Meet Our Team
The Abilities Research Center (ARC) is home to a specialized team of clinicians and scientists, who work daily to provide our patients with the innovative therapies that will help them achieve maximum function and independence.
David Putrino, PhD, PT
David is a physical therapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He is currently the Director of Rehabilitation Innovation for the Mount Sinai Health System, and a Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He develops innovative rehabilitation solutions for adults and children who need better health care accessibility. He also works with high-performance partners such as Red Bull, the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, and the U.S. Olympic team to use evidence-based technologies to improve athletic performance. He is the author of Hacking Health: How to Make Money and Save Lives in the HealthTech world. In 2019, he was named "Global Australian of the Year" for his contributions to health care.
Mar Cortes, MD
Mar Cortes is a clinical scientist and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist with special interest in studying brain plasticity in relation with rehabilitation.
She believes in patient-centered care and in a deep understanding of neuroplasticity.
She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance, and Director of Neuromodulation at the Abilities Research Center (ARC); where clinicians and scientists partner with innovators and industry leaders using a multidisciplinary approach to help individuals achieve maximum performance and wellness. She is also a permanent lecturer at Harvard Medical School, where she teaches classes on brain stimulation and modulation of brain plasticity.
Previously, Dr. Cortes held a faculty position at Burke Neurological Institute (Cornell University), where she was the Director of the Human Spinal Cord Injury Laboratory. She completed a fellowship in Noninvasive Brain Btimulation at Harvard Medical School and has extensive experience in Clinical Neurorehabilitation in both Spain (Guttmann Institute, BCN) and the United States (Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Boston).
The primary goals of Dr. Cortes’s research are to understand neural plasticity and its clinical implications, and to develop novel individualized rehabilitation strategies to improve the quality of life for patients with neurological impairments. In her studies she uses a combination of brain stimulation and novel technology to promote recovery and quality of life in people with neurological disabilities. She also studies the effect of biophilia in mental health and brain function.
Jamie Wood, PT, PhD
Dr. Wood is a respiratory physiotherapist and health researcher, with a PhD in telehealth in cystic fibrosis. He has more than 15 years of clinical experience, predominantly in respiratory medicine. Prior to joining the Mount Sinai Health System, Dr. Wood led the physiotherapy service for cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia. He is one of only a small number of International Physiotherapy Group for Cystic Fibrosis-accredited airway clearance Instructors worldwide, and teaches airway clearance courses throughout Australia, New Zealand, and South America. Jamie’s current research focus is finding low-cost technology solutions, such as remote digital monitoring and 3D printing, to help improve the lives of people with chronic disease and disability. Dr Wood also leads the exercise testing (lactate and CPET) for the P360 high performance program at Mount Sinai and has an interest in exploring metabolic testing in diverse clinical populations.
Gabriela Rozanski, PhD, PT
Dr. Rozanski completed her master of science degree in physiotherapy at McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada) after earning a PhD from the University of Toronto for her work in characterizing a novel mechanism of neurotransmission. Following a post-doctoral fellowship with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute to study gait asymmetry from stroke, she began practicing as a physical therapist in New York. Dr. Rozanski has treated various patient populations in the community and hospital setting, with a particular interest in neurological conditions and a passion for optimizing functional performance.
Abbey Sawyer joined the Abilities Research Centr in 2022 as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Her current research focusses on early feasibility work of brain-computer interfaces to optimize communication in people with neurological conditions, in particular, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury, stroke and multiple sclerosis. Abbey passion for this field of research stems from watching her grandfather live with severe paralysis from multiple sclerosis during her early years. It is her hope that in the not too distant future, people with severe paralysis will be able to communicate and engage with their environment in the most meaningful way for them to optimize quality of life. Mostly recently, Abbey worked as a Post-Doctoral Trial Manager at the University of Melbourne leading research in respiratory care and sleep for people with ALS and other neurological conditions.
Abbey’s background is in exercise testing and training in people with chronic pulmonary conditions. Abbey holds a PhD (Exercise, Sports and Rehabilitation Science) from Curtin University in Perth, Australia and has extensive clinical experience as an acute care and outpatient-based physiotherapist (Bachelor of Physiotherapy, First Class Honors) in Australia.
