NEW YORK, NY, January 19, 2000 — Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) has been awarded $2.4 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The grant will enable Columbia to find new ways to combine basic biomedical research with clinical treatment of patients by augmenting its efforts in systems biology. The award will allow Columbia to hire new assistant professors who will use the tools of molecular biology and genetics to address questions in tissue differentiation, neuronal connectivity, organogenesis, and pathophysiology.
David Hirsh, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor and Chairman of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and interim dean for research, is the principal investigator for the Columbia grant. “The time has come to begin studies on higher order systems with their greater complexity as seen, for example, in research on whole organism physiology or the conversion of sensory stimuli into meaningful cognition,” says Dr. Hirsh. “The Hughes grant will enable Columbia to enhance its program by hiring several new outstanding young scholars.”
Columbia, like other academic medical institutions, is committed to helping young faculty members start their laboratories and begin experiments in promising fields of science. The Hughes grant will be used entirely to assist Columbia in providing start-up packages for new young faculty.
“This grant will increase our ability to develop new basic biomedical research areas that ultimately will augment clinical treatments,” said Thomas Morris, M.D., interim dean for clinical and educational affairs. “This funding will help Columbia sustain its critical research programs as we continue to advance Columbia’s commitment to improve health through education, discovery, and compassionate medical care of the highest quality.”