Connecting the Department of Medicine
April 2017


Secretary David Shulkin Rounds at the VA Hospital

On Presidents' Day, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, MD, spent his morning rounding with residents and hospitalists on the medicine service at the VA Hospital. Above, from left to right: Neha Jindal, MD; VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD; Danielle Brewington, MD; Charles Madeira, MD; Rachel Anderson, MS II; Zoe Birnbaum, MSIV; Jenna Conway, MD ; and Jennifer Mattson, MD. Read more.

Study Led By Dr. Sripal Bangalore Reports on How “Weight Cycling” Affects People with Pre-Existing Heart Disease

A recent study published by Dr. Sripal Bangalore and colleagues in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that what is commonly known as "yo-yo dieting" may be harmful for heart patients. This paper received significant media attention, including from the New York Times, Consumer Reports, and other outlets.

NYULMC Research Project Wins AAES 2017 Annual Meeting Award

Drs. Melissa Wilson (Oncology) and Steven Hodak (Endocrinology) have received a $20K award from the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) to continue a project that was initially funded by internal grants from the Department of Medicine and Perlmutter Cancer Center. Their project—"Adjuvant targeted therapy to improve efficacy of RAI in early stage BRAF mutant PTC"—was named the winner of the AAES' ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association Award for Thyroid Cancer Research.

Division of Rheumatology Receives NIH Training Grant

The Division of Rheumatology is pleased to report receipt of an NIH T32 Grant, "Translational Basic and Clinical Research Training in Rheumatology." This training grant will directly support a pipeline for rheumatology clinician-researchers and reflects the division's commitment to the next generation of investigators in the field.

Study Led by Dr. Violeta Popov Shows the Impact of Intragastric Balloons on Obesity-Related Co-Morbidities

Dr. Violeta Popov, assistant professor of medicine and director of bariatric endoscopy at NY VA Harbor Healthcare, and colleagues recently published the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the effects of the second generation of intragastric balloons on metabolic parameters.

Study Led by Dr. Judith Weissman Shows That Health Care Access is Declining in Adults with Mental Health Disorders

Judith Weissman, PhD, JD, was lead author of a study published this week in Psychiatric Services, "Disparities in Health Care Utilization and Functional Limitations Among Adults With Serious Psychological Distress, 2006–2014," co-authored with faculty from DGIMCI and others. The paper has received significant media coverage, including on CNN, the Huffington Post, Healio Psychiatric Annals, and US News and World Report.  

Recent Talks by NYULMC Physicians

Dr. Jim Lebret, assistant professor of medicine (General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation), spoke at last month's South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference on "Diversional Therapy: How Virtual Reality Transforms Illness." He also published an article in Medscape about technology changes coming to physician practices, which was later featured on Fierce Healthcare IT.  Dr. Ruth Oratz, clinical professor of medicine (Medical Oncology), presented two talks at the 34th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference in March: "Psychosocial Issues in Very Young Patients with Breast Cancer" and "Novel Agents in the Treatment of Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer."

News from the Division of Medical Humanities

Bellevue Literary Press's Jerzy, a novel by Jerome Charyn, was recently featured in The New Yorker and the New York Times Book Review, which called it "a novel with a light touch that's still capable of lifting heavy subjects." The new issue of Bellevue Literary Review, a journal of humanity and human experience published by NYU Langone Medical Center, features the winners of the 2017 prizes—selected by judges Ha Jin, Ariel Levy, and Kazim Ali—as well as the winner of the Daniel Liebowitz Prize for Student Writing, NYUSOM student Jennifer M. Lynch's poem "In Patient." Explore the issue.