Laura Tabacof, MD
Laura Tabacof, MD is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr Tabacof completed her residency in rehabilitation medicine at University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (US) and trained in non-invasive neuromodulation (TMS) at Harvard Medical School (US). Her mission is to treat people living with chronic pain using cutting-edge non-invasive technologies that target neuroplasticity. Dr. Tabacof spearheads pragmatic clinical trials and works with emerging health tech startups to validate novel therapies for chronic pain. In addition, Dr. Tabacof has multiple peerreviewed publications and has served as invited lecturer on rehabilitation to the World Health Organization, National Academy of Sciences and the Social Security Administration of the United States.
Jenna M. Tosto PT, DPT
Jenna Tosto is a physical therapist with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Temple University. She received her B.A in Communication Disorders and Biopsychology from William Paterson University of New Jersey. During her studies, she completed multiple clinical and research affiliations at NYU Langone Health, New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She previously served as a physical therapist at NYU Langone Rusk Rehabilitation where she gained experience in adult acute care and adult inpatient neurological rehabilitation. Her areas of clinical and research interest include knowledge translation into neurological rehabilitation practice and the role of novel technology in motor recovery following neurological injury.
Jimmy McKay, PT, DPT
Jimmy McKay is the Director of Science Communicator at the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at Mount Sinai and the Abilities Research Center (ARC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Jimmy believes that science isn’t finished until it’s understood. He also runs a popular physical therapy podcast, PT Pintcast. He helps organizations including the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, and the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research get their messages to their target audiences. Jimmy holds a BA in journalism and mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a doctorate in physical therapy from Marymount University.
Courtney McSweeney, MS. CCC-SLP
Courtney McSweeney is a Speech Language Pathologist who helps people with neurological disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and progressive diseases improve their speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing abilities.
She believes all people deserve the ability to communicate with one another.
In addition to her work at Mount Sinai, Courtney works in acute care with patients in their most delicate states.
Courtney is a certified Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) practitioner, helping people with Parkinson's Disease and other conditions find their voice and improve their communication.
Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Siena College, and a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The College of Saint Rose.
In order to be an expert in her field, Courtney is currently working towards becoming a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.
Michael Kypros, PT, DPT
Michael Kypros is a physical therapist who helps people with neurological disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and Parkinson’s disease. He has treated patients in hospital, outpatient,
and inpatient settings and is pursuing neurologic clinical specialist board certification. Michael holds a doctorate in physical therapy from Wayne State University. Michael believes that neuroplasticity means that the brain is always changing and is able to adapt, allowing people to learn new motor patterns and regain patterns they thought were lost. He is dedicated to the improvement of his patients’ quality of life and return to their prior function.
Mackenzie Doerstling, Program Manager
Mackenzie Doerstling is a Program Manager who works on many aspects of the research studies at the ARC. Mackenzie believes that research is an invaluable foundation for innovation and progress. In addition to her work at Mount Sinai, she holds a master’s of public health and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. She has worked in a variety of settings with special populations such as Division 1 athletes, cancer survivors, and those with pulmonary diseases.
Patrycja Graczyk, Administrative Manager
Patrycja Graczyk joined the Mount Sinai Health System in 2016, working in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health as a coordinator for the World Trade Center Health Program. Currently, she is an administrative manager at the ARC and the Charles Lazarus Children’s Abilities Center at Mount Sinai Hospital. Patrycja holds a BA in business administration from Brooklyn College concentrating in Human Resources management and leadership.
Aidan Rogers, Clinical Research Coordinator, MS
Aidan Rogers joined the Abilities Research Center in February of 2022 as a Clinical Research Coordinator. His interest in neuroscience stems from his grandparents' experiences with neural trauma. He currently runs the Clinical Concussion Program here at Mount Sinai and coordinates a number of studies pertaining to neurorehabilitation including, but not exclusive to, stroke recovery and symptom mitigation. Aidan hopes to continue working with devices that create seamless solutions for patients and physicians by combining knowledge of neuroscience and datascience algorithms. Aidan's background is in engineering. He currently holds a MS and BS in Biomedical Engineering (Duke University 2021, George Washington University 2019).
The Abilities Research Center works closely with many collaborators who are affiliated with the Mount Sinai Health System and with others who are outside of the Health System. We develop innovative solutions for our patients; we believe that interdisciplinary, inter-departmental, and inter-institutional collaboration is necessary for successful, timely innovation in neurorehabilitation.