Investigators at NYU Long Island School of Medicine engage in three distinct types of research: basic science, which includes all lab or bench research; clinical, human studies that can be observational or trials of new methods of treatment; and health services, studies that assess outcomes of practice and community interventions.
A major focus of our current research is the causes and consequences of diabetes and obesity. This includes studies of the pathogenic mechanisms responsible for the development of cardiovascular and central nervous system complications in diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and kidney failure. Our research program also encompasses studies of immunologic diseases, perinatal and neonatal disorders, cancer, and lipid disorders.
Using a wide range of biochemical methodologies including molecular biology, array technology, tissue culture, and histopathology, we are examining the regulation of signal transduction proteins in response to cell cytokines and studying their effects on vascular remodeling. In addition, by identifying any defects in the diseased states, we anticipate finding potential target sites for drug development and gene therapy. Our program is based on the integration of basic scientists with clinicians in fields including endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, pulmonary medicine, rheumatology, and others.
We maintain many active research programs, including in the following areas.
Our cancer specialists and researchers are involved in rigorous basic and clinical studies of a wide variety of cancers, including breast cancer, lung cancer, blood cancers, colorectal cancer, gynecologic cancers, and childhood cancers. We conduct clinical trials evaluating innovative new treatments or treatment combinations across cancer types, including breast, ovarian, thoracic, hematologic, gastrointestinal, gynecologic, genitourinary, and hematologic malignancies. Our studies also include evaluating new lifestyle and medical and surgical interventions for prevention of breast and gynecologic cancer, as well as predictors of long-term survival in breast and other cancers.
Additional areas of cancer investigations include applying translational research to innovative therapies for malignancies; multimodal approaches in the treatment of hepatobiliary, thoracic, and head and neck malignancies; and the effects of metabolites and protein acetylation on tumorigenesis, chemoresistance, and metastasis. We have several early stage clinical trials (phase I) underway and collaborate with investigators at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island on studies that advance discoveries to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer.
Our multidisciplinary cardiovascular research team develops, participates in, and leads numerous studies to evaluate the newest medications, advanced imaging, and mobile health (mHealth) technologies along with developments of advanced interventional devices. Investigators also conduct long-term observational studies that seek to follow patients’ cardiovascular function across the continuum. This involves developing risk management strategies for various cardiac diseases to address cardiovascular disease prevention (with a focus on population health), while acknowledging and tackling continued health disparities.
Cardiovascular research areas include identifying a series of markers that alone or in combination specifically predict risk of arrhythmic death as compared to other causes of mortality among an at-risk population of coronary heart disease patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF greater than 30 to 35 percent). We are also investigating multimodality imaging in women with myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries to determine an underlying cause of myocardial infarction; evaluating whether mHealth cardiac rehab improves functional capacity in adults older than age 65 with ischemic heart disease; and assessing the role of pharmacogenomics in optimizing outcomes for patients who undergo coronary intervention.
Additionally, we are studying the development of a risk tool for sudden death of nonobstructive cardiomyopathy patients with reduced cardiac function. We are also evaluating new devices to reduce complications in patients with atrial fibrillation, investigating the safety and effectiveness of a new left atrial appendage occluder device to prevent stroke in patients who are not candidates for oral anticoagulation therapies, and assessing new device therapies to help prevent acute decompensation in heart failure patients.
Investigators are also determining the effects of a known mineralocorticoid antagonist receptor in the prevention of atherosclerosis in patients with diabetes and evaluating the safety and efficacy of drug-eluting stent systems in the treatment of atherosclerotic lesions.
Our basic science research examines a variety of cellular mechanisms, including the effects of hyperlipidemia on vascular injury, the role of anti-inflammatory agents on cholesterol transport and metabolism, and the effects of circulating exosomes on cholesterol handling as a possible explanation for the development of plaque and overall coronary artery disease risk in patients who are affected by obesity.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a multidisciplinary group of clinical investigators at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island and NYU Long Island School of Medicine has formed a COVID-19 clinical research consortium. A critical facet of the consortium has been the creation of the COVID-19 Data Mart, an informatics effort based on EPIC data resulting in the availability of clinical datasets for research.
