Meet Our Team

The Mount Sinai Center for Headache and Pain Medicine offers the expertise of the following faculty:


Mark W. Green, MD
Mark W. Green, MD, is the Director of the Center for Headache and Pain Medicine and Professor of Neurology, Anesthesiology, and Rehabilitation Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine. Prior to Mount Sinai, he was Director of Headache Medicine at Columbia University and Clinical Professor of Neurology (in neurology, anesthesiology and dentistry) at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and College of Dental Medicine. He is certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in headache medicine through the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties.

Dr. Green graduated from Case Western Reserve University and received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He received his neurology training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and during that time worked in the Montefiore Headache Unit at Albert Einstein. He was later appointed director of that unit.

Dr. Green came to Columbia University in 1981 and then moved to New York Medical College. He later returned to Columbia University to organize a section on headache and facial pain in the Department of Neurology.

Dr. Green is one of the founding editors of Cephalalgia, the international headache journal. He also served as Associate Editor of Headache, the journal of the American Headache Society. He has a longstanding interest in neuropharmacology and is a panel member of the Advisory Board of the Food and Drug Administration’s section on Peripheral and Central Neurological Drugs.

Dr. Green has been active in the practice of headache and facial pain since 1978. He has lectured throughout the world on the subject and has written numerous articles on headache and facial pain.

Neurologists / Pain Management

Rachel Colman, MD
Rachel Colman, MD, is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. After receiving her medical degree from Ben Gurion University of the Negev Medical School for International Health in Israel, she completed an internship in Internal Medicine and a residency in Neurology at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. She then completed a year-long fellowship in Headache Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Colman is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. She is trained in botulinum toxin injection for headache, nerve blocks, and trigger point injections and has a special interest in hormone-related migraines and headache in pregnancy and lactation.

Sarah Rahal, MD
Sarah Rahal, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is a board-certified pediatric neurologist, also specializing in headache medicine. She obtained her medical doctorate from New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY, and then went on to a pediatrics residency at Westchester Medical Center. She completed her child neurology residency at Columbia University Medical Center-NYP, and following this, a Headache Medicine Fellowship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Rahal is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society.

David M. Simpson, MD
David M. Simpson, MD, is a Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York. He is also the Director of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratories and Director of the Neuro-AIDS Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Simpson received his medical degree from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo School of Medicine. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a residency in Neurology at Cornell University Medical Center in New York. He completed a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

An author of over 325 publications, Dr. Simpson is the principal investigator for many studies including the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with painful neuropathy and treatment of spasticity with botulinum toxin. Dr. Simpson recently led research studies demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of the high-concentration capsaicin patch in the treatment of certain types of painful peripheral neuropathy.

Dr. Simpson is a member of the American Neurological Association and the American Pain Society. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the Royal College of Physicians. He is on the editorial board of AIDS Patient Care and Current HIV/AIDS Reports.

Charles B. Stacy, MD
Charles B. Stacy, MD, is the Director of General Neurology and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine. He has joined the Faculty Practice Associates following 25 years of consultative work on the voluntary faculty.

Dr. Stacy graduated from Harvard University with honors in Physics and received his medical degree from Cornell University School of Medicine. He pursued his residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai where he subsequently undertook his training in Neurology. Following his fellowship in Pain and Neuro-Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he returned to Mount Sinai where he started the institution’s first Pain Clinic and co-founded its first Sleep Disorder Center.

Dr. Stacy has been involved in the diagnosis and management of pain disorders throughout his career and has written on the subjects of neuropathic pain, temporo-mandibular and other facial pain, and pain related to GI disorders, as well as books and articles for the general public.

Valeriya Levitan, MD (Fellow)
Valeriya Levitan, MD is a Headache Fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Levitan received her undergraduate degree from CUNY- Brooklyn College and her medical degree from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. She then completed an internship in internal dedicine at Beth Israel Medical Center and a Residency in Neurology at New York University School of Medicine. She is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Anesthesiologists/Pain Management

Houman Danesh, MD
Houman Danesh, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine. Dr. Danesh provides pain management and acupuncture support to the Headache and Pain team. Dr. Danesh is certified in Medical Acupuncture and has given grand rounds on the benefits of yoga for low back pain and is actively involved in research of yoga, acupuncture, and pain management. Dr. Danesh has a particular interest in combining the benefits of interventional pain management (including transforaminal epidural injections, facet blocks, spinal cord stimulator trials, kyphoplasty, and ablations) with acupuncture, guasha, yoga, cupping, and physical therapy.

