Who We Are

Community Suicide Prevention Group

Who We Are

Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH
Irving Philips Professor of Epidemiology (in Child Psychiatry) at CUIMC

Dr. Madelyn Gould received her her MA in psychology from Princeton University, and her MPH and PhD in epidemiology from Columbia University. During the past three decades, she has received continuous federal funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for her research in the area of suicide prevention. Her seminal articles on youth suicide risk and preventive interventions laid the groundwork for the development of state- and national-level suicide prevention programs. Current projects focus on the evaluation of suicide prevention strategies and the study of suicide risks related to bullying, contagion, and modeling, as well as the effects of a peer’s suicide on fellow students.

With a strong commitment to applying her research to program and policy development, Dr. Gould has participated in state and U.S. government commissions and served as a leadership consultant for the Surgeon General’s Leadership Working Group for the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. She has also contributed to the CDC’s community response plan for suicide clusters. Dr. Gould was a founding member of the New York State Prevention Council in 1999, and in 2005 helped organize the New York State Summit on Suicide Prevention, which was instrumental in the development of a suicide prevention plan for New York State. As a current member of the New York State Suicide Prevention Council, she often consults with the New York State Office of Mental Health on suicide prevention and crisis intervention planning and has a leading role at New York State Suicide Prevention Conferences. In addition, Dr. Gould is a member of the steering committee or advisory board/panel of several national suicide prevention organizations, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the JED Foundation, the Crisis Text Line, the Media Task Force of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention National Outcomes Evaluation, and the Center for Dignity, Recovery, and Empowerment of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco.  

Dr. Gould has been the recipient of numerous awards, among which are the Shneidman Award for Research from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) in 1991; the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) Research Award in 2002; the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Research Award in 2006; the New York State Suicide Prevention Center’s Excellence in Suicide Prevention Award in 2011; the  2013 Dublin Award from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to the field of suicide prevention; and the Dave Nee Foundation’s Ray of Light Award in 2015.

Alison Lake

Alison Lake, MA, LP

Research Project Director

Alison received her BA in women’s studies and social anthropology from Harvard University and her MA in anthropology from Princeton University, with a focus in psychological and psychoanalytic anthropology. She subsequently undertook clinical training at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, and is a licensed psychoanalyst in New York State. She joined Dr. Gould’s research group in 2008, bringing an interest in qualitative and mixed methods research. As a project director on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Evaluation, she oversaw the evaluation of the first cohort of SAMHSA’s crisis-center follow-up grantees, and now focuses on the evaluation of crisis chat interventions, the imminent-risk evaluation, and the hospital data collection aspect of the ED follow-up evaluation. After seven years onsite at NYSPI, she relocated in 2015 to Colorado Springs, CO, and continues to work remotely with Dr. Gould.

Jimmie Lou Munfakh

Jimmie Lou Munfakh, BA

Research Project Director

Jimmie Lou obtained her BA in psychology from Hunter College. Prior to joining NYSPI, she worked for two years as a telephone crisis counselor and conducted research on young adults’ attitudes about risky sexual behavior. Since 1998, she has collaborated with Dr. Gould on various projects assessing the use and effectiveness of telephone crisis intervention services. One study assessed whether the immediate and intermediate outcomes for suicidal callers to 17 crisis hotlines were improved when callers received intervention from counselors trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Most recently, Jimmie Lou has served as project director on studies assessing the follow-up support and intervention services provided to emergency room and inpatient discharge clients who report suicidal ideation within 48 hours of going to the hospital. 

Marjorie Kleinman

Marjorie Kleinman, MS

Data Analyst/Statistician

Marjorie is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MS degree in biostatistics from Columbia University School of Public Health and an MA degree in psychology from The New School for Social Research. She is a computer programmer and data analyst and has worked with Dr. Gould on almost all of her research projects in the field of adolescent suicide and contagion, as well as her more recent work funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in suicide prevention and assessment of telephone crisis services. She has vast experience in data management and in the use of statistical programming packages such as SPSS and SAS. In addition, she has programmed many of her own statistical procedures.

Hanga Galfalvy, Ph.D.

