Dana Leifer, M.D.

Dana Leifer

Dana Leifer, MD graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude and received his M.D. cum laude from Harvard Medical School. He also received an M. Phil. in Biochemistry from Cambridge University as a Fulbright Scholar. After completing an internship in medicine and a residency in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Leifer joined the staff of the Stroke Service there and served as Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School. He subsequently moved to the Yale University School of Medicine as a member of the Cerebrovascular Center. In 1997, Dr. Leifer became Chief of Vascular Neurology at North Shore University Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurology at NYU. In 2005, Dr. Leifer joined Weill Cornell Medical College as Director of the Stroke and Neuroscience Step-Down Unit and Director of the Neurovascular Ultrasound Laboratory. He is board certified in Neurology and is one of the first neurologists to receive subspecialty certification in Vascular Neurology.

Dr. Leifer's research interests include cellular and molecular studies of neuronal growth and regeneration and immunohistochemical studies of stroke and other neurological diseases. His research has focused on the development of new treatments for stroke patients and functional MRI studies of brain activity during recovery from stroke. In 2010, he co-authored a clinical advisory sponsored by both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology about the role for genetic testing in choosing appropriate antiplatelet therapy to prevent strokes and heart attacks -- one of the first practical applications of personalized genetic medicine.

Dr. Leifer also serves as an advisor to the New York State Department of Health and the American Heart Association on the development of guidelines for the certification of stroke centers and on the evaluation of stroke center performance. He is the lead author of a 2011 American Heart Association Scientific Statement establishing procedures for monitoring the quality of care at comprehensive stroke centers.


Insurance Plans Accepted

The following represents most of the managed care plans accepted by this physician. If your insurance carrier does not appear here please contact the physician’s office as they may have individual contracts not included on this site.

* indicates this physician is no longer accepting new patients with this insurance plan.

  • AETNA [Medicare]
  • Aetna - Weill Cornell [POS]
  • Affinity Essential
  • Affinity Health Plan
  • Blue Priority Network
  • Emblem Select Care
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [EPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [Pathway X Enhanced]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [PPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [Pathway X]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [HMO]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [Mediblue (Senior)]
  • Fidelis Care
  • Health First
  • Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicare]
  • Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicaid]
  • Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP)
  • Health Plus - Amerigroup [CHP]
  • Health Plus - Amerigroup
  • Health Republic
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Oscar
  • Oxford Health Plans [Liberty]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Medicare Advantage]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom]
  • Rockefeller University - CoreSource
  • UHC Compass
  • United Empire
  • United Health Care
  • United Health Care [Medicare]
  • United Health Care [Community Plan]
  • VNSNY CHOICE Medicare [HMO]
  • VNSNY CHOICE Medicare [HMO]


1. Leifer D, Henderson R. Three-Dimensional Structure of Orthorhombic Purple Membrane at 6.5 Aring Resolution. J Mol Biol 1983; 163: 451-66.

2. Leifer D, Lipton SA, Barnstable CJ, Masland RH. Monoclonal Antibody to Thy-1 Enhances Regeneration of Processes by Rat Retinal Ganglion Cells in Culture. Science 1984; 224: 303-6.

3. Leifer D, Moore T, Ukena T, Wilner D, Thor A, Hedley-Whyte ET. Multifocal Glioblastoma with Liver Metastases in the Absence of Surgery: Case Report. J Neurosurg 1989; 71:772-6.

4. Newman NJ, Kline LB, Leifer D, Lessell S. Ocular Stroke and Carotid Artery Dissection. Neurology 1989; 39:1462-4.

5. Leifer D, Buonanno FS, Richardson EP Jr. Clinicopathological Correlations of Cranial Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Periventricular White Matter. Neurology 1990; 40:911-8.

6. Leifer D, Cole DG, Kowall, NW. Neuropathologic Asymmetries in the Brain of a Patient with Unilateral Status Epilepticus. J Neurol Sci 1991; 103:127-35.

