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Phase III+: The University is open for expanded research operations; only authorized personnel will be admitted on campus. More info here.

Current Clinical Scholars

Yelina Alvarez

Yelina Alvarez, MD, PhD

Mentors: Daniel Mucida, PhD
Lab: Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology

Research Interest: Dr. Yelina Alvarez’ research interest is understanding the interaction between enteric neurons and the mucosal immune system.

Current Research Project Title: Neuro-Immune Interactions in the Gut.

Bio: Dr. Alvarez received her MD and PhD from New York University School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at New York University School of Medicine. As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Alvarez is studying the neuro-immune interactions in the gut by employing animal models and human mucosal tissues.

Dana Bielpolski, MD, PhD

Dana Bielpolski, MD, PhD

Mentors: Rhonda Kost, MD & Jonathan Tobin, PhD
Lab: Clinical Research Office

Research Interest: Dr. Bielopolski’s research focuses on characterizing the mechanisms by which nutritional interventions impact blood pressure.

Current Research Project Title: Translational characterization of blood pressure changes following the Dash Diet– from nutrition through electrolytes to exosomes.

Bio: Dr. Dana Bielopolski received her MD and PhD from the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University in Israel. She completed her internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel.

Charlie Buffie

Charlie Buffie, MD, PHD

Mentor: Sean Brady, PhD
Lab: Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules

Research Interest: Dr. Buffie’s research focuses on metagenomic analyses of bioactive metabolites produced by native intestinal bacteria.

Current Research Protocol Title: Analysis of bacteria and their metabolites in human biological samples.

Bio: Dr. Buffie received his MD and PhD from Cornell University in the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medical Center in the Medical Research Track, where he is currently a fellow in the division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Nicole Cruz, MD

Nicole Cruz, MD

Mentor: Robert G. Roeder, PhD
Lab: Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research Interest: Dr. Cruz’s research focus is to elucidate the epigenetic basis of the oncogenic function of histone methyl transferase KMT2D in MLL-AF9 leukemia.

Bio: Dr. Cruz received her MD  from San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, Puerto Rico. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Hematology & Oncology Fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medicine.

Katherine Knorr

Katherine Knorr, MD, PhD

Mentor: Jeffrey Ravetch, MD, PhD
Lab: Leonard Wagner Laboratory of Molecular genetics and Immunology

Research Interest: Dr. Katherine Knorr’s research interests are studying mechanisms of myeloid disease biology and developing novel therapeutic approaches.

Current Research Protocol Title: Defining Expression of Novel Acute Myeloid Leukemia Marker U5 snRNP200

Bio: Dr. Knorr received her MD and PhD from Mayo Clinical College of Medicine and Science.  She completed her internal medicine residency at Weill Cornell Medical Center – New York Presbyterian Hospital.  She is a Hematology/Oncology Fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer.  As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Knorr will be defining patterns of aberrant spliceosome protein U5 snRNP200 expression on the survace of malignant myeloid cells.  Expression of this protein has been demonstrated to correlate with durable responses after allogeneic stem cell transplant in acute myeloid leukemia patients.  The proposed mechanism of response involves formation of antibodies against the U5 snRNP200 protein.  Dr. Knorr is also working to develop an antibody targeting U5 snRNP200.

Rachel Niec, MD, PhD

Rachel Niec, MD, PhD

Mentor: Elaine Fuchs, PhD
Lab: Robin Chemers Neustein Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development

Research Interest: Dr. Niec’s research focuses on understanding how immune homeostasis is achieved at barrier surfaces, including in the intestinal tract and skin; specifically how immune cells, epithelial cells, and other tissue resident cells interact throughout development and during inflammation to set appropriate thresholds for immune reactivity and maintain homeostasis in these tissues.

Current Research Project Title: Exploring regulators of the intestinal stem cell niche

Bio: Dr. Rachel Niec received her MD and PhD from the Cornell Medical College and Tri-Institutional MD PhD Program. She completed her internal medicine residency research track at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is in her gastroenterology fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Mira Patel

Mira Patel, MD

Mentor: Sohail Tavazoie, MD, PhD
Lab: Elizabeth and Vincent Meyer Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology

Research Interest:  Dr. Mira Patel’s research interest is the role of immunosurveillance in mechanisms of cancer progression and metastasis, particularly as it relates to germline genetic variants that may predispose to metastatic disease.

Current Research Project Title: The Impact of Apolipoprotein E (APOE) Genotype on Lung Cancer Progression

Bio: Dr. Patel received her MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her surgical internship at Washington University in St. Louis-Barnes Jewish Hospital. She is a resident in the Radiation Oncology Residency at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Patel will study the differential effects of human ApoE variants on anti-tumor and anti-pathogen immune responses.

Rashid Rumah

Kareem Rashid Rumah, MD, PhD

Mentor: Vincent Fischetti, PhD
Lab: Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology

Research Interest: Dr. Rashid Rumah’s research interests are molecules originating in the gut that can enter the bloodstream, and their possible effects on brain function.

Current Research Project Titles: Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin and Rotaviral gastroenteritis as novel candidate triggers for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Identifying the Initial Triggers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Bio: Dr. Rumah received his MD from Weill Cornell Medical College and his PhD from Rockefeller University. Dr. Rumah did his postdoctoral work in the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at Rockefeller University. As a Clinical Scholar, Dr. Rumah is focused on how”gut-brain axis” may play a pathogenic role in neurological diseases of unknown origin.  Multiple sclerosis (MS) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are two mysterious diseases that may benefit from a closer look at the gut-brain axis and its associated microbiome.

Yael Yuval-Renert, MD

Yael Renert-Yuval, MD

Mentor: James G. Krueger, MD, PhD
Lab: Laboratory of Investigative Dermatology

Research Interest: Dr. Renert-Yuval joined the laboratory for investigative dermatology to improve the understanding and, subsequently, the treatment options for patients with inflammatory skin diseases. Her research focuses on the immune dysregulation of common skin diseases, including hidradenitis suppurativa, alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Current Research Project Title: A Pilot Study of Safety and Biomarkers of Ustekinumab for Cicatricial Alopecia.

Bio: Dr. Yael Renert-Yuval received her MD and completed her dermatology residency from the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical School in Israel, and spent a year as a research fellow at the Laboratory for Inflammatory Skin Diseases at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Jeffrey Wong, MD, PhD

Jeffrey Wong, MD, PhD

Mentor: Jeffrey V. Ravetch, MD, PhD
Lab: Leonard Wagner Laboratory of Molecular genetics and Immunology

Research Interest: Dr. Wong’s research focuses on understanding antibody immunobiology and applying this knowledge to the development of more effective anti-cancer therapeutic antibodies.

Current Research Project Title: Analysis of the immune contexture in human bladder cancer.

Bio: Dr. Wong received his MD and PhD in Immunology from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is currently completing a fellowship in medical oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with a special focus on genitourinary malignancies.


The application process for the Clinical Scholars Program is open. We are currently accepting applications for July 2022. Application deadline is December 2, 2021. For an on-line application, go to  For additional information contact Dr. Barry S. Coller at

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Dr. Barry S. Coller
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P.O. Box 309
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