Hanga Galfalvy, PhD

Associate Professor of Biostatistics (in Psychiatry)
Departments of Psychiatry and Biostatistics, Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Hanga Galfalvy received her PhD in statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her transition into the area of psychiatric research was funded by an NIMH K25 award for developing statistical methodology for predicting suicide and suicide attempt based on multidimensional data. Currently, she has a joint appointment in the Department of Biostatistics and the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, and 15 years of research experience in psychiatric statistics. Dr. Galfalvy’s methodological research interests focus on statistical methods for analyzing psychiatric data, including building and evaluating prediction models for suicide/attempt, analysis of multidimensional longitudinally measured data, and statistical genetics. She has collaborated throughout her career with established psychiatric investigators and research groups, both nationally and internationally, as a co-investigator or statistician on projects funded by NIMH, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the New York State Office of Mental Health, the VA, and SAMHSA.

Research Scientist

Dr. Anat Brunstein Klomek received her PhD in child clinical psychology from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University in New York. Currently, Dr. Klomek is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, and on a sabbatical at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Dr. Klomek's research interests focus on child and adolescent mental health, including depression, anxiety, suicide, bullying, and learning and eating disorders. She has been involved in various intervention studies and has written numerous articles about these topics. Dr. Klomek is a cognitive behavioral (CBT) and interpersonal (IPT) therapist and supervisor. Since 2007, Dr. Klomek has been the assistant editor of Archives of Suicide Research.

Emily Halford

Emily Halford, BA

Research Assistant

Emily Halford graduated from Bates College in 2018 with a BA in biology and environmental studies. Emily is currently pursuing her MPH at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and plans to focus on psychiatric epidemiology. While studying at Bates, she became interested in addressing mental health issues through her volunteer position at the Trinity Jubilee Center Free Clinic in Lewiston, ME, given the significant percentage of patients presenting with mental health and addiction issues. This interest led her to pursue an internship evaluating Heywood Hospital’s School-Based Care Coordination Program for children and adolescents struggling with psychiatric disorders in Gardner, MA, in 2017. Emily joined Dr. Gould’s research unit in 2018, and will be assisting in her current evaluations of suicide crisis services provided by telephone, chat, and text.

Amanda Hoyte

Amanda Hoyte, BA

Research Assistant

Amanda graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in African American studies. After graduating, she participated in several volunteer and research projects that focused on various community health initiatives. Her work with the Samaritans of New York Suicide Prevention Hotline and the F.A.I.T.H. Project, a research study that aimed to create partnerships with New York City churches in order to help people of African descent improve their hypertension, sparked her interest in the client-centered counseling style of motivational interviewing. Amanda joined Dr. Gould’s research unit in 2015, where she helps to assess the quality of online crisis chat services provided by crisis centers in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) network. She also serves as a research assistant on a study that evaluates the clinical follow-up that NSPL telephone crisis centers provide to suicidal clients who have recently been discharged from emergency rooms or inpatient psychiatric hospitals.  

Saba Chowdhury

Saba Chowdhury, BS

Data Analyst

Saba Chowdhury received her BS in neuroscience from the University of Texas and is currently completing her MPH in epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Prior to joining NYSPI and pursuing her master’s degree, Saba worked as a research assistant at Harvard Medical School. There, she studied the role of the immune system in the progression of Alzheimer's disease and contributed as a second author to a publication in Science: Translational Medicine. Saba is currently completing her thesis on the gender differences in PTSD in child and adolescent survivors after a natural disaster. As a data analyst for Dr. Gould, she will help conduct analyses for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline project. Saba developed a strong interest in neuroscience and psychiatry after witnessing a close family member suffer with mental illness when she was in high school. She hopes to make a positive impact on mental health awareness and suicide prevention through the media of academic research and the arts.

Current Research Collaborators

Rebecca J. Aspden, MD
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Wendi F. Cross, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
University of Rochester Medical Center

Cheryl King, PhD
Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology
University of Michigan Health System

Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, PhD, MMSc
Associate Professor 
Department of General Practice and the Center for Public Health
The Medical University of Vienna

Anthony R. Pisani, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
The Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide
University of Rochester Medical Center

Peter Wyman, PhD
Department of Psychiatry
University of Rochester Medical Center