News from the Department of Medicine
August 2017

Dr. Amit Uppal recently assumed the role of Section Chief at Bellevue Hospital for the NYU Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Uppal received his medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, and completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the University of California, Irvine and his Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at NYU School of Medicine. Since completion of his fellowship, Dr. Uppal has served in a number of leadership capacities in the Pulmonary Division, as well as in the Department of Medicine. He currently serves as the Director of the Bellevue MICU, an Associate Chief of Medicine at Bellevue Hospitals Center, and as an Assistant Program Director for the Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship program.

Dr. Nina Blachman, assistant professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care and director of the Geriatrics fellowship, was among the first graduating class of the NYUSOM Masters in Health Professions Education program. In the program—which NYU Langone offers jointly with Maastrict University in the Netherlands—participants complete a rigorous curriculum of both distance and in-person coursework over two years, as well as a thesis project. Dr. Blachman presented her work— "Why Do Geriatrics Fellows Choose Geriatrics as a Career?: Implications for Curricula and Recruitment" —at an informal graduation ceremony held on June 20th.

Read more on atNYULMC

Dr. Sripal Bangalore, associate professor of medicine in the Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, recently assumed the position of Director for Complex Coronary Interventions in the Bellevue Cath Lab. In this new role, Dr. Bangalore will expand the complex coronary intervention program at Bellevue Hospital Center and work to establish the program as a true referral center for the H&H network. He will also expand clinical research in the area of complex CAD therapeutics, including new device-based therapies and renal denervation for hypertension. Dr. Bangalore has developed a national reputation for his cardiovascular research program, including his leadership of the ISCHEMIA-CKD clinical trial and his numerous publications on interventional and non-interventional therapy of coronary artery disease and other topics in cardiovascular medicine. His research program has been recognized by garnering numerous awards, including his induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation and receiving the Douglas Zipes Distinguished Young Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Brian Kaufman, professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, has been selected to be a member of the inaugural class of recipients of the Distinguished CHEST Educator title by the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST). This distinction places the designees within the top 5% of CHEST's international faculty and recognizes the achievements of members who have made significant and long-term contributions to the design and delivery of CHEST education by serving as CHEST committee chairs, vice-chairs, faculty, members, and peer reviewers for programs and activities such as CHEST Annual Meeting, live learning, and simulation programs. Dr. Kaufman will be recognized with this distinction at the CHEST Annual Meeting, held in Toronto, Canada, October 28 to November 1, 2017.

Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, in collaboration with colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and MIT, received a U01 grant from the National Cancer Institute for $3.3M over five years. Dr. Wong is the principal investigator on this highly collaborative translational research project entitled, "Targeting the transcriptional and epigenetic landscape in chemorefractory small-cell lung cancer."

The Central American Healthcare Initiative welcomes Nathan Bertelsen, MD, assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation, as a Special Advisor on Health & Medicine. Through the years, Dr. Bertelsen has joined CAHI as a guest faculty member during trainings and as a guest speaker at events. His diverse experience teaching and practicing medicine and serving at-risk communities of migrants, refugees, and victims of torture gives him a unique perspective.

Drs. Ian Fagan, Isaac Holmes, Nate Link, Jennifer Adams, Richard Greene, Andrew Wallach, Robert Roswell, Kathleen Hanley, Mack Lipkin, and Allen Keller at a press conference held by US Senator Chuck E. Schumer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue on the proposed replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

Richard Copin, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Biotechnology Informatics - NCBI) for an appointment with the NCBI Scientific Visitors Program, to assist the NCBI in their efforts to optimize the organization, presentation, and access to pathogen genomics databases.


Marian De Backer, RN, BSN
Program Director, Research

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
During a typical workday, I am responsible for overseeing and directing the clinical research and grant management teams.  I interact with them constantly so we can create a supportive environment for the Department of Medicine Faculty to conduct research.

What three words would you use to describe your role?
I focus on three themes: 1) Research Grants Administration; 2) Clinical Research Operations; 3) Compliance and Integrity.

Before working at NYU Langone, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've had?
My career has been a continuous progression and each job has been interesting and satisfying in its own way: I started as a Registered Nurse in Neuro-Trauma ICU, then I transitioned into Clinical Research Nursing. From there, I worked in the Pharmaceutical and Device Industry where I learned how to initiate and manage industry sponsored clinical trials. As a nurse, I wanted to return to an academic environment to integrate my different experiences in my current role as Program Director for Research.

What is your biggest achievement to date—personal or professional?
I came to the States at the age of 21 with two suitcases and a nursing degree in my pocket and I am still here.


Division of Gastroenterology

Ira Jacobson, MD
Director, Hepatology
(Read the NYU Langone press release about Dr. Jacobson)

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

Roxana Sulica, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Pulmonary Hypertension Program

Tiffany D. Bibby, MPA
Administrative Coordinator

Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Sapna A. Mehta, MD
Medical Director of the Transplant Infectious Diseases Service
Associate Director for Clinical Affairs for the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation

Benjamin Bier, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
Mina Botros, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
Noam Broder, MD - Hospitalist, NYC H+H/ Bellevue
Grace Choe, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
David Chuquin, MD - Hospitalist, NYU Langone-Brooklyn
Reno DiScala, MD - NYU Langone Medical Associates - Astoria Cardiology and Steinway Medical
Gabriel Foster, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
Martin Fried, MD - Hospitalist, NYU Langone- Brooklyn
Umair Jandga, MD - Hospitalist, NYU Langone-Brooklyn
Jerard Kneifati, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
David Kudlowitz, MD - NYU Internal Medicine Associates
Paul Lombardi, MD - NYU Langone Medical Associates - Astoria Cardiology and Steinway Medical
Tony Mathews, MD, MPH - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
Denise McCulloh, MD - Hospitalist, NYC H+H/ Bellevue
Dhwani Patel, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
Nilam Patel, MD - Hospitalist, NYC H+H/ Bellevue
Paawan Punjabi, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
Sunil Saith, MD, MPH - Hospitalist, NYU Langone- Brooklyn
Anthony A. Somogyi, MD - NYU Langone Medical Associates - Bayside
Jessica Tanenbaum, MD - Hospitalist, NYC H+H/ Bellevue
Benjamin Verplanke, MD - Hospitalist, Tisch Hospital
Erwin Wang, MD - Hospitalist, NYU Langone- Brooklyn
Dr. Ewa Wierzba - NYU Faculty Group Practice- Greenpoint

Learn more about these new members of the Department of Medicine.