7. Leifer D, Dreyer EB, Lipton SA. Immunofluorescent Characterization of Retinal Ganglion Cell Neurites Cultured on Substrates Coated with Antibodies against Thy-1. Exp Neurol 1991; 113:386-90.

8. Leifer D, Lai F, Buyse ML. Syndrome Identification Case Report: Mental Retardation, Microcephaly, and Facial and Limb Anomalies. Dysmorph Clin Genet 1991; 5:42-5.

9. Leifer D, Hochberg FH. Post-traumatic Pontine Truncal Sensory Level. Arch Neurol 1991; 48:1216.

10. Leifer D, Sobel RA. Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital (Case 50-1991): A 71-year-old woman with sensorimotor neuropathy and radiographically demonstrable abnormalities. N Engl J Med 1991; 325:1723-35.

11. Leifer D, Kowall NW. Thy-1 in Hippocampus: Normal Anatomy and Neuritic Growth in Alzheimer's Disease. J Neuropath Exp Neurol 1992; 51:133-41.

12. Lipton SA, Leifer D, Barnstable CJ. Selectivity of Thy-1 Monoclonal Antibodies in Enhancing Neurite Outgrowth. Neurosci Lett 1992; 137:75-7.

13. Leifer D, Halperin J, Cros D, Gallico GG III, Pierce DS, Shahani BT. Familial Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Report of Two Kindreds. Arch Phys Med Rehab 1992; 73:393-7.

14. Leifer D, Buonanno FS, Richardson EP Jr. Periventricular Hyperintensity: Reply to Letter to the Editor. Neurology 1992; 42:1256.

15. Leifer D, Grabowski T, Simonian N, & Demirjian ZN. Leptomeningeal Myelomatosis Presenting with Mental Status Changes and Other Neurologic Findings. Cancer 1992; 70:1899-904.

16. Schmahmann JD, Leifer D. Parietal Pseudothalamic Pain Syndrome: Clinical Features and Anatomical Correlates. Arch Neurol 1992; 49:1032-7.

17. Leifer D, Krainc D, Yu Y-T, McDermott J, Breitbart RE, Heng J, Neve RL, Kosofsky B, Nadal-Ginard B, Lipton SA. MEF2C, a MADS/MEF2 Transcription Factor Expressed in a Laminar Distribution in Cerebral Cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993; 90:1546-50.

18. McDermott JC, Cardoso MC, Yu Y-T, Andres V, Leifer D, Krainc D, Lipton SA, Nadal-Ginard B. HMEF2C Gene Encodes Skeletal Muscle- and Brain-Specific Transcription Factors. Mol Cell Biol 1993; 13:2564-77.

19. Leifer D, Kowall NW. Immunohistochemical Patterns of Selective Cellular Vulnerability in Human Cerebral Ischemia. J Neurol Sci 1993; 119:217-28.

20. Leifer D, Golden J, Kowall NW. Myocyte-Specific Enhancer Binding Factor 2C Expression in Human Brain Development. Neuroscience 1994; 63:1067-79.

21. Krainc D, Haas M, Ward DC, Lipton SA, Bruns G, Leifer D. Assignment of Human Myocyte-Specific Enhancer Binding Factor 2C (hMEF2C) to Human Chromosome 5q14 and Evolutionary Conservation of MEF2C. Genomics 1995; 29:809-11.

22. Dreyer, EB, Leifer D, Heng J, McConnell JE, Gorla M, Levin LA, Barnstable CJ, Lipton SA. A Novel Astrocyte Binding Site for Neuronal Thy-1 and its Effect on Neurite Outgrowth. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1995; 92:11195-9.

23. Speliotes EK, Kowall NW, Shanti BF, Kosofsky B, Finklestein SP, Leifer D. MEF2C Expression in Gerbil Brain Following Global Cerebral Ischemia. Neuroscience 1996; 70:67-77.

