Our Team Leaders are the best in their fields

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<h3 align="center">Michelle Papka, Ph.D.</h3>
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Michelle Papka, Ph.D.

Director and Founder of CRCNJ

Click to read bio for Dr. Papka

Michelle Papka, Ph.D., is the Director and Founder of CRCNJ.  She began her career at the University of Rochester Medical Center as the Neuropsychologist of an NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center.  She later moved back to New Jersey and co-directed the Cognitive and Memory Disorders Program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ.  From there, Dr. Papka formed her private practice, maintaining an affiliation with the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychiatry at Overlook Medical Center.  Dr. Papka has nearly 25 years combined experience as a researcher and clinician specializing in the field of aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.  She practices  as a neuropsychologist, psychotherapist, and researcher, serving as the Principal Investigator on over 20 recent clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, memory impairment, or Mild Cognitive Impairment. Dr. Papka has had numerous publications of her work and is an active public speaker, invited editor, grant reviewer, consultant, and committee member of multiple specialized organizations and publications in the field of aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.

(New Jersey License # SI 03813, New York License # 013144-1)

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<h3 align="center">Matthew Barnas, MD</h3>
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Matthew Barnas, MD

Geriatric Psychiatrist

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Matthew Barnas, M.D. is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, board certified in both Geriatric and Adult Psychiatry, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Barnas completed his Geriatric training at Yale University. Prior, he was the Chief Resident of Adult Psychiatry at UMDNJ, where he earned the A. Lester Granet award for excellence in teaching and leadBarnasPicership.

Dr. Barnas’ clinical interests include evaluating and treating geriatric cognitive disorders (ie Alzheimer’s Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia), mood and anxiety disorders, and cognitive disorders in younger adults (ADHD). He is often consulted by other physicians to assist with evaluating and treating psychiatric issues in seniors, including the behavioral aspects of dementia (ie agitation, insomnia, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia). At the Cognitive Research Center of NJ, he is an investigator in current research trials seeking safer, more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s Dementia. He has presented in these areas and has contributed to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and the book Comprehensive Review for the Psychiatry Boards.

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<h3 align="center">Roger Kurlan, M.D. </h3>
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Roger Kurlan, M.D.

Neurologist

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Dr. Kurlan is a neurologist specializing in movement, cognitive and behavioral disorders. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Kurlan’s postgraduate training was at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Neurology and Movement Disorders. He was a long-time faculty member at the University of Rochester where he was Director of the Movement Disorders and also the Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology programs, and then a director of the movement disorders program at the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute in Summit, New Jersey.

Dr. Kurlan has edited 4 books and published more than 250 articles. He is recognized internationally for his clinical skills and research in neurological, cognitive/behavioral, and movement disorders. He has collaborated with many neuroscientists and has conducted many large-scale, multicenter research studies. He led an NIH-funded muticenter trial of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Group. He is a founding member of the Parkinson Study Group and of the Tourette’s Syndrome Study Group, two collaborative international research groups that conduct large-scale investigations.

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<h3 align="center">Jose Pinto, DO</h3>
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Jose Pinto, DO

Family Medicine

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Jose Pinto, MD earned his medical degree from the University of New England – College of Osteopathic Medicine and went on to complete a residency at St. Michaels Medical Center in Newark, NJ.  With over 20 years of experience, he is a highly skilled board certified physician. In addition to maintaining his own private practice he serves as a medical doctor on clinical trials at the CRCNJ.

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<h3 align="center">Rachael Felsenfeld, Psy.D </h3>
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Rachael Felsenfeld, Psy.D

Licensed Psychologist

Click to read bio for Dr. Felsenfeld

Dr. Rachael Felsenfeld is a licensed clinical psychologist in the states of New Jersey and New York with over 15 years of clinical experience. Dr. Felsenfeld completed pre- and post-doctoral internships in severe psychopathology and then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology, specializing in neurological disorders (dementia, stroke, TBI/concussion).  At The Cognitive and Research Center of New Jersey (CRCNJ), Dr. Felsenfeld utilizes her experience and specialization in neurological disorders to provide neuropsychology and psychotherapy services.  In addition, Dr. Felsenfeld serves as a rater for the various trials offered at the CRCNJ, maintaining an active role in Alzheimer’s research.  Dr. Felsenfeld also offers learning disability evaluations, which she conducted for multiple years in private practice. 

