Columbia University Medical Center

CUMC Celebrates September – October 2013

CELEBRATES Sept-Oct HEADERCUMC CELEBRATES acknowledges faculty, staff, and students at Columbia University Medical Center who receive major research grants, who earn prestigious honors, who are elected to honorary societies, or who take leadership positions in professional organizations. celebrates-pdfCelebrates also gratefully acknowledges the gifts made by donors and friends of the Medical Center and highlights faculty who have appeared in the news recently. If you have an award or honor that you would like to have listed in Celebrates, please fill out this online form. Please note: all federal grants are automatically included based on institutional data. For more information, send an e-mail to the Celebrates editor. Click on the image at right to print this issue.

Research Grants / Awards & Honors / Philanthropic Gifts / CUMC in the News

 
RESEARCH GRANTS
(representative listing)

COLLEGE OF DENTAL MEDICINE
Burton Edelstein, DDS, MPH, Social and Behavioral Sciences, received $1,908,208 over five years from the HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration in a competitive renewal for “Dental Care for Hard-to-Reach HIV/AIDS Populations in Harlem & South Bronx.”

 

MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Magdalena Cerda, DrPH, MPH, Epidemiology, received $420,000 over two years from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for “Neighborhood Interventions in Alcohol-related Homicide: A Systems Approach.”

M. James Eliades, MPH, Population & Family Health, received $681,371 over four years from the U.S. Agency for International Development for “Malaria Diagnosis and Case Management Program.”

Crystal Fuller, PhD, MPH, Epidemiology, received $440,000 over two years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for “Exploratory Study of Drug User Health-related Internet and Mobile Technology Use.”

Jennifer Hirsch, PhD, and Richard Parker, PhD, Sociomedical Sciences, received $1,986,706 over five years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in a competitive renewal for “Columbia-Vietnam Social Science Training and Research Partnership: STAR II.”

Carmen Rodriguez, PhD, Population & Family Health, received $2,544,818 over five years from the Administration for Children and Families for “Head Start – Programmatic Expenses.”

 

SCHOOL OF NURSING
Suzanne Bakken, DNSc, received $749,981 through March 2015 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for “WICER 4U.”

Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, PhD, received $703,574 over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for “Contextualizing & Responding to HIV Risk Behaviors among Black Drug Offenders.”

Patricia Stone, PhD, received $743,198 over five years from the National Institute of Nursing Research for “Comparative and Cost-Effectiveness Research Training for Nurse Scientists.”

 

COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS
Corinne Abate-Shen, PhD, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, received $1,948,905 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “Preclinical Analyses of Advanced Prostate Cancer in Genetically Engineered Mice.”

Anissa Abi-Dargham, MD, Psychiatry, received $454,859 over two years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Probing Dopamine D2 Receptor Trafficking in Schizophrenia.”

Paul Appelbaum, MD, Psychiatry, received $5,259,631 over five years from the National Human Genome Research Institute for “Center for Research on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics.”

Penelope Boyden, PhD, Pharmacology, received $1,096,732 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “EHD Proteins in Cardiac Membrane Protein Targeting and Remodeling.”

Jorge Caviglia, MD, PhD, Medicine, received $391,197 over three years from the National Cancer Institute for “TLR4 in Obesity-driven Liver Cancer.”

Jeanine Marie D’Armiento, MD, PhD, Anesthesiology and Medicine, received $2,172,842 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Smoke Induced Airway Injury in the Lung.”

Christine Ann Denny, PhD, Psychiatry, received $1,981,342 over five years from the Office of the NIH Director for “Optogenetic Dissection of Hippocampal Circuitry Underlying Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Fiona Doetsch, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, received $440,000 over two years from the National Institute on Aging for “Extrinsic Regulation of Adult Neural Stem Cells.”

Karen Duff, PhD, Taub Institute, received $1,400,000 over four years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Propagation of Tauopathy: Role of Degeneration and Impact of Immunotherapy.”