Lawrence Jay Epstein, MD
Lawrence Jay Epstein, MD, is the Associate Director of the Division of Pain Management and the Director of Outpatient Pain Management in the Department of Anesthesiology. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Arts & Sciences/Biology. He earned his Medical Degree from the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. He was Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology in 1986, and earned his American Board of Anesthesiology "Added Qualifications in Pain Management" in 1993 (the first year it was offered). He has been admitted to the World Institute of Pain as a "Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice" (F.I.P.P.) and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians (A.B.I.P.P.).

Dr. Epstein is actively involved in the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (A.S.I.P.P.) as well as the American Society of Anesthesiologists (A.S.A.), where he serves as a Delegate from New York. He is the current Secretary of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (N.Y.S.S.A.).

Dr. Epstein has particular interest in the interventional treatment of pain of spinal origin and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (C.R.P.S.). He has extensive experience in the treatment of Spinal Compression Fractures (Kyphoplasty), Spinal Cord Stimulation and fluoroscopically guided Epidural Injection and Catheterization, Transforaminal Epidurals and Facet Blocks.

Yury Khelemsky, MD
Yury Khelemsky, MD, received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Following an internship in Internal Medicine at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, Dr. Khelemsky completed his training in Anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. After residency he pursued a fellowship in interventional pain medicine at NY Presbyterian Hospital Center/Weill Cornell Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Hospital for Special Surgery.

Dr. Khelemsky works as an anesthesiologist, teaches medical students, residents, and fellows, takes care of hospitalized patients with postoperative pain and other complex pain syndromes, and practices interventional (procedural) pain medicine (outpatient) in the Mount Sinai Faculty Pain Management Practice.

Interventional pain procedures are performed either in the office (which houses a state of the art fluoroscopy suite) or in the main hospital operating rooms. These procedures may be used to diagnose the source of the pain, as well as provide pain relief.

In addition to procedures, other approaches such as targeted physical therapy, selective referrals to other specialists (neurologists, physiatrists, psychiatrists, spine and neuro-surgeons, etc.), and non-narcotic pain medications (systemic and topical), are used to manage pain as a part of a multi-modal strategy.

Stelian Serban, MD
Stelian Serban, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesia and Director of the Acute and Chronic Inpatient Pain Service. Dr. Serban completed his pain medicine training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is interested in cancer pain management as well as the treatment of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar discogenic and non-discogenic nerve root pain disorders. Dr. Serban uses various blocks and ablative procedures to accomplish this, as well as implanting intrathecal pumps and dorsal column stimulators. He performs various cervical blocks in the treatment of some headache syndromes.


Joshua Bederson, MD
Joshua Bederson, MD, became the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery on July 1, 2008. His specialty interests include surgical and endovascular treatments of complex intracranial and spinal pathology such as meningiomas, schwannomas, craniopharyngiomas, pituitary tumors, giant intracranial aneurysms, acoustic neuromas, neurovascular compression syndromes such as trigeminal neuralgia, Chiari malformations, minimally invasive brain surgery, and the treatment of cervical and lumbar spine disease.

Dr. Bederson’s vascular practice includes the treatment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, carotid artery disease, moyamoya disease, and extracranial-intracranial bypass procedures. Dr Bederson has performed more than 2,500 neurosurgical operations at Mount Sinai.

Brian Kopell, MD
A graduate of the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Kopell completed his residency at NYU Medical Center. Dr. Kopell has undergone fellowship training in Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the University of Zurich. For the past eight years, he founded and has led the Restorative Neuroscience Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI) where his team performed over 400 DBS cases for movement disorders. Furthermore, Dr. Kopell has participated and has been principal investigator in several clinical trials of emerging Neuromodulation technologies targeting such disorders as Parkinson's disease, tremor, tinnitus, and Major Depression. Dr. Kopell has pioneered the use of intraoperative imaging during DBS cases to supplement the microelectrode recording typically done to make a procedure that is safer and quicker for patients.

Nirit Weiss, MD
Nirit Weiss, MD, joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai in 2005 and is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery. She came to Mount Sinai from the Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine where she completed her residency in neurosurgery. There she trained extensively in a variety of pain management procedures.

Dr. Weiss has a longstanding interest in pain management including the management of neuropathic pain, cancer pain, facial pain, and spinal pain, and is widely published on the subject. She is experienced in the implantation of spinal cord stimulators, occipital nerve stimulators, motor cortex stimulation, various trigeminal nerve procedures, spinal stabilization, and spinal tumor resection.


