Our Team

Our team of pioneering researchers and renowned thought leaders possess keen expertise to guide early ideas and inventions through preclinical development and into human trials.


Greg L. Kaluza MD, PhD

Director of Research at the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation since 2007


He has extensive expertise in guiding early ideas and inventions through comprehensive research programs to introduce practical therapies into clinical cardiovascular and interventional medicine and minimally invasive technologies.
Prior to CRF, Dr. Kaluza served as Scientific Director of the Center for Research in Cardiovascular Interventions and as Co-Director of the Angiographic Core Laboratory at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston, Texas. He received his medical degree from the Nicolas Copernicus Academy of Medicine in Kraków, Poland. He completed his postgraduate fellowship at the Laboratory of Physiology, University of Antwerp, Belgium, and his residency in internal medicine at the Jagiellonian University College of Medicine, Kraków, Poland.

Athanasios Peppas, BA, MS

Director of Operations CRF Skirball Center for Innovation


Prior to becoming Director, his tenure at SCI started in 2010 and included positions as GLP Study Director and Assistant Director of Data Management. He earned a BA in Biology from Rutgers University and a MS in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He trained in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen F. Vatner and has over 18 years of experience in preclinical cardiovascular research and investigation of new pharmaceutical agents.

Torsten P. Vahl, MD

an Interventional Research Associate at the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation


Specializing in structural heart interventions, he is an interventional cardiologist at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Vahl is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and interventional cardiology. Before joining SCI in 2014, he spent eight years in research, working with various preclinical models during his training at the University of Cincinnati and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Geng-Hua Yi, MD

Assistant Director, Cardiovascular Surgical Therapies at the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation since 2006


Dr. Yi received his medical degree and a master’s degree in thoracic surgery from Nantong Medical College in Jiangsu, China. He did his residency at the affiliated hospital of Nantong Medical College and a fellowship in cardiovascular surgery at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science, followed by several years in experimental surgery and physiology at Columbia University under mentorship under Daniel Burkoff.

Yanping Cheng, MD

Assistant Director of Cardiovascular Imaging at the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation


She has been trained in clinical cardiology and echocardiography, as well as in cardiovascular physiology. She has performed preclinical studies for more than 13 years, and is also an analyst in the Clinical Echocardiography Core Lab. She joined SCI in 2006 and is SCI’s premier echocardiography and endovascular imaging specialist, understanding imaging in both clinical and model applications.

Gerard Conditt, RCIS

Assistant Director of Cardiovascular Imaging at the CRF Skirball Center for Innovation


He is credentialed as a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist and has over 17 years of direct patient care and interventional cardiology experience as a senior cath lab assistant in a cardiac catherization lab. He has worked full time in the preclinical research setting since joining SCI in March 2006 and is a graduate of the United States Cardiopulmonary Technology Program, Naval School of Health Sciences.

Rebecca T. Hahn,

Director of Interventional Echocardiography NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and a professor of medicine at CUMC


Dr. Hahn is Board Certified in cardiovascular disease, internal medicine, echocardiography and she specializes in cardiac ultrasound and echocardiography. Her clinical interests include valvular heart disease, adult congenital heart disease, and heart disease in pregnancy. Dr. Hahn attended Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and did her residency in internal medicine, fellowship in cardiology and research fellowship in cardiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is available to support structural heart preclinical and training programs at SCI.

Sahil A. Parikh, MD

Director of Endovascular Services, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons


In 2016, Dr. Parikh was recruited to the Columbia University Medical Center as the Director of Endovascular Services, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology fellowships at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and vascular medicine and intervention fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a nationally recognized clinician educator and investigator in vascular medicine and intervention. He has won numerous teaching awards locally and co-directs several national educational programs for physicians in training and for continuing medical education in conjunction with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Intervention (SCAI). His research interests focus on novel endovascular devices for the treatment of vascular disease, and he is available to support peripheral interventional studies and training at SCI.
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