(NJ license #35SI00551500, NY license #016385)

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<h3 align="center">Jessica McCarthy DeGaetano, Psy.D. </h3>
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Jessica McCarthy DeGaetano, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist

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Jessica McCarthy DeGaetano, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in adult clinical neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology. Dr. DeGaetano is experienced in providing comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations and individual and group psychotherapy for older adolescents and adults with a range of neurological diagnoses, including neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury (TBI), acquired brain injury, and stroke.  She also works with caregivers and their families adjusting to the “new normal” that follows a life-altering diagnosis, and is practiced in both acute inpatient and outpatient brain injury rehabilitation.

Dr. DeGaetano completed her internship training in Adult and Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology at Staten Island University Hospital and Adult Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology post-doctoral fellowship at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange and Saddle Brook, New Jersey. Dr. DeGaetano also has experience in research, serving as a research coordinator for multiple National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded grants at the Center for Obsessive-Compulsive Treatment and Related Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Dr. DeGaetano is excited to bring her passion for clinical and research work to The Cognitive and Research Center of New Jersey (CRCNJ). She provides new patient consults, neuropsychological evaluations, individual psychotherapy, and a psychoeducational series to patients and families seeking tailored information and guidance following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Dr. DeGaetano also conducts psychosocial groups for caregivers to provide support to those caring for a loved one suffering from cognitive decline.  She will also serve as a rater for the many clinical research trials aimed at early disease intervention that CRCNJ provides.

New Jersey License #35SI00584600

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<h3 align="center">Kavita Doshi, MA, M.S.Ed.</h3>
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Kavita Doshi, MA, M.S.Ed.

Clinical Research Coordinator

Click to read bio for Kavita Doshi

Kavita Doshi, M.A. is a Clinical Trial Coordinator who supports, facilitates and coordinates the daily clinical trial activities.  Kavita Doshi has been a clinical trial coordinator for eight years with a primary focus in Alzheimer’s disease.  Her background consists of two Masters Degrees, one in general psychology and another in school psychology.

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<h3 align="center">Chelsea Nigro, MA</h3>
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Chelsea Nigro, MA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Click to read bio for Chelsea Nigro

Chelsea Nigro, MA comes to The Cognitive and Research Center of New Jersey from New York University, where she received her Master’s in Psychology. While at NYU, she worked in their Cognition and Perception lab, writing her thesis on gender differences in perception. Chelsea received her BA in Psychology at The College of New Jersey. She was the lab manager of the college’s Memory and Aging Lab and worked closely with both college students and older adults who took part in tests of memory and cognition. It is Chelsea’s passion to be involved with clinical research and she is ecstatic to be a part of the research team at The CRCNJ.

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<h3 align="center">Daniela Schwab, MBA</h3>
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Daniela Schwab, MBA

Community Outreach Specialist

Click to read bio for Daniela Schwab

Daniela Schwab, MBA serves as CRCNJ’s Community Outreach Specialist. Her primary role is to help CRCNJ build and maintain relationships with community members and organizations. Dani disseminates information about CRCNJ to the public and helps schedule speaking engagements, Free Memory Screenings, lunch-and-learns, and other events that raise awareness about CRCNJ and issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive disorders. Daniela holds an MBA from University of Hartford and a BS in Management from Carnegie Melon University. She comes to CRCNJ with years of experience in sales and product development, as well as an extensive history as a community volunteer, including serving on the Board of Hearts for Emma, a New Jersey non- profit corporation that provides aid to families of children with heart disease or transplantation.

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<h3 align="center">Sharon Goldner</h3>
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Sharon Goldner

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

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Sharon Goldner, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City, and is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  She was also trained as a Vegetarian Chef from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City.  Sharon published “The Recipe for a Healthy Life Cookbook” in 2015, which is available at the CRCNJ and on Amazon.com.  She is a frequent wellness speaker to professional groups and community organizations.  Sharon is pleased to join CRCNJ offering consultative services regarding the effect of lifestyle factors on maintaining a healthy brain.