24. Leifer D. Transcription Factors in Development of the Cerebral Cortex. Neuroscientist 1996; 2:7-11.

25. Leifer D, Li YL, Wehr K. Expression of MEF2C in Fetal Mouse Brain. J Mol Neurosci 1997; 8:1-13.

26. Jaffer A, Leifer D. Cerebral Venous Thrombosis. N Engl J Med 1997; 337:395.

27. Leifer D. Neuronal Plasticity and Recovery from Stroke. Neuroscientist 1998; 4:68-70.

28. Janson CG, Chen Y, Li Y, Leifer D. Functional regulatory regions of human transcription factor MEF2C. Brain Res Mol Brain Res 2001; 97:70-82.

29. Lancaster G, Lovoulos CJ, Massouttas M, Goldstein A, Leifer D, Fayad P, Olsen D, Elefteriades JA. Aortic Arch Replacement for Recurrent Cerebral Embolization. Ann Thorac Surg 2002; 73:291-294.

30. Gropen TI, Gagliano PJ, Blake CA, Sacco RL, Kwiatkowski T, Richmond NJ, Leifer D, Libman R, Azhar S, Daley MB for the NYSDOH Stroke Center Designation Project Workgroup. Quality Improvement in Acute Stroke: The New York State Stroke Center Designation Project.& Neurology 2006; 67:88-93. (Featured in Highlights section of journal).

31. Downie S, Gropen TI, Gagliano PJ, Blake CA, Sacco, RL, Kwiatkowski T, Richmond NJ, Leifer D, Libman R, Azhar S, Daley M.& Reply to Letter to the Editor: Quality improvement in acute stroke & Neurology 2007; 68:965.

32. Elkind MSV, Sacco RL, MacArthur RB, Fink DJ, Peerschke E, Andrews H, Neils G, Stillman J, Corporan T, Leifer D, Cheung K. The Neuroprotection with Statin Therapy for Acute Recovery Trial (NeuSTART): An Adaptive Design Phase I Dose-Escalation Study of High-Dose Lovastatin in Acute Ischemic Stroke. Int J Stroke 2008; 3:210-218.

33. Elkind MSV, Sacco RL, MacArthur RB, Peerschke E, Neils G, Andrews H, Neils G, Stillman J, Corporan T, Leifer D, Liu R, Cheung K.High-Dose Lovastatin for Acute Ischemic Stroke: Results of the Phase I Dose-Escalation Neuroprotection with Statin Therapy for Acute Recovery Trial (NeuSTART). Cerebrovascular Diseases 2009; 28:266-275

34. Holmes DR, Dehmer GJ, Kaul S, Leifer D, O'Gara PT, Stein CM. ACCF/AHA Clopidogrel Clinical Alert: Approaches to the FDA “Boxed Warning”-- A Report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Expert Consensus Documents and the American Heart Association. J Am Coll Cardiol 2010; 56:321 and Circulation 2010; 122:537. (Published simultaneously in both journals).

35. White HA, Fanzio PM, Leifer D, Sherman JE. Necrotizing fasciitis and bacterial meningitis after liposuction and fat injections. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2010; 126:1358-1363.

36. Leifer D, Bravata DM, Connors JJ, Hinchey JA, Jauch EC, Johnston SC, Latchaw R, Kikosky W, Ogilvy C, Qureshi AI, Summers D, Sung GY, Williams LS, Zorowitz R. AHA Scientific Statement-- Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers: Detailed Follow-up to Brain Attack Coalition Comprehensive Stroke Center Recommendations-- A Statement for Healthcare Professionals from a Special Writing Group of the Stroke Council, American Heart Association, Cosponsored by the Atherosclerotic Peripheral Vascular Disease Working Group, the Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia Council, and the Cardiovascular Nursing Council. Stroke 2011; in press. (Published online on January 13, 2011, available through http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21233469).