Donald Edmondson, PhD, MPH, Medicine, received $3,169,464 over five years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Impact of Social-Interpersonal Factors in the ER on PTSD/Cardiac Outcomes.”

Suzette Evans, PhD, Psychiatry, received $1,481,376 over three years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for “Stress-Induced Marijuana Self-Administration: Role of Sex and Oxytocin.”

Donna Farber, PhD, Surgery, received $374,000 over two years from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for “A Novel Mouse Model for Immune-mediated Skin Fibrosis in Scleroderma.”

Vincent Ferrera, PhD, Neuroscience, and Herbert S. Terrace, PhD, Psychology, received $1,972,042 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “The Neurophysiological Basis of Serial Learning.”

Anjali Ganda, MD, Medicine, received $906,660 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Mechanisms of Monocytosis and Accelerated Atherosclerosis in Patients with CKD.”

Ali Gharavi, MD, Medicine, received $2,682,561 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Clinical Research in Primary Glomerular Diseases.”

Jon Giles, MD, MPH, Medicine, received $350,000 over two years from Pfizer for “Evaluation of an Education and Electronic Medical Record Based Vaccination Optimization Intervention in Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Jay Gingrich, MD, PhD, Psychiatry, received $439,450 over two years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Serotonergic Modulation of Claustro-Cortical Circuits.”

Ragy Girgis, MD, Psychiatry, received $353,506 over three years from the Stanley Medical Research Institute for “Tocilizumab, an Anti IL-6 Receptor Antibody, As Add-on Treatment for Residual Positive, Negative, and Cognitive Symptoms in Schizophrenia: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial.”

Stephen Goff, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, received $600,000 over three years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Regulation of HIV-1 Gene Expression in Latency by YY1, RUV B2, and ZAP.”

Ira Jay Goldberg, MD, Medicine, received $2,323,215 over five years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in a competitive renewal for “Postdoctoral Training in Arteriosclerosis Research.”

Robert Goldenberg, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, received $3,277,455 over five years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for “Columbia University/Aga Khan University Global Network Research Unit.”

Rene Hen, PhD, Psychiatry, received $1,616,452 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Pattern Separation & Age-related Cognitive Impairments.”

Christopher Henderson, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, received $316,500 over two years from Project A.L.S. for “Selective Vulnerability of Motor Neurons in ALS.”

Jonathan Javitch, MD, PhD, Psychiatry, received $3,087,562 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Structure and Function of Dopamine Receptors.”

George Hripcsak, MD, Biomedical Informatics, received $2,188,975 over five years from the National Library of Medicine for “Discovering and Applying Knowledge in Clinical Databases.”

Vivek Iyer, MD, MSE, Medicine, received $665,550 over five years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Cell-type Specificity of Heritable Channelopathies: Role of the Purkinje Fiber.”

Daniel Javitt, MD, PhD, Psychiatry, received $515,221 over two years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “tDCS Augmentation of Cognitive Remediation in Schizophrenia.”

Thomas Jessell, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, received $1,750,000 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Cadherin-Catenin Based Recognition in Sensory-Motor Connectivity.”

Maria Karayiorgou, MD, Psychiatry, received $3,685,455 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health in a competitive renewal for “Functional Analysis of the 22q11.2 Schizophrenia Susceptibility Genes.”

Stavroula Kousteni, PhD, Medicine, received  $1,723,555 over five years from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for “The Osteoblast as a Determinant of Leukemogenesis.”

Rudolph Leibel, MD, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, received $1,161,636 through December 2014 from the Nutrition Science Initiative for “Body Composition Studies and Eating Behavior.”

Frances Levin, MD, Psychiatry, received $284,070 over three years from the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry for “Implementing Pharmacotherapies for Opioid Dependence: Collaborative Strategies for Training Health Professionals.”

