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Mount Sinai Researcher Appointed As Next Generation Leader for the Allen Institute for Brain Science

Newswise — (NEW YORK – November 15, 2017)  Denise Cai, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, has been selected as one of the Allen Institute for Brain Science’s 2017 Next Generation Leaders. She joins a group of six distinguished young researchers from institutions across the United States who will provide feedback in both formal and informal settings to young scientists at the Allen Institute, an independent research institute based in Seattle.

The program recognizes the outstanding and innovative contributions from emerging scientific leaders and fosters professional development by providing opportunities and informal training on how to serve as scientific advisors.

“I’m honored to be a part of the Next Generation Leaders Council at the Allen Institute, as this institute has led the way in developing platforms for open sharing of neuroscience tools and approaches to big data,” says Dr. Cai.  “I look forward to learning more about how to integrate experimental and theoretical approaches through collaborative team science.”

Next Generation Leaders are selected each year through a competitive application process from a pool of international applicants.  This fourth cohort of Next Generation Leaders includes members from institutions around the country, each of whom will serve a three-year term on the council.

Dr. Cai joined the Department of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2017.  She obtained her PhD in Experimental Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego, where she studied the role of sleep in memory in both humans and mice.  Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Cai was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, where her research focused on how memories are formed and linked across time.  At Mount Sinai, Dr. Cai’s team investigates the temporal dynamics of how memories are formed, integrated, and separated and studies how aging contributes to cognitive decline.  Her lab uses a multi-level approach, including in vivo imaging, optogenetics, chemogenetics, and behavioral assays.  

"Dr. Cai is an outstanding scientist who is making significant contributions early in her career," says Paul J. Kenny, PhD, Ward-Coleman Professor and Chair of the Arthur M. Fishberg Department of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  "We are thrilled that the Allen Institute has recognized her potential and has chosen her to join their advisory council."

The Next Generation Leaders council will convene at this year’s Showcase Symposium, held in Seattle December 13 and 14.  Dr. Cai and other new members will give presentations on their work and meet with Allen Institute researchers.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest integrated delivery system encompassing seven hospital campuses, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai’s vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 10 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in four other specialties in the 2017-2018 “Best Hospitals” issue. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked in six out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 12th nationally for Ophthalmology and 50th for Ear, Nose, and Throat, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. For more information, visit, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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