The COVID-19 Data Mart and the biostatistical support governance group is led by Megan D. Winner, MD, and Jasmin Divers, PhD. The group sponsors monthly COVID-19 Clinical Research Grand Rounds. Participating investigators include members of several departments at NYU Long Island School of Medicine, including medicine, surgery, pediatrics, pathology, emergency medicine, and the foundations of medicine. Participation has also included second-year medical students from NYU Long Island School of Medicine.
At the Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, one of the region’s top centers of its kind, we are exploring scientific approaches to understand molecular mechanisms, identify environmental factors, and uncover genetic defects in order to enhance the prevention of diabetes and obesity, improve management, advance treatment, and ultimately uncover a cure.
Investigators are actively conducting research to determine the incidence and prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in youths and young adults, the natural history of type 1 diabetes, the effects of fitness and education intervention in an ethnically diverse group of children and adolescents, and the outcomes of different treatment modalities on the quality of life for patients with type 1 diabetes.
Other areas of research include the impact of insulin on smooth muscle contraction, effects of prostaglandins in type 2 diabetes, long-term effects of type 1 diabetes on neurocognition, and endothelial dysfunction in type 2 diabetes, and the pathophysiology of kidney disease in individuals with obesity. Additionally, we are evaluating the regulation of adipose tissue proteins, such as lipocalin D2 synthase, microsomal triglyceride transfer protein, Nogo-B receptor, and circadian clock genes, in people who are affected by obesity with and without diabetes.
Our researchers also investigate the effects of diabetes on mesenchymal cell function in major vessels, type 1 and type 2 diabetes on brain structure, hypoglycemia and neurochemistry on brain function, different diets and other environmental factors on type 2 diabetes, and bariatric surgery and caloric restriction on the resolution of diabetes.
We are also investigating biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease in patients with insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Our endocrine and metabolic researchers are internationally recognized for their groundbreaking studies in osteoporosis and pediatric growth disorders, including a genetic condition known as Prader-Willi syndrome.
In the area of adult endocrinology, investigators are evaluating cholesterol lowering and cardiovascular risk in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus, funded by the American Heart Association; acetylsalicylic acid use in older adults, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); thyroid hormone metabolism in critical illness in patient glucose management; the efficacy of presurgical carbohydrate loading on outcomes of bariatric surgery; and the use of artificial intelligence technology to manage hospital patients with diabetes.
Our research areas in pediatric endocrinology include urinary androgens in females with precocious puberty, use of fingerstick growth hormone determination for growth hormone stimulation tests, and the impact of long-acting growth hormone preparations on treatment of growth disorders.
We are also part of a national quality improvement (QI) collaborative known as the T1D Exchange. The collaborative’s goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) through different national or local QI projects. Additionally, we are participating in a phase II, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for the treatment of pediatric type 1 diabetes.
Health Services Research
Health services research seeks to identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high-quality care. Grounded in theory, health services research uses a variety of study designs and analytical tools to understand and generate knowledge to inform and guide decision-makers and healthcare providers.
The Division of Health Services Research promotes multidisciplinary research throughout the institution by leading and collaborating with other investigators in developing and conducting studies. We also help evaluate the clinical programs at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island.
Our investigators are engaged in the following areas of health outcomes research: diabetes and diabetes complications; chronic and end-stage kidney disease; decision-making in organ transplant; transplant outcomes; COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C); bone and mineral metabolism; and cardiovascular disease.
Other areas of research include child abuse detection and prevention, clinical practice guidelines, critical care, endoscopic procedures, inflammation, neuroscience, perinatology, preoperative medicine, pulmonary disease, women’s health, and wound healing.
Our researchers are investigating the impact of inflammation on the body and brain, including the role of inflammation as a major factor in the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Our studies have provided insight into the mechanisms linking inflammation to increased risk for heart attack in individuals with autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Our clinicians and scientists are collaborating with Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island to evaluate the prognostic value of inflammatory cytokine profiles in plasma and urine after prostate cancer therapy with different modalities of treatment.