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Psychiatry, received $1,215,182 for a year from the National Institute of Mental Health to expand upon “New Experimental Medicine Studies: Fast-Fail Trials in Psychotic Spectrum Disorders (FAST-PS).”

Ellen Lumpkin, PhD, Dermatology, received $1,553,164 over four years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in a competitive renewal for “Peripheral Mechanisms Governing Tactile Encoding During Normal Target Remodeling.”

Tom Maniatis, PhD, and Lawrence Shapiro, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, received $1,845,332 over four years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for “The Structural Basis of cis and trans Protocadherin Interactions.”

Diana Martinez, MD, Psychiatry, received $1,179,456 over two years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in a competitive renewal for “Imaging the Neurobiology of a Behavioral Treatment for Cocaine Dependence.”

Alice Medalia, PhD, Psychiatry, received $734,933 over three years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Personalized and Scalable Cognitive Remediation Approaches.”

Hiroshi Mitsumoto, MD, Neurology, received $1,062,915 over four years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for “Prospective Comprehensive Epidemiologic Study in a Large Cohort in the National ALS Registry: Identifying ALS Risk Factors.”

Owen O’Connor, MD, PhD, Medicine, received $600,000 over three years from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for “Epigenetic Approaches to PTCL Therapy.”

Benjamin Ohlstein, MD, PhD, Genetics & Development, received $720,000 over four years from the American Cancer Society for “The American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant.”

Liza Pon, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, received $1,310,822 over four years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for “Mitochondrial Motility and Inheritance.”

Jonathan Posner, MD, Psychiatry, received $2,103,381 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Imaging Stimulant Effects on Emotional Lability in Children with ADHD.”

Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, received $2,393,349 over three years from the Department of the Army for “A Cell-based Assay to Identify Neuroprotective Molecules for the Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.”

Qolamreza Razlighi, PhD, Taub Institute, received $635,986 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Analyzing Age-related Changes of Brain Activation in Subjects Native Space.”

Michael Rosenbaum, MD, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, and Laurel Mayer, MD, Psychiatry, received $3,080,168 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Functional Imaging and Eating Behavior Among FTO Genotypes in Pre-obese Children.”

Catherine Schevon, MD, PhD, Neurology, received $2,852,451 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Seizure Localization in Humans: The Effect of Inhibitory Surround on the EEG.”

Franklin Schneier, MD, Psychiatry, received $2,536,947 over four years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Ventrostriatal Dopamine Release and Reward Motivation in MDD.”

Michael Shen, PhD, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, received $832,000 over four years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for “Identification of Master Regulators of Advanced and Castrate-resistant Prostrate Cancer Under Treatment with Abiraterone.”

Michele Shirasu-Hiza, PhD, Genetics & Development, received $1,393,768 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Aging of Tissue-specific Clocks in the Immune System of Drosophila.”

Mark Slifstein, PhD, Psychiatry, received $557,425 over one year from CHDI for “Development and Validation of an in vivo Paradigm to Image Glutamate Transmission.”

Alexander Sobolevsky, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, received $1,742,903 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Structure and Function of AMPA Subtype Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors.”

Janet Sparrow, PhD, Ophthalmology, received $1,961,396 over four years from the National Eye Institute in a competitive renewal for “Impact of Lipofuscin in Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells.”

Steven Spitalnik, MD, Pathology & Cell Biology, received $2,312,809 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Harmful Effects of Red Blood Cell Transfusions are Mediated by Iron.”

David Sulzer, PhD, Neurology, received $1,297,852 over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in a competitive renewal for “Presynaptic Mechanisms in Dopamine Neurotransmission.”

Lori Sussel, PhD, Genetics & Development, received $1,723,425 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in a competitive renewal for “Regulation of Pancreatic Cell Fate.”

Saeed Tavazoie, PhD, Systems Biology, received $1,200,000 over three years from the National Human Genome Research Institute in a competitive renewal for “Predictive Learning of Post-Transcriptional Networks.”

