Sheryl Leventhal, MD

Founder of Hudson Valley Functional Medicine

In 2005, after spending 13 years practicing Hematology Oncology, I switched my focus to Functional Medicine, a newer systems approach to medicine. I was in the third graduating class of fellows that studied and certified through The Institute for Functional Medicine , which is now going on its 30th year. As someone always hungry to learn and improve care, in the last 5 years I have been following the increasing proliferation in medical studies, articles, books, podcasts, and websites in the emerging field of longevity. With the celebration of my 60th birthday coupled with my determination to remain vibrant and fit, I have embarked upon a deep study of the new genomics and physiology of aging and am now hungry to share what I’m learning with patients by offering an integrated, comprehensive Longevity Medical Consultation service that can help each client hedge against future disease and realize their full potential to live healthfully throughout the remainder of their lives.

My passion for health sciences and obsession with remaining on the leading edge of medicine started with my first introduction to biology working at the National Institutes of Health during high school and summers. At Cornell University I fell in love with biochemistry, and was able to take courses in nutrition, research science, and work in the lab. At NYU medical school I was drawn in even further, as the curriculum of cell biology, a new discipline at the time, was very strong. I graduated NYU Medical School with honors in Pharmacology, which required a research project and presentation. After having the opportunity to work at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel in an Immunology lab, I decided to focus on Oncology and Hematology. I was taken by the close connection of Oncology with biochemistry and physiology, and the challenge of moving treatments forward in a field where outcomes were not always favorable. After my fellowships in Hematology and Oncology, I took an opportunity at Columbia University, to teach as adjunct clinical professor, and participate in nation-wide clinical trials, while running a community practice with four partners This 13-year experience was rewarding and certainly there were some small advancements in my field, but I remained intensely curious about the root causes of cancer, and why prevention was not prioritized. I felt often that I was working at the wrong end of the continuum. At the time I did not know that there was a burgeoning group of like-minded professionals beginning to organize around concepts of root-cause exploration, the role of the environment in disease, and the healing power of food.

In 2005 I stumbled upon Functional Medicine and my world was turned upside down. Functional Medicine seemed to combine everything I love, nutritional biochemistry, natural health emphasis, and treating patients for foundational imbalances. I felt compelled to leave my Hematology Oncology practice and retrain in Functional Medicine at the Institute of Functional Medicine. Now, with the availability of genomic analysis and the new research in longevity, I feel the science of longevity, combined with the fundamentals of functional medicine, provide a very sound prescription for aging healthfully, with minimal medical intervention. It is very exciting to be able to combine my background in laboratory work, clinical work, and my bent towards natural health, to help others remain in optimal health for as long as possible.

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