Leadership and Core Staff

Art Sedrakyan, MD, PhD

Art Sedrakyan leads these efforts and has extensive experience in medical device research and supervision. He is a trained CT surgeon and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a PhD in Health Policy and Management. He was a senior adviser at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and also had appointments as senior service officer/senior adviser at the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). He has served on the US Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC)since 2010. Dr. Sedrakyan is also the Vice-Chair of the IDEAL Collaboration, which is a major international initiative devoted to innovation and evaluation with a special interest/leadership area in devices.

Jialin Mao, MD, MS

Jialin Mao, MD, MS, is an Instructor in Healthcare Policy and Research in the Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research. She works on surgical and device outcomes research, with a primary focus on population level studies. Her areas of interest include device and surgical safety evaluation, women’s health, and understanding the impact of provider characteristics. She has expertise in advanced methods for surgical epidemiologic research. Prior to joining Cornell, Dr. Mao earned her MD degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in 2011 and completed an internship and part of her residency in General Surgery at Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai, China. She earned her Master of Science in Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health in 2013.

Tianyi Sun, MS

Tianyi Sun, M.S., is a Research Data Analyst in the Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research working with Dr. Art Sedrakyan. She carries out statistical analyses using large administrative databases to conduct outcomes research on surgical medical devices. She holds a Master of Science in biostatistics from the Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the Beijing Forestry University. Her research experience includes joint confidence bands for functional effect, a mapping of beliefs about the function and vector of nutrient among healthy French adults, and linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis in the natural population of Populous tomentosa.

Molly Nowels, MS, MA

Molly Nowels, M.S., M.A., is a Research Data Analyst working with Dr. Art Sedrakyan in the Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research. She did her MS Biostatistics studies at the Colorado School of Public Health, her MA in Developmental Psychology at the University of Connecticut, and BA in Psychology from California Lutheran University. Before joining Weill Cornell Medicine, Molly worked in the Department of Family Medicine and the Division of Geriatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Molly’s experience includes work with large administrative datasets and survey data. Her recent work includes longitudinal latent class analysis of primary care utilization and analysis of the effect of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act on mental health services use among a US sample.

Courtney Baird, MS

Courtney Baird, M.S., is a Research Data Analyst in the Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research working with Dr. Art Sedrakyan. She carries out statistical analysis using large administrative databases to conduct comparative effectiveness and outcomes research on surgical medical devices and procedures. She holds a Master of Science in Health Policy & Economics from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics from The Johns Hopkins University. Her research experience includes evaluating the comparative effectiveness of different Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO tracks in quality improvement and cost reduction.


Mario Gaudino, MD

Mario Gaudino, M.D., completed his undergraduate studies and earned his medical degree in Rome, Italy at the University of Rome, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1994. He subsequently completed his residency in 1999 at the same University and joined the faculty there in 2000 where he remained until 2014, when he joined the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. He completed an Advanced Cardiovascular/Aortic Aneurysm Surgery Fellowship in 2016 and was recruited to stay on staff as Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery. In 2017, he was elevated to the position of Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Gaudino is currently the Director of Translation and Clinical Research in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Gaudino has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles along with numerous book chapters. He is currently the lead investigator of an international, randomized, controlled trial which aims to determine the optimal strategy for coronary artery bypass surgery (the ROMA trial). He currently serves as the Chair of the Coronary Artery Surgery Task Force of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery.

