Marti Flothmann is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami majoring in Exercise Physiology and minoring in sports medicine. She completed a senior internship in the Department of Neurology under the guidance of Dr. Tiozzo, where she decided to continue working in research. Marti has been working with The Bugher study, an AHA funded phase IIa clinical trial investigating the effect of exercise on cognition in post-stroke patients. She has been with the study since 2014, and taken over coordinating the study in April of 2017. She directed the exercise training sessions for research participants, trained new RAs, managed the study’s database, carried out all biospecimen collections and administered the neuropsychological batteries for the study. She has now joined the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute and is managing data and study visits for the McKnight Brain Aging Registry (MBAR) study. Her current research interests include the effects of physical activity on cognitive aging and brain health.
Susan Fox-Rosellini M.B.A. is the Executive Director of Marketing and Administration for the McKnight Brain Institute and Department of Neurology. She has 35+ years of experience and a proven track record in developing new business and clients, new markets and new products and improving the revenues of for-profit and not-for-profit businesses. She joined the Department of Neurology in 2007 and has successfully tripled the department’s endowment and raised more than $5M annually since 2007. Prior to University of Miami Susan worked as a development leader with the Family Resource Center, the Coconut Grove Playhouse and the Miami City Ballet. She is involved in the arts community and is an expert about silent movies and many of the early film technologies. She wrote a book about the start of Hollywood.
Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., is a vascular and cognitive neurologist, clinical researcher and leader of several programs and projects on determinants of stroke, age-related memory loss, cognitive decline and brain health. She serves as a professor of neurology, executive vice chair of research and faculty affairs, and director of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Neurology Clinical Translational Research Division in Florida. She also is director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami.
Dr. Rundek completed a neurology and research fellowship at Columbia University in New York City. She was the first Fulbright Scholar at the Neurological Institute of New York – Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Dr. Rundek is a collaborative scientist-investigator with over 550 peer-reviewed publications, editorials and book chapters. She has extensive research networks with multiple national and international research teams, including investigators from Columbia University on large National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded population-based studies of age-related neurovascular disease and the Einstein Aging Study on vascular cognitive decline. She serves as a team scientist-leader of large international stroke and aging projects and consortia, including the National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded Precision Aging Network.
Dr. Rundek is a dedicated educator and mentor who leads educational and mentorship programs. She serves as training director of two large National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-funded clinical trial networks, StrokeNet and NeuroNEXT. She is director of the NIA-funded 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Research Education Program and director of the University of Miami master of science in clinical translational investigation program and the K12 mentored career development research training program at the University of Miami Clinical Translational Science Institute. She was a recipient of an American Heart Association Mentor Award and an NIH K24 research training and career development grant.
Dr. Rundek has been an active member of a broader professional and scientific community. She is a section editor of Stroke for Brain Health and serves on the editorial boards of several influential scientific journals, including Neurology, Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine and Cerebrovascular Diseases. She also serves on the NIH and other professional organizations’ grant review study sections. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Academy of Neurology. She is immediate past president of the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission Vascular Testing Board of Directors, a U.S. organization that accredits clinical nuclear, PET, MRI, CT, ultrasound and carotid stenting programs. Dr. Rundek is past president of the Neurosonology Communities of Practice of the American Institute in Ultrasound in Medicine, the largest professional medical ultrasound organization in the U.S. In Florida, she serves on the AHA South Florida board and is a recipient of the prestigious AHA Cor Vitae for Stroke Award, In the Company of Women Outstanding Woman in Science and Technology Miami-Dade Award, and the Women in Academic Medicine Career Achievement Award. In 2022, she was elected to the Academy of Science, Engineering & Medicine of Florida
Dr. Bonnie Levin is the Schoninger/Goldberg Professor of Neurology and Director of the Division of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Neurology at Miller School of Medicine. She is a neuropsychologist whose research examines neurocognitive and affective changes associated with neurodegenerative disease and the normative aging process. Her work focuses on the intersection of physical, behavioral and sensory changes that take place over the life course, and identifying markers of atypical aging associated with cognitive decline. She explores trajectories of cognitive aging, the underlying neural circuitry, and other biological markers associated with increased risk of cognitive decline. Her data has direct application toward developing timely early interventions for those carrying one or more risk factors as well as for those individuals who strive to age in place and engage in practices that promote healthy aging.
