Leadership Appointments at VP&S

E. Sander Connolly Jr., MD, a longtime VP&S faculty member, has been named chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at VP&S and neurosurgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He succeeds Robert S. Solomon, MD, who was chair for 22 years.

Dr. Connolly has been a member of the medical center community since he graduated from medical school at Louisiana State University and arrived in New York City for residencies in surgery and neurological surgery at Columbia. He joined the VP&S faculty in 1997 as assistant professor of neurological surgery and was named the Bennett M. Stein Professor of Neurological Surgery in 2008. He has been vice chair of the department, director of the Cerebrovascular Research Laboratory, and surgical director of the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at NYP/CUIMC. He is immediate past president of the Neurosurgical Society of America.

Dr. Connolly’s clinical practice focuses on the microsurgical treatment of patients with cerebral aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, carotid stenosis, moyamoya (a rare condition in which arteries at the base of the brain become constricted), cerebral hemorrhage, and ischemia.

His laboratory research focuses on the role of inflammatory cascades in the brain following stroke. He has conducted clinical trials of agents that can reduce inflammation and potentially improve stroke outcomes. Other clinical research has been directed at improving outcomes of patients undergoing cerebral revascularization. He has published extensively and is NIH funded.

Sabrina Diano, PhD, is the new director of the Institute of Human Nutrition, succeeding Richard Deckelbaum, MD, who led the institute since 1992. Dr. Diano joined VP&S from Yale University, where she was the Richard Sackler Family Professor of Cellular & Molecular Physiology at the School of Medicine and also a full professor in the departments of neuroscience and comparative medicine. She was a founding member of the Yale Program in Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism.

Dr. Diano joined Yale in 1999 as a postdoctoral associate in obstetrics & gynecology after receiving her PhD from the Department of General and Environmental Physiology at the University of Naples “Federico II” in Italy.

Her research focuses on how the hypothalamus senses nutrients in circulation and uses that information to make decisions about what and how much to eat.

Rudina Odeh-Ramadan, PharmD, has been appointed vice dean for finance and administration for VP&S after serving for 11 months as interim vice dean for administration. Dr. Odeh-Ramadan succeeds Martha Hooven, who died in June after serving as vice dean since 2008. Dr. Odeh-Ramadan, formerly vice president for research administration, will also serve as the VP&S liaison to Columbia University’s Sponsored Projects Administration and Clinical Trials Office. She joined Columbia in 2005 after working at NewYork-Presbyterian.