Peter Adintori, MS, RD, CSO, CDN, CNSC is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student and registered dietitian with a background in nutrition and exercise physiology. Peter has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut. There, he conducted research in the Human Performance Laboratory on utility of the ketogenic diet for physiologic and performance benefit in elite ultramarathon runners. After graduating from UConn, Peter pursued a Master of Science at Teachers College, Columbia University in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, followed by his Dietetic Internship. While at Columbia, Peter conducted research at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital (now Mount Sinai Morningside), focusing on lipid utilization during exercise in individuals at risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
After obtaining his Registered Dietitian (RD) credential, Peter obtained two board certifications in Oncology Nutrition (CSO) and Nutrition Support (CNSC).
Currently, Peter is a Clinical Research Dietitian at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he works on the Bone Marrow Transplantation Service and in the Marcel van den Brink lab. Peter's research focuses on developing pre-habilitation and rehabilitation strategies to assist in recovery of patients' function after hematopoietic cell transplantation. Peter's first candidacy paper incorporates nutritional risk and functional status assessment into the pre-transplant evaluation criteria.
Going forward, Peter plans to incorporate nutritional status, functional status, and mental health into the serial assessment of patients receiving hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular immunotherapy to highlight and intervene upon the broader functional needs of patients. Peter's incorporation of the Biopsychosocial factors underlying the recovery from transplant will augment the clinical advances in transplant and cellular therapy that have broadened the treatment potential to a wider array of patients.
In the future, Peter plans to incorporate the data from his doctoral work with his research at Memorial Sloan Kettering on the gastrointestinal microbiome to develop precision nutrition approaches to predict outcomes after transplant and cellular therapy. Peter plans to use his multidisciplinary professional background and the broader rehabilitation science context to influence the interventional approaches used in the transplant and cellular therapy populations.
Tami Altschuler, MA, CCC-SLP is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student and has 20 years of experience practicing as a speech-language pathologist. She is currently a Clinical Specialist in Patient-Provider Communication at NYU Langone Medical Center where she is spearheading hospital-wide initiatives to include communication access in standard patient care. She is a volunteer co-organizer of the Patient-Provider Communication Network and has served on the Board of Directors of the United States Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC). As an innovator, she developed and facilitates USSAAC's Speaker Connection, a website portal for event organizers to hire persons who use augmentative and alternative communication for various speaking engagements. Tami is a published author and lecturer at the national and international level.
Tami's primary research interest is in identifying and addressing the provider and organizational level factors that contribute to healthcare disparities experienced by persons with communication disabilities. Through participatory action research, she wishes to understand the stigmas encountered by people with communication disabilities and the implicit and explicit forms of ableism which preclude them from healthcare equality and equity.
Noelle Armstrong MS, RD is a Rehabiltation Sciences PhD student and registered dietitian. Noelle’s education began at the State University of New York at Oneonta, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics with a minor in Chemistry. Noelle continued her education at Boston University, where she received a Master of Science in Nutrition. While in Boston, Noelle worked at Tufts USDA Human Nutrition Research Center for Aging and completed her dietetic internship at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center through Boston University.
Noelle currently works as a private practice dietitian as a counselor in the holistic wellness sphere and teaches at NYU in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies. Her research focuses on the connection between nutrition and psychology – how what we eat impacts how we feel. Noelle plans to explore the use of nutrition counseling and diet intervention as an adjunctive therapy in the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. Noelle hopes to improve the mental health and wellbeing of individuals who suffer from mental illness through nutrition.
John is a part-time Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student. His research interests lie in utilizing assistive technologies in and out of clinical settings. His current research has been assisting Dr. John-Ross Rizzo and his team in the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory. There, he is responsible for designing a procedure and validation plan to use the Xsens MVN Awinda inertial measurement unit system to characterize the gait of individuals living with visual impairment while navigating the New York City subway. John also holds a full-time Research Engineer position in the BRAVO Lab at the Department of Veterans Affairs Manhattan NYHHS Campus, conducting prosthetics focused biomechanical research.
Lauren Hudacek, MS, CCC-SLP is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student and licensed speech-language pathologist. She received a bachelor of science in General Psychology from Lafayette College, where she participated in community-based, interdisciplinary research on the role of employment status on sense of community among individuals of low socioeconomic status who recently relocated to a new housing development. She received a master of science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from NYU Steinhardt. During this time, she collaborated with research colleagues from St. Mary’s College of California on a neurolinguistic project investigating the neurological impact of a specific type of language stimulus on both English monolinguals and Japanese bilinguals.
As the founder and owner of Garnet Speech-Language Services, Lauren currently provides speech-language services in New York. By using her clinical training in auditory-language development, tactile cueing, oral-placement, sensory-motor feeding approaches, and chair yoga, she provides holistic, multi-sensory, and family-centered speech-language therapy. In addition, she provides professional development and clinical supervision. Lauren is studying the efficacy of using visual arts to facilitate communication. She hopes that her research will empower youth and encourage practitioners to use a total communication approach. She is honored to have Dr. Christina Reuterskiöld and Dr. Ikuko Acosta as her program advisors.
