Columbia University Medical Center

2016 Research News in Review

CUMC’s most-read research articles of 2016 included news about wheat sensitivity, BPA, and an unusual type of human embryonic stem cell:

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Columbia Researchers Find Biological Explanation for Wheat Sensitivity

P&S researchers found that patients with non-celiac wheat sensitivity had a weakened intestinal barrier, leading to systemic inflammation and a variety of symptoms after ingesting wheat.



Drug Restores Hair Growth in Patients with Alopecia Areata

Seventy-five percent of patients with an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss had significant hair regrowth after treatment with ruxolitinib.



Heavy Cannabis Users Have Lower Dopamine Release in Brain

Heavy users of marijuana had lower levels of dopamine in a brain region involved in working memory, impulsive behavior, and attention, according to a study from CUMC’s Department of Psychiatry.

Prenatal BPA exposure linked to anxiety and depression in boys

Prenatal BPA Exposure Linked to Anxiety and Depression in Boys

Boys exposed prenatally to a common chemical used in plastics may be more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression at age 10-12, a study by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health found.

New HIV Infections Declining in Sub-Saharan African

New Infections Are Declining in Sub-Saharan Africa 

In Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia, new infections are falling and the percentage of the population infected with HIV is stabilizing, a study by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health found.


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Smell Test May Predict Early Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Two studies suggested that an odor-identification test could be a low-cost way to identify patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.


Medicare Part D reduces out-of-pocket spending for seniors with diabetes

Out-of-Pocket Drug Expenses Drop for Medicare Recipients with Diabetes

Seniors who have diabetes are paying lower out-of-pocket costs for their medications since the launch of Medicare’s Part D prescription drug benefit, according to a study from School of Nursing researchers.

Nick Tatonetti (center) and his team (l-r) Tal Loberbaum, Phyllis Thangaraj, Kevin Sampson in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Dangerous Drug Interactions Uncovered with Data Science

Leveraging the power of big data, researchers from P&S and Columbia’s Data Science Institute uncovered a potentially dangerous drug interaction between ceftriaxone, an antibiotic, and lansoprazole, a heartburn medication.


Scientists Generate a New Type of Human Stem Cell That Has Half a Genome

Scientists from P&S and elsewhere generated an embryonic stem cell that contains a single copy of the human genome. The cell may ease genetic analysis for cancer research, precision medicine, and regenerative medicine.

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Gum Disease Genes Identified by Columbia Researchers

Researchers have identified 41 master regulator genes that may cause gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.