Advisory Committee

See also: External Advisory Committee

Internal Advisory Committee (IAC)

The Internal Advisory Committee will assist the Center director with decisions regarding budgetary, personnel, and space issues. It will also help the Center director to monitor progress, identify problems and solutions, and forge interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships with other centers and institutes within the University.


Melissa Begg, ScD, is Vice Dean for Education and Professor of Clinical Biostatistics at the Mailman School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Begg is experienced in the development and administration of training programs and directs the Master’s and K-award programs for the CTSA. These training opportunities recognize the importance of sound research practices as the foundation for advancing medical treatments for a variety of conditions and disorders. Under her direction, the Clinical Research Methods and Patient Oriented Research tracks were created. Dr. Begg has contributed to research in the areas of oral health, mental health, statistical methods for analyzing clustered data, and the advancement of interdisciplinary science. Dr. Begg has worked with Dr. Li and Dr. Davidson on academic curriculum and research training initiatives and will assist CIEPAC in developing and implementing the training and education plan, facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration between CIEPAC and other centers/institutes at CUMC, and ensure the access of the faculty and staff at CIEPAC to the vast resources in the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Bruce Link, PhD, is Professor of Epidemiology and Sociomedical Sciences, and Director of the Center for Violence Research and Prevention at the Mailman School of Public Health and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Health Inequalities.  His interests are centered on topics in psychiatric and social epidemiology. He has written on the connection between socioeconomic status and health, homelessness, violence, stigma, and discrimination. Currently he is conducting research aimed at understanding health disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, the consequences of social stigma for people with mental illnesses, and the connection between mental illnesses and violent behaviors. He also directs the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program at Columbia University. A member of the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Link is extremely experienced in developing and managing research and training centers.  He has worked closely with Dr. Li and will advise him on administrative and scientific decisions.

Arthur Cooper, MD, MS, is Professor (Emeritus) of Surgery at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Cooper was trained in general surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and in pediatric surgery and surgical critical care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and served as the Director of Pediatric Surgical Services and the Trauma Center for the Columbia University Affiliated Harlem Hospital Center for many years. He is a member of numerous professional and academic societies, has edited six books and written more than one hundred fifty scientific articles, textbook chapters, and policy statements, serves on a variety of national and regional expert and advisory committees, and is a recognized authority in the fields of critical care, trauma, and emergency medical services for children— particularly pre-hospital emergency care and trauma systems development— as well as physical child abuse. He has worked with Dr. Barlow and Dr. Davidson for many years. He will provide advice and consultation to the Center director regarding trauma research and community outreach programs, and helps leverage financial and other resources through his extensive social and professional networks to support the CIEPAC.

Barclay Morrison III, PhD, is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. He is a nationally recognized expert on applying quantitative approaches to understanding the biomechanics of injury, and identifying therapeutic targets and neuroprotection strategies to reduce the societal impact of traumatic brain injury. In addition to his training in bioengineering at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania, he has completed post-doctoral fellowships in traumatic brain injury at University of Southhamptom, United Kingdom. He is Principal Investigator of a project on head and brain injury, seeking to produce direct experimental data that will provide additional tolerance criteria for viable, in vitro brain tissue, looking specifically at cell death and dysfunction. Among his numerous honors, Dr. Morrison was awarded the 2000 Richard Skalak Best Paper Award from the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering and the 2003 John Paul Stapp award for best paper in the Stapp Car Crash Journal for his in vitro model of brain cell injury. Dr. Morrison will provide expertise in injury biomechanics, serve as a preceptor for injury graduate students interested in traumatic brain injury, and assist with strategic planning, program development, and academic and administrative decisions.

Mitchell Elkind, MD, MPH, gained his medical degree in 1992 from Harvard Medical School, and subsequently trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, MA. He holds a Master’s degree in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Currently, Dr. Elkind is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University, and the Associate Chairman of Neurology for Clinical Research and Training. His research is focused on inflammatory and infectious biomarkers in stroke risk prediction, as well as acute stroke therapy. Dr. Elkind is the Principal Investigator of 3 independent investigator awards from NIH/NINDS. He is a Co-PI of the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), an epidemiological study of stroke risk factors, and the principal investigator of NeuSTART (Neuroprotection with Statin Therapy for Acute Recovery Trial), a clinical trial evaluating short-term high-dose statin therapy in acute stroke. He is also the PI of the Levels of Inflammatory Markers in Treatment of Stroke (LIMITS) study, a multicenter study evaluating the role of inflammatory biomarkers in stroke prognosis, and a co-investigator and laboratory director for the Vasculopathy and Infection in Pediatric Stroke Study (VIPS). He is the former Neurology Residency Program Director at Columbia University Medical Center, and is currently the editor of the Resident and Fellow Section of the journal Neurology. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association, as well as a member of the American Neurological Association. Dr. Elkind will help the Center director to integrate interdisciplinary expertise, advise the Center director on program monitoring and evaluation, and mentor junior faculty on field epidemiology and grantsmanship.