Our Staff

Our Faculty

  • Elena J. Ladas, PhD, RD

    • Sid and Helaine Lerner Professor for Global Integrative Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
    • Co-Director, Center for Comprehensive Wellness
    • Director, International Initiative for Pediatrics and Nutrition (IIPAN)
    • Associate Research Director, Pediatric Obesity Program
  • Dara M. Steinberg, PhD

    • Co-Director Center for Comprehensive Wellness (CCW); Director Psychosocial
    Dara Steinberg, PhD

Integrative Therapies Program (ITP)

  • Michelle Bombacie, MS, Dipl Ac, (NCCAOM), LMT, LAc

    • Program Manager

    Michelle Bombacie is the Program Manager for the Integrative Therapies Program within the Center for Comprehensive Wellness. She is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist, and is the lead acupuncture and integrative medicine supervisor in the pediatric clinic. Michelle co-authored a chapter in Evidence-based Non-pharmacological Therapies for Palliative Cancer Care. Most recently, she was a co-recipient of the first-place award for a research paper entitled Acupuncture for Pediatric Sickle Cell Pain Management: A Promising Non-Opioid Therapy from the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. She continues to conduct research on the use of integrative therapies in pediatric oncology and hematology.

    Prior to her current role, Michelle was a clinician for the Integrative Therapies Program, and delivered Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to children and their families. She led a family acupuncture practice in Manhattan for over ten years, specializing in Acupuncture Physical Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, for patients undergoing cancer treatment and patients with myofascial pain and stress-related conditions. Michelle was a member of the core faculty at the Tri-State College of Acupuncture for over decade. She taught acupuncture technique, supervised the student clinic, and developed curriculum for the Structural and Functional Anatomy classes.

    Michelle received her Masters of Science in Acupuncture from Tri-State College of Acupuncture and her Massage Therapy education from the New York College of Health Professions. Before studying acupuncture, Michelle was a professional dancer and Broadway performer. She taught dance and movement to undergraduate students at Collaborative Arts Project 21 (NYU Tisch School of the Arts), and choreographed for numerous dance companies in the tri-state area. She is currently completing the first official certification program in pediatric acupuncture in the United States from Jing Shen Pediatrics.

    Michelle Bombacie
  • Neena Barua, MS, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM), LAc

    • Research Integrative Therapist

    Neena Barua is a Licensed Acupuncturist. She is board certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She received her Masters of Science from Pacific College of Health and Science, where she trained in two distinct styles of acupuncture: Traditional and Classical Chinese Medicine. She has taken postgraduate classes in Oncology and Supportive Care for Cancer Patients, as well as Chinese Medicine Pediatrics. Neena has a private practice in New York, where she treats a wide range of patients, including prenatal/postpartum, labor support and pediatrics. Neena was a Teacher’s Assistant for various acupuncture clinical labs for students at Pacific College of Health and Science. She also completed Hatha Yoga Training in Varanasi, India and has a BA in Asian Studies from Vassar College.  In addition to being an acupuncturist, Neena is a mother of two children.

  • Kenna Bouvet, MS, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM), LAc

    • Research Integrative Therapist

    Kenna Bouvet is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Pilates Instructor. She received her Masters of Science from Tri-State College of Acupuncture/Pacific College of Health and Science, where she trained in three distinct styles of acupuncture: Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Acupuncture Physical Medicine. She has taken postgraduate classes in Oncology and Supportive Care for Cancer Patients; Japanese Shonishin non-needling techniques for children; JingShen Pediatrics Certification in the US; and Paediatric Acupuncture International Certification in the UK. She is a member of the Obstetrical Acupuncture Association and an Alumni of MAMPS, a mentorship program for maternal acupuncture. Kenna owns a massage and acupuncture business in Long Island City, where she specializes in pediatrics, women’s health, and prenatal/postpartum. Kenna has co-taught classes in hospital based pediatric oncology for Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine and the doctoral program at Virginia University Integrative Medicine. Kenna is certified in pilates through the Kane School at Kinected and holds a nutrition certification through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Kenna has trained as a doula and volunteered at NYU Langone Labor and Delivery Unit supporting patients with acupressure and tui na medical massage. Prior to her career in Acupuncture, Kenna taught movement classes to children and danced professionally for Shen Wei Dance Arts and Punch Drunk’s Sleep No More in NYC and Shanghai. Kenna has a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase College. 

