June 25, 2015—(BRONX, NY)—Sophie Molholm, Ph.D., a leader in the field of multisensory integration, has been named director of the Sheryl and Daniel R. Tishman Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory (CNL) and associate director of the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. An active member of Einstein’s research community since 2010, Dr. Molholm will continue her investigations into the neurobiology of developmental disorders, particularly autism.
Sophie Molholm, Ph.D.“Sophie joined Einstein at a critical moment and has significantly contributed to the improvement and expansion of our clinical and translational autism research,” said Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein. “Her excellence in research and leadership in the field make her the perfect choice to take the reins of the Tishman CNL and help lead the IDDRC.”
Dr. Molholm, associate professor of pediatrics and the Muriel and Harold Block Faculty Scholar in Mental Illness, has centered her clinical research on how the human brain processes and integrates sensory inputs—such as sight, sound and touch—to impact perception and behavior. Dr. Molholm and the CNL team use non-invasive, high-density recordings of the electrical activity of the brain, psychophysics and magnetic resonance imaging to characterize these processes in healthy adults and to chart their development in children. This NIH-funded research has established a link between deficits in multisensory integration and autism and points to potential biological markers of the disorder. Dr. Molholm’s next planned project will be to test the efficacy of behavioral interventions on autism spectrum disorder symptoms (ASD).
“Sophie’s research with children has had a meaningful impact on our understanding of autism,” said Judy Aschner, M.D., professor and Michael I. Cohen, M.D., University Chair of Pediatrics at Einstein and physician-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. “We are delighted that she is stepping into this critical leadership role and will pursue innovative research to improve outcomes for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.”
Dr. Molholm, who is also associate professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, will continue as director of the Human Clinical Phenotyping Core in the IDDRC. In this capacity, she oversees a staff that recruits participants for Einstein studies. The core maintains a large database of potential research participants, particularly children with a diagnosis of dyslexia, autism or RETT syndrome, as well as healthy controls.
"Her excellence in research and leadership in the field make her the perfect choice to take the reins of the Tishman CNL and help lead the IDDRC."- Dean Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.
“With a collaborative spirit and wide-ranging research interests, Sophie has proven an invaluable member of the IDDRC,” said Steven Walkley, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the IDDRC and professor of neuroscience, of pathology and in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology. “We all look forward to her expanded role here.”
Dr. Molholm will be assuming the positions vacated by John Foxe, Ph.D., who was recently named chair of the department of neurobiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Foxe will retain a faculty appointment at Einstein as a visiting professor.
Dr. Molholm is a member of numerous organizations, including the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, International Multisensory Research Forum, Society for Neuroscience and the International Society for Autism Research. She is currently section editor for the European Journal of Neuroscience and associate editor for Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. She has authored or co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed research studies, review articles, commentaries, and book chapters.
Dr. Molholm earned her B.A. in psychology at San Francisco State University and her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the City University of New York (CUNY). After completing a research fellowship at the CNL at Nathan Kline Institute, she became its associate director and joined the faculty at CUNY before moving to Einstein in 2010.