Andrew Tomlinson, PhD, Genetics & Development, received $1,600,000 over four years from the National Eye Institute for “Photoreceptor Specification in the Drosophila Eye.”

Nina Urban, MD, Psychiatry, received $439,450 over two years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for “Imaging the Effect of Deep rTMS on Brain Activity in Chronic Cannabis Use.”

Timothy Cragin Wang, MD, Medicine, received $950,018 over three years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Quiescent Dclk1+ Stem Cells in the Mouse Intestine.”

Ronald Wapner, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, received $483,077 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Pregnancy as a Window to Future Cardiovascular Health.”

Robert Winchester, MD, Medicine, received $374,000 over two years from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for “RA Immune System Derived from Patient’s Stem Cells.”

Shan Zha, MD, PhD, Institute for Cancer Genetics, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, Medicine, received $440,000 over two years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “The Role of Xlf in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Maintenance and Function.”

 
AWARDS & HONORS

CUMC

Provost Leadership Fellows Program

The Fellows Program aims to develop leadership skills for some of Columbia’s outstanding tenured faculty. Fellows will participate in a range of mentoring and learning opportunities; consult regularly with senior administrators; and engage directly with key campus strategic

initiatives and academic processes. Participants will develop greater insight into academic initiatives, strategic planning, budget issues, and challenges in higher education. Each Fellow will be appointed for a two-year term. CUMC Fellows are:

 

President’s Global Innovation Fund

Twenty Columbia faculty members were awarded funding from the University to support teaching or research projects that use the resources or facilities of one or more of the University’s eight Global Centers. Five CUMC faculty members are among the awardees:

  • Shantanu Lal, DDS, College of Dental Medicine, Children’s Global Oral Health Initiative
  • Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, Epidemiology, Mailman, Urbanicity, childhood trauma and adolescent comorbid psychopathology in Brazil and Chile
  • Kathleen Pike, PhD, Psychiatry, P&S, Global Mental Health Research Consortium and Scholars Program
  • Miriam Rabkin, MD, MPH, Medicine, P&S, Confronting noncommunicable diseases in Middle East and Turkey
  • Tilla Worgall, MD, Pathology & Cell Biology, P&S, Sphingolipids in pediatric brain tumors

 

The Provost’s Grant Program for Junior Faculty Who Contribute to the Diversity Goals of the University provides awards, of up to $25,000 each, to support new or ongoing research and scholarship, seed funding for innovative research for which external funding would be difficult to obtain, and curricular development projects. Three CUMC faculty members received grants in the most recent round of funding:

  • Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH, Epidemiology, Mailman, Neighborhood interventions to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in alcohol-related homicide
  • Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo, PhD, Nursing, Seeking and testing the feasibility of a novel approach to reduce HIV/AIDS among vulnerable populations
  • Elizabeth Verna, MD, Medicine, P&S, Bacterial Translocation and Endotoxin in the Prediction and Prevention of Recurrent Liver Fibrosis Following Liver Transplantation in Patients with Hepatitis C

 

COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS
In September, Christopher S. Ahmad, MD, and William N. Levine, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, were named among the Top 28 Shoulder Surgeons in North America by Orthopedics This Week. This list was based on telephone surveys of leaders in the field.

Doris Duke Fellow Jorien Breur was awarded the 2013 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship from Alpha Omega Alpha to continue her research in the Dominican Republic evaluating the use of a TB test in an HIV clinic.

Edward J. Ciaccio, PhD, Medicine, was keynote speaker at the 2nd International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology, held in Wuhan, China, in October 2013.

Jan Claassen, MD, PhD, was among 23 physicians inducted into the inaugural class of Fellows of the Neurocritical Care Society.

Mary E. D’Alton, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Susan Dewolf received a Student Scholar Grant from the American Society of Nephrology for the study, “Mechanism of T Cell Tolerance in Patients Receiving Combined Kidney and Bone Marrow Transplantation.”

