Lawrence S. Honig, MD, PhD, FAAN
- Director (Neurology)
Lawrence S. Honig, MD, PhD, is Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease at Columbia University. He is a Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, in the Department of Neurology Division of Aging and Dementia, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center. He is an attending neurologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is a neuroscientist and board-certified clinical neurologist, with UCNS subspecialty certifications in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry, and Geriatric Neurology.
Dr. Honig obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in California, and his MD medical degree from the University of Miami in Florida. He medical postgraduate training included Internship in Medicine, Residency in Neurology, and Fellowship training, at Stanford University Medical Center in California. He served on the faculty of the Neurology departments of Stanford University Medical Center, and of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, prior to his arrival at Columbia University in the year 2000. In addition to directing the New York State Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease, he co-directs the Lewy Body Disease Association Research Center of Excellence, and the CurePSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) Center of Care, and has been a leader in the NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Neurological Association, the International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment, the Movement Disorder Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society for Neuroscience.
His specialty includes Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders of nervous system aging and degeneration, such as Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Corticobasal degeneration, Immune-mediated encephalitides, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and various familial and inherited disorders. He engages in clinical patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and at the Lucy G. Moses Center for Memory and Behavioral Disorders, in the Neurological Institute, and he performs training, educational efforts, and leads research investigations.
Dr. Honig is a nationally and internationally known expert in clinical drug trial research. He leads a number of clinical drug study trials at Columbia University, which aim to develop more effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Frontotemporal Dementias, and other neurological conditions. He has served on Steering Committees and Data Safety Monitoring Boards for drug study trials.
Wendy P Gonzalez, NP
- Associate Director/Clinician (Neurology)
Wendy P. Gonzalez is a Nurse Practitioner at the Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease at Columbia University Medical Center. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Wendy hails from Ecuador and moved to the United States during her childhood. She initially pursued her nursing education at Christ Hospital School of Nursing in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she earned her Associates of Science Degree in Nursing. Wendy later pursued further studies at Lehman College, graduating with honors and attaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Throughout her career, she held positions such as Director of Nursing at an adult day care center and Case Manager at Amerigroup. During this time, she pursued her Master of Science in Nursing, specializing as a Gerontological/Adult Nurse Practitioner at Hunter College School of Nursing in 2019. Wendy is licensed as a board-certified Adult Nurse Practitioner in both New York and New Jersey. Her professional journey has centered around caring for adults and the elderly, making her a valuable asset to our team.
Wendy actively participates in esteemed professional organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Delta Zeta Chapter of Nursing, the Golden Key International Honour Society, and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Rafael A. Lantigua, MD
- Associate Director (Internal Medicine)
Dr. Rafael Lantigua attended the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (Autonomous University of Santo Domingo), graduating from medical school in 1972. He then moved to New York City, trained in Internal Medicine at Lincoln Hospital from 1973-1976, and Endocrinology at the University of Rochester from 1977-1980. He has been at Columbia University since 1980, initially as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the College of Physicians and Surgeons and an Assistant Attending at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is currently Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and is the Dean’s Special Advisor for Community Health Affairs. He has been in the leadership of the Division of General Medicine of the Department of Medicine, been the Medical director of Associates in Internal Medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and a member of both the Admission Committee of Columbia University Medical School, and the Internal Medicine Residency Committee.
He has been actively involved in research on issues regarding quality of life, and minority populations. He has served as an investigator in a New York State Department of Health Program on cardiovascular disease in the minority community, in a National Institute on Aging study on quality of life in the minority elderly, and in a study of the Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease in Latino Families. He was Director from 1998-2008 of the Columbia Center for Active Life of Minority Elders (an NIA Resource Center for Minority Aging Research of Aging). Since 1999, he has served as Deputy Director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s disease and the Aging Brain.
Dr. Lantigua was co-founder and past Chairperson of the Board of both Alianza Dominicana, Inc. and the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants Rights. He has served on boards of other non-profit organizations, including the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Puerto Rican/Hispanic Institute for the Elderly, the Latino Commission on AIDS, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, ARC Fort Washington Senior Center, the Isabella Nursing Home, and the Dominican Medical Society, of which he was the president in 1996. From 1988 to 1997 he served as a member of the New York State Board of Professional Medical Conduct. He was Grand Marshall of the Dominican Parade in 1983, and has been granted honorary professor degrees from the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo and from the Universidad Technologica de Santiago, Dominican Republic, and a Doctor Honoris Causa degree in Social Medicine by the Spanish University of America. He received the Arnold Gold Award in Humanism at Columbia University Medical School in 1998, and the Ewig Clinical Scholar Award at Columbia in 2010, in recognition of outstanding teaching. He has received the Key of the City of Miami and has received commendations from the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan Borough Presidents, the New York City Comptroller, the Office of the Mayor of Newark (NJ), the City Council of New York, the New York City State Senate, and the U.S. Congress.
