Speaker Bios


dongming-cai Dr. Dongming Cai joined Mount Sinai School of Medicine in July 2010, where she continues to advance our understanding of the workings of the central nervous system and the processes involved in defining disease mechanisms. Dr. Cai’s laboratory conducts research studies focusing on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Using transgenic animal models, her research group investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying amyloid generation, with the goal of developing new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for Alzheimer's disease.

Prior to coming to Mount Sinai, Dr. Cai was trained by many prestigious basic research scientists. After graduated from Tongji Medical University in China, she obtained her PhD in Neuroscience in the laboratory of Dr. Marie Filbin at Hunter College of The City University of New York, where she studied the roles of cyclic AMP in blocking myelin-derived inhibitors of axonal regeneration in animal models of spinal cord injury. Subsequently, Dr. Cai completed postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University in New York where she was mentored by Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard in Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. At Rockefeller University, Dr. Cai conducted research on Alzheimer’s disease focusing on the regulation of APP processing and trafficking and the impact of these processes on neuronal function.



kernMary Kern is an Associate Professor of Management at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. Professor Kern received her BBA in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, a MS in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Loyola University-Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Professor Kern is the program coordinator for the PhD Program in Business-Specialization in Management. She teaches Negotiation and Managing Teams in Organizations in the MBA, Healthcare MBA, EMBA, MS I/O Psychology, and PhD programs. She has taught in countries including Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. Her research interests focus on the complexities inherent in bringing together culturally-diverse people to work on a project team, negotiate a deal, or make a decision.  Her work has been published in journals including the Harvard Business Review, Psychological Science, Group Decision and Negotiation, Organizational Research Methods, and the Academy of Management Learning and Education.


pam-silverblattPamela S. Silverblatt joined The City University of New York as Vice Chancellor for Labor Relations in January 2008 after nearly seven years in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations. Ms. Silverblatt oversees and manages CUNY’s Labor Relations with its Faculty and Classified Staff unions including negotiating the collective bargaining agreements and overseeing labor hearings and appeals.

Prior to joining CUNY, Ms. Silverblatt represented the Mayor in labor relations matters affecting New York City and over 100 labor organizations. Ms. Silverblatt also served for nearly 12 years at the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC), holding a series of progressively Human Resources and Labor Relations positions. She left HHC as the Senior Assistant Vice President of Operations with responsibilities for all of the Corporation’s labor relations departments, including Labor Relations/Labor Counsel, Workforce Planning and Development, Personnel, Classification and Compensation, Examinations and Certification.

Ms. Silverblatt is a graduate of the State University of NY at Binghamton and received her J.D. Degree from Hofstra University School of Law.



ruth-starkDr. Ruth Stark received her A.B. degree in Chemistry at Cornell University and obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego.  A CUNY faculty member since 1985, Dr. Stark was designated as Distinguished Professor in 2006 and elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010.  Currently, she directs the 8-campus CUNY Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies and is serving as Interim Dean of Science at The City College.  Drawing on training at the interface of chemistry, physics, and biology, her current research program focuses on the molecular structure and development of biopolymers that protect fruits and vegetables, the solution-state structure and transport mechanisms of nutritionally important fatty acid-binding proteins, and the molecular development of melanin pigments associated with human fungal infections.  Professor Stark has supervised more than 100 research trainees from high school through postdoctoral levels, including 40 women and 15 underrepresented minorities.


maribel-vazquezDr. Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D. earned a Bachelor of Science in 1992 from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She then entered industry as a microfabrication engineer with Intel Corporation in Portland, Oregon. She was awarded a GEM Fellowship in 1995 through Intel Corporation to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was awarded a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1996 and continued graduate research as part of the MIT Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research to complete a Doctor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2001.

Dr. Vazquez joined The City College of New York (CCNY) in 2001 as an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and became a founding member of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at CCNY in 2002. Her current research focuses on the development of microfluidic and nanotechnologies to examine the migration of neuronal cell progenitors in the central nervous system. This investigation has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Dr. Vazquez currently teaches biomedical engineering courses in microfluidics, microfabrication, experimental methods, and senior design. She mentors undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral associates in highly interdisciplinary experimental research in her laboratory.


gillian-small Dr. Gillian Small was appointed Vice Chancellor for Research of The City University of New York in 2008 after serving with distinction as Dean for Research since 2003.

As CUNY’s senior research officer, Dr. Small seeks to enhance all levels of involvement in research across the University and connect research and scholarly activities with emerging opportunities. She has overall responsibility for supporting the University's intellectual property portfolio, developing relationships with external research organizations, industry, governmental and non-governmental funding sources and enhancing CUNY's contribution to the economic development of New York City and State. Her major responsibilities include planning extensive new state-of-the-art science facilities as part of CUNY's Decade of Science.

An internationally recognized scholar, Vice Chancellor Small received her Ph.D. in the Biological Sciences in 1983 from the University of Wolverhampton in England. She conducted postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University and taught at both the University of Florida and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she directed a research laboratory and an interdisciplinary graduate program.