Meet the Faculty Members of the
Brain and Mind Course Design Group

Dr. BJ Casey is the Sackler Professor and Director of the Sackler Institute and Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Neurology and Neuroscience at WCMC. She is a pioneer in novel uses of neuroimaging methodologies to examine human behavioral and brain development. Her program of research focuses on attention and affect regulation, particularly their development, disruption and neurobiological basis. She has been examining the normal development of brain circuitry involved in attention and behavioral regulation and how disruptions in these brain systems (prefrontal cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum) can give rise to a number of developmental disorders. Most recently Casey and her colleagues have begun to examine the effects of gene-environment interactions on the development of affect and behavioral regulation and related brain systems. She is a member of the NIMH Board of Scientific Counselors, NARSAD Advisory Board and NYAS Fellow. For more information see:

Dr. Bernice Grafstein is Professor of Physiology & Biophysics and the Vincent & Brooke Astor Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience at WCMC. She received her B.A. in Physiology at the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. in neurophysiology at McGill University in Montreal. As a graduate student she trained as an electrophysiologist, working on structure-function correlations in the cerebral cortex. She subsequently became interested in nervous system development and regeneration, and is known for her work on intracellular transport in normal and regenerating neurons, as well as on non-synaptic cellular interactions in nervous tissue. She was the first woman to become President of the Society for Neuroscience and is currently a Trustee and Vice-President of the Grass Foundation.

Dr. Charles Inturrisi is Professor of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He also has appointments with the Pain and Palliative Care Service, MSKCC and in the Kreek lab at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Inturrisi's current research is measuring the long term outcomes of treatments for chronic cancer and noncancer pain received by patients at four hospital-based outpatient Pain Clinics. He continues to have an interest the role of glutamate receptors in injury-induced pain and opioid tolerance, dependence and addictive behaviors. His research is directed at the discovery of new treatments for pain and drug addiction. He served as the president of the American Pain Society from 2008 to 2010 and was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee that prepared the 2011 Report entitled ,,Relieving Pain in America, A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research.

Ehud Lavi, M.D. is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Chief of the Neuropathology Service at Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his M.D. degree from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, followed by a Neurology residency at Hadassah Hospital- The Hebrew University School of Medicine in Jerusalem, Israel. He then did a research fellowship in Neurovirology, an Anatomic Pathology residency, and a Neuropathology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1991 he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Attending Neuropathologist until 2005 when he came to Cornell. Dr. Lavi is investigating the mechanism of brain response to viral infections, and the pathogenesis of virus-induced experimental models of multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Peter M. Marzuk is Associate Dean, Professor of Psychiatry, and Attending Psychiatrist at WCMC/ New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He received his Sc.B. in physical chemistry from Brown University, his M.D. from Columbia University, and completed his residency training in medicine and psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and The New York Hospital-Payne Whitney Clinic. Dr Marzuk's scholarly interests center on suicide, homicide, violence and mood disorders. His research is directed at identifying epidemiological, clinical, neuropsychological and neurobiological predictors of suicidal behavior and violence with a goal toward prevention at both the individual and population-based levels. Prior to becoming Associate Dean, Dr Marzuk ran an in-patient mood disorders unit and a psychopharmacology clinic at Payne Whitney Clinic and was director of medical student education in the Department of Psychiatry. He has taught Weill-Cornell students psychopathology for almost twenty years, directing the psychopathology course before it became integrated into Brain and Mind in the mid-1990's.

Dr. Teresa A. Milner is Professor of Neuroscience at WCMC. She is a native Californian who obtained her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1982 from the University of California San Diego. Her ongoing research projects are: (1) determining the effects of the hormonal milieu in modulating hippocampal opioid systems importantly involved in learning related to drug abuse; and (2) using mouse models of menopause to understand how fluctuating hormone levels influence brain systems involved in depression and anxiety and cardiovascular regulation. In addition to Brain and Mind, Dr. Milner also teaches chemical neuroanatomy in Neuron to Brain in the graduate school.

Dr. Estomih Mtui is an Associate Professor of Clinical Anatomy in Cell and Developmental Biology at WCMC. He also holds appointments as Associate Professor of Clinical Anatomy in Orthopedic Surgery with the Hospital for Special Surgery. His basic research interests focus on the collaborative investigation of neural networks within the central nervous system involved in the control of visceral reflex function during different phases of sleep-wake cycle and in response to pain and exercise. Other studies are focused on feedback circuits in the lower brainstem and spinal cord involved in cardiorespiratory reflex control that mediate nausea and vomiting, Immunocytochemical methods serve to identify the putative neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Of special interest is epinephrine, which plays a key role as a hormone and central neuro-mediator, in the tonic and reflex control of arterial blood pressure. Dr. Mtui has been teaching Gross Anatomy, Functional Neuroanatomy and Embryology to Cornell medical students since 1988. He has been a recipient of several major teaching awards including the Elliot Hochstein Teaching Award given by the medical graduating class of 2000.

Dr. Joseph Safdieh is Assistant Professor of Neurology at WCMC and Assistant Attending Neurologist at NYPH. He received his B.S. in neuroscience, as well as his M.D. degree from New York University. He completed his neurology residency at NYPH/Cornell, where he also served as Chief Resident. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. In addition to his involvement in Brain and Mind, Dr. Safdieh serves as the director of the Neurology Clerkship at WCMC and as medical director of the Neurology Clinic at NYPH. He also maintains an outpatient practice in general neurology. He has been recognized with various awards for his teaching achievements, including being selected as an Academic Neurology Teaching Fellow by the American Neurological Association and receiving a Teacher Recognition Certificate from the American Academy of Neurology

Dr. A. John Tsiouris graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the The Johns Hopkins University in 1993 and Alpha Omega Alpha from Cornell Medical College in 1997. He is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Tsiouris has co-authored over 40 peer review articles, is the lead editor of a Case-Based Brain Imaging textbook and has written chapters on imaging of CNS infections, neuroimaging in clinical trials and advanced MR imaging techniques. He has been an invited speaker at ASNR and ENRS meetings and is part of the faculty for a bi-yearly CME meeting held by MSKCC on advanced functional MRI of the brain. Currently, he is actively researching the use of diffusion tensor imaging in traumatic brain injury, susceptibility weighted imaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and MR spectroscopy and perfusion imaging in assessing the treatment response of glioblastomas. He actively volunteers his time for the American Board of Radiology and the American College of Radiology.

Back to Top