Author: New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute

April Newsletter – Teaching & Mentoring


April Newsletter

Teaching & Mentoring



At NJPNI, we love to mentor students who are pursuing a career in the medical field. Each year, we choose 2-3 pre-med college students for our summer internship program. During their eight week internship, we strive to give them a well rounded experience. Our interns shadow us in the hospital and office settings. They sit in on our interdisciplinary Craniofacial Clinic. We even have them observe surgeries! The interns are required to write research papers which are submitted for publication. By the time their internship is completed, they have not only gained new medical knowledge, but they have also had the opportunity to see how a medical practice runs and learn about things that are not necessarily taught in medical school.

Madison and Denise Summer Interns 2018

Madison & Denise Summer Interns 2018

Jeff, Helen and Cameron Summer Interns 2019

Jeff, Helen & Cameron Summer Interns 2019

Hamail and Isabel Summer Interns 2020

Hamail & Isabel Summer Interns 2020




Past Intern Stories






Sumana Gadiraju

“Sumana Gadiraju is a rising senior at Rutgers University-Camden majoring in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. Through this internship, she hopes to combine her interest in neuroscience and her passion for working with children. As an aspiring physician, Sumana is eager to gain insight into the medical field, particularly in pediatrics, during this experience.”


Shareef Syed

“I’m a rising junior at New Jersey Institute of Technology pursuing a B.S. in Biology. On campus I’m involved in Biomedical Engineering and Historical Research, the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, and the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. Through this internship, I hope to gain a solid understanding of how a team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, nurses, and therapists provide treatment for the pediatric population suffering from neurological disorders. I aspire to become a practicing physician and to eventually mentor students aspiring to become health care professionals.”


Brandon Block

“I’m a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania, with a double major in Biology and Classical Studies. This summer, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to gain clinical experience in the field of pediatric neurosurgery, as well as to further develop my research interests and skills. Following graduation, I’ll be attending the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai through their early assurance pipeline program.”


Words From Dr. Mazzola on Teaching:

“Teachers are amazing people. Last night, I participated in a scientific symposium honoring Sister Mary Edwards Zipf, who was my Microbiology teacher at the College of Mount St. Vincent. Just as Sister Mary Edward inspired me to continue my pursuit of medical science as a Biochemistry major, I have tried to be an inspiration to students interested in medicine. Since residency, I have been mentoring and encouraging students of all ages. Dr. Ricky Madhok was my first student. Ricky worked with me in a research lab, where we were studying brain tumors and the expression of various receptors.

Throughout the years, I have mentored and advised hundreds of high school, college, medical students and residents. I am so proud of each of them and all of their accomplishments.

This week, I found out that the son of one of my teachers, Dr. C. David Hunt, was admitted to medical school. I mentored his son, Adam Hunt, a few summers ago. I am so proud of Adam. Perhaps he will eventually become a neurosurgeon, like his father!

This year, Covid has disrupted our lives. But there was a silver lining on the Covid cloud. We at NJPNI were able to hire some of the nicest, smartest, pre-medical students who were looking for work while they prepared for medical school. I have worked with them to publish several papers, and currently, we are working on 4 more.”



Watch Dr. Mazzola Teach on her YouTube Channnel



Our Providers Love to
Mentor & Inspire!

At NJPNI, we have many opportunities for internships or shadowing experiences. We take pride in being able to share our experiences with students who are interested in the neurosciences. Teaching is not only rewarding for the student, but also for the mentee.

Click on the link below to learn more about the NJPNI Summer Internship for the summer of 2022! We are already filled with pre-med students for the summer of 2021.



Summer Internship for 2022

Click here to contact us now with any questions –


Diagnosed with a concussion? You may need a physical therapist.

Physical therapy should start immediately after a concussion and be targeted to the individual patient. All RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOLS are developed for each child separately with that child’s goals in mind. Have questions? Just call!

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury or TBI caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Experiencing symptoms like…

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”

Physical therapists can evaluate and treat many common problems related to concussions.

Because no two concussions are the same, a physical therapist will examine your neurological, orthopedic, and cardiovascular systems in order to best prescribe a routine to address your particular symptoms and your needs in all of your daily environments.

Come see SportsCare of Morristown!
(973) 605-1333 | 131 Madison Ave., 3rd Floor, Morristown, NJ

Concussion Treatment May Include:

  • Rest & Recovery
  • Restoring Strength & Endurance
  • Returning to Normal Activity or Sport
  • Stopping Dizziness & Improving Balance
  • Reducing Headaches

Also check out NJPNI and NJ Concussion Center for more info.

NJPNI December Newsletter

Check out our December Newsletter on Collaborative Care At NJPNI!

