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Dr. Max Gomez: Custom Made Knee Replacements

CBS New York

“At present, there’s little that orthopedists can do to regenerate a torn knee meniscus,” said study leader Jeremy Mao, DDS, PhD, the Edwin S. Robinson Professor of Dentistry (in Orthopedic Surgery) at the Medical Center. “Some small tears can be sewn back in place, but larger tears have to be surgically removed. While removal helps reduce pain and swelling, it leaves the knee without the natural shock absorber between the femur and tibia, which greatly increases the risk of arthritis.”

3D-printed implants could let injured athletes play again

New York Daily News

An idea that once seemed absurd is now looking entirely possible, for researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have managed to successfully implant 3D-printed cartilage in sheep. …At present, there is no way to regenerate damaged menisci and in severe cases, they must be removed, which can bring an athlete’s career to an early end for it leaves him without a shock absorber between the femur and tibia, according to study leader Jeremy Mao, DDS, PhD.

Torn knee joint? This 3D-printed implant will help you grow a new one

FOX News

3D-printed prosthetic body parts certainly aren’t anything new at this point, but a team of medical researchers at Columbia University Medical Center has just taken the idea to a whole new level. Instead of replacing a damaged body part with an artificial insert, they’ve cooked up a way to use 3D printing in conjunction with stem cells to encourage your body to regrow the damaged part on its own.

Fractures are major cause of older women’s hospitalizations

Reuters Health

“We’ve known for a long time that osteoporotic fractures are the source of a lot of expense and pain,” said Dr. Ethel S. Siris, past president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center of the Columbia University Medical Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Lower IQ found in kids exposed to high chemical levels in utero

Washington Post

Previous research linked higher exposure to chemicals called “phthalates” to poor mental and motor development in preschoolers. This study was said to be the first to report a link between prenatal exposure to the chemicals and childhood development. Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health studied exposure to five types of phthalates, which are sometimes referred to as “hormone disruptors” or “endocrine disruptors.”

When a Rapist’s Weapon Is a Drug

New York Times

One of those motives is obvious: simple opportunism, the reason men have spiked women’s drinks (or less commonly, women men’s) since the dawn of cocktail hour. Another is coercion; the perpetrator is aroused by domination, forcing his (or rarely, her) sexual will on the target. “This is common enough that we debated whether to include it as a diagnosis in the D.S.M. 5,” psychiatrists’ influential diagnostic manual, said Dr. Michael First, a Columbia psychiatrist who edited it. But the idea was shelved, in part because of concerns that doing so would give rapists added recourse in legal cases, he said.

Post-Newtown momentum on mental health has slowed

USA Today

“When you’ve been through a couple decades of these kinds of cycles, it gets pretty discouraging,” said Paul Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry, medicine and law at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who wasn’t involved in the new report. “As the memory of these tragedies fade, there is a reversion to a state of indifference.”

Stem Cells Hold Promise for Skin Disease Treatment

Wall Street Journal

A third study, led by scientists at Columbia University, focused on certain cells in EB patients that spontaneously revert to a normal state. The scientists showed that it was possible to change those “revertant” cells into pluripotent cells, and then into fresh, healthy skin tissue that secretes the required collagen.

Meet The People Who Work On Thanksgiving


On Thanksgiving morning, Claire Graves will not be sleeping in, nor will she be getting a turkey into the oven. Instead, at 7 a.m. Graves will be at Columbia University Medical Center starting the first hour of a 24-hour shift as a general surgery resident.

Columbia honors research on the genetics of diabetes


Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has presented Andrew Hattersley, DM, and Mark McCarthy, MD, with the 16th Naomi Berrie Award for Outstanding Research in Diabetes, for their work on the genetics of the disease. Their research has contributed to the discovery of new forms of the disease, improvements in diagnostic methodology, and the development of more effective treatments.

The Hidden Dangers of Medical Scans

Time Magazine

“About a third of CT scans are clinically unnecessary or could be avoided by using conventional X-rays or an imaging test that doesn’t use radiation, like ultrasound or MRI,” says David J. Brenner, PhD, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Donald F. Steiner, Diabetes Researcher, Dies at 84

New York Times

“(His work) opened a window into a whole area of molecular physiology that people were not aware of,” said Dr. Rudolph Leibel, a director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


A life-saving alternative to open heart surgery

CBS News

Dr. Susheel Kodali kept his gaze fixed on the four monitors suspended above the patient he was operating on at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center’s Heart Valve Center. …The first TAVR procedure was done in France 12 years ago. Doctors began clinical trials in the U.S. in 2005, led by the director of the NewYork-Presbyterian/ Columbia University Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy, Dr. Martin Leon.