The Mental Health Association of Westchester presented Lisa Dixon, MD, Psychiatry, with an on the move award at the association’s annual benefit in October. The honor recognizes an individual who advocates for improved mental health and promotes an understanding of mental health issues.

Isaac George, MD, and Adam Griesemer, MD, Surgery, were awarded Department of Surgery Chairman’s Research Awards and received $125,000 to support a year of research. 

Alexander Harris, MD, Psychiatry, received the American Psychiatric Foundation Schizophrenia Research Fellowship by Genentech Inc. The award was presented at this year’s American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco.

P&S student Michael Healy, a Doris Duke Fellow, received a 2013 seed grant from the AMA Foundation and a Medical Student Scholar award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America Education and Research Foundation to fund a study on microbial translocation in malnourished HIV-infected children initiating HAART.

At a Gay Pride ceremony at Queens Borough Hall, Joyce Hunter, PhD, Psychiatry, was presented with three awards by Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, including a Citation of Honor for “her many years of activism and work in the health care and mental health fields, working in a variety of capacities to help educate and protect LGBT persons from HIV/AIDS.”

Daniel Javitt, MD, PhD, Psychiatry, was a co-recipient of the APA Award for Research in recognition of his contributions to the NIMH-funded TURNS program for new treatment development.

P&S student Michael McDowell, a Doris Duke Fellow, received the Christopher C. Getch Chair of Research Award from the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. The award of $15,000 will fund his research, “Assessment of Aneurysm Rupture Risk: Candidate Susceptibility Genes for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Morphological Parameters.”

Graduating child psychiatry residents presented Heino Meyer-Bahlburg, Dr. rer. nat., Psychiatry, with the 2013 Faculty Teaching Award and the Best Mentor Award.

Mark Nathanson, MD, Psychiatry, was chosen 2013 Physician of the Year by CoSMO (Columbia Student Medical Outreach). The award recognizes the physician who dedicated the most time, passion, and enthusiasm to both patient care and education.

Tarique Perera, MD, Psychiatry, was elected president of the Clinical TMS Society. This society has an international membership and promotes the clinical practice of transcranial magnetic stimulation across the world.

Daniel Schechter, MD, Psychiatry, is one of three 2013 winners of the International Psychoanalytic Association’s Psychoanalytic Research Exceptional Contribution Award for a paper, “The Relationship Between Early Attachment Disturbances and Maternal Traumatization: Understanding Disturbances of Mutual Affect Regulation with An Eye Towards Specific Intervention,” that he co-authored with another winner.

Doris Duke Fellow Evan Sheha received a student scholarship to attend the 67th annual meeting of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine in October to deliver a talk, “Postoperative Pain in Cerebral Palsy: Are Patients with CP Being Undermedicated?”

Eileen Shu, a Doris Duke Fellow, received a Medical Student Scholar Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America Education and Research Foundation for the project “Tuberculosis Vaccine Readiness in a High TB Prevalence Population in Lima, Perú.”

A paper by June K. Wu, MD, Surgery, was named Best Experimental Paper among all manuscripts published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery during 2012.

 

MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Melissa Begg, ScD, Biostatistics, has been awarded the 2013 ASPPH/Pfizer Award for Teaching Excellence. The award recognizes a graduate public health faculty member who demonstrates exceptional ability to teach and mentor students in achieving distinction in public health.

Wafaa M. El-Sadr, MD, Epidemiology, has been appointed to the Fogarty International Center Advisory Board. As the international arm of the NIH, Fogarty addresses global health issues and aims to build international partnerships.

W. Ian Lipkin, MD, Epidemiology has been appointed to the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health. The committee makes recommendations concerning program development, resource allocation, NIH administrative regulation and policy, and other specific or general aspects of NIH policy.