James M. Noble, MD, MS
- Clinician (Neurologist)
Dr. Noble completed his undergraduate studies in math and chemistry at Vanderbilt University, followed by medical school at Emory University. His graduate medical training included internal medicine internship, neurology residency including chief resident in neurology, and neuroepidemiology and behavioral neurology fellowship, all at Columbia University Medical Center. Accordingly, he is board certified in neurology, behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry, and public health.
Dr. Noble primarily sees patients with dementia but also leads Team Concussion, focusing on sports-related concussion care, and sees patients in a general neurology practice. Dr. Noble is fluent in Spanish and his comprehensive approach to care views the patient within the entire family dynamic, with particular focus on disadvantaged communities.
His professional leadership has been recognized by the American Academy of Neurology, which has selected him to the Emerging Leaders Forum. Dr. Noble is recognized as a leader in neurologic education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, as its former clerkship director and a scholar in the Virginia Apgar Teaching Academy. Dr. Noble is also the president of Arts & Minds, a non-profit organization promoting well-being for dementia patients and their caregivers via art-centered experiences.
In addition to patient care, Dr. Noble’s research interests include health literacy, systemic inflammatory markers as contributors to stroke and dementia health disparities, the role of cognitively stimulating activities in dementia care, and sports-related concussion.
Ashwini Kumar Rao, OTR/L, EdD, FAOTA
- Professor of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine; Director, Doctor of Education in Movement Sciences (Physical Therapy)
Ashwini K. Rao is an Occupational Therapist with doctoral and post-doctoral training in Movement Science. He has over 20 years of clinical experience with a focus on rehabilitation in neurological disorders. Dr. Rao’s research aims to develop quantitative and clinical methods to examine motor dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders, understand motor control mechanisms underlying motor dysfunction in order to design and test novel rehabilitation strategies.
- Clinician (Neurology)
Karen Bell is a Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center. She is a Bronx native, who graduated from New York University, and then the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed internship in internal medicine at Harlem Hospital Center and neurology residency at The Neurological Institute at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. She then did a fellowship in Behavioral Neurology, since which she has focused her clinical and research efforts on the on the evaluation and treatment of neurodegenerative cognitive disorders at the Taub Institute.
She is involved in education and training efforts, and in drug clinical trials. She directed the Education Core of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Columbia University developing physician and community education programs. She is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology and the National Medical Association, serving on various subcommittees. She has been an external advisor to National Medical Association's Project I.M.P.A.C.T. initiative. She serves on NINDS Data Safety Monitoring Boards. She has been a member of the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Institutional Review Board (IRB) since 2003. She was appointed to the New York State Council on Graduate Medical Education (NYSCOGME) in 2009, and she has chaired the NYS COGME Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program Workgroup. She has participated as a mentor in the Harlem Children Society science program for many years. She has been Director of the Minority Recruitment Core for NIA-funded Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), and has had a strong interest in in achieving ethnic diversity in enrollment in Alzheimer's disease clinical trials on a national level, spearheading ADCS recruitment efforts to increase diversity in clinical trials since 2002. She has led a number of drug clinical trials, including trials of asymptomatic or presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease.
Devangere P. Devanand, MD
- Clinician (Psychiatry)
Davangere P. Devanand, M.D., is Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center. He is also Co-Director of the Memory Disorders Center, and Co-Director of the Late Life Depression Clinic, at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Dr. Devanand completed medical school at Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, and psychiatry residency training at NIMHANS, Bangalore, India, S.U.N.Y. Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY, and Yale University School of Medicine. After completing a clinical research fellowship at Columbia University he has remained on its faculty since 1987.
His research helped to define the clinical features and treatment response in elderly patients with dysthymic disorder, a chronic depressive illness. He pioneered studies on the interface between depression and cognitive impairment in the elderly, and is well-known for his research into early diagnostic markers of Alzheimer’s disease and the treatment of psychosis and agitation in this disorder. He has published research articles in major journals including a landmark study on antipsychotic discontinuation in Alzheimer’s disease in the New England Journal of Medicine, and articles in JAMA, Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Archives of General Psychiatry, and American Journal of Psychiatry. He has been Principal Investigator on research grants from the National Institute of Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, Alzheimer’s Association, NARSAD, and the Dana Foundation. He has received the Indo-American Psychiatric Association scientific research award, the International Psychogeriatrics Association Research Award, American Psychiatric Association Jack Weinberg Memorial Award in Geriatric Psychiatry, American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry Distinguished Scientist Award, and American College of Psychiatrists Research Award in Geriatric Psychiatry. He is Associate Editor of the journal, Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders.