  • Pooja Vyas, MPH

    • Project Coordinator

    Pooja Vyas is the Project Coordinator for the Integrative Therapies Program and the International Initiative for Pediatrics and Nutrition in the Center for Comprehensive Wellness within the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplant. In this role, she is involved with coordination of projects and research related to integrative medicine and application of them in children with cancer and hematologic disorders as part of the Integrative Therapies Program. As part of the International Initiative for Pediatrics and Nutrition, Pooja plays a role in coordinating projects and research to enhance nutritional care among children in low- and middle-income countries. Pooja has worked with various populations throughout graduate school and in her career both in global health and health in the United States, ranging from working in India supporting nutrition research to being involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response at the NJ DOH. Her public health interests include bridging the gap in access to quality healthcare and effective programming that addresses pivotal issues domestically and globally. Pooja completed her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and a certificate in Global Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is excited to further her experience and work in nutrition research and take part in coordinating and developing projects, utilizing integrative medicine and nutrition, to achieve successful health outcomes.

    Pooja Vyas, MPH
  • Michelle Walters, MS, RD

    • Research Nutritionist

    Michelle Walters is the Program Manager for the International Initiative in Pediatrics and Nutrition (IIPAN) under the direction of Dr. Elena Ladas. Michelle is a registered dietitian by training and specializes in clinical nutrition for pediatric oncology patients. In her current role, Michelle also fulfills her interest in research and global health. Prior to her role as IIPAN’s Program Manager, Michelle was the Research Nutritionist for the Integrative Therapies Program, where she coordinated and provided nutrition education for several nutrition-related studies in the division and provided nutrition therapy to pediatric oncology and stem cell transplant patients in the outpatient clinic. In addition to her work as IIPAN’s Program Manager, Michelle can still be found in the outpatient clinic one day per week providing nutrition care to pediatric oncology and stem cell transplant patients. Michelle has begun publishing research articles focused on improving nutritional care for pediatric oncology alongside Dr. Ladas. Finally, Michelle has consulted on the development of meal databases for a number of nutrition-related studies both domestically and internationally. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship and Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition at New York University. During her master’s degree, Michelle co-authored several research articles on the impact of diet on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

    View Michelle’s publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1V7ObsdqAuc96b/bibliography/public/


    Michelle Walters

Center for Survivor Wellness (CSW)

  • Tiffany Kanter, MS, CPNP

    • Research Nurse Practitioner

    Tiffany Strohli is a Research Nurse Practitioner who oversees the Center for Survivor Wellness along with Lenat Joffe, MD. Tiffany earned her nursing and graduate degrees at Columbia University. She is an active member of the Association of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Nurses (APHON) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). As a clinician and researcher, Tiffany is dedicated to evidence-based practice, the provision of collaborative and holistic care, and quality improvement in patient outcomes. She has worked with a broad range of patients from cancer diagnosis through end-of-life care and has extensive clinical experience with the pediatric oncology and chronic illness populations. Tiffany treats patients from infancy through young adulthood and is certified in both pediatric and adult cancer care. Her research interests focus on cancer survivorship, particularly the toxicities and late effects of various antineoplastic chemotherapies and other oncologic treatment modalities. Most recently, Tiffany and Joffe have undertaken the responsibility of coordinating fertility preservation within the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at CUIMC.

    Tiffany Strohli, MS, CPNP


  • Meghan Tomb, PhD

    • Neuropsychologist

    Meghan Tomb is an Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the neuropsychologist in the Center for Comprehensive Wellness. She also is the Clinical Director of the Promise Program at Columbia. She specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations of children, adolescents, and young adults with learning, language, attention/executive function, developmental disabilities, and complex medical issues affecting neurocognitive functioning. Evaluations are completed within a developmental framework and often include assessment of social-emotional functioning and co-occurring psychiatric concerns. Her work includes providing ongoing recommendations and consultation for families and educators in developing and implementing appropriate academic, social, and behavioral interventions for children who are evaluated.

    Meghan Tomb, PhD
  • Karen Turi, MSW; Candida Leon, MSW

    • Licensed Clinical Social Workers

    Karen Turi and Candida Leon are outpatient Social Workers at the Center for Comprehensive Wellness. Together they have over 20 years of experience in counseling, helping children and their families identify their strengths, deal with the consequences of illness and hospitalization, and plan for continuity of care. They assess each family's needs, then offer emotional support, advocacy, crisis intervention, and assistance with discharge planning. As expert listeners and problem-solvers, they also field questions about benefits, grants, and entitlements, providing families with an essential safety net. Karen received her MSW from Barry University and Candida received hers from Columbia University.

    Karen Turi, MSW; Candida Leon, MSW