Peter Muennig (PI)
Professor Health Policy and Management
Columbia University

Policies that focus on education, immigration, welfare, the control of industrial pollution, and the built environment may produce large impacts, particularly if the balance of investments is optimized. Peter Muennig's research focuses on eliminating the preventable burden of disease through the optimal mix of actionable medical and non-medical social policies. He combines randomized controlled trials and cost-effectiveness analyses to better understand what this optimal mix of policies might be.  Peter has advised the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Canada, the Chilean government, and the Chinese government regarding which policies might be needed to optimize population health. He has published 100 peer-reviewed articles in the scientific literature, and has written 4 books. His work has appeared on NPR, CNN, MSNBC and multiple times in major print media sources, such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a 3 part series in Slate.

Jennifer J. Manly (Co-I)
Professor of Neuropsychology
Columbia University

Jennifer Manly, PhD is a Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research in Aging and Alzheimer’s disease at Columbia University. She completed her graduate training in neuropsychology at the San Diego State University / University of California at San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. After a clinical internship at Brown University, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. Her research on cultural, medical, and genetic predictors of cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease among African Americans and Hispanics has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and 8 chapters. In 2002 she was awarded the Early Career Award from Division 40 of the American Psychological Association, and in 2004 she was elected a Fellow of APA. She serves on the US Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services, and is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical & Scientific Research Board. She currently serves as a member at large on the Board of Governors of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Advisory panel members

Daniel Belsky
Assistant Professor
Columbia University

Dr. Belsky’s research sits at the intersection of public health, population & behavioral science, and genomics. He seeks to understand how genes and environments combine to shape health across the life course to reduce social inequalities in aging outcomes. Dan’s research in genetic epidemiology includes polygenic score studies of the development of obesity, asthma, smoking behavior, depression, and socioeconomic risk. His work in aging has focused on the development and analysis of algorithms to quantify the process of biological aging, especially in young and midlife adults. Dan’s work has received international attention, including by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Guardian newspapers, and appeared in outlets including PNAS, the JAMA journals, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, and top journals in epidemiology and gerontology. Dan is currently pursuing three related streams of research: (i) Development of methods to quantify processes of biological aging in young and midlife humans; (ii) Analysis of longitudinal cohort study and randomized trial data to identify molecular and behavioral pathways to resilience through which at-risk individuals can slow their pace of aging; and (iii) Analysis of gene-environment interplay to identify environmental factors that can be modified to reduce genetic risk for age-related disease and functional decline.

Bruce McEwen
Alfred E. Mirsky Professor
Rockefeller University

Dr. McEwen has published more than 700 peer-reviewed articles in journals including Nature, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, Neurobiology of Aging and The Journal of Neuroscience. His expertise and work have been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC, and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. He is co-author of the book The End of Stress As We Know It, with science writer Elizabeth Norton Lasley, and another book The Hostage Brain, with science writer Harold M. Schmeck Jr. He has received numerous awards including a share of the IPSEN Foundation Prize in Neuroplasticity, the Gold Medal award from the Society for Biological Psychiatry, the Pasarow Award in Neuropsychiatry, the British Endocrine Society's Dale Medal, the Goldman-Rakic Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society. Among his many roles, he is the founder and director of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology.

Kimberly Noble
Associate Professor
Teacher’s College

Dr. Kimberly Noble is a neuroscientist and board-certified pediatrician, and director of the Neurocognition, Early Experience and Development (NEED) lab. She and her team study how socioeconomic inequality relates to in children's cognitive and brain development. Her work examines socioeconomic disparities in cognitive development, as well as brain structure and function, across infancy, childhood and adolescence. She is particularly interested in understanding how early in infancy or toddlerhood such disparities develop; the modifiable environmental differences that account for these disparities; and the ways we might harness this research to inform the design of interventions. Along with a multidisciplinary team from around the country, with funding from NIH and a consortium of foundations, she is currently leading the first clinical trial of poverty reduction to assess the causal impact of income on children’s cognitive, emotional and brain development in the first three years of life.

James Riccio
Director of the Low-Wage Workers and Communities Division

Dr. Riccio’s work tests innovative policies to improve labor market, human development, and quality-of-life outcomes for low-income populations. He has led the development of a large number of large-scale RCTs designed to inform government investments in social welfare programs. Dr. Riccio currently serves as the PI for MDRC’s MyGoals RCT and is a senior reviewer on the PaycheckPlus RCT in conjunction with the PI. Under a contract with HUD, he is also the PI of an RCT exploring an alternative rent policy designed to improve work outcomes for recipients of housing subsidies in four cities. He was the PI of the Family Rewards conditional cash transfer RCT experiments in NYC and Memphis and the Work Rewards experiment in NYC. Work Rewards was a precursor to the current MyGoals RCT, and demonstrated that unemployed public housing recipients will respond to employment incentives provided that they are sufficiently comprehensive.  Dr. Riccio also led Britain’s largest randomized trial in social policy (covering 6 areas of the UK and including 16,000 subjects).

Richard Yi
Professor, Department of Psychology
Director, Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment
University of Kansas

Dr. Yi employs behavioral economic approaches to examine basic decision and behavioral processes associated with health, with focus on valuation of delayed outcomes (delay discounting) and dynamic inconsistency as principal factors in addiction and relapse. His research has also explored approaches to remediate accelerated delay discounting associated with health-compromising behaviors. He is also broadly interested in the intersection of intertemporal and interpersonal decision-making. Dr. Yi is an Associate Editor of Behavioural Processes, and serves on numerous editorial boards. He has served as a reviewer for journals in the areas of addiction, decision-making, learning, and general psychology, and regularly serves as grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and The National Science Foundation.

MyGoals for Employment Success