WHO Cochrane Cornell Summer Institute, Faculty

Patricia A. Cassano, PhD is a professor of epidemiology and nutrition and director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, professor of healthcare policy and research at the Weill Cornell Medical College, and director of graduate studies for the graduate field of epidemiology in the Cornell University Graduate School. Dr. Cassano directs the Summer Institute: she works collaboratively with the faculty listed below who represent Cochrane, the WHO, and Cornell University.

Luis Gabriel Cuervo is Senior Advisor for Health Systems Research at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Formerly as Senior Clinical Editor at BMJ Knowledge he helped develop and expand the international reach of BMJ’s Clinical Evidence. He also developed an evidence-based methodology to address discrepancies in recommendations among UN agencies leading to the 2006 Interagency List of Essential Medicines for Reproductive Health (WHO, IPPF, John Snow Inc, PATH, PSI, UNFPA, World Bank). Dr Cuervo has been a contributor since 1994 to the Cochrane Collaboration, spearheading it in Colombia. His education includes degrees as an MD, Specialist in Family Medicine, and a MSc in Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics. From PAHO, Dr. Cuervo has coordinated the development, monitoring and implementation of policies on research for health, of knowledge translation platforms to strengthen health systems, and initiatives to show the value of research for health as a driver of development.

Julia Finkelstein is an associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, with expertise in the design and conduct of randomized trials and cohort studies in resource-limited settings.

Damian Francis is a Nutritionist and Epidemiologist who is currently an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Georgia College and State University. He is a 2010 Emerging Leader of the Americas Programme (ELAP) scholar, awarded by the Canadian Bureau of International Education. As an ELAP scholar, he completed a research fellowship at the University of Ottawa in knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation. Dr Francis is founder of the Cochrane Caribbean and currently serves as Co-Director. He serves both the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization (WHO) as a member of the Essential Medicine List expert panel. Dr. Francis enjoys teaching translational research and occasionally bingeing on data analysis of survey data, using STATA no less. Dr Francis has a track record of excellence in research scholarship which has focused on the epidemiology of chronic non-communicable diseases among people of Afro-Caribbean heritage with emphasis on health equity/disparities and public health nutrition.

Kate Ghezzi-Kopel is the Health Sciences & Evidence Synthesis Librarian at Albert R. Mann Library. She serves as liaison to the Cornell Department of Human Development and the Division of Nutritional Sciences and is Coordinator of the Cornell University Library Systematic Review Service. Kate holds a B.A. in English from Ithaca College and a M.S. in Library and Information Sciences from Syracuse University. Her interests include health information literacy, interdisciplinary systematic reviews, scholarly communication, and promotion of evidence-based research practices.

Lee Hooper has been an editor for the Cochrane Heart Group for 14 years, was an editor of the Cochrane Oral Health Group for 5 years, and regularly referees systematic reviews for top medical and nutrition journals. Dr. Hooper is a member of the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) on Diet and Health, which has recently produced guidance on sodium and potassium intakes. As well as being a Cochrane editor, she is an editor of Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, was awarded Ibex Award by British Dietetic Association (2005), and was a member of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Partners Council. Dr. Hooper is a Reader in Research Synthesis, Nutrition & Hydration in the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, mainly in the areas of dehydration and nutrition of older people and the effects of dietary change on health.

Lynn Johnson is a senior statistical consultant at the Cornell Statistical Consulting Unit (CSCU). She has a Ph.D. in statistics from Cornell University and M.S. degrees from the University of Colorado in biometry and mathematics. Her interests range from statistical methodology to statistical applications in epidemiology, nutrition, environmental science, and the social sciences.

Bruce Lewenstein is a professor of science communication at Cornell University. He is chair of the Department of Science and Technology Studies and a faculty member in the Department of Communication. Dr. Lewenstein specializes in public communication of science and technology.

Saurabh Mehta is an associate professor of global health, epidemiology, and nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. The overarching focus of his research is to identify, diagnose, and intervene on modifiable risk factors such as nutrition to improve population health with advances in technological innovation as an integral component.

