Montefiore Einstein Department of Medicine

Arnsten, Keller Receive ECRIP Awards

The Department of Medicine proudly congratulates Drs. Julia Arnsten (General Internal Medicine) and Marla Keller (Infectious Diseases), esteemed recipients of the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP) awards.

Julia Arnsten, MD
On October 16, 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that more than $17.2 million has been awarded to 31 academic medical institutions across New York state to help train physician researchers working on clinical research projects, ranging from the prevention of obesity to treatments for glaucoma. The awards, given through the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP), provide funding to teaching hospitals to train physicians in clinical research. Funds help to cover the costs of physicians in training fellowships and the associated costs to conduct clinical research. Once ECRIP fellows conclude their training through this program, they will be well prepared to apply for National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal research funding. These awards will help train more than 100 physician researchers over the next two years.

Dr. Arnsten received a Center Award ($598,883 annually for two years). Her work, entitled "ECRIP Comparative Effectiveness Center," focuses on the theme of Comparative Effectiveness Research. Special thanks goes to Dr. Brian Currie (Infectious Diseases) for substantive input into Dr. Arnsten's project.

Brian Currie, MD
Dr. Arnsten is Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and Epidemiology & Population Health. A general internist with a long-standing interest in behavioral medicine, including adherence with medication-taking, nicotine dependence, and substance abuse, Dr. Arnsten currently leads a NIH-funded research program focused on addiction and chronic medical illness. Dr. Arnsten graduated from the NYU School of Medicine and completed residency training in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Bellevue Hospital and New York University Medical Center. She then completed a research fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar, and was awarded an R25 grant from NIDA to start a clinical addiction research and education fellowship for physicians. Dr. Arnsten has been recognized with several local and national awards for outstanding teaching and mentoring.

Marla Keller, MD
Dr. Keller received an Individual Award ($75,000 annually for two years). Her work, entitled "The impact of hormonal contraceptive use on genital tract mucosal immunity and HIV-1 shedding in HIV infected women in the Bronx", focuses on the theme of HIV prevention in the Bronx. The study will be led by Dr. Kerry Murphy, Infectious Disease Fellow, and will be conducted at the HIV clinic at Jacobi Medical Center in collaboration with Dr. Jason Leider, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine.

Dr. Keller leads a research program focused on early phase clinical trials to assess the safety of candidate vaginal microbicides, drugs in development to prevent the sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, herpes simplex virus and human papillomavirus. Her studies also focus on defining the factors that contribute to innate mucosal immunity in the female genital tract of HIV-infected and uninfected US and African women. She has completed safety and pharmacokinetic studies of candidate microbicide gels (PRO 2000, Tenofovir, Dapivirine, Acidform), tablets (Tenofovir/Emtricitabine) and vaginal rings (Acyclovir) and tested laboratory assays, which may prove to serve as biomarkers predictive of microbicide safety and efficacy.
Kerry Murphy, MD
She is a co-investigator of the Bronx/Manhattan consortium of the NIH-funded Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a multi-center, prospective cohort established in 1994 to investigate the impact of HIV infection on women in the United States. Her work in the WIHS focuses on genital mucosal immunity and HPV screening practices in HIV-infected and at-risk women.

Jason Leider, MD
Dr. Keller is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), a member of the HIV Medical Association (HIVMA) and a Councilor of the Infectious Diseases Society of New York. She leads the Clinical Investigation Services Core and is Director of the Clinical Research Center, components of the Harold and Muriel Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Einstein and Montefiore, which is funded as an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium member. She is also an active member of the Montefiore Einstein Center for AIDS Research.

Dr. Keller graduated from New York University School of Medicine, going on to complete residency training in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, a fellowship in the combined Infectious Disease training program at Beth Israel Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and the Clinical Research Training Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Click here to log in