Meet New Faculty Joining Our Divisions


Dr. Sam Parnia, Director of Critical Care and Resuscitation Research
Dr. Parnia is a graduate of the Guys and St. Thomas' medical school of the University of London and was awarded a PhD in cell and molecular biology from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. He completed his training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of London and the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. He then joined the faculty at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, where he has been Director of Resuscitation Research. His academic interests lie in the prevention, treatment, and management of cardiac arrest; as well as post-resuscitation syndrome – a complex cascade of injurious processes that follows the restoration of the heartbeat after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). As these processes contribute to brain injury and persistent disorders of consciousness, Dr Parnia's main research focus has been on the development of novel real-time non-invasive brain resuscitation monitoring and oxygen delivery methods. His other area of interest has been the study of consciousness and the mental and cognitive experience of cardiac arrest. Dr. Parnia has directed a number of multidisciplinary, multicenter international collaborative cardiac arrest studies. He was awarded an American Heart Association research prize for his studies on brain resuscitation monitoring using near infrared spectroscopy. Dr. Parnia has published in leading scientific and medical peer reviewed journals, and is the author of two popular science books, What Happens When We Die (2006) and Erasing Death (2013).

Dr. Samaan Rafeq, Senior Associate Director, Interventional Pulmonary Program
Dr. Rafeq previously served as the Director of Interventional Pulmonary at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston, a teaching Hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine and a member of Steward Health Care, which is the second largest health care system in New England. Dr. Rafeq is board certified in Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care Medicine and Interventional Pulmonology. Dr. Rafeq graduated form Damascus University School of Medicine in Syria in 1999. He completed a preliminary-surgery internship at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in 2003. He subsequently completed a categorical internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Massachusetts in 2006, a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Tufts Medical Center in 2009, and an advanced interventional pulmonary fellowship at The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in 2010. Dr. Rafeq joined the faculty at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center the same year and was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Rafeq is involved in the teaching of medical students, residents, and fellows. His main interest is the application of advanced technologies in the diagnosis and management of lung diseases. He has served as principal investigator and co-investigator on several clinical studies.

Dr. David A. Kaufman, Director of the Medical ICU, Tisch Hospital
Dr. Kaufman graduated from the Columbia University of Physicians & Surgeons (1997) and completed a residency in internal medicine at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (2000). He did his fellowship in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he did research on the role of physical stress and endothelial cell signaling. From 2004-2008, he served on the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Since 2008, he has served as the Section Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Bridgeport Hospital, a 425-bed community teaching hospital that is part of the Yale-New Haven Health System. There, he also served as MICU Director and Chairman of the Yale-New Haven Health System ICU Leadership Group. His interests include mechanical ventilation, particularly interpretation of ventilator waveforms and the diagnosis and treatment of patient-ventilator asynchrony, sepsis resuscitation, and ICU monitoring He has worked on research into the identification of patients who have a high chance of developing ARDS and ARDS prevention. In his spare time, he enjoys backpacking and playing tennis with his sons Diego (15) and Gonzalo (14).



Dr. Devin Mann is an Associate Professor of Population Health and Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and the Senior Director of Informatics Innovation at NYU Langone Medical Center. He received his medical degree and completed his residency at NYU School of Medicine. He received additional clinical research training at Weill Cornell Medical College before joining the faculty of Mt Sinai School of Medicine and later Boston University School of Medicine. He now returns to NYU and leads a health informatics research and innovation program. He will joining NYU Internal Medicine Associates beginning April 2017.

Dr. Venkatesh Vaddigiri is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Vaddigiri completed his residency at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and has over 20 years practicing Internal Medicine. He will be joining NYU Langone FGP-Huntington Medical Group.


NYU Medical Associates-Greenpoint—NYU Langone's First Outpatient Location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn—Welcomes Two New Physicians

Dr. George Feinbaum is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine. He is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed an internship in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Metropolitan Hospital Center.

Dr. Renata Ukowska is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She received her medical doctorate from Ponzan University of Medical Sciences and completed her residency at Richmond University Medical Center.

Forthcoming Paper

Dr. Bruce Cronstein and colleagues have a forthcoming paper in Nature Communications: "Endogenous adenosine maintains cartilage homeostasis and exogenous adenosine inhibits osteoarthritis progression."

Join NYU Langone’s Cardiac and Vascular Institute at This Year’s AHA Wall Street Run and Heart Walk

The American Heart Association (AHA) Wall Street Run and Heart Walk is coming up on Thursday, May 18. For the ninth year in a row, the Cardiac and Vascular Institute at NYU Langone is proud to be a signature sponsor of this marquee event, which attracts close to 12,000 participants each year to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

To support this important cause and improve our own heart health, faculty and staff across the Medical Center join forces to create their own teams. Participation is a collective effort, coming together for a great cause and reminding those around us of NYU Langone's mission and the critical importance of fighting heart disease.

