Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Margarita Sala is conducting research that focuses on understanding the role that mindfulness plays in eating and weight disorders. A world-renowned expert in the field, she is developing digital treatments that integrate mindfulness training and cognitive behavioral therapy with the goal of expanding treatment availability for people with eating disorders.
Dr. Anderson Oliveira’s research consists of expressing and characterizing new classes of photoproteins—recently isolated by his research team from deep-sea luminous invertebrates, such as corals and squids. The new groups of photoproteins found in some of these organisms are the first wild-type photoproteins able to emit green light upon calcium addition, which presents higher detection sensitivity of calcium-dependent biological processes.
Dr. Radhashree Maitra is working to combat a deadly form of colorectal cancer (CRC) by targeting a mutant gene (KRAS) with a therapy that abolishes the detrimental consequences of the mutation and improves survival. If successful, her potentially life-saving research could lead to new and efficacious treatment strategies for patients with biologic-refractory KRAS mutated metastatic colorectal cancer, a group representing 45% of all CRC cases.
Professor Myriam Gilles has been instrumental in the fight to end forced arbitration. These are provisions hidden in the fine print of standard-form contracts that forfeit a consumer’s or employee's right to a judge and jury, forcing them into a privatized, invisible forum in which they are less likely to prevail. Gilles testified in support of the Ending Forced Arbitration in Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Act, which was signed into law in 2021 and allows victims to bring their claims in public courts — improving their chances of success while deterring potential perpetrators.
Dr. Ran Drori’s amazing research has led to a test to learn the exact temperature in which a particular food freezes and how fast ice grows inside it. Because ice particles can adversely affect frozen food products, these measurements are crucial, as they reveal important details that can improve manufacturing and storage procedures. Thanks to Dr. Drori’s research, his new test has the capacity to revolutionize the frozen food industry.
Because the majority of road accidents occur because of human error, Dr. Youshan Zhang is researching effective ways to overcome this dangerous situation by implementing self-driving technologies in vehicles. He and his team built LaksNet, a highly efficient deep-learning model for self-driving cars that has outperformed many models of its kind and limited the duration of the car going off the track on the simulator. His important work may one day make self-driving cars safer on the road, reducing accidents.
As director of the Chinuch Incubator, a joint initiative of YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration and RIETS, Rabbi Yehuda Chanales is encouraging talented candidates to pursue fulfilling careers in Jewish education. His important work is laying the groundwork, for now and in the future, to ensure the Jewish community will have dedicated educational professionals inspiring our children through a Torah-focused education.
Dr. Marian Gidea's research is focused on enhancing the foundational understanding of dynamical systems through the development of theories, models, and techniques that could potentially address a range of contemporary scientific and technological issues, such as production of sustainable energy and space exploration.