Protect doctor-patient speech

Telegram News

Dr. Michael P. Hirsh is surgeon-in-chief at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, a professor of surgery and pediatrics at UMass Medical School, and chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery and Trauma; David J. Rothman, Ph.D. is a professor at Columbia University, and director of the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine and the Center for Medicine as a Profession.

Study Finds Increase in Elbow Injuries Among Young Baseball Players


Dr. Christopher Ahmad, chief of sports medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, noticed an uptick in the number of young baseball players coming in with arm pain. “Instead of one or two patients a week, it could be five or six patients a day,” he says. At the same time, as the head team physician for the New York Yankees, Dr. Ahmad observed an increase in the number of elbow injuries requiring surgery in Major League Baseball.

Merck’s Vytorin First Cholesterol Drug to Further Cut Heart Risk

Bloomberg News

The drugs shouldn’t be used broadly to prevent a first heart attack or similar cardiac complication, said Lori Mosca, professor at Columbia University Medical Center and director of preventive cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. For those who already have a heart disease, the modest benefit seen in the study may be important, she said. “This is a group of people who have suffered,” she said in an interview. “Every attempt to reduce their risk of a recurring problem is appropriate.”

Sanofi’s Genzyme Gets FDA Approval for MS Drug

Wall Street Journal

Lemtrada’s effects can last for up to five years and patients have to take monthly blood and urine tests to screen for side effects. “You write a prescription for five years and you can’t take it back,” said Claire Riley, director of the Columbia University Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Care and Research Center. “From a physician standpoint, it gives you pause.”

Risk Model Seen as Reducing Military Suicides

New York Times

“The most impressive thing is that they identified this high-risk group in the hospital, and by just focusing on one in 20 of them, you’re really dramatically improving your ability to predict,” said Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who was not involved in the study. “Clinicians don’t do a very good job predicting suicide risk, even though we think we do.”

Three-Quarters of Young Baseball Players Have Arm Pain

U.S. News

“Both nationally and internationally, we’re witnessing a troubling increase of elbow and shoulder injuries in young baseball players,” study leader Dr. Christopher Ahmad, chief of sports medicine and a professor of orthopedic surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and head team physician for the New York Yankees, said in a Columbia news release.

Dr. Craig Spencer Leaves New York Hospital Ebola-Free

ABC News

The New York doctor who contracted Ebola treating patients in West Africa has been discharged from the hospital Ebola-free and hailed as a hero. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the city’s response to its one and only Ebola case: Dr. Craig Spencer. “On behalf of all 8.4 million New Yorkers, I would like to welcome Craig Spencer back to his normal life,” de Blasio said, before inviting his wife to give Spencer the first hug.

Learning How Little We Know About the Brain

New York Times

Larry Abbott, 64, a former theoretical physicist who is now co-director, with Kenneth Miller, of the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University, is one of the field’s most prominent theorists, and the person whose name invariably comes up when discussions turn to brain theory.

Brain’s taste secrets uncovered

BBC News

The study, published in the journal Nature, should settle years of debate on how the brain perceives taste. The Columbia University team showed the separate taste sensors on the tongue had a matching partner in the brain. The scientists hope the findings could be used to help reverse the loss of taste sensation in the elderly.

Switzerland Hands Out Iodine in Case of Nuclear Disaster

Bloomberg News

“There’s a concern that this will be seen as a universal panacea to protect you from all types of radiation exposure, which it isn’t,” said David Brenner, professor of radiation biophysics at Columbia, said yesterday by telephone from New York. Children, rather than adults, were at risk of developing thyroid cancer due to radioactive iodine and would therefore be best served by the pills, he said.

Could Air Pollution Help Cause ADHD?

NBC News

A study of New York City women and their children found that kids who had the highest levels of air pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in their placenta and umbilical cord at birth were five times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD later. …The higher the PAH levels, the more likely the children were to be diagnosed with ADHD at age 9, Frederica Perera of Columbia University’s [Mailman] School of Public Health and colleagues reported.

Her Anorexia, My Fear

New York Times

In psychotherapy, doctor and patient create a narrative together, brought to life by each individual’s personality and life experience. The narrative exerts pressure, hopefully in the direction of health.

Anne Skomorowsky is a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Virus Sleuths Chip Away At Ebola Mysteries


Vincent Racaniello, who studies viruses at Columbia University, says Ebola has recently become his obsession. “I find myself reading incessantly about Ebola when I should be doing other things,” says Racaniello, host of the online show This Week in Virology, which has devoted several recent programs to Ebola.

Generic Drugs May Help Breast Cancer Patients Stick to Therapy

U.S. News

“We know that hormone therapy for women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer can reduce recurrence by up to 50 percent,” study leader Dr. Dawn Hershman, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, said in a hospital news release. “However, work by our group and others has shown that a substantial number of women discontinue treatment before the recommended five years or do not take the prescribed dose,” she added.

