News and Highlights

May 2012

Welcome New Staff

Nancy Allendorf, MBA, is the Financial Analyst for the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics. Ms. Allendorf holds a BA in Art History, with a minor in English, from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT, and an MBA from the Manchester Business School in Manchester, England. Before joining the Department, she was the Program Officer for the National Center for Civic Innovation and Center on Government Performance of the Fund for the City of New York. Previously, she held consulting positions for DePuy Orthopedics in Leeds, England, for Foster’s International in Melbourne, Australia, and for United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Manchester, England. She also has work experience as a Project Associate at Cicatelli Associates and as a Photo Researcher and Work Quality Analyst at Time Inc., both in New York City. She is currently Board Co-Chair of the Young Nonprofit Professional Networking Group of New York City.

Zhengming Chen, PhD, MPH, MS, is a Research Biostatistician in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Dr. Chen obtained his MPH degree in Biostatistics from University of South Florida. He also possesses a PhD degree in Molecular Biology, an MS in Microbiology and a BS in Cell Biology from Xiamen University, China. After working in the biomedical research field for more than ten years, he is now focusing on statistical analysis for research and clinical data. This will allow him to utilize both his rich research experience in biomedicine and rigorous training in statistics, to answer complex biological questions that cannot be solved through a single discipline.

Dr. Chen engages in a variety of projects with many investigators, both internally and externally, with emphasis on high-throughput genomic data analysis. One of his typical long-term collaborations is to work closely with computational scientists, pathologists and biologists to discover gene signatures for distinguishing indolent from aggressive prostate cancer prior to treatment, by analyzing high dimensional gene sequencing data from prostate cancer specimens. Specifically, the statistical analyses include, but are not limited to, identifying differentially expressed genes from next-generation sequencing (NGS) data, pathway analysis and survival analysis. His short-term projects are to provide statistical consulting, including experimental design, grant submission, power and sample size calculation, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript preparation, etc. He is also involved in developing new methodologies for certain genomic data analyses. In the course of his work, Dr. Chen extensively applies SAS and R programming. Other working tools include PASS, STATA, GraphPad, GSEA, DAVID and INGENUITY.

Reyna Kahan, LMSW, is a new Counselor at the Employee Assistance Program Consortium. Ms. Kahan was previously a Social Worker at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Payne Whitney Clinic and a Psychotherapist at Harmony Connections of New York, a couples and family therapy center. Before that she was a social work intern and then summer counselor at the EAPC and a summer intern at the Hunter College Employee Assistance Program. She also interned at the NYP psychiatric emergency room and at the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) in Brooklyn. She also currently teaches yoga and has taught drama in an after school program. For ten years she was a freelance actress and a member of Actors Equity. Ms. Kahan holds a BFA in Theater for the Boston University College of fine Arts and an MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work.

Brenda Senyana, MPH, is a new research coordinator in the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy. Ms. Senyana will be supporting research on HEAL 10 projects focused on evaluating the effects of health information technology (health IT) and health information exchange (HIE) initiatives in New York State specifically related to healthcare quality, healthcare costs, patient centered medical homes, and the patient experience.

Before joining Weill Cornell Medical College, Ms. Senyana served as a research coordinator at New York University, where she assisted with the development, coordination, and implementation of the Men’s Health Initiative (MHI); a project focused on using community approaches, such as working with barbershops and churches, to treat hypertension and colorectal cancer in African American men over the age of 50. Prior to that, she worked as a research assistant at Columbia University on the Black LIFE study (Linking Inequality, Feelings, and the Environment), a study exploring the effects of multiple levels of racism on the immune function, and overall health of urban African Americans, and to test a novel structural-level intervention to reduce the negative impact of racism. While there, she played a significant role in data instrument development, data collection, and data analysis.

Ms. Senyana received her BA in Psychology with a minor in African and African American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and went on to complete her MPH at the Mailman School of Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention specifically focusing on healthful behavior change theory.

Michael Silver, MS, Research Biostatistician in the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics, holds a Master of Science degree in Statistics from the City University of New York, Baruch College and a BA in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. Mr. Silver recently joined Weill Cornell Medical College in January of 2012 and is providing statistical support in various areas of public health research, including for the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics. Prior joining Weill Cornell, he was providing statistical analyses and program evaluation for Maternal and Child Health programs as part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MPDH). There he managed a large longitudinal data base, linking records from various statewide health programs, and provided analyses investigating perinatal, post-natal, and early childhood risk factors of various disease characteristics and developmental delays.


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