Jordi Pardo Pardo joined the Centre for Global Health, University of Ottawa in 2009. Jordi was trained as a journalist, but early in his career he started working on health research in the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre in Barcelona, where he is from. Jordi has been involved in the establishment and expansion of the Cochrane Collaboration in Latin America working in training and knowledge translation projects. Jordi had a major role on the launch of the Spanish version of The Cochrane Library (la Biblioteca Cochrane Plus). Jordi is currently the co-chair of the Executive of Managing Editors at Cochrane, and elected member of the Cochrane Governing Board. On his four days a week at the Centre for Global Health, Jordi contributes as one of the Managing Editors of the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group, and supporting the activities of the Equity Methods Group.

Juan Pablo Peña-Rosas works in the Division of Universal Health Coverage/ Healthier Populations at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. He leads the development of normative work and supports the implementation of integrated-health services to support universal health coverage and healthier populations. This work focuses in health promotion, prevention and treatment of conditions requiring nutrition actions throughout the life course and reduction of risk factors and other determinants of health for greater impact at country level. He leads a multidisciplinary agile team on mainstreaming nutrition in primary health care settings for universal health coverage, one of the pillars of WHO 13 General Programme of Work. He is an appointed member of the WHO 3-level Joint Working Group on Universal Health Coverage since 2018. He is Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Emory University in Atlanta, USA since 2011 and Professor (Adjunct) in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA since October 2017. JP worked as a Specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA and was involved in planning, implementing, and reporting of health and nutrition surveillance systems to inform policy. He provided specialized-technical assistance in long-term health projects in Uzbekistan, Morocco, Egypt, Peru, Nicaragua, Georgia and Dominican Republic. In the private sector, JP worked for a multinational food company, in leadership scientific and regulatory positions at the regional level in the Latin America and the Caribbean Headquarters in Mexico and its eight country subsidiaries. He worked in various public-private partnerships in this role.

Sara Scinto-Madonich is currently a Systematic Review Librarian and a Nutritional Sciences Research Assistant at Cornell University. She holds a BA in Biochemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MS in Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change from Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She's also in the process of completing the Cornell Didactic Program in Dietetics and aspires to become a Registered Dietitian. Sara is passionate about improving quality of life through evidence-based practice and has a strong background in evidence synthesis, qualitative and quantitative research, and nutrition education. 

Francoise Vermeylen is the director and one of the staff statisticians for Cornell Statistical Consulting Unit (CSCU). She has more than 20 years of experience in providing statistical consulting at Cornell University to researchers from a broad range of fields.  She is also a Senior Lecturer in Biological Statistics and Computational Biology.

Vivian Welch is editor in chief of the Campbell Collaboration, ​director of the Methods Centre, Bruyère Research Institute, Bruyère Continuing Care and associate professor, School of Epidemiology and ​Public Health, University of Ottawa.  She is a co-convenor of the Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group and leader of the GRADE Equity working group developing guidance on how to consider equity in guideline development.

c is the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Statistical Sciences. He is also a Professor of Social Statistics, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research at Weill Medical School, an Elected Member of the Cornell Law School Faculty, as well as the Director of Research in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He teaches statistical methodology to undergraduate and graduate students in fields such as agriculture, biology, epidemiology, finance, law, medicine, nutrition, social science, and veterinary medicine as well as graduate courses in statistics.

group photo of 2019 summer institute faculty

From left to right:  Vivian Welch, Jordi Pardo Pardo, Damien Francis, Julia Finkelstein, Pat Cassano, Sara Scinto-Madonich, Katharina da Silva Lopes, Kate Ghezzi-Kopel, Luis Cuervo (July 2019)



WHO Cochrane Cornell Summer Institute, Contact Information

Patricia A. Cassano, PhD
Professor & Director, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Professor, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College
127 Savage Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
+1 607.255.8001 (phone), +1 607.255.2691 (fax)
E-mail:  summerinstitute@cornell.edu

Please visit our registration page for details on how to apply.