The 20/20 Leading Women’s Society has presented Terry M. McGovern, JD, Population and Family Health, with the Pandora Singleton Ally Award in recognition of her more than 20 years of work in HIV/AIDS.

 

COLLEGE OF DENTAL MEDICINE
Luz M. Aguirre, DMD, received the 2013 Colgate Palmolive National Outstanding Faculty Award from the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Dental Association. The award acknowledges the achievements of professionals who have done the most to improve the health of underserved diverse communities.

Eric Linden, DMD, Periodontics and Oral Medicine, was recently certified in the use of the Nd/YAG (neodymium-doped:yttrium, aluminum, and garnet) laser for the advanced treatment of periodontal disease. He is one of 39 doctors in the world certified to use the laser as well as train other practitioners. 

Neeraja N. Prabhakaran, CDM’16, was selected regional representative of the American Association of Dental Research National Student Research Group. Regional representatives engage local chapters and universities in the association’s national affairs.

The American Academy of Periodontology honored Stephen S. Wallace, DDS, with the Master Clinician Award, sponsored by Hu-Friedy. Called a “consummate teacher” by his peers, Dr. Wallace offers courses through his private practice that help colleagues who wish to improve their skills in implant dentistry.

 

SCHOOL OF NURSING
Nancy Reame, PhD, was invited to serve on the advisory council of the American Nurses Association Nurse Fatigue Professional Issues Panel.

Lusine Poghosyan, PhD, is one of 12 nursing educators in the nation to be named a 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation nurse faculty scholar. The award is given to junior faculty members who show exceptional promise as future leaders in academic nursing. She will receive a three-year $350,000 grant for her research.

 

PHILANTHROPIC GIFTS
(August 16—October 14)

COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS

A donor made a $10,500,000 commitment to advance research into the mechanisms of brain and gut function and the ways they are affected by nurture.

A bequest of $1,000,000 was realized to provide postgraduate and faculty exchange programs with the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

A foundation made a contribution of $975,000 toward a $1,950,000 commitment to the Department of Medicine to support cystic fibrosis lung transplantation care.

A private foundation made a contribution of $500,000 toward a $6,000,000 commitment to the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain.

A contribution of $500,000 was made to fulfill a $750,000 commitment to the Department of Psychiatry to advance research and clinical care in nonverbal learning disabilities in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

A family foundation made a commitment of $400,000 to support a pilot project in health science communications.

A private foundation made a $215,000 commitment to provide fellowship support to the Department of Psychiatry.

A donor made a contribution of $170,000 to the Department of Ophthalmology to advance research on retinal dystrophies.

A bequest of $150,637 was realized to provide scholarship support to the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

A donor made a contribution of $138,500 to the Department of Psychiatry to advance the study and treatment of psychiatric conditions.

A donor made a gift of $125,000 to the Department of Medicine to support medical education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

An alumni couple of P&S made a $100,000 commitment to support construction of the new Medical and Graduate Education Building.

A donor made a $100,000 gift to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University through the center’s annual gala, which raised funds to advance research and clinical care programs.

 

SCHOOL OF NURSING

An alumna made a bequest of $381,000 to the School of Nursing for scholarship support.

A bequest of $247,500 from a School of Nursing alumna was realized to endow a scholarship fund.

 

MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

The Tow Foundation pledged $225,000 for support of the conference “Rethinking Crime & Punishment: Public Health Approaches to Safety & Justice,” scheduled for June 4-5, 2014, at the Mailman School of Public Health.

The New York Community Trust made a gift of $100,000 to enable researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health to comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of the Bloomberg administration public health policy on reducing the burden of chronic disease in New York City during the past decade.

 

CUMC IN THE NEWS: September—October 2013

New York Times
New Technique Holds Promise for Hair Growth – October 21, 2013
Scientists have found a new way to grow hair, one that they say may lead to better treatments for baldness. So far, the technique has been tested only in mice, but it has managed to grow hairs on human skin grafted onto the animals. …The senior author of the study is Angela Christiano, a hair geneticist and dermatology professor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who has become known for her creative approach to research.