View NJPNI’s Past Newsletters and Announcements by Clicking Here


Collaborative Care At NJPNI
December 2020 Newsletter

Teamwork at NJPNI

NJPNI’s ability to provide excellent care for your child starts with our emphasis on collaborative teamwork. Everyone at NJPNI cooperates to make equal contributions to the care of your child. From the surgeons and nurse practitioners to the clinical assistants and billing office, all members of our team are in constant communication to accomplish holistic care for each child. Every member of our team knows all of our patients so there is always a familiar face whenever your child may need assistance.

Lastly, the health and safety of our patients and their families is our top priority. Our team has expanded to provide welcoming and safe services through launching a dedicated Telemedicine Platform. Our patients can now  securely connect with their respective provider from the comfort of their home.
The Craniofacial Team

The culture of teamwork starts within our offices and expands to the many teams we work with, one of those being the Craniofacial Center at Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center. With craniofacial anomalies having the ability to affect several organ systems, we have commited to working as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide the best care for this multidisciplinary disorder. In doing so, our team is able to minimize the patient’s time and travel needs and keep patients, parents, and all providers in the loop on diagnostic results and treatment decisions. Our team has been recognized by The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPCA) for providing care consistent with their standards for Craniofacial Team excellence.

The Cerebral Palsy Team

NJPNI pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Mazzola (top left) and  Children’s Specialized Hospital pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, Dr. Jenfu Cheng (top right), meet for a monthly Cerebral Palsy (CP) clinic for children with spasticity. By working together, Dr. Mazzola and Dr. Cheng are able to combine their medical backgrounds to thoroughly consider the best treatment options for each child’s spasticity.

Dr. Mazzola and Dr. Cheng also collaborate with Barnabas Health pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. O. Folorunsho Edobor-Osula (bottom left) and NJIT biomedical engineer Dr. Saikat Pal (bottom right) to study how children with CP move. This IRB approved research at NJIT studies the movement of typically developing and CP children to understand how surgery can improve the gate of children with CP. Each member of this team provides a new perspective on CP, allowing for a complete and unbiased evaluation of how children with CP respond to treatment.
A special THANK YOU to all our referring pediatricians and providers. We love collaborating with everyone to provide the best care for our patients!
THANK YOU to all our patients and their families!

NJPNI wishes everyone a HAPPY HOLIDAY! Let’s hope 2021 is a healthy, happy, and brighter year for all. Enjoy time with family.
xoxo Love from Dr. Mazzola, Dr. Collins, & the staff from NJPNI

Castle Connolly Top Doctors Award 2020

Our very own Dr. Catherine Mazzola has received the prestigious Castle Connolly Top Doctors award for 2020. See the congratulations letter from President & CEO of Atlantic Health Systems below:

Congratulations on being named a 2020 Top Doctor by Inside Jersey magazine and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

This great accomplishment confirms what the entire Atlantic Health System family has always known… you are the best of the best.  Whether you are connecting virtually for telehealth, safely welcoming patients in your practice or caring for patients in our medical centers, you provide extraordinary care that improves the health and well-being of our friends, families and neighbors.

For your tireless efforts throughout the pandemic and the compassionate care you provide every day, thank you for your partnership and for doing all you can to build healthier communities.

Brian Gragnolati

President & CEO

Atlantic Health System

Email Your Congressman

Despite fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, legislation in Washington is being considered to address surprise medical denials.

One plan would set arbitrary price caps and deny doctors and hospitals fair rates for critical medical procedures. Doing so would force many to close their doors and threaten your access to quality health care.

Doctors, hospitals and nurses in New Jersey need your help. Contact your member of Congress using the form below. Let them know we should stop surprise medical bills by making insurance companies pay, not cutting rates for our health care providers.

Go to to take action.

NJ Craniofacial Center’s 10th Annual Gala!

Dear Friends,

We hope and pray that you and your family are doing well and staying safe!

Due to the continuation of the current health climate, The NJ Craniofacial Center will be postponing the Annual Gala to a new date of Tuesday October, 13, 2020 at The Park Savoy Estate.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding! We thank those who have already purchased tickets and donated to the event. We are very grateful! If this change in date affects your ability to attend the event, we hope we can still count on your support!

The NJ Craniofacial Center’s Gala helps to benefit Developing Faces Organization, Operation Smile and the Foundation of Morristown Medical Center. These great organizations help to underwrite the cost of the Gala so that 100% of your gift will go directly to helping children and families overcome craniofacial challenges. Among the types of help your generosity supports, we are hoping to be able to reschedule Developing Faces mission trip to Guatemala this year. As you can well imagine, we anticipate a tremendous increase in demand for our services as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come.

Thank you for being a critical part of NJ Craniofacial Center and New Jersey’s caring community. Let us pray for those whose health and livelihood have been directly impacted by the pandemic and also the millions who, indirectly, will be impacted in numerous other ways.


The NJ Craniofacial Team

For any questions or more information please contact

Christina Sarcona: or 973-326-9000 Ext. 157

We look forward to your support and hope to see you there!

Sincerely Yours,

The NJ Craniofacial Center
131 Madison Ave, 3rd Floor
Morristown, New Jersey 07960