Please click here to visit the NYU Langone company page and register. The deadline to register is Tuesday, May 2. Specific questions can be directed to Nadia Katayeva at

GI and GI Surgery Launch into Spring with Big Gut Seminars

The Division of Gastroenterology and Department of Surgery joined forces on March 31-April 1 to present "Big Gut Seminars," a CME activity consisting of two consecutive days, focused on complex gastrointestinal disease.

The first day, "Focus on Complex Inflammatory Bowel Disease," was led by David P. Hudesman, MD; Lisa B. Malter, MD; and Feza Remzi, MD, while the second day, "Focus on Complex Colorectal Disease," was directed by Mitchell A. Bernstein, MD; Seth A. Gross, MD; Gregory B. Haber, MD; and Elliot Newman, MD.

"Big Gut is an exciting, innovative CME course format, including rapid-fire updates, controversies in care, and complex case discussions that provide attendees with the information they need to offer optimal care to their patients in their own practices," said Mark B. Pochapin, MD. Topics ranged from pathogenesis to screening; diagnosis; and current and emerging medical, endoscopic, and surgical treatment options.

The course included several guest faculty from around the United States, and drew over 150 registrants. The next Big Gut is planned for 2018.

Big Gut: The Patient Education Track

In conjunction with the Big Gut CME course on complex inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) held for health professionals, course directors Drs. David Hudesman, Lisa Malter, and Feza Remzi offered a parallel patient education track, open to patients with IBD and their friends and families. This seminar provided the opportunity for patients to hear from and ask questions of our NYU Langone specialists in IBD.

One such expert included registered dietitian nutritionist Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN, who spoke on the importance of nutrition in IBD. Mrs. Cabrero highlighted nutritional tips and dietary therapies that may be helpful to persons living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. She stressed the need to individualize the diet based on diagnosis, food triggers, bowel function, medication history, stress, and lifestyle, to mention a few. Nutrition in IBD does not come with a one-size-fits-all answer. "It's also essential for people to realize that we need to eat differently when in remission versus active disease ('flare'), which essentially can help symptom management and lengthen remission," Mrs. Cabrero noted. Other featured speakers included Libia Moy, MD, speaking on the transition of pediatric to adult-centered care; Shannon Chang, MD, presenting current medical therapies; Sophie M. Balzora, MD and Melissa H. Rosen, MD, providing information on emerging new medical therapies; and Michael J. Grieco who spoke about surgical options for IBD.

ISCHEMIA Trial Reaches Milestone Enrollment

The ISCHEMIA trial reached an important milestone by exceeding 4,000 randomized participants. ISCHEMIA is the largest strategy trial to date in stable ischemic heart disease, with patients recruited from approximately 350 participating sites in over 35 countries. The NHLBI-funded ISCHEMIA trial is comparing the effectiveness of a conservative (optimal medical therapy alone with revascularization reserved for failure of medical therapy) versus invasive (optimal medical therapy and upfront cardiac catheterization and revascularization) treatment strategy in patients with stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD) and at least moderate ischemia.

The ISCHEMIA-CKD ancillary trial also reached an important milestone with the 500th participant randomization.  ISCHEMIA-CKD runs seamlessly with the ISCHEMIA trial to determine the best treatment strategy for higher-risk patients with SIHD and advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is the largest treatment strategy trial in patients with advanced CKD and SIHD.

Trial enrollment for both trials will continue through 2017. The support of NYU clinicians toward enrollment of their patients has played an important part in this success. Congratulations to Dr. Judith Hochman, Dr. Sripal Bangalore, the NYU Clinical Coordinating Center faculty (Dr. Harmony Reynolds, Dr. Jeffrey Berger, Dr. Jonathan Newman), Project Director Stephanie Mavromichalis and the whole 25-member team!



Update in Advanced Cardiovascular Disease


Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Comprehensive Management of a Complex Disease


Advances in Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Improving treatment for patients with diabetes


Dietary and Lifestyle Strategies for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction


Department of Medicine Annual Research Day


9th Annual Quality and Safety Day

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