Our scientific investigations also explore obesity as a driver of inflammation with resulting increased risk of atherosclerosis, the role of inflammatory processes in neurologic dysfunction and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease, and the interaction between fibrotic and inflammatory pathways in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
We are also exploring the effects of pain-relieving medications that work through cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition on the risk of cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke.
Our scientists conduct research that places us at the cutting edge of new advances in nephrology. Our work covers a wide range of areas, including kidney physiology, kidney cell biology, refractory hypertension, end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), electrolyte disorders, hyponatremia, and renal artery stenosis. One major focus is on the effects of genetics in diverse populations on outcomes of kidney disease and transplantation.
Specific nephrology research areas include treatment and prevention of kidney disease, anemia in chronic kidney disease, disorders of sodium and water balance, and improvements in dialysis treatment.
We are also evaluating new methods of iron treatment in kidney disease, the effects of diabetes treatment and metabolism on risk for kidney damage, and genetic and racial disparities in outcomes of kidney transplants.
Our investigators are conducting clinical trials to shed light on a wide range of neurological disorders. Our neuroscience clinical research areas include cerebrovascular diseases such as strokes, subarachnoid bleeds, and intracerebral hemorrhage; the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions in the critical care setting in neuro intensive care units (neuro-ICUs); and the effects of the latest immunomodulatory therapies in multiple sclerosis. Investigations into the effects of type 1 diabetes on the development of cognitive disorders and brain aging are being carried out through collaborations with researchers at other centers in the United States and Canada.
Investigators are also studying the efficacy of new pharmacological compounds in treatments of intractable seizures, the effects of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, and the effects and outcomes of various therapeutic modalities for patients with traumatic brain injuries.
Basic scientists and clinicians at NYU Long Island School of Medicine are collaborating to investigate the mechanisms responsible for the development of cardiovascular complications in a wide range of conditions, including obesity. To examine the regulation of certain functional and signaling proteins in obesity, our investigators are using a variety of models and methodologies, including molecular biology, biochemical analyses, histopathology, array technology, multi-omics approaches, tissue culture, and genetically modified rodents in their research. We are collaborating with other New York City–area academic medical centers to design and implement school-based lifestyle improvement programs for children and teens.
Current obesity studies include the links between obesity and diabetes, intrauterine growth restriction and the propensity toward obesity, alterations in cytokine and gene expression in obesity, obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and animal models of obesity and bone loss.
We are also studying the effects of fitness and education in ethnically diverse groups of children and adolescents in New York, the pathophysiology of kidney disease in people who are affected by obesity, and the regulation of adipose tissue in individuals with obesity with and without diabetes.
Additional studies include rodent models to evaluate effects of dietary restrictions on bone and mineral metabolism, the effects of vitamin D supplementation requirements in people with obesity, the impacts of high-fat diets on obesity, and the effects of bariatric surgery and caloric restrictions on weight loss. We are also identifying risk factors to gain an understanding of how they contribute to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Pediatrics and Neonatology Research
We lead several clinical trials focused on neonatal dysphagia and evaluating the role of breast milk in preventing neonatal morbidities. Our NIH-funded studies assess the efficacy and safety of cold milk feeding as a novel therapy for dysphagia management in preterm infants. Our current dysphagia research team was the first to demonstrate that noninvasive positive pressure ventilation will significantly increase the risk of aspiration in preterm infants during oral feeding.
The goal of our breast milk research is to identify novel components present in breast milk that are protective against various childhood diseases. Our research aims to identify the differential quantities and biological function of these novel components in preterm breast milk compared to term breast milk and formulas.
Investigators are also developing a deeper understanding of the events that control normal and abnormal fetal and early neonatal development. Areas of research interest for our NIH-funded translational research include understanding the role of COVID-19 in the development of pregnancy complications, discovering the role of placental exosomes and microRNAs in mediating placental immune tolerance to infection, identifying novel biomarkers to predict preterm labor, and uncovering novel therapies for preterm labor.
Our research also seeks to understand the role of breast milk exosomes in inducing anti-inflammatory neonatal milieu, elucidate environmental toxin–linked mechanisms of preterm labor, identify biomarkers obtained from the saliva of preterm infants that can predict neonatal diseases, and analyze the role of stem cells present in the amniotic fluid in the developing healthy lungs.