Farha Najah Hussain (she/her), MScA, SLP, is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student. Dr. Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT-BCT, and Dr. María Rosa Brea, PhD, CCC-SLP, are her advisors. Prior to beginning full-time studies at NYU, Farha was a clinician in a public rehabilitation center in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), primarily working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) youth and young adults.
Farha’s research interests include critical reflexivity informed by social justice; communication, language, and disability justice; and innovative interdisciplinary approaches combining arts-based research as it relates to confronting intersectional power imbalances and working towards meaningful connection. Her critical lens is especially informed by critical race feminism, particularly as articulated by Black feminist scholarship (e.g., Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw).
Farha’s successful candidacy paper was a scoping review entitled, Confronting Pathology: In search of a Critical Landscape and Social Justice within the Field of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) (manuscript revisions under review). Conducted in collaboration with Dr. Lilly Padía, Dr. María Rosa Brea, and Dr. Nisha Sajnani, it was presented at NYU’s Steinhardt School’s Research and Scholarship Annual Showcase (Spring 2022), NYU Steinhardt’s Center of Health and Rehabilitation Research Showcase (Spring 2022), and the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) Annual Meeting (Summer 2023).
Farha received two Steinhardt PhD Research & Travel Grants: one that allowed her to conduct an independent pilot study at Gallaudet University, Washington D.C. in 2022 for her arts-based research with DHH young adults who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and one that supported her travel to the 2023 ISLS Annual Meeting.
Farha has been humbled by, and continues to learn from, the activism of DHH people, communities, and movements, including advocating for sign-spoken language interpreters when Deaf and hearing people come together. It is for this reason that Farha sought funding for American Sign Language-English interpreters for her study and was recently awarded a Diversity Innovation Grant from the Office of Diversity, Equity, Belonging at NYU Steinhardt for her dissertation study, Learning from Young Deaf/Hard of Hearing Black Adults, Indigenous Adults, and/or Adults of Color (YA DHH RBIPoC)’s Interactions with Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) through Arts-Based Research.
Farha teaches a course on Culturally Responsive Practice in the CSD department at NYU Steinhardt. She has held research appointments at Université de Montréal - École de travail social and at Université de Montréal - École d’orthophonie et d’audiologie, and is/has been a guest lecturer and clinical educator at McGill University’s School of Communication Sciences Disorders.
Farha speaks Urdu, English, and French, and has basic skills in American Sign Language (ASL).
Eva Luna Muñoz Vidal is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student. She received a BS in Human and Animal Biotechnology from Polytechnic University of Valencia (2020) and a M.S. in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience from Sorbonne University (2022). She has worked as a research and university assistant in several laboratories (Pasteur Institute, New York University, and University of Vienna) all of them focused on how music and cognitive processes interact in the brain. In parallel with her scientific studies, Eva Luna has always been interested by music and learned violin performance at the Professional Conservatory of Music of Valencia, where she received a Professional Music Diploma in 2018.
Her interdisciplinary line of research tries to merge both of her two big passions, brain and music. She is particularly interested in deciphering the influence and enhancing the efficiency of music-based interventions as a therapeutic and rehabilitation tool to promote recovery in neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Neha Mehta, MS, PT, is a PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences program. She completed her MS in Healthspan Promotion and Rehabilitation from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2023. During her master's, Neha worked as a research assistant at the Cognitive Motor Balance Rehabilitation laboratory, where she learned to use innovative rehabilitative interventions like slip perturbation therapy and interactive cognitive-motor training to assess and improve balance mechanisms in geriatric, neurological, and populations with cognitive decline. Neha extensively researched the effect of vestibular dysfunction on reactive balance control in older adults when exposed to unpredicted, real-life-like significant-magnitude forward perturbation on a motorized treadmill. She presented her research findings in a platform presentation at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting 2023. Before pursuing her MS at UIC, Neha worked as a clinician in India, specializing in post-operative rehabilitative and geriatric care.
With changing world population demographics and an increased incidence of balance dysfunction and cognitive decline in the geriatric population, Neha is interested in understanding the neurocognitive correlates of balance control. She hopes to develop innovative, cost-effective, and clinically translatable rehabilitation measures to improve balance, cognition, and overall quality of life for elderly individuals.
