She is currently working towards a Master’s of Science in Patient-Oriented Research at the Mailman School of Public Health. She completed her anesthesiology and subspecialty training at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She holds a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and an undergraduate degree from Harvard College. 

  • Cristina R. Fern├índez, MD, MPH, FAAP

    • Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

    Project: Associations between prenatal food insecurity and inadequate physical activity and feeding practices, cardiac autonomic function, and emotional regulation to stress in high-risk infants

    Dr. Fernández is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and cares for newborns in the Well Baby Nursery of the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian. Her innovative research focuses on the areas of food insecurity, diet-related disparities, and issues in development and health maintenance in vulnerable child populations. As an emerging investigator with burgeoning expertise in newborn care, Dr. Fernández assists in coordination of clinical research initiatives with the newborn nursery population. 

    She received her MPH from the Yale School of Public Health and subsequently completed her medical training at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. She subsequently completed her residency in pediatrics at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and a primary care research fellowship in community health at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 

  • Alexander Melamed, MD, MPH

    • Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

    Project: A predictive model to identify ovarian cancer patients who will benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy


    Alexander Melamed, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. He provides medical and surgical care to women with cancers of the reproductive system including ovarian, uterine, cervical, and vulvar cancer. Before joining the faculty at Columbia University, he completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the Harvard-affiliated programs of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In addition to caring for patients, he also conducts research into how variation in treatment affects cancer outcomes in the real world. His research interests and expertise center on harnessing “big data” to learn how we can improve surgical outcomes among women receiving treatment for gynecologic cancers. Specifically, his work has helped to define the role of minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology and identified strategies that reduce unnecessary side effects in the treatment of ovarian cancer. These and other studies have been published in leading medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Oncology, and BMJ.

  • Caleb Miles, PhD

    • Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics

    Project: Personalizing treatment decisions and understanding causal mechanisms for functional and occupational outcomes among patients with schizophrenia


    Dr. Caleb Miles works on developing semiparametric methods for causal inference and applying them to problems in public health. His applied work has largely been in HIV/AIDS, and he has more recently begun to work on psychiatric applications as well. Dr. Miles' current methodological research interests include the intersection between machine learning and causal inference, interference, mediation analysis, and measurement error.


  • Fatemeh (Flora) Momen-Heravi, DDS, PhD, MPH, MS

    • Assistant Professor, College of Dental Medicine

    Project: Extracellular vesicle-mediated immune modulation in oral squamous cell carcinoma

    Dr. Momen-Heravi is an Assistant Professor in the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. After obtaining her DDS, she completed several years of fundamental research in molecular biology and immunology at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received a PhD degree from the University of Westminster, UK, in molecular biology/biotechnology. She also received an MPH degree from Harvard University, with a concentration in quantitative methods and biostatistics. Dr. Momen-Heravi completed a clinical residency and received a Master of Science in Periodontics from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and is a board-certified periodontist.

    As a clinician scientist, Dr. Momen-Heravi’s work is focused on understanding the interplay between the immune system, tumor microenvironment, and tumors to identify actionable molecular targets for head and neck cancer and other solid tumor treatments. She also studies the biological basis for cancer health disparities and is passionate about combining different disciplines, including translational research, bioinformatics and biostatistics, and epidemiology and community outreach in her research.

  • Imama A. Naqvi, MD

    • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology

    Project: Integrated Telehealth After Stroke Care (iTASC): a pilot randomized controlled trial

    Dr. Naqvi obtained her medical degree with honors from Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. She completed Neurology residency at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, followed by stroke fellowship in Vascular Neurology at the National Institutes of Health. Her research focuses on secondary stroke prevention. Dr. Naqvi’s interests include health disparities and innovative care delivery models for post-acute stroke. 

    imama naqvi
  • Jordan Nestor, MD

    • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Nephrology

    Project: Physician Utilization of Genomic services in Nephrology Through Clinical Decision Support Tools

    Dr. Nestor is a nephrologist specializing in Precision Nephrology and a member of the Gharavi laboratory. She aspires to make meaningful contributions towards remedying healthcare disparities and lessening the disproportionate burden of chronic diseases experienced by underserved minority communities through the use of genomics and complex clinical data. Dr. Nestor’s research focuses on strategies for making genomic medicine more inclusive of diverse patient populations and accessible to nephrologists, in hopes of delivering more personalizing care and improving health care outcomes of patients living with kidney disease.