Martin Goldstein, MD
Martin Goldstein, MD, is board-certified in both neurology and psychiatry. A graduate of Cornell University, he earned his MD degree from The State University of New York, Stony Brook. He interned in internal medicine at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and completed dual residency training in both neurology and psychiatry.

Dr. Goldstein was the Ronald Coles Fellow in Cognitive Neurology and Neuropsychiatry at Harvard Medical School and completed fellowship training in functional brain imaging at Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Goldstein's medical specialty is cognitive neurology and he is the Medical Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health. Dr. Goldstein serves as Director of Medical Student Education in Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine. His research involves using fMRI to probe neural mechanisms of cognitive dyscontrol. He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters and is a diplomate of the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Silvana Riggio, MD
Silvana Riggio, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology. She received her medical degree from the University of Torino, Italy. She completed a neurology residency at Georgetown University and a psychiatry residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital (Cornell). She is fellowship-trained in EEG and neurophysiology at Johns Hopkins and in epilepsy at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Riggio was the Director of the Epilepsy Program at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville before relocating to New York City in 1995.

Dr. Riggio's areas of expertise are neuropsychiatry and behavioral management, in particular the understanding of the interface between neurologic, behavioral, and physical health. She has significant experience managing patients with pain, anxiety, and stress disorders. She has also worked in sports psychiatry and neurology with a focus on the neurobehavioral sequelae of traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Riggio has authored more than 50 articles and book chapters and has edited eight books and journal supplements. She is recognized for her teaching excellence having received many awards including the MSSM Institute of Medical Education Teaching Achievement Award. She was honored with the title of Commendatore OSSI by the Italian government in 2009. Dr. Riggio has lectured nationally and internationally.

At Mount Sinai Dr. Riggio assists in the diagnosis and management of psychiatric disorders, which often accompany painful conditions. She is currently the Medical Director of the NFL Neurological Care Program at Mount Sinai and is a member of the sports neurology section of the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Riggio is the Director of the Consultation Liaison Service in the Department of Psychiatry at the James J. Peters VA where she is responsible for teaching medical students, residents, and fellows. She has been active in the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Neurology.

Over her career, Dr. Riggio has been an investigator in multiple clinical trials and has published on her work. She is currently working with the CDC and the Department of Defense on issues related to the diagnosis and management of traumatic brain injury. She is trilingual in English, Italian, and French and maintains an internationally recognized clinical practice.


Satish Govindaraj, MD
Satish Govindaraj, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Director of Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery at Mount Sinai. He received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, completed his internship and residency at Mount Sinai, and completed a fellowship in endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to endoscopic sinus surgery, Dr. Govindaraj's clinical interests include endoscopic skull base surgery, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, paranasal sinus and skull base tumors, balloon sinuplasty, and otolaryngic allergy. His current research is focused on the impact of intranasal steroid use on insulin resistance and the endoscopic management of frontal sinus tumors.

Dr. Govindaraj has published articles in pre-eminent U.S. journals in his specialty and is the author of several book chapters on sinus and skull base surgery. He is a member and has presented at meetings of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Rhinologic Society, the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, and the North American Skull Base Society.

Orofacial Pain Management / Dental Sleep Medicine

Martin Bassiur, DDS
Martin Bassiur, DDS, is the Director of the Orofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Medicine section at the Icahn School of Medicine where he also serves as a clinical instructor of dentistry. Dr. Bassiur is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who limits his practice to the non-surgical treatment of orofacial pain, headache, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and dental sleep medicine.

Dr. Bassiur earned both his undergraduate and dental surgery degrees from New York University. He received his oral and maxillofacial surgery training at Roosevelt Hospital Medical Center and Columbia’s College of Physicians & Surgeons - College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Bassiur has substantial clinical expertise and training in the treatment of myofascial pain involving the head and neck, obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and headache. He is also certified in the art of acupuncture.

Dr. Bassiur is a fellow of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain and a member of both the American Pain Society and the Academy of Sleep Medicine. He serves as dental consultant for university-based sleep laboratories and lectures on dental sleep medicine, TMJ disorders, and myofascial pain.

Contact Us

Tel: 212-241-7076
Fax: 646-537-8513

Center for Headache and Pain Medicine
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Faculty Practice Associates
5 East 98th Street, 7th Floor
Box 1139
New York, NY 10029

For billing questions, please call 212-987-3100