Perinatology and Maternal–Fetal Medicine Research
Our research includes studies of fetal origins of adult disease and the pathogenesis and etiology of various adverse pregnancy outcomes, including fetal growth restriction, pregnancy loss, prematurity, and stillbirth.
We are investigating the effects of maternal exposure to environmental toxins on the fetus, the role of progesterone and prostaglandins in regulating the production of placenta cytokines, and the role of COX-2 inhibitors in preventing preterm labor. Investigators are also exploring intracervical immunity and its contribution to perinatal disease processes; the effects of oxidant injury in premature neonates on bronchopulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity, and necrotizing enterocolitis; the use of near-infrared spectroscopy to measure blood flow changes in the neonatal brain; and prevention of kernicterus in the newborn.
Additional areas of research include COVID-19 in pregnancy, adenomyosis and its impact on adverse pregnancy outcomes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, diabetes management in pregnancy, home remote patient monitoring for hypertension and diabetes during pregnancy and postpartum, sonographic evaluation of the cervix for preterm birth prediction, and biomarkers for preeclampsia and preterm birth.
We are also studying mechanisms in controlling maternal immunity in the uterus to ensure fetal survival and labor mechanisms that lead to premature births. Other areas of research include the use of ultrasound in labor and delivery, the use of intrapartum ultrasound to manage dystocia, artificial intelligence in obstetrical ultrasound, innovations in obstetrics and gynecology residency education, development of a respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, perinatal patient safety and quality, and telehealth in obstetrics.
Our laboratory scientists and pulmonary, pediatric, and cardiovascular specialists are pursuing a better understanding of heart and lung diseases through studies of cell development and function, as well as tissue injury and recovery, and the role of heredity in the overall process. The goal is to prevent lung and heart damage in children and adults in order to improve survival and outcome. Research by our physician–investigators has led to understanding of how a popular antioxidant, superoxide dismutase, significantly affects treatment and outcome for premature babies with fragile, undeveloped lungs. Additionally, clinical investigations into the next generation of therapies for asthma, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and lung cancer are ongoing, with a focus on bringing the most current treatments to patients.
Our pulmonary research also examines the treatment and mechanisms of bronchiectasis, asthma, and COPD; respiratory infections, specifically community-acquired pneumonia, nosocomial pneumonia, and healthcare-associated pneumonia; and the role of adjunctive aerosolized antibiotics for patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia.
We are also studying the use of serum biomarkers to define the proper duration of antibiotic therapy for patients with lung infiltrates, resource utilization in the intensive care unit for patients with severe end-stage disease, oxidant injury in premature neonates, and the mechanisms involved in development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology Research
Physician–investigators in the Division of Rheumatology and Allergy are engaged in multiple areas of research designed to address the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory, allergic, and autoimmune disease. Studies performed in our rheumatology section include the impact of autoimmunity, especially systemic lupus erythematosus on women’s health and reproductive health; clinical and therapeutic aspects of Sjogren’s syndrome; diagnostic and outcome measures in vasculitis; and clinical trials in inflammatory arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis.
In our allergy section, investigators are conducting clinical trials in atopic dermatitis and asthma, studying metal hypersensitivity, and researching the impact of penicillin allergy in treatment of sepsis.
Women’s Health Research
Our research scientists are focused on the need to better understand sex differences and translate that knowledge into improved medical practices and therapies. We utilize a tumor tissue biobank to study gynecologic cancer at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island.
Other ongoing areas of gynecologic cancer research include understanding the effects of intravenous chemotherapy on HbA1c and diabetes in all solid tumors, cancer prevention in BRCA1-positive patients: comparing prophylactic bilateral salpingectomy versus salpingo-oophorectomy (SOROCk trial); and maintenance phase III clinical trials aimed at decreasing the risk of tumor recurrence in advanced stage or recurrent endometrial cancers (study ID s20-01713). We are also conducting immunotherapy trials in gynecologic cancers.
Please see Cancer Research above for more information about our breast cancer studies.