Study: Cocoa Beans Could Help Restore Memory

CBS New York

Is your memory as good as it was when you were younger? The answer is probably not. We all lose a little as we age, but what if there was something natural you could drink that could restore your memory to what it was 10 or 20 years ago? CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports on the memory breakthrough.

Ebola and Quarantine

New England Journal of Medicine

The governors of a number of states, including New York and New Jersey, recently imposed 21-day quarantines on health care workers returning to the United States from regions of the world where they may have cared for patients with Ebola virus disease. We understand their motivation for this policy — to protect the citizens of their states from contracting this often-fatal illness. This approach, however, is not scientifically based, is unfair and unwise, and will impede essential efforts to stop these awful outbreaks of Ebola disease at their source, which is the only satisfactory goal. The governors’ action is like driving a carpet tack with a sledgehammer: it gets the job done but overall is more destructive than beneficial.

Are Ebola Quarantines Necessary?

New York Times

As faculty members at Columbia University, we write in support of our colleague Dr. Craig Spencer, as well as all other health care workers returning from Ebola-stricken regions and treating Ebola here in the United States.

Amid New York Ebola Fears, a Voice of Calm

Wall Street Journal

Dr. Bassett and her two siblings grew up attending antiwar and antiracism demonstrations, reading James Baldwin books and were pushed to be free thinkers, their mother said. She graduated from Harvard University and ran a sickle-cell anemia clinic before moving back to New York to attend Columbia University’s medical school, where she did her residency in nearby Central Harlem.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed on Ebola

NBC New York

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, talks to Roseanne Colletti about the recent news surrounding the Ebola epidemic.

To Improve a Memory, Consider Chocolate

New York Times

In a small study in the journal Nature Neuroscience, healthy people, ages 50 to 69, who drank a mixture high in antioxidants called cocoa flavanols for three months performed better on a memory test than people who drank a low-flavanol mixture. On average, the improvement of high-flavanol drinkers meant they performed like people two to three decades younger on the study’s memory task, said Dr. Scott A. Small, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center and the study’s senior author. They performed about 25 percent better than the low-flavanol group.

Cocoa Constitutents Fend Off Senior Moments. The Memory of a 30-Year-Old?

Sci Am

Scott Small, a professor of neurology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, researches Alzheimer’s, but he also studies the memory loss that occurs during the normal aging process. Research on the commonplace “senior moments” focuses on the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved with formation of new memories.  In particular, one area of the hippocampus, the dentate gyrus, which helps distinguish one object from another, has lured researchers on age-related memory problems.

Can General Anesthesia Trigger Dementia?

Scientific American

“Human beings come in many different sizes and have different preexisting conditions that may put them at higher risk,” says Robert Whittington,  professor of clinical anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center.

Robotic Surgery Report Card

New York Times

“There’s no proven benefit to robotic surgery, and it’s significantly more costly,” said the lead author, Dr. Jason D. Wright, director of gynecological oncology at Columbia University Medical Center.

Can Pine-Nut Oil Help Curb a Person’s Appetite?

Wall Street Journal

“At most it will have a very modest effect on food intake,” says Marie-Pierre St-Onge, assistant professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Ebola’s Quarantine Politics: Why Authorities Push Voluntary Isolation

National Geo

Aside from four people who shared an apartment with Duncan in the early days of his illness, the U.S. government has kept all quarantines voluntary. The fact that those four did not fall ill despite their exposure shows that casual contact, such as sharing an airplane, with someone before they are significantly symptomatic carries very little risk, said Amy Fairchild, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

All Hands on Deck

The New Yorker

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and one of the world’s leading infectious-disease investigators, was on his way to a meeting on campus last Wednesday. He would have preferred to be in West Africa.

Columbia to Announce New Scholarships for Local Students

Wall Street Journal

Ms. Chavez, 18 years old, did end up at Columbia—as one of 34 Thompson-Muñoz scholars, beneficiaries of a new grant program the university has created exclusively for students who grew up or went to school in the area surrounding Columbia and its new campus currently under construction in the West Harlem neighborhood of Manhattanville.

Scarier Than Ebola

New York Times

Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told me: “We have a lot of vaccine-preventable diseases and we see more and more people refusing to have their children take vaccines.”

How to Quarantine Against Ebola

New York Times

There is a fourth strategy, although it will need to be evaluated and deployed carefully. Since the 1990s, novel methods have allowed doctors to detect viruses in the pre-symptomatic phase of an infection, often with remarkable sensitivity and precision. One of these involves the polymerase chain reaction, or P.C.R., a chemical reaction that amplifies pieces of a virus’s genes floating in blood by more than a millionfold, which is what makes early, pre-symptomatic infections identifiable.