Wall Street Journal
Learning Anatomy in a Digital Age – October 8, 2013 
Medical students at Columbia University are using digital technology to breathe new life into a process hundreds of years old: dissecting a cadaver from head to toe. … Paulette Bernd, director of the gross-anatomy program in Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and editor of the digital lab manual, says the manual has been a big help for her students… “We find that, even though they need our help, they need it less so than they used to.”

C-SPAN
Rep. Iliana Ros-Lehtinen Calls Attention to Rare DNA Syndrome – October 2, 2013 
TK2 mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome has left Arturito Jr. unable to move his fingers and toes, putting him in constant need of mechanical support to breathe and to receive nutrition. …But thanks to the experimental treatments Arturito Jr. is receiving from Columbia University Medical Center, medical care at Johns Hopkins Pediatric Hospital, and at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the doctors have established a discharge date for mid-October, an unimaginable expectation just a year ago.

CNN
Hip-hop health, a ‘party with a purpose’ – September 27, 2013 
For nearly a decade, Hip Hop Public Health has taken public health messages—which, let’s face it, can sound boring if you’re a kid (or an adult, for that matter)—and transformed them using clever rap lyrics and infectious beats. When Dr. Olajide Williams—whose day job is chief of staff in the Department of Neurology at NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center—had the idea of fusing hip-hop and public health, his next thought was that he needed serious help. “I’m really hopeless,” he said, laughing. “I’m a neurologist; I’m not a rapper.”

60 Minutes
Untreated mental illness an imminent danger? – September 29, 2013
Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president of the American Psychiatric Association [and psychiatry chair at Columbia University Medical Center]: “You can be the most popular student; you can be the valedictorian of your class; if you develop schizophrenia it will change the functioning of your brain and change the nature of your behavior.”

Reuters
Hospital-acquired MRSA infection rates falling: CDC – September 16, 2013
While the new study cannot explain why infection rates are dropping, [lead researcher Dr. Raymund] Dantes said it’s likely attributable, in part, to hospital efforts to reduce the spread of infections. “It’s also possible that there has been evolution of these strains and they’re less invasive,” said Dr. Franklin Lowy, from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, who wrote an editorial accompanying the new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

CBS News
Genetic test predicts aggressiveness of prostate cancer– September 11, 2013
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have come up with a genetic test that may help take the guesswork out of which prostate cancers will become dangerous. Dr. Cory Abate-Shen at Columbia University Medical Center led the study. “We were able to identify accurately 14 out of 14 patients that developed harmful tumors,” she says.

New York Times
Camels Linked to Spread of Fatal Virus– September 11, 2013
Evidence is mounting that camels are the most likely intermediaries in the transmission from bats to humans of the virus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. …The first confirmed MERS victim, the owner of a paint warehouse in Bisha, Saudi Arabia, had four pet camels, according to Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a virologist at Columbia University who took blood samples from them.

New York Times
Deciding When to Enter a Palliative Care Unit – September 4, 2013
Some hospitals are offering so-called palliative care units. …“Lots of older people with advanced chronic illnesses are not ready for hospice,” said Marlene McHugh, assistant professor of nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing and a co-author of a recent study focused on the acute palliative care unit at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “We’re going to see more and more of this as patients age.”

NPR
A Single Protein May Help Explain Memory Loss In Old Age – August 29, 2013
If you’re finding it harder to remember where you put the car keys, the culprit could be a brain protein with a name that’s easy to forget: RbAp48. … The research “reinforces the emerging idea that Alzheimer’s disease and aging are separate entities,” says Scott Small, a neurologist at Columbia University and one of the study’s authors [with Eric Kandel]. It also suggests that, eventually, it should be possible to treat memory loss that’s not related to Alzheimer’s.

See more headlines online.

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