CUIMC Update - April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

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.


Columbia Hosts Community Pop-Up Vaccination Site in Harlem 
Hundreds of New Yorkers from Harlem, Northern Manhattan, and Morningside Heights were vaccinated this past weekend at Columbia's first Community Pop-up Vaccination Site. Read more

CUIMC Employees Appear in Statewide “Roll Up Your Sleeves NY” Campaign
A new PSA campaign featuring CUIMC employees and community leaders sharing their reasons for COVID-19 vaccination has launched with the purpose of motivating all eligible New Yorkers to get vaccinated. The videos are part of the larger Roll Up Your Sleeves NY COVID-19 public education campaign spearheaded by the New York governor’s office. Read more and watch the PSAs.

Employee Group Offers Resources for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders 
CUIMC’s employee resource groups bring colleagues together around shared characteristics or life experiences and provide resources for members. In response to the recent spate of hate crimes against the AAPI community, the AAPI employee resource group has partnered with CUIMC leadership to increase support for CUIMC employees. Read more

Countdown to Commencement
The CUIMC community is invited to tune in to University Commencement on April 30, 10:30 a.m. via webcast. Save the dates for the following virtual school graduation ceremonies:

  • Mailman School of Public Health, April 29
  • School of Nursing, May 18
  • Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, May 19
  • College of Dental Medicine, May 20

In addition, members of the Class of 2021 are invited to celebrate their experiences by sharing photos and videos with Columbia from their time as students. Submit here

Association of American Physicians Honors Seven Faculty
The Association of American Physicians has elected six VP&S physician-scientists to its ranks: Wendy Chung, MD, PhD, Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, Dawn Hershman, MD, MS, Michio Hirano, MD, David Ho, MD, and Steven Marx, MD. The association also has awarded its George M. Kober Medal for lifetime scientific and mentorship achievements to Linda Fried, MD, MPH, dean of Mailman School of Public Health, who was president of the association in 2016-2017. Read more.

Designing a School Like No Other with Sir Alex Halliday 
Sir Alex Halliday is director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and leader of the design committee for the University’s new Climate School. We spoke with Halliday on the design process and how the medical center—what he calls “the best model we have for this new school”—will be crucial to the University’s efforts to combat climate change. Read more

Mailman’s ICAP Invests Expertise and Resources in Community Effort to Fight COVID-19 in New York City 
Among other activities, Mailman faculty at ICAP’s Harlem and Bronx Prevention Centers are leading a study to understand community vulnerabilities associated with COVID-19 infection risk. Read more

Rep. Suozzi Gives Nursing Students Insider’s View of Health Policy
Rep. Thomas Suozzi joined 144 Columbia Nursing students for an hour-long Zoom session as part of their “Health and Social Policy” class this semester, providing a real-world perspective on health care policy. He responded to questions from students on issues ranging from health insurance and the Affordable Care Act to climate change and COVID-19 relief. Read more

Columbia Nursing’s Annual Fund and Mentorship: Supporting Extraordinary Students
Marlene E. McHugh’08, associate professor of nursing at CUMC, and alum Nicolas Burry’20 discuss the power of mentorship at Columbia Nursing in a video made possible through the generous support of the Annual Fund. View video.   



David Bickers, MD, Dermatology, will receive $445,500 over two years from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences for “Tumor Immune Profiling to Optimize Clinical Trial Readiness in Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome.”

Michael Boland, PhD, Institute for Genomic Medicine, will receive $424,425 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for a subaward of “Defining Disease Mechanisms in SLC35A2 Epilepsy.”

Peter Canoll, MD, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, will receive $1,001,961 over five years from the National Institutes of Health for a subaward of “Targeting Go and Grow in Glioblastoma.”

Yunglin Gazes, PhD, Taub Institute, will receive $256,529 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for a subaward of “Trajectories and Modifiable Risk Factors of Brain, Gait, and Cognitive Decline in Aging and Pre-Dementia.”

Jonathan Javitch, MD, PhD, Psychiatry, will receive $2,436,787 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Training in Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders: From Animal Models to Patients.”

Janet Sparrow, PhD, Ophthalmology, will receive $297,148 over one year from the National Eye Institute for “Instrumentation for Animal-Dedicated In Vivo Eye Imaging by Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography.”

Yousin Suh, PhD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, will receive $1,215,000 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for a subaward of “A stress-induced promoter pause release program in cardiomyocytes protecting against myocardial infarction” and $1,125,000 over three years from the Simons Foundation for “SPI Dubal: Sex-Specific Differences in Cognitive and Brain Aging; SPI Murphy: Conserved Regulatory Pathways in Age-related Loss of Plasticity and Cognitive Function.”


Ying Kuen Cheung, PhD, Biostatistics, will receive $278,906 over four years from the National Institute on Aging for a subaward of “Roybal Center for Personalized Trials: Physical Activity Promotion to Foster Healthy Aging.”



Peter M.J. Quinn, PhD, Ophthalmology, was chosen for the Class of 2021 of the “Young Investigator Draft” conducted by the nonprofit Uplifting Athletes. He is one of seven researchers given unrestricted funds to support research in finding new treatments for Americans with rare diseases. He was nominated by the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation. Inspired by the NFL Draft, the live ceremony revealed grant recipients through announcements by NFL players who have worked with Uplifting Athletes since college.


Dr. Corwin, Dr. Forese, Dr. Choi, and Dr. Rustgi Host a Conversation about Anti-Asian Rhetoric, Bias, and Violence, April 13, 10 a.m., view here

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Event for CUIMC Students: Radical Listening and Resilience, April 13, 7 p.m., register here

School of Nursing General Virtual Information Session, April 14, 3 p.m., register here

Art in the Time of Crisis, April 14, 5 p.m., register here

We Have to Reimagine: A Conversation About Anti-Asian Racism & Violence, April 21, 2 p.m., register here

Save the Date: Dr. Lorna M. Breen Annual Lecture, April 21, 4:30 p.m., details to follow. 

The 2021 John Lindenbaum Memorial Lecture and Columbia Science and Health Equity Lecture Series: "Approaches to Healing the Wounds of Violence and Racial Trauma,” April 21, 5 p.m., register here.

Gray Matters Virtual Conversation, "Mental Health in a New Era: Coping Across the Lifespan," April 22, 11 a.m., register here

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.