Brendon Stiles, MD

Brendon Stiles, M.D., attended undergraduate and medical school at the University of Virginia. During that time, Dr. Stiles spent two years in New York City completing a Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship in basic science at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Following board certification in General Surgery, Dr. Stiles completed a Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, including six months of clinical training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. After training and board certification, Dr. Stiles has remained at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, where he is a member of the Meyer Cancer Center.  Dr. Stiles performs all aspects of General Thoracic surgery, but has a particular interest in lung and esophageal cancer.  He commits part of his time to basic science research in an effort to better understand and treat these malignancies and has received several research grants supporting this work.  Dr. Stiles is an outspoken advocate for lung cancer patients and for cancer research in general.  He is on the Medical Advisory Board of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

Jeffrey Milsom, MD, FACS

Jeffrey Milsom, M.D., FACS, is the Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the Jerome J. Decosse, MD Professor of Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Digestive Care. Dr. Milsom is an internationally renowned pioneer in minimally invasive surgery and state-of-the-art laparoscopic technologies for colorectal cancer, Crohn's disease and other inflammatory bowel disease. He has performed close to 2,000 laparoscopic colon and rectal operations, and has been invited to perform surgeries in over 15 countries. Under Dr. Milsom's leadership, 90 percent of all procedures in the Colon and Rectal Section at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center are now performed using high-tech, minimally invasive technologies. He has published four books, 24 book chapters and over 250 papers, presentations and educational videos. Dr. Milsom has been repeatedly recognized by Castle Connolly as one of "America's Top Doctors," by New York Magazine as one of New York's "Best Doctors," and as a "New York SuperDoctor", an honor accorded just 5% of all New York physicians.

Heather Yeo, MD, MHS

Heather Yeo, MD, MHS, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Assistant Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and Assistant Attending Surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Recently, Dr. Yeo was awarded two years of grant funding through the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP) from New York State. The goal of this research is to utilize predictive modeling to help understand which patients are at risk for complications in order to target these patients and intervene early in their hospital stay. Dr. Yeo is dedicated to finding ways to improve both the cost and quality of patient care and the overall treatment of patients suffering from long term illness, such as cancer. She has published extensively in many major journals, including the Annals of Surgery, Archives of Surgery, and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Rohan Ramakrishna, MD

Rohan Ramakrishna, M.D., received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Biology and Philosophy, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa society upon graduation. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ramakrishna completed his neurosurgery residency and served as chief resident at the University of Washington. He then went on to complete a fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Ramakrishna’s research interests include novel drug delivery strategies to treat malignant brain and skull base tumors using advanced polymer and nanoparticle technology. Additionally, Dr. Ramakrishna is interested in developing new vaccine-based therapies for glioma and in helping to develop new clinical trials and outcome measures to advance the care of brain tumors. He has published and spoken extensively on these topics and has received multiple awards, including prestigious training and research grants from the NIH and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Consortium.

Ali A. Baaj, MD

Ali A. Baaj, M.D., is a neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal surgery, with advanced training and expertise in spinal oncology and complex reconstructive surgery for spinal deformity. He is accomplished in both minimally invasive spinal surgery and open complex spine surgery. Before joining the faculty at Weill Cornell, Dr. Baaj served as the director of the Spinal Neurosurgery Program at the University of Arizona at Tucson, where he led the clinical program and founded the multidisciplinary spine conference and spinal research fellowship program. Dr. Baaj was the neurosurgery faculty recipient of the Humanism in Medicine award in both 2013 and 2014 while at the University of Arizona. His commitment to and excellence in training and education has earned him faculty positions in several national and international spine training workshops and conferences.

Bilal Chughtai, MD

Bilal Chughtai, M.D., is an Assistant Professor of Urology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He earned his Doctor of Medicine at State University of New York at Stony Brook after graduating Magna cum Laude from New York University with a major in Biological Sciences. Dr. Chughtai has served as primary & co-investigator in numerous studies. He has also published over 70 peer-reviewed articles, authored chapters and books, and has presented at numerous prestigious national meetings. Dr. Chughtai specializes in voiding dysfunction, female urology, and neurourology.

Jim Hu, MD, MPH

Jim Hu, M.D., M.P.H., is the Director of the LeFrak Center for Robotic Surgery and the Ronald P. Lynch Chair in Urologic Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College, with his undergraduate degree in Economics, his Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins University, and his Medical Degree from Baylor College of Medicine. His comparative effectiveness research interests have been funded by the Department of Defense, National Cancer Institute and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and his areas of clinical and research expertise include prostate and kidney cancer. He has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed papers.

