CUIMC Update - April 19, 2021

April 19, 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.


Wednesday: Dr. Lorna M. Breen Annual Lecture 
The CUIMC community is invited to attend the first lecture in an annual series that will honor the memory of Lorna M. Breen, MD, on April 21 at 4:30 p.m. Keynote speakers are Carol A. Cunningham, MD, State Medical Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS, and Judith Tintinalli, MD, Professor and Chair Emeritus of Emergency Medicine, UNC at Chapel Hill. Opening remarks will be delivered by Anil K. Rustgi, MD, Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, Columbia University, and Laura Forese, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian. Special guests include family of Dr. Breen, who founded the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. View lecture here

Second Community Health Worker Town Hall Addresses Vaccine Safety and Efficacy
A recent virtual town hall hosted by CUIMC and NewYork-Presbyterian brought together community health workers and local leaders for another discussion on the COVID-19 vaccines, this one focused on safety and efficacy. Judith Absalon, MD, MPH'02, senior medical director of vaccine clinical research and development at Pfizer, joined the event to offer remarks and answer questions. Read more.

How Columbia Is Getting Patients Back into the Dentist Chair 
After implementing an array of extra safety measures, routine dental care is rebounding at Columbia’s College of Dental Medicine. Read more.

Excess Maternal Mortality in Black Women Continues to Be a Serious Problem, Finds Mailman Study
New research from Mailman’s Department of Epidemiology confirms that excess maternal mortality in the United States continues to be a grave public health problem, especially for Black and other minority women. Read more.   



Angela Christiano, PhD, Dermatology, will receive $1,287,698 over two years from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences for “Drug Screening with a Biofabricated 3D Immunocompetent Skin Model for Drug Discovery in Psoriatic Disease.”

Rebecca Haeusler, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, will receive $2,156,944 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Mechanisms Linking Insulin Action with Lipoprotein Metabolism.”

Michio Hirano, MD; Hasan Orhan Akman, PhD; Darryl De Vivo, MD; Catarina Maria Quinzii, MD; and Eric Schon, PhD, Neurology, will receive $9,413,709 over four years from the Department of the Army for “Treatment Strategies for Mitochondrial Disease.”

Gerard Karsenty, MD, PhD, Genetics & Development, will receive $13,246,841 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Bone as a Sensor of and Responder to Stress During Aging.”

Amy Margolis, PhD, Psychiatry, will receive $1,949,922 over three years from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for “Environmental Bisphenol Exposure, Infant Brain and Behavior: Human and Animal Models.”

Jeffrey Miller, MD, Psychiatry, will receive $665,052 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for a subaward of “1/2-Dopaminergic Dysfunction in Late-Life Depression (The D3 Study).”

Gustavo Rodriguez, PhD, Taub Institute, will receive $532,177 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Impaired Spatial Decoding and Neural Population Code Rescaling in AD Mice.”

Ronald Wapner, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, will receive $745,799 over seven years from the National Institutes of Health for a subaward “Continuation of the nuMoM2b Heart Health Study.”

Andrew Yates, PhD, and Donna Farber, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, will receive $5,020,563 over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Modeling the Ecology of Tissue-Resident T Cells.”


Grace Hillyer, EdD, Epidemiology, will receive $548,648 over two years from Genentech for “Attitudes and Biases that Undermine Minority Clinical Trial Enrollment.”

Jeremy Kane, PhD, Epidemiology, will receive $1,317,335 over four years from the Wellcome Trust for a subaward of “Effectiveness of an Evidence-Based Stepped Care System for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Problems Among Congolese Refugees in Zambia.”



Quarraisha Abdool Karim, PhD, Epidemiology, was awarded the 2020 prestigious Christophe Mérieux Prize in the field of infectious diseases in developing countries. 

Robert Fullilove, EdD, Sociomedical Sciences, will receive a special award from JASA, the go-to agency serving older adults in New York City that provides critical services to over 40,000 people annually. He will receive the award at JASA’s annual event to recognize and celebrate the dedication of JASA’s front-line workers.

Jasmine McDonald, PhD, Epidemiology, has been awarded a prestigious Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching from Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.


Suzanne Bakken, PhD, RN, received the 2021 Jane Norbeck Distinguished Service Award from the Nursing Alumni Association at the University of California, San Francisco.


COVID-19 & Vaccine Update Forum, April 20, 4 p.m., register here

Building a Research Career Focused on Sexual Minority Women's Health, April 21, noon, register here

School of Nursing General Virtual Information Session, April 21, noon, register here

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

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

CUIMC Grand Rounds: "Pandemic Preparedness: A Public Health Perspective," April 22, noon, register here

Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Health: Working Across the Migration Paradigm, April 22, 1 p.m., register here

CUIMC Working Parents Employee Resource Group’s Virtual Career Day for Children in Grades 5-12, April 23, 9 a.m., view here

Youth and Mental Illness: What is Going on? April 27, 5 p.m., register here.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.