Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia Leadership Recognizes CUMC’s Global Work


One of Columbia’s top priorities is globally focused research, and the medical center is at the forefront. When Provost John Coatsworth announced the President’s Global Innovation Fund winners in June, five of the 13 projects selected from more than 50 applications were medical center-led, involving all CUMC schools.

The Global Innovation Fund, launched in March 2013, supports faculty work involving the Columbia Global Centers, eight research hubs on four continents. The grants fund projects that increase global research, teaching, and service opportunities. Below are descriptions of CUMC’s winning projects.


“Children’s Global Oral Health Initiative:  An Adaptable Interdisciplinary Model for Chronic Health Care Management and Health Promotion.”

Principal Co-Investigators
Stephen Nicholas, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Population and Family Health at CUMC
Associate Dean for Admissions, College of Physicians & Surgeons
Founder and Director, IFAP Global Health Program
Director, Global Health Track, P&S Student Scholarly Projects
Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Medical Center

Shantanu Lal, DDS
Associate Professor of Dental Medicine (Pediatric Dentistry) at CUMC
Director, Predoctoral Program in Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dental Medicine Associate

What It Is
This project, which will involve all four CUMC schools, will conduct tele-health projects at three global centers. Led by IFAP, a center dedicated to strengthening international health care as well as caring for local immigrant communities, the project will address specific health needs in three regions. In Kenya, the project will focus on children with HIV/AIDS; in China, it will focus on cancer detection and smoking cessation; and in Jordan, it will focus on children with obesity, diabetes, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.


“China’s Aid to Africa: Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities”

Principal Investigator
Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH
University Professor
Director, ICAP

What It Is
Faculty will study the impacts, challenges, and opportunities of China’s health-related assistance aid to Africa. The project will build research partnerships between Columbia faculty and students and their counterparts in China and Africa, to study China’s health assistance to African countries. The project will examine the support provided, identifying its strengths and weaknesses, as well as ways to strengthen it. ICAP will collaborate with multiple organizations and schools at Columbia and in China.


“Global Mental Health Research Consortium and Scholars Program”

Principal Investigator
Kathleen Pike, PhD
Clinical Professor of Psychology and Education in Psychiatry
Executive Director and Scientific Co-Director, Global Mental Health Program,
Columbia University

What It Is
CUMC faculty will conduct research contributing to the world’s largest database of mental health and behavioral disorders, the World Health Organization’s ICD-11. Columbia is a leading member of the network overseeing and conducting research for the database. The project will take place at three global centers, to enable the involvement of local mental-health professionals in underserved areas.


“Global Nursing Research Development Initiative”

Principal Co-Investigators
Jennifer Dohrn, DNP, CNM
Assistant Professor of Nursing at CUMC
Director, Office of Global Initiatives, Columbia Nursing

Elaine Larson, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC
Anna C. Maxwell Professor of Nursing Research and Professor of Epidemiology
Associate Dean for Research, Columbia Nursing

What It Is
This Columbia Nursing initiative, which will be conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, will bring nursing and midwifery researchers together to identify gaps in clinical nursing research. It will also work to foster ongoing networks to prioritize research needs.


“Socioeconomic disparities in non-communicable disease outcomes, risk factors, and access to health care in the Chilean adult population”

Principal Investigator
Steven Shea, MD
Hamilton Southworth Professor of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology (in Biomedical Informatics)

What It Is
This project will contribute to research on chronic diseases, which disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries. In Chile, chronic diseases make up 84 percent of the disease burden, with evidence that lower-income populations suffer more than others. The project will advance scholarship on chronic diseases, leveraging international and interdisciplinary partnerships to contribute to research on non-communicable diseases.