James A. Kashanian, MD

James A. Kashanian, M.D., is an Assistant Professor of Urology and Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and a Urologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Campus. Dr. Kashanian has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He completed his general surgery and urology residency training at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Dr. Kashanian joined the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery, as well as Sexual Health & Medicine in the Department of Urology at Weill Cornell after completing fellowship training in Chicago, IL at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Feinberg School of Medicine in Male reproductive medicine and surgery. His clinical and research interests focus on erectile dysfunction and penile prosthetic surgery, men’s health, and fertility preservation in cancer patients.

Timothy McClure, MD

Timothy McClure, M.D., joined Brady Urology as a full time faculty member during the summer of 2016, providing his expertise to both the Departments of Urology & Radiology. Dr. McClure is an expert in imaging, image-guided therapy, and the minimally invasive treatment of urologic disease. Dr. McClure brings a unique training background to the department as he is not only a urologist, but also a board-certified radiologist who is fellowship trained in vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. McClure is a member of two distinguished centers at Weill Cornell Medicine: The LeFrak Center of Robotic Surgery, as well as the Center for Prostate Cancer Imaging, Diagnosis and Focused Therapy. His research and clinical interests are to further develop imaging and image guided therapy in both prostate and kidney cancers. He has authored papers and book chapters as well as given numerous lectures on these topics.

Adam Talenfeld, MD

Adam Talenfeld, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Assistant Attending Radiologist at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Talenfeld earned board certification by the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Radiology in 2008 and in Interventional Radiology (CAQ) in 2011. A native of Arizona with New York roots, Dr. Talenfeld graduated Alpha Omega Alpha from the University of Arizona College of Medicine on full scholarship before completing his residency in diagnostic radiology and fellowship in interventional radiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. Dr. Talenfeld's research is focused within the growing field of Comparative Effectiveness, also known as Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR). By establishing and studying patient registries and other "real-world" data sources, Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) seeks to directly compare different methods of diagnosis and treatment in order to empower patients, health care providers and policy makers facing individual and population-wide decisions every day. 

Andrew J. Meltzer, MD

Andrew J. Meltzer, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and an Assistant Professor of Surgery in Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Yale University in 1999. In 2003, he earned his Medical Degree, magna cum laude, from Jefferson Medical College. Widely published in peer-reviewed journals and the author of numerous book chapters, Dr. Meltzer's research efforts focus on surgical outcomes and comparative effectiveness in vascular surgery. He is a co-principal investigator on a study of the reliability of implantable devices used for endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and peripheral vascular disease.

Guy Cafri, PhD

Guy Cafri, Ph.D. is a research scientist biostatistician at Kaiser Permanente. Statistical research interests include analysis of clustered data, causal inference and machine learning. Applications of interest are in the area of implantable medical devices, with a focus on orthopedic devices. Dr. Cafri earned a BA in psychology from Macalester College, PhD in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida and an MS in statistics from San Diego State University.

Jessica Jalbert, PhD, MA

Jessica Jalbert, Ph.D., M.A. is a director of pharmacoepidemiology at LASER Analytica, an international company of approximately 150 employees, and an assistant professor (courtesy) at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Jalbert obtained her bachelor’s degree from McGill University in physiology and her master’s and doctoral degrees in epidemiology from Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Jalbert has led multiple projects in pharmacoepidemiology and medical device epidemiology that utilized large population-based data, including administrative claims data, registries, and electronic health care records. Her research spans the therapeutic areas of cardiology/vascular diseases, devices, infection and infectious diseases, neurology, psychology/psychiatry, and vaccines.


  • Dr. Art Sedrakyan
    Department of Healthcare Policy & Research
    402 East 67th Street New York, NY 10065
    (646) 962-8072
  • Courtney Baird
    Department of Healthcare Policy & Research
    402 East 67th Street
    New York, NY 10065
    (646) 962-8099

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