The William N. Rom MD, MPH Fellowship

The newly established William N. Rom, MD, MPH Fellowship will support a Fellow in pulmonary research following the completion of three years of fellowship. Funds may be used for salary support or research support. The director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine directs the fellowship research program and assigns the funds.

The gift was made by Frank Yao and Dr. Ying Chen in honor of Dr. William N. Rom in 2017. The gift is in memory of Dr. Rom's hiring Dr. Ying Chen in 1991 and supporting her for more than five years in the NYU General Clinical Research Center. Dr. Rom was the Program Director of the GCRC from 1990 to 2006, and director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine from 1989 to 2014. Dr. Chen was a Chinese hematologist, and Frank Yao earned a MBA from NYU Stern Business School. He eventually joined Neuberger Berman LLC as a Fund Manager. He has managed the Neuberger Berman China Equity Fund and has recently established the Green Court Capital Management in Shanghai.

Recent Events

American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society:
Live Demo Held at NYU Langone

On August 4-6, the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS) held its annual conference in New York City for the first time, and NYU Langone hosted the live procedural demonstrations for the course. This is a well-attended course, with both a national and international presence.

The theme of the course was the management of refractory motility disorders, including review of the latest treatment options for refractory achalasia, gastroparesis, nausea and vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, and fecal incontinence. Shown below are Abraham Khan, MD, and the team that hosted the live endoscopy demos.

More News from Our Divisions

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Grants & Philanthropy:
  • Debapriya Basu, PhD, from Dr. Ira Goldberg's lab, received an award from the American Heart Association (AHA)—the AWRP Winter 2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship Award—for a project titled "Novel mouse model to study the effect of hypertriglyceridemia on atherosclerosis regression."
  • The division also received a philanthropic gift from a grateful patient for Diabetes Research, $500k from the Corner Foundation.


Esophageal function testing: Billing and coding update. Khan A, Massey B, Rao S, Pandolfino J. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017;e13158.
(commissioned and supported by the national Motility Society)

In the past decade, there has been a significant improvement in the technology behind esophageal function tests. These examinations are primarily utilized to evaluate patients with dysphagia and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Despite this, there has been a relative lack of guidance in the literature regarding the appropriate methods of coding and billing for these procedures. This article, commissioned by the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society, both summarizes the current indications for these procedures and gives official recommendations on how to code for these procedures in a practical context.


General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation

Faculty Notes:
  • Stefanie Reiff, MD, recently received the NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn Department of Medicine Teacher of the Year Award. Dr. Reiff received her medical diploma from Emory University School of Medicine and completed her residency training at Columbia University-NYP. During her time in medical school and residency she became interested in medical education and medical ethics, leading to research looking at acute stress reactions in trainees. She joined the NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn hospitalist team in July 2016, where she is the Assistant Director of the Medical Student Internal Medicine Clerkship.

Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care

Faculty Notes:
  • Susan Cohen, MD, was appointed to the NY State Palliative Care Education and Training Council.

Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine

Faculty Notes:
  • Ravindra Rajmane, MD FCCP, was recently elected Secretary, Council of Chapter Representative for the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and also appointed to the Executive Committee of the ATS. Dr. Rajmane also serves on the ATS's Quality Improvement Committee.
  • Jan Bakker, MD, PhD, FCCP, was elected to be deputy-chair of the Cardiovascular Section of the European Society of Intensive Care; as the first official visiting professor of the Medical School of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago; and as (the only non-Latin American) member of the scientific committee of the Latin America Intensive Care Network, a research collaborative of ICUs in Latin America (endorsed by the European Society of Intensive Care).

  • Jan Bakker, MD, PhD, FCCP, presented during the 9th ISICEM for Latin America in Sao Paulo in June. He will also be teaching at two courses for the diploma in Intensive Care in Santiago Chile in August, and will present at the European Society of Intensive Care meeting in Vienna, Austria in September.
  • Ashwin Basavaraj, MD, gave a lecture on airway clearance and inhaled mucolytics in bronchiectasis at the 2nd World Bronchiectasis Conference in Milan, Italy on July 8.
  • Deepak Pradhan, MD, FCCP, gave an invited presentation on Thoracic Ultrasound at the Chest Ultrasound Masterclass Course in London, England on July 7.
  • Joan Reibman, MD, participated in a panel discussion and gave two talks at the CDC-NIOSH World Trade Center Health Program Principal Investigators Meeting: "Understanding of current concepts in asthma mechanisms and WTC asthma" and "WTC EHC Respiratory Findings."
  • Amit Uppal, MD, Section Chief at Bellevue, presented on "Sepsis Efforts at Bellevue Hospital" at medical grand rounds at Wyckoff Hospital on June 20.



Women & Cancer From Screening to Survivorship


Advance Care Planning: What Medical Professionals Need to Know about End of Life Care

Speakers include Joshua Chodosh, MD
Director, Freedman Research Program on Aging and Cognition
Professor, Medicine and Population Health

We Want to Hear from You!

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