People

James F. Sumowski, PhD: Principal Investigator

Faculty Appointment:
Associate Professor of Neurology and of Psychiatry
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Clinical Neuropsychologist
Corinne G. Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis

Educational Background:
Clinical Research Fellowship in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience:
Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School & Kessler Foundation
Internship in Clinical Neuropsychology:
Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Ph.D., Columbia University:
School Psychology with a Neuropsychology Focus
B.A., Philosophy and Psychology:
Seton Hall University

Our laboratory seeks to advance understanding, measurement, prevention, and treatment of functional disabilities in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), with a particular focus on cognition and memory. We are developing innovative assessment tools to evaluate functional outcomes, and reevaluating and revising old assumptions about cognition and memory to improve treatment. My current NIH R01 is a longitudinal study of risk and protective factors associated with cognitive changes over time, with a focus on potentially modifiable factors that may inform clinical decision making.  As a member of the Corinne G. Dickinson Center for MS, I have the good fortune to collaborate with and learn from our expert team of MS neurologists. Frequent contact and feedback from our patients has also been essential for identifying clinically important questions with the greatest promise for improving quality of life for the persons striving to accomplish goals and live fully in the context of this disease.

 

Rachel Brandstadter, MD: Instructor

Rachel Brandstadter is a neurologist who specializes in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunologic disorders. She received her M.D. at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2012. She completed both her medical internship and neurology residency at Mount Sinai and served as chief resident. She completed a two-year fellowship in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology at the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai. During fellowship she worked with Dr. Sumowski on the characterization of word finding deficits in patients with early multiple sclerosis. As faculty at Mount Sinai, she will further investigate language dysfunction in multiple sclerosis while also continuing her clinical work in caring for patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.

 

Lisa Glukhovsky, PhD: Postdoctoral Follow

Dr. Glukhovsky received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) from Ferkauf Graduate School at Yeshiva University in 2018. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Princeton University, she worked as a clinical research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. During her graduate training at Yeshiva University, she gained clinical experience in neuropsychological assessment and interventions with a variety of neurological and other medical populations. Her dissertation examined cognitive-motor dual-task learning in multiple sclerosis. She completed her internship in the Psychiatry Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research interests relate to neuropsychological and psychiatric factors in multiple sclerosis, including executive functions such as multitasking.

 

Colleen Marino, PhD: Postdoctoral Follow

Dr. Marino received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology from Palo Alto University in 2018. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. Dr. Marino has extensive training in neuropsychological assessment of adult and older adult populations with various psychiatric, neurological, and medical illnesses. She has experience with individual psychotherapy and cognitive rehabilitation in both individual and group formats. Her previous research analyzed neuropsychological assessment tools to better understand cognitive processes underlying performance. Her current research investigates neuropsychiatric factors and coping styles in persons with multiple sclerosis, and utilization of neuropsychological and psychological assessments to inform and create treatment interventions.

 

Laura Johanson: Graduate Student

Laura is a Ph.D. student at Teachers College, Columbia University. Working with Dr. Sumowski, she will investigate cognitive impairment and reserve in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Her previous research experiences at Florida State University included: (1) traumatic brain injury and cognitive functioning, (2) cognitive anxiety sensitivity treatment, and (3) perceptual illusions and anxiety reduction. Her clinical training has focused on comprehensive psychoeducational assessments and integrated case conceptualizations of children and adolescents with cognitive, academic, behavioral, and/or social-emotional difficulties. She now receives specialized training in neuropsychological theory and clinical practice.

 

Rosemarie Kurtz: Graduate Student

Rosemarie Kurtz is a Ph.D. student at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College in 2015, and has since broadened her clinical and research experience through direct work with children, adolescents, and young adults. She has conducted comprehensive psychoeducational assessments in clinical and school settings, provides individual therapy to at-risk adolescents and young adults. She is receiving neuropsychological training. Rosemarie is interested in protective factors and cognitive reserve, and she looks forward to working with Dr. Sumowski to better understand protective factors that moderate deleterious effects of multiple sclerosis on functional outcomes.

 

Alexandra Buchanan: Clinical Research Coordinator

Alex joins Dr. Sumowski’s lab as the Clinical Research Coordinator for his ongoing studies on cognition in multiple sclerosis. She comes from Montclair State University, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology in 2018. At Montclair State she worked as the lab manager for a cognitive neuroscience lab (Cognition & Neurocognitive Disorders lab), and was a research intern at Kessler Foundation. Passionate about pursuing a research and clinical career focused on neurodegenerative disorders, she is excited to gain knowledge and experience in Dr. Sumowski’s laboratory to prepare her for future graduate studies.

 

Past Research Staff:

Christina Lewis : Associate Researcher/Lab Manager

 

 

 

 

Gabrielle Pelle : Clinical Research Coordinator