Anna is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student; she works with Dr. Pablo Ripollés in the Music and Auditory Research Laboratory (MARL), Dr. Gerald Voelbel in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Dr. Alan Turry at the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy. Her research focuses on optimizing enriched environments for stroke rehabilitation using music, with a focus on assessing the impact of interactivity and synchrony within music-based interventions on reward, motor function, autonomic response and neural activity. She recently published results from a randomized controlled trial that compared an intervention combining music therapy and occupational therapy in a group setting for stroke rehabilitation, called Music Upper Limb Therapy - Integrated (MULT-I), to a home exercise program without music or social enrichment. Results demonstrated that MULT-I decreases depression and increases brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as compared to the home exercise program among survivors of stroke. Her current research seeks to understand the mechanisms driving music-based interventions for stroke rehabilitation by examining how improvisation and live accompaniment during music making effect reward, motor response, autonomic arousal, and neural activity. She will present preliminary findings from this work at the annual conference of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition (SMPC).
Before beginning her doctoral studies, Anna received her master’s degree in music therapy from NYU. As a music therapist, she worked with adults with neurodegenerative disease, acquired brain injury and mental illness, as well as autistic people and other neurodiverse populations.
Lori B. Ragni, MS, OTR/L, BCP is a part-time doctoral student in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program. She began her education at Quinnipiac University and graduated from the OT Program in 2010. Lori is a full-time pediatric occupational therapist at NYU Rusk Rehabilitation and currently holds the title of Supervisor for the Pediatric Occupational Therapy Department. She is board certified in pediatrics by the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Lori’s research interests include the evaluation and treatment of children with upper limb impairments including brachial plexus birth injuries, hemiplegic cerebral palsy, and congenital limb conditions. She hopes to bridge the gap between clinical work and research through the collection of outcomes in daily practice for these populations. Through the mentorship and guidance of Grace Kim, Lori’s first candidacy paper was published in the Journal of Hand Therapy titled "Combined clinic and home-based therapeutic approach for the treatment of bilateral radial deficiency for a young child with Holt-Oram syndrome: A case report” Most recently, Lori and an interdisciplinary team of physicians, occupational therapists and engineering students at NYU and Rusk Rehabilitation completed a pilot study utilizing a 3D printer to print and fabricate a dynamic upper limb extremity orthosis used in therapy for children with cerebral palsy. The manuscript "The Design and Use of a 3-D Printed Dynamic Upper Extremity Orthosis (DUEO) for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Severe Upper Extremity Involvement: A Pilot Study” has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Lori is currently working on her dissertation proposal with mentor and chair Tsu-Hsin Howe and plans to explore the upper limb motor function of infants and children with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. In her free time, Lori enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, as well as traveling, and exercising.
Gaurav Seth is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student. Prior to joining NYU, he completed a bachelor's and master's degree in Biomedical Technology from IIT (BHU), India. Gaurav trained in the domain of electrophysiological data processing, rehabilitation robotics, and neuromechanics through his time at IIT and his internships at UCLA and Columbia University. He is primarily interested in the origin and control of complex, coordinated movements and their deviation from normalcy due to disease or injury. Being an engineer by education, Gaurav hopes to develop more effective rehabilitation interventions to assist in or restore normal motor functioning in the differently-abled population.
Annalissa Vicencio is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student. Prior to that, she completed her MA in Music Therapy at NYU Steinhardt. She completed her BA in Biology - Neuroscience from Manhattanville College. As a native Bronxite, she is honored to serve her home community as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) and Music Therapist – Board Certified (MT-BC) frontline worker at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM), and previously the Acute Inpatient Adult Psychiatric Unit at Montefiore’s Wakefield Campus. Annalissa holds advanced training certificates in Austin Vocal Psychotherapy, Neurologic Music Therapy, the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music – Level 1, and Music Together. Annalissa’s clinical work at CHAM during the COVID-19 pandemic was featured on News 12.
With speech-language pathologist Ann Clifford, Annalissa spearheaded and co-facilitates the Montefiore Melodies Community Choir for those with a history of stroke or neurologic illness, their caregivers, staff, and the community at large. Annalissa’s main doctoral research topic centers on the impact of group and/or choral singing in communication disorders, and more specifically, how community music therapy singing groups in collaboration with speech and language pathology can serve the needs of those with nonfluent Broca’s aphasia following stroke.
Annalissa holds health and recovery coaching certificates from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. As the founder and owner of Whole Health Power, she empowers her clients to acquire sustainable lifestyle-related changes for overall health. As such, Annalissa’s additional research interests include holistic and integrative wellness initiatives that address metabolic syndrome in those with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) while considering forces of systemic oppression, critical race theory, and access to healthcare in the allopathic US medical model.
Annalissa is also in advanced training to become a Certified Practitioner (CP) of Psychodrama, Sociometry, Group Psychotherapy and Action Methods as well as a Drama Therapy Alternative Training student. Annalissa eclectically integrates these creative arts modalities, especially when working with trauma, addiction, mental health issues, and eating disorders. Ultimately, Annalissa endeavors to integrate her training as a clinician-scientist to promote creative wellbeing from the individual level to society at large.