News and Highlights
Welcome New Faculty
Joshua R. Vest, PhD, MPH, has joined the faculty of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics as Assistant Professor of Public Health. Dr. Vest received his BS and BA degrees from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, his MPH from Saint Louis University School of Public Health in Saint Louis, MO, and his PhD from Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health in College Station, TX. Before joining the department, he was an Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management at Georgia Southern University, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health in Statesboro, GA. Also, prior to his academic career, Dr. Vest worked in both state and local public health agencies, including serving as the epidemiologist for the city of Austin, TX for 5 years. Dr. Vest is currently the Principal Investigator on two grants: one funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled “Effective public health data sharing for local decision making,” and one funded by Georgia Southern University titled “If open source is so great, why aren’t hospitals using it?” He has been an investigator on other grants from NIH and NSF. He has published more than 24 peer-reviewed articles; 18 as first author. His work appears in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Medical Care Research & Review, Advances in Health Care Management, the International Journal of Medical Informatics and others. He has taught several courses at the masters and doctoral level in health informatics, public health, and management.
Ankur Pandya, PhD, MPH, is a new Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Health Policy. Dr. Pandya earned his BS degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University College of Human Ecology and his MPH with a concentration in Health Policy and Administration from Yale University School of Epidemiology and Public Health. In May 2012 he completed a PhD in Health Policy with a concentration in Health Decision Science from Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. His dissertation was titled “Optimizing Cardiovascular Disease Screening and Projection Efforts in the United States.” Among his recent honors and fellowships are a merit-based Harvard Graduate Society Term-time Research Fellowship, a Harvard University Distinction in Teaching Certificate, the Joan P. Curhan Citizenship Award for the PhD Program in Health Policy, and the Harvard School of Public Health Teaching Assistant Award. As a graduate student teaching fellow for many courses, he taught topics including decision analysis, global health challenges, justice and resource allocation, and cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis. He is the author of eight published journal articles, including a 2011 first-authored article in PLoS One titled “A Comparative Assessment of Non-laboratory-based Versus Commonly Used Laboratory-based Cardiovascular Disease Risk Scores in the NHANES III Population.”
Mark A. Unruh, PhD, MS, has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics. Dr. Unruh holds a BA in Mathematics and an MS in Applied Economics & Finance from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He earned a PhD in Health Services Research with a concentration in Health Economics from Brown University, where he received the Alvin R. Tarlov & John E. Ware Jr. Doctoral Dissertation Award in Patient Reported Outcomes. From October 2011 until joining the department, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Economics at Harvard Medical School, Department of Health Care Policy. Dr. Unruh’s research focuses on provider response to policy changes and the consequences for patient outcomes.
Michael F. Pesko, PhD, is a new Instructor in Public Health in the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Dr. Pesko received his BA in Economics, English, and Management from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and an MA and PhD in Economics (just recently completing the PhD) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Most of Dr. Pesko’s research has focused on the economics of substance abuse. In particular, Dr. Pesko’s research has involved examining the prevalence, price reductions, and public health impact of cigarette price minimization strategies. He has just published an article on this topic, entitled “Cigarette Price Minimization Strategies Used by Adults,” in the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Pesko has also conducted research using a utility maximization framework to examine how substance abuse and stress increase following national disasters, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina. Before joining Weill Cornell Medical College, while finishing graduate school, Dr. Pesko was an ORISE Fellow in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health. Dr. Pesko has also consulted with the Arkansas Office of the Attorney General, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on tobacco control policy. Dr. Pesko has taught courses in principles of macroeconomics and intermediate macroeconomics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at North Central College. Dr. Pesko is excited to be joining the outstanding faculty in the Department of Public Health and is looking forward to applying economics theory and empirical research techniques to health outcomes research.
Andrew J. Meltzer, MD, has been appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery in Public Health. His primary appointment is in the Department of Surgery, in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. Dr. Meltzer received his BS from Yale College and his MD from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. He was an Intern in Surgery, a Resident in Surgery, and a Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as a Clinical Fellow in Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He recently completed a Clinical Fellowship in Vascular Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. His research interests include patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness in vascular surgery. Dr. Meltzer is currently a Co-Principal Investigator for a Cornell University Intercampus Planning Grant entitled, "Modeling Reliability and Failure After Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair." He is the author of 20 journal articles, as well as 8 book chapters and over 40 peer-reviewed abstracts. He has received research awards from the Eastern Vascular Society, American College of Surgeons, and Association for Academic Surgery.
Yulia Landa, PsyD, MS, has been appointed Assistant Professor of Psychology in Public Health in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior. Her primary appointment is as Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry. She is also a Clinical Psychologist at Payne Whitney Manhattan, where her practice and research focuses on developing cognitive behavioral interventions for psychosis. Dr. Landa is currently conducting research on her novel "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Prevention of Paranoia in Adolescents at High Risk." Dr. Landa has developed a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis training program and has been teaching clinicians both in the US and internationally. In 2006 Dr. Landa was named a Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research Scholar. Dr. Landa received a BA and MA degree in Psychology from St. Petersburg University in Russia, a PsyD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hartford, and an MS in Clinical and Translational Research from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She is also currently a KL2 Scholar in the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC). Her published articles, book chapters, and abstracts focus on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment and prevention of psychosis.
Muhammad Waseem, MD, MS, FAAP, has been appointed Associate Professor of Public Health. Dr. Waseem’s primary appointment is as an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine in Clinical Pediatrics. He is an Attending Physician in Emergency Medicine at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, and he is Research Director of Emergency Medicine at Lincoln Hospital. He is also an Attending Physician in Pediatrics at Bronx Lebanon Hospital. Dr. Waseem holds an MB,BS degree from Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, and an MS from Cornell University. He was a Resident in Pediatrics, a Clinical Fellow in Ambulatory Pediatrics, and a Fellow in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Lincoln Hospital. Dr. Waseem has received many awards for teaching and clinical care. He currently teaches Advanced Pediatric and Adult Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support at Lincoln Hospital. He presents lectures for residents in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, and teaches pediatric board review courses. He has presented at many grand rounds and conferences and has written many publications on a wide variety of issues in emergency medicine. Dr. Waseem’s current research projects include assessments of bullying in children, assessment of mental status and emergency department evaluation in patients under the influence of alcohol, watchful waiting for otitis media, and bronchiolitis in the first 2 years of life as a predictor of wheezing and asthma development later in childhood. He is a regional faculty member for the American Heart Association and a member of research and pediatric emergency medicine committees for the American College of Emergency Medicine. In 2011, he also received the National Faculty Teaching Award from the American College of Emergency Medicine.
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