Dr. Devanand has over 280 publications, and is the author of three books.
Jose A. Luchsinger, MD
- Clinician (Internal Medicine)
Jose A. Luchsinger, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a general internist. He has been conducting research and clinical practice in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) since 1999. His areas of interest include ADRD risk factors, caregiving and diagnosis. His research portfolio in ADRD has been funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, PCORI, and the National Institutes of Health.
Jennifer J. Manly, PhD
- Neuropsychologist (Neurology)
Jennifer Manly, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research in Aging and Alzheimer’s disease at Columbia University. She completed her graduate training in neuropsychology at the San Diego State University / University of California at San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. After a clinical internship at Brown University, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. Her research on cultural, medical, and genetic predictors of cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease among African Americans and Hispanics has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and 8 chapters.
In 2002 she was awarded the Early Career Award from Division 40 of the American Psychological Association, and in 2004 she was elected a Fellow of APA. She serves on the US Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services, and is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Research Board. She currently serves as a member at large on the Board of Governors of the International Neuropsychological Society.
Dr. Manly aims to improve the diagnostic accuracy of neuropsychological tests when used to detect cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease among African American and Hispanic elders. This work clarifies the independent influences of language, acculturation, educational experiences, racial socialization, and socioeconomic status on cognitive test performance, with the ultimate goal of understanding more about the relationship between culture and cognition. Recent work focuses on the specificity of cognitive tasks in detecting subtle cognitive decline among illiterate and low-literacy older adults. This work has important implications for determining the complex influence of reading and writing skills on brain function.
- Social Worker
- Research Coordinator
Katrina Cuasay is a Senior Staff Associate in the Taub Institute. She is the lead coordinator for the clinical trials research efforts in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders at the Taub Institute, Sergievsky Center, and Department of Neurology. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Cornell University in the College or Arts and Sciences in 2004. Since 2005, she has been a research coordinator at Columbia University, first in the Department of Psychiatry (through 2012), and since then at the Taub Institute.
She has been involved in clinical research at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for more than a decade, working closely with Dr. Lawrence Honig, the CEAD director, and with Dr. Bell. Her efforts include many aspects of performing and supervising both observational research and groundbreaking clinical drug trials. These drug trials include phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 trials of monoclonal antibodies against beta-amyloid protein, which treatments are now proving to be a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s treatment, by usefully slowing down disease.
Donovan A. Laing
- Research Coordinator
Donovan A Laing completed his undergraduate work at Stony Brook University, and then did research at NYU Langone, before joining Columbia University. He is involved in coordination of the important brain autopsy program, permitting individuals to donate their brain tissue after death for research purposes to better understand and treat neurological disorders.
Lamprine “Nitsa” Whitney
- Research Coordinator
Assist persons seeking opportunities to participate in research. She is familiar with the panorama of studies, both drug treatment trials, and observational studies, currently being performed at Columbia in the field of aging and dementia research. She educates volunteer participants, patients, and their families. She acts as a liaison with the research teams of the Taub Institute, Divisions of Aging and Dementia and Cognitive Neuroscience.
Jill S. Goldman, MS, MPhil, CGC
- Genetic Counselor
Jill S Goldman, MS, MPhil,CGC is a genetic counselor at The Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Center where she is a partner in the Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease. She has worked as a genetic counselor since 2000; before that she was a health education specialist and science teacher.
Goldman is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Special Interest Group on Neurogenetics, a member of the American Academy of Neurology, and an appointed member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Association for Frontotemporal Dementia. Additionally she leads 2 support groups-one for caregivers of people with frontotemporal dementia and the other for people living with early stage dementia. She also created and coordinates “A Friend for Rachel”, a companionship program in which people with early to moderate dementia are paired with Columbia pre-medical students.
Jill has authored many papers and book chapters including: “Genetic counseling and testing for Alzheimer disease: joint practice guidelines of the American College of Medical Genetics and the National Society of Genetic Counselors” and “New approaches to genetic counseling and testing for Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal degeneration”. She is the editor of the textbook: Genetic Counseling for Adult Neurogenetic Disease: A Casebook for Clinicians, Springer, 2015.