2017 Speaker Bios

Kenneth L. Davis, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System

Kenneth L. Davis, MD, is President and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, one of the nation’s largest integrated health systems, which includes the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and seven hospitals. He is a leader in the move away from fee-for-service medicine to population health with the aim of keeping more patients healthy and out of the hospital. As a neurobiologist, Dr. Davis conducted pioneering research that led the FDA to approve four of the first five drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2002, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. The author or co-author of more than 575 scientific articles, Dr. Davis has been recognized as one of the most highly cited researchers in the field of brain diseases. He has won numerous awards including the George H. W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award from Yale University. In 2014 he was named a trustee of the Aspen Institute.

Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc
Dean for Global Health
Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Landrigan isa member of the National Academy of Medicine and an internationally recognized leader in public health and preventive medicine. He was centrally involved in the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1976 decision to remove lead from gasoline, which produced a 90 percent reduction in lead poisoning and a 5-point increase in population mean IQ. He has chaired National Academy of Sciences committees on Neurotoxicology and Risk Assessment, and on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. During the Clinton Administration, he served as Senior Scientific Advisor to the EPA Administrator. For more than a decade he oversaw the World Trade Center Medical Program at Mount Sinai, caring for more than 22,000 9/11 responders. Dr. Landrigan currently chairs The Lancet-Mount Sinai Global Commission on Pollution and Health.

Sam Gandy, MD, PhD
Mount Sinai Professor in Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Director of the Center for Cognitive Health
Director of the NFL Neurological Care Center at Mount Sinai
Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Gandy is a neuroscientist and international expert in the metabolism of amyloid, a protein that clogs the brain in patients with Alzheimer's disease. With his team, he discovered the first drugs that could lower formation of amyloid in patients with Alzheimer’s. A longstanding interest in brain trauma and neuroimaging led him to confirm the first neuroimaging diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a living retired professional football player.

Dr. Gandy has received continuous National Institutes of Health funding for his research on amyloid metabolism since 1986, and has written more than 250 original papers, chapters, and reviews on this topic. He has served as Vice Chair, then Chair, of the National Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the Alzheimer’s Association and is a member of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium.

Robert O. Wright, MD, MPH
Ethel H. Wise Professor of Community Medicine
Chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health
Director of the Institute for Exposomic Research
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Wright is a pediatrician and environmental epidemiologist. His research focuses on environmental factors that influence neurodevelopment, specifically the effects of chemicals and pollutants that may explain links between brain development and obesity. He is the principal investigator of an ongoing longitudinal birth cohort in Mexico City called PROGRESS (Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stress). Additionally, he founded the MATCH study (Metals Assessment Targeting Community Health) in Tar Creek, Oklahoma. Both assess the role of environmental chemical mixtures in child health as well as the role of social environment as a modifier of chemical toxicity. He has published more than 200 research studies and has been awarded more than $40 million by the National Institutes of Health to investigate the effects of a broad range of exposures, including air pollution, on children's long-term health from near the time of conception to adolescence.

Yasmin Hurd, PhD
Ward-Coleman Chair in Translational Research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Director of the Addictive Institute at Mount Sinai

Dr. Hurd is a professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Pharmacological Sciences. Her multidisciplinary research investigates the neurobiology underlying addiction disorders and related psychiatric illnesses. Dr. Hurd’s lab at Mount Sinai studies addiction through myriad lenses: the human brain, animal behavior, molecular biology, pharmacology, psychology, neuroimaging, bioinformatics, and biotechnology. A major focus of the research is on risk factors of addiction disorders, including genetics, as well as developmental exposure to drugs of abuse. Dr. Hurd’s research on the neurobiology of addiction, especially with regard to the opioid epidemic and developmental changes caused by cannabis, has been in the spotlight due to the recent push to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. Her work has been cited more than 5,000 times.

Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD
Director of The Arnhold Institute for Global Health
Chair of the Department of Health System Design and Global Health
Mount Sinai Health System

Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD, is Chair of the Department of Health System Design and Global Health and Director of The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Mount Sinai Health System. His work combines systems engineering and social mobilization principles, with an emphasis on how the U.S. health care system can learn from other industries and from low-resource settings to improve health and health care. He co-founded the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign, an initiative of the African Union and the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network. This inspired the launch of City Health Works, a Harlem-based social enterprise that develops scalable health coaching services for high-need patients, of which he is the founding technical advisor. In 2016, his Arnhold Institute team, in partnership with the U.N. Secretary General Special Envoy’s Office, Digital Globe, USAID, and the software company Dimagi, launched ATLAS, an open framework to drive collaboration between data scientists, health system experts, and frontline health workers to address health inequities. He is the author of “Dying and Living in the Neighborhood: A Street-Level View of America’s Healthcare Promise” (Johns Hopkins University Press 2016).

Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD
Director of Mount Sinai Heart
The Richard Gorlin, MD Heart Research Foundation Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Physician-in-Chief, The Mount Sinai Hospital

Valentin Fuster is a world-renowned cardiologist and a long-time leader in cardiovascular medicine, translational research, and education. He specializes in preventing and treating heart disease, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, and thrombosis, and has published more than 1,000 research studies on these topics. He is a past President of the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation, and a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, where he chaired the committee for the document on "Promotion of Cardiovascular Health Worldwide.” He is co-chair of the Advisory Committee to the U.S. President on “The Role of the United States on Global Health”; a Member of the European Horizon 2020 Scientific Panel of Health; a former council member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and President of the Training Program of the American College of Cardiology.  Dr. Fuster has been named Doctor Honoris Causa by 36 universities. 

David M. Rapoport, MD
Director of Research in Integrative Sleep Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Rapoport has a longstanding interest in the physiology of sleep-disordered breathing. He was one of the early users and developers of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as a treatment for sleep apnea, and holds multiple U.S. and European patents for improvements on nasal CPAP. Dr. Rapoport is the founder and President of the Foundation for Research in Sleep Disorders. This non-profit organization supports sleep research through grants and fellowship stipends, has contributed to the education of future sleep scientists, and has funded research leading to development of new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in sleep medicine. Dr. Rapoport is also a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the American Sleep Apnea Association and was President and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association of the City of New York.