Past KL2 Scholars


Scott Barbuto, MD, PhD: Effects of Exercise Training on Degenerative Cerebellar Disease

Syed Husain, MD, MPH:  Preventing Deceased Donor Kidney Discard by Improving Organ Quality Assessment

Yiyi Zhang, PhD, MS: Optimal Atrial Fibrillation Screening Approach in Cryptogenic Stroke Patients


Robyn Gartrell-Corrado, MD: Establishing key characteristics of the tumor immune microenvironment to allow for personalized immunotherapy of pediatric high-grade glioma

Katherine Dimitropoulou, PhD, OTR/L: Adaptive motor decisions in response to task demands in children with Cerebral Palsy Hemiplegia

Justine Kahn, MD, MS: Leveraging Tumor Registry and Consortium Data to Examine Cancer Care and Survival Disparities in Adolescent and Young Adult Hodgkin Lymphoma

Minjae Kim, MD, MS: Improving Risk Prediction of Perioperative Morbidity and Mortality: Role of Intraoperative Variables

Lynn M. Petukhova, MS, PhD: eMERGE Part I: Columbia GENIE Biobank Construction

Meghna Trivedi, MD: Patient and Physician Knowledge, Attitudes, and Expectations of Genomic Testing to Inform Treatment Decisions for Advanced Cancer



Melissa Accordino, MD: SWOG 1703CD: Randomized Multicenter Trial Comparing Tumor Marker Directed Diesase Monitoring Versus Usual Care in the Monitoring of Metastatic Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer Patients

Hilda Fernandez, MD: Genomic Disorders, CKD, and Neurocognitive Status in Children

Eliza Miller: Modifiers of Long Term Cerebrovascular Risk in Women with History of Preeclampsia: The California Teachers Study



Marwah Abdalla, MD, MPH: Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Masked Hypertension

Natalie Bello, MD, MPH: Relaxing and Subsequent Hypertension Risk in Women with a History of Pregnancy Induced Hypertension

Bernard Chang, MD, MPH: Test of an Alternative Emergency Department Management Strategy for TIA and Minor Stroke Patients; an Explanatory and Guideline-Relevant RCT to Reduce PTSD after TIA and Minor Stroke

Lauren S. Chernick, MD: A personalized interactive text message intervention to improve the reproductive health of young adolescent female

Arthur R. Garan, MD: Optimizing Function of Cardiac Rhythm Devices in Patients Supported by Left Ventricular

Angela Gomez-Simmonds: Elucidating transmission of plasmids harboring blaKPC among carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae using a combined bacterial genomics and epidemiologic approach



Brett Anderson, MD, MBA, MS: Effects of Surgeon Technical Skill on Outcome and Resource Utilization for Children with Congenital Heart Disease

Eileen Connolly, MD, PhD, MS: Utilizing Combined Chemoradiation Therapy to Improve the Locoregional Control of Locally Advanced Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Sheng-fu (Larry) Lo, MD, MHS: Development of Patient-Derived Xenograft Models of Chordomas in Humanized Mice to Investigate in Vivo Effect of Immunotherapy: A step toward Precision Medicine in Chordoma Treatment

Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD: The Impact of Physical Activity Level on Environmental and Epigenetic Mechanisms in Asthma

Paul Oberstein, MD: The impact of physical activity level on environmental and epigenetic mechanisms in asthma

Gissette Reyes-Soffer, MD: Understanding the Regulation and Metabolism of Ip(a) Levels, an Understudied Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease

Marisa Spann, PhD, MPH: Early Brain Networks of Attention and Language as Precursors to Childhood Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH: Accelerating Point-of-Care Testing to Diagnose Pediatric Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease



Jiook Cha, PhD: A Developmental Neuroimaging Study of Fear Generalization and Pediatric Anxiety

Kristen Klemenhagen, PhD: Cognitive and Emotional Pattern Separation: A Possible Therapeutic Target for Anxiety and Depression

Badri Vardarajan, PhD, MS: Whole exome sequencing in Caribbean Hispanic families to identify coding variants in Alzheimer's disease

Teresa Lee, MD, MS: Identification of Novel Genetic Causes of Infantile Cardiomyopathy

Daniel Freedberg, MD, MS: Adverse Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors on the Gastrointestinal Health of Children



Carmela Alcantara, PhD, MA: Prognostic Risk of Sleep Deficiency After Acute Coronary Syndrome

