• Press Release

The Brain Injury Research Center at Mount Sinai Appoints New Director

  • New York, NY
  • (February 02, 2017)

Clinical neuropsychologist Kristen Dams-O’Connor, PhD, has been named Director of The Brain Injury Research Center (BIRC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS).  Dr. Dams-O’Connor, currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at ISMMS, will replace Wayne A. Gordon, PhD, the Jack Nash Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, who is stepping down from his position as Director of BIRC after nearly thirty years of remarkable leadership. Dr. Gordon will continue to be actively engaged in research, teaching and clinical care. He remains the principal investigator of the Injury Control Research Center of Mount Sinai and of the New York Traumatic Brain Injury Model System. Dr. Dams-O’Connor’s research focuses on improving the health, longevity, and quality of life for survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) by understanding factors associated with long-term health and functioning.  

“We are grateful for Dr. Wayne Gordon’s leadership of the BIRC over the last three decades,” said Joseph E. Herrera, DO, Chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine for the Mount Sinai Health System.  “The collective knowledge, expertise and experience that Kristen brings to the Rehabilitation Department will only strengthen the BIRC and reinforce Mount Sinai as a leader in this important field.

Dr. Dams-O’Connor’s research investigating long-term clinical and pathological outcomes associated with TBI is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  She serves as Co-Project Director of the New York TBI Model System and Director of Research in The Mount Sinai Injury Control Research Center, a program funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Since 2014, she has also served as Co-Director of the BIRC at Mount Sinai.

“This is a very exciting time for TBI research, as we are getting closer to answering some of the questions about long-term outcomes that matter most to people living with brain injury,” says Dr. Dams-O’Connor.  “I look forward to leading a collaborative team that will make major contributions to this important area of work.”

Dr. Dams-O’Connor has an extensive background in clinical neuropsychology. She completed post-graduate training in advanced statistical and psychometric methods, and has expertise in the design and implementation of TBI clinical trials, measurement, and outcome research.  She has built interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers across the United States and has led local and multi-center research projects.  Her research is currently supported by federal grants from the NIH, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and the CDC.   Dr. Dams-O’Connor has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and book chapters, and has presented her work nationally and internationally.

The Brain Injury Research Center at Mount Sinai is one of 16 Model Systems Centers across the United States funded by the National Institutes on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.  The BIRC is also a CDC-funded Injury Control Research Center, which conducts research in all three core phases of injury control: prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation.  Since 1987, the BIRC has conducted cutting-edge research aimed at improving the health and quality of life of individuals living with brain injury.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

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