CUIMC Update - April 10, 2024

CUIMC Update is a weekly e-newsletter featuring medical center news and the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and trainees. Please send your news, honors, and awards to Grants are provided by the Sponsored Projects Administration office.


Two Newest ERGs Aim to Foster Inclusion
CUIMC employees recently launched two new employee resource groups, the Islamic Cultural ERG and the Southwest Asian and North African ERG. The two groups will host an Eid celebration next Wednesday, April 17, at noon on Haven Plaza. 

VP&S Students Honored for Research Achievements
At Student Research Day, 74 VP&S students presented their research, including 12 who won awards. At a separate event, 14 medical students in the MD-MS Program in Biomedical Sciences presented their master’s thesis research. 

Dr. Lorna M. Breen Annual Lecture, April 17
This year’s Dr. Lorna M. Breen Annual Lecture is Wednesday, April 17, at 11 a.m. Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress, director, and writer Amber Tamblyn will deliver the keynote titled “Listening in the Dark: Harnessing our Intuition for Resilience and Empowerment.” Register here and learn more about Breen.

Healthspan Extension Summit, April 19
Join your colleagues on April 19 for the CUIMC Healthy Aging Initiative Symposium, which will highlight the work of faculty whose basic, clinical, and population health research is contributing to a better understanding of how to achieve healthier outcomes in aging.

Mistreatment in Childbirth is Common in the United States
Lack of respectful maternity care culminating in mistreatment in childbirth is a regular occurrence in the United States affecting more than 1 in 8 people, according to a study from the Mailman School of Public Health.

Living Alone Can Be Hazardous for Senior Health
The number of American adults who are living alone is increasing drastically, and seniors living alone can be especially vulnerable to accidents and hazards. Mark Nathanson, MD, a geriatric psychiatrist at Columbia, shares tips on setting seniors up for success.



College of Dental Medicine

  • Biana Roykh, DDS
    $600,000 over three years from the Delta Dental Community Cares Foundation for "Addressing Barriers to Care for the Underserved with a Focus on Veterans and Seniors."

Mailman School of Public Health

  • Ruby Fayorsey, MD, ICAP
    $47,000,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development for "HIV Care and Treatment Activity."
  • Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, Epidemiology
    $4,004,867 over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for "Social safety net programs as interventions to reduce opioid-related harms in reproductive-age women."
  • Rafal Tokarz, PhD, Center for Infection and Immunity
    $2,529,566 over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "Genetic basis for persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Mark Ansorge, PhD, Psychiatry
    $1,695,794 over three years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for "A state-of-the-art microbur-driven non-absorbable epithelial SERT antagonist to treat anxiety and depression in military members and the general public."
  • Erika Berman-Rosenzweig, MD, Pediatrics
    $536,713 over four years for a subaward from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "1/2 Kids MoD PAH Trial: Mono- vs. Duo-Therapy In Pediatric Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension."
  • William Blaner, PhD, Medicine
    $2,637,579 over four years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for "RBP2 Biology and Pathobiology."
  • Richard Levy, MD, Anesthesiology
    $1,715,519 over four years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for "Discovery and Development of a Benzoquinone Molecule as a Novel Anesthetic."
  • Lili Liu, PhD, Medicine
    $764,900 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for "Uncovering novel mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for IgA vasculitis through GWAS and systems-level analysis of regulatory networks."
  • Emily Mace, PhD, Pediatrics
    $426,286 over five years for a subaward from the National Cancer Institute for "Elucidation of human natural killer cell development."
  • Christopher Makinson, PhD, Institute for Genomic Medicine
    $445,009 over two years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Advancing the functional maturity of brain organoids by synthetic afferentation."
  • Karen Marder, MD, Sergievsky Center
    $2,214,763 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Clinical Research Sites for the Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT sites)."
  • Claude Mellins, PhD, Psychiatry
    $331,395 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute of Mental Health for "HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies."
  • Umrao Monani, PhD, Neurology
    $300,000 over three years from the Muscular Dystrophy Association for "Mechanisms and treatment of muscle pathology in spinal muscular atrophy."
  • Stephen Tsang, MD, PhD, Ophthalmology
    $1,549,543 over four years from the National Eye Institute for "Defining Barriers to Gene Therapy."


School of Nursing

At the 36th annual Eastern Nursing Research Society conference, held April 4 and 5 in Boston, Massachusetts, 10 students from the School of Nursing presented their research at poster sessions and symposiums:

  • Justinna Dixon: “Assessing Racial Disparities in Acute Care Utilization among Patients with Serious Mental Illness with Co-occurring Diabetes”
  • Danica Dorlette: “Cancer Care Trajectories in People Experiencing Homelessness: A Scoping Review”
  • Tyler Gaedecke: “Personal Healthcare Networks: Investigating Access to Care After Gender-Affirming Surgery” and “Past-year Healthcare Avoidance or Delay is Associated with Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals’ Mental Health”
  • Sarah Harkins: “A Scoping Review of Interventions and Evidence-Based Programs in the Postpartum Period to Reduce Maternal Morbidity in the United States”
  • Madison Horton: “Advanced Practice Nurses’ Contribution to Health Service Utilization, Healthcare Costs, and Access: A Scoping Review”
  • Sarah Leonard: “Weight Discrimination and Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors in Early Adolescence”
  • Amy McMenamin: “Health Professional Shortage Areas and Acute Care Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries with Multiple Chronic Conditions”
  • Brittany Taylor: “Depression in Black Mothers: A Concept Analysis”
  • David Lopez Veneros: “An Ecological Momentary Assessment of Physical Activity Patterns Among Sexual and Gender Minority Adults”
  • Eunice Yang: “How Much Should Insulin Be Reduced on Dialysis Days for Adults with Diabetes Receiving Hemodialysis? A Systematic Review”

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Social Media Snapshot

At the 2024 Student Research Day, 74 #ColumbiaVPS medical students presented their research to colleagues, fellow students, faculty, and ... | Instagram

In the News Highlights

  • Too Often, Postpartum Depression Goes Untreated in Black, Hispanic Women
    Apr 3, 2024
    U.S. News & World Report
    “By following people through the postpartum year, our findings elucidate how many individuals with mental health symptoms fall through the cracks and don’t ever receive the care they need,” said senior researcher Jamie Daw, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
  • How These Feathery ‘Memory Geniuses’ Remember Where They Stashed Their Food
    Mar 29, 2024
    Popular Science
    “We see the world through our memories of objects, places and people,” study co-author and Columbia University neuroscientist Dmitriy Aronov said in a statement. “Memories entirely define the way we see and interact with the world. With this bird, we have a way to understand memory in an incredibly simplified way, and in understanding their memory, we will understand something about ourselves.”
  • Did You Enjoy the Cherry Blossoms' Early Peak Bloom? It Was a Warning Sign.
    Mar 26, 2024
    National Geographic
    While they may not produce edible fruit, the impacts of climate change on cherry blossom trees also provide a fitting example of what other crop-producing trees—such as apples and peach blossoms—are simultaneously undergoing, according to Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist and associate professor at Columbia University.