Aviva Sopher, MD, MS: Effect of Metformin on IR, NAFLD and Body Composition in Adolescents with PCOS

Kevin Kalinsky, MD, MS: Monitoring Neoadjuvant Anti-Angiogenics in Breast Cancer with Optical Tomography

Gabrielle Page-Wilson, MD: Utilization of Proopiomelanocortin and Agouti-related Protein ELISAs for the Differential Diagnosis and Evaluation of ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome

Ragy Girgis, MD, MS: Antipsychotic Binding to the D3 and D2 Receptors in Schizophrenia: a PET study using 11<-(+)-PHNO



Siqin Ye, MD, MS: Patient Health Information Preference and Statin Therapy

Matthew Baldwin, MD, MS: Improving Critical Illness Survivorship for Older Adults

Guillermo Horga, MD: Neural Mechanisms of Sensory Predictions in Schizophrenia with Hallucinations

Quan Hoang, MD, PhD: Pathologic Myopia: Natural History and Novel Approaches in Therapy

Jemima Frimpong, PhD, MPH: Workplace Diversity in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs and Disparities in Patient Outcomes

Rebecca Schnall, RN, PhD: Using Queuing Theory to Improve HIV Testing in the Emergency Department



Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, MS: Quality Issues in the Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

Rachel Shelton, PhD, MPH: Treatment Decision-Making among Stage II Colorectal Cancer Patients

Elizabeth Verna, MD, MS: Serum Lipopolysaccharide Measurement to Predict Hepatic Fibrosis in Liver Transplant Recipients with Hepatitis



J. Michael Schmidt, MD: Prediction of Delayed Cerebral Ischemia after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage using Multivariate Time Series Classification Models

Matthew Maurer, MD: Tensirolimus, Erlotinib, and Cisplatin Combined to Treat Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients

Christopher Ochner, PhD: Changes in Brain Activation and Appetite-Related Hormones following Bariatric Surgery for Obesity

Jonathan Lu, MD: Measurement of Cardiac Repolarization Reserve Using Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells



Andrew Einstein, MD, PhD: Estimating and Reducing Radiation Risk in Cardiac Imaging

Roy Alcalay, MD, MS: The Role of Glucocerebrosidase in Parkinson Disease

Thuy-Tien Dam, MD: Hormonal Mediators of Body Composition and Frailty Transitions

Sameer Patel, MD: Improving Vancomycin Use in Hospitalized Children

Scott Schobel, MD: Testing Novel Mechanisms of Antipsychotic Therapy With High-resolution Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Humans and Mouse Models of Disease



Abby Siegel, MD: NASH, Metabolic Syndrome, and HCC Outcomes

Krzysztof Kiryluk, MD: Genetic Determinants of IgA1 Glycosylation Defects in IgA Nephropathy (IgAN)

Hannah Wunsch, MD, MSc: Evaluation of the Utility of Head CTs in General Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Patients

Catherine Clelland, PhD: Association of GCH1 with Schizophrenia: Genetic and Functional Analysis and Novel Treatment Strategies



Angela Yoon, DDS, MPH: Biomarkers for Non-Invasive Oral Cancer Screening

Alexandra Sporn, MD: Neurocircuitry of Autism Spectrum Disorders: fMRI and TMS studies

Ismee Williams, MD, MS: Prenatal Effects of Congenital Heart Disease on Neurodevelopmental Outcome

Vaidehi Jobanputra, PhD: High Resolution Genomic Microarrays for Genotype-Phenotype Correlations of Constitutional Chromosome Abnormalities

Kathleen Friel, PhD: Mechanisms of Cerebral Palsy Recovery Induced by Balancing Motor Cortex Activity

Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD: Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Preventing Cardiotoxicity in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Doxorubicin Treatment

Neeraj Badjatia, MD: Metabolic Impact of Therapeutic Normothermia after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage



Allegra Broft, MD: Bulimia Nervosa and Dopamine - A link to addictions?

Hyunmi Choi, MD, MS: A Prospective Study to Improve Epilepsy Management Utilizing Decision Analysis

Katherine Crew, MD: Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk and Survival

Peter Dayan, MD, MS: Multicenter ED Study of Children with Apparently Unprovoked Seizures

David Lederer, MD, MS: Explaining Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Thomas Nickolas, MD: Bone Quality and Mechanical Competence in Chronic Kidney Disease



Deborah Levy, MD, MS: Neurocognitive Function in Childhood-onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (cSLE)