Joshua Salvi

I am a PGY-4 resident in the research concentration program, arriving here after completing my tenure at the Weill Cornell / Rockefeller / Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program in New York City.

My background is in neuroscience, biophysics, and dynamical systems. During my graduate training in the laboratory of Jim Hudspeth at The Rockefeller University, I employed a combination of micromechanical, electrophysiological, and computational techniques to find that sensory hair bundles are controlled not simply by their genetics, but by their mechanical microenvironment. I developed a system called a mechanical-load clamp, analogous to a dynamic clamp in electrophysiology, that permits an experimenter to control the various mechanical loads imparted onto hair bundles. Using this system, we found that these mechanical changes control how a hair bundle responds to perturbations and discovered an evolutionary role imparted by the cell’s mechanical niche. I went on to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Rockefeller University, followed by a Grass Fellowship in Neuroscience at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Here I continued my efforts in the field of sensory neuroscience.

Outside of the laboratory, I served as Executive Director of the Weill Cornell Community Clinic for three years, during which we raised over $700,000 to maintain the clinic’s efforts in years to come. I also co-founded a project called Neurodome, in which we develop planetarium shows and other immersive experiences to educate the public about the brain. Finally, my passion for teaching led me to found and teach a graduate-level course in biostatistics for two years at The Rockefeller University.

As a resident and beyond, I wish to apply my background in dynamical systems and basic neuroscience to the field of computational psychiatry. More specifically, I am interested in the intersection between genetics and behavioral dynamics in both humans and animal models. Clinicians understand that psychiatric illness is anything but static; however, our search for biomarkers has been limited by the fact that we have not adequately captured temporal dynamics in human and animal behavior. I wish to employ a combination of computational, genetic, and biophysical approaches to the study of human psychiatric pathophysiology. My long-term goals can be summarized in the following specific aims:
1. Reassess nosology of psychiatric illness through the use of genetics and computational modeling of human behavior with fine temporal resolution.
2. Determine how manipulations of genes putatively implicated in psychiatric disease affects both brain functioning and behavioral dynamics in primate animal models.


Weill Cornell Medical College, MD, 2018

The Rockefeller University, PhD, 2015

The Pennsylvania State University, BS, 2009


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F30 NRSA Fellowship, NIDCD (2013-2017)

The John Metcalf Polk Prize

Leonard P. Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation)

The Richard N. Kohl Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry

Grass Fellowship in Neuroscience, Marine Biological Laboratory (2016; Woods Hole, MA)

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society