Dr. Levin has received federal and state funding to examine the role of vascular and metabolic risk factors predictors of cognition and how differential markers of physical frailty, emotional dysregulation and sensory change increase the risk of cognitive decline. Other projects include: examining which components of the metabolic syndrome predict cognition, identifying imaging and clinical correlates of white matter changes associated with the aging process and linking structural and metabolic markers underlying different symptom profiles in neurodegenerative disease, defining profiles of risk and resilience in aging, examining the basis of impaired decision making among the elderly, and operationalizing brain fog in long covid.
Schoninger Neuropsychology Program- The Alexandria and Bernard Schoninger Neuropsychology Program was established in 2009 as part of the Evelyn McKnight Brain Institute. Dr. Levin was awarded the Alexandra and Bernard Schoninger Endowed Professorship, which afforded her the opportunity to establish a program that provides comprehensive testing for individuals experiencing memory loss. One of the major aims is to collect data on cardiometabolic risk factors in order to characterize cognitive change associated with the aging process and to define the earliest markers that signal cognitive decline. Each patient who is evaluated will also be a participant in a research registry sponsored by the Evelyn McKnight Brain Institute. This registry has served as an invaluable resource for numerous publications and pilot data for grant applications that support the McKnight Brain Institute’s objectives.
Education and Mentorship
In l989, Dr. Levin initiated the UM Neurology Advanced Training Practicum. At the same time, the Neuropsychology Post-doctoral Fellowship program was initiated. Currently, there are four post-doctoral fellows and six upper level graduate PhD practicum students, and two volunteer undergraduate assistants. Over the past 34 years, she has mentored hundreds of students, interns, residents and fellows. In addition, she leads weekly neuropsychology rounds which are attended by undergraduate and graduate students, post doctoral fellows, neurology residents and faculty, and trainees from other departments, including Psychiatry, Public Health and Sylvester Cancer Center. Dr. Levin has taught the Foundations of Neuropsychology since l989 at the Coral Gables Campus. It remains, to date, the only graduate doctoral level course in neuropsychology offered at UM. This course attracts graduate students from all of the clinical tracks (Child, Adult and Behavioral Medicine).
Dr. Levin’s work is highly collaborative. She actively collaborates with faculty in other departments, including Radiology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Medicine, Ophthalmology, and Epidemiology and Public Health.
Dr. Levin is involved in community outreach in the State of Florida. Most recently , she was funded to examine the epidemic of scamming among vulnerable elders and she developed a training intervention to decrease susceptibility to deception. Her pilot study has been successfully launched in English and Spanish and designed to reach the most vulnerable in the Miami community. In addition, a UF-UCF- UM Consortium Project funded by FL DOH, in which Dr. Levin is the PI for UM, is a state wide study to examine the cognitive and imaging markers of scam susceptibility is also underway.
In addition to Dr. Levin, several members of the Division of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Drs. Annelly Bure, Marina Sarno and Katalina McInerney are forging strong community ties with the Latino Center on Aging. They are regular speakers at community gatherings and on radio talk shows and address a wide range of topics on brain health.
Dr. Levin plans to expand the Schoninger Neuropsychology Program in several directions, all of which promote the strategic plan. First, the Mcknight registry will be expanded to enhance the neurologic, vestibular, kinesthesia, and sensory assessment. This multi-disciplinary data base will serve as a resource for other researchers in the field of aging and, in particular, foster interdepartmental collaboration. It will also provide critical pilot data needed for federal and state funding for future research.
Second, the post doctoral and practicum training sites will be expanded to incorporate dedicated research training. Each post doctoral fellow will be mentored in developing their research interests in the field of aging, working closely under supervision with a faculty member based in the Division of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.
Third, grant applications will be prioritized to foster inter-departmental collaborations at UM and other Mcknight sites. Dr. Levin has worked on the MBAR project since its inception and led the cognitive work group in developing the neuropsychological test battery. She plans to continue leading this effort to the next step towards federal funding. In addition, she continues to work directly with Dr. Rundek on the NOMAS and plans to apply to funding to operationalize specific covid outcomes including brain fog. She is also exploring writing a PCORI grant.
Fourth, Dr. Levin has will work diligently toward expanding community involvement efforts. Several presentations are planned to encourage greater interaction with Hispanic and non-Hispanic individuals residing in the community. Closer relationships with community leaders are integral to disseminating information that educate elders on healthy aging and resilience as well as promoting the importance of research participation.