CUIMC Update - April 26, 2021

April 26, 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.


Vaccine Appointments Available 
Vaccine appointments are available in the Black building for faculty, staff and students, as well as family members age 16 and over who are NYC residents. Scheduling information is available at the VaccineTogetherNY website

Emergency Medicine Holds First Dr. Lorna M. Breen Annual Lecture 
In honor of the memory of Dr. Lorna M. Breen, the Department of Emergency Medicine held the first Dr. Lorna M. Breen Annual Lecture and presented the inaugural Dr. Lorna Breen Leadership Award. Legislators also provided an update on the status of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. Read more

Lecture Series Hosts John A. Rich, MD, MPH, on Healing Wounds of Racial Trauma 
The 2021 John Lindenbaum Memorial Lecture and the Columbia Science and Health Equity Lecture Series welcomed John A. Rich, MD, MPH, last week for a Department of Medicine Special Grand Rounds Lecture on approaches to healing the wounds of violence and racial trauma. Rich is a professor of health management and policy and co-director of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice at Drexel University. Read more and view a recording of the lecture.

VP&S Researcher Discusses How COVID Affects Mental Health
Maura Boldrini, MD, PhD, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist at VP&S, is looking at brain cells for clues that may explain how COVID-19 can lead to depression, anxiety, psychosis, and suicide. Read more

Nursing Student Publishes Research on How School Nurses and School Climate Can Support LGBTQ Adolescents  
Columbia Nursing PhD student April Ancheta spoke with the Journal of School Nursing about her new paper on school climate and mental health among LGBTQ adolescents. Read more



Wendy Chung, MD, PhD, Pediatrics, will receive $1,937,614 over one year from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for “COVID Recovery Corps.”

Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, Neurology, will receive $535,248 over four years from the National Institute on Aging for a subaward of “Risk Factors, Pathology, and Clinical Expressions of AD.”

David Ho, MD, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, will receive $2,499,588 over one year from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for “David Ho SARS-CoV-2 mAbs.”

Simon John, PhD, Ophthalmology, will receive $1,364,416 over four years from the National Eye Institute for “Cell Death Pathways in Glaucomatous Neurodegeneration.”

Victoria Leavitt, PhD, Sergievsky Center, will receive $900,278 over three years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for “Default Network Index: Developing a Mechanistic Biomarker of Memory in Multiple Sclerosis.”

Andrew Marks, MD, Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, will receive $2,310,158 over four years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Calcium and the Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Disorders.”

Richard Paul Mayeux, MD, Sergievsky Center, will receive $8,710,392 over four years from the National Institute on Aging and $1,954,737 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for a subaward of “Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium.”

Eric Schon, PhD, Neurology, will receive $2,604,611 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Aberrant ER-Mitochondria Communication in Human Mitochondrial Disease.”


Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, ScD, Environmental Health Sciences, will receive $2,508,769 over five years from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for “Air Pollution and Pregnancy Loss.”

Lisa Rosen-Metsch, PhD, Sociomedical Sciences, will receive $693,162 over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a subaward of “Florida Node Alliance of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network.”



Taiwo Alonge, a member of the VP&S Class of 2021, is the recipient of a 2021 Campbell Award presented to graduating students who exemplify exceptional leadership and Columbia spirit. The Campbell Awards were established by the Columbia University Trustees and the Columbia Alumni Association. Read more.

Janis Cutler, MD, Psychiatry, has been appointed interim associate dean for curricular affairs while a search is conducted for a successor to Jonathan Amiel, MD, who will assume a new role as senior associate dean for innovation in health professions education June 1.

J. John Mann, MD, PhD, Psychiatry, will be awarded the CureSZ (Comprehensive Understanding via Research and Education into Schizophrenia) Foundation's Inaugural Vitucci Memorial Award. The Anthony Vitucci Memorial Fund has been established by family and friends to honor their beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend and his fierce battle with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder.

Craig Smith, MD, Surgery, was awarded a bicentennial medal from his undergraduate alma mater, Williams College. The medal is awarded to alumni each year “for distinguished achievement in any field of endeavor.” Read more.

Student Research Day awards:

  • Thomas Savage and Kira Tomlinson, first place in the MD-PhD program 
  • Daniel Friedman, Narek Israelyan, and Farhan Khan, first place in research year category
  • Matthew Adan and Kate Lee, second place in research year category
  • Sheng Chow, Teddy Goetz, Shelief Robbins-Juarez, and Quinn Solfisburg, first place for scholarly projects
  • Kirsten Craddock, Mia Nishikawa, and Vicky Ro, second place for scholarly projects
  • Adedeji Adeniyi, Amro Harb, Cody Slater, and Jingwen Zhang, first place in summer research – pandemic pause
  • Adithya Kannan and William Pennington-Fitzgerald, Catherine Myong, Christian Pearsall, and Henry Zhou, second place in summer research – pandemic pause

The Department of Surgery has chosen three staff members for Employee Excellence Awards: Yosandriz Diaz, practice manager, bariatrics; Marlene Haselbauer, program coordinator; and Rosie Te-Frey, clinical coordinator III and nurse practitioner, cardiothoracic. 

2021 Multi-PI Planning Grants: Five teams of researchers have been awarded Multi-PI Planning Grants from the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, in conjunction with the Columbia University Clinical Trials Office and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, to support the submission of multi-component biomedical research grants and large multi-PI research grants. These one-year awards will allow the teams to build out their NIH applications to pursue innovative research across a wide range of conditions and diseases. A full list of recipients can be found here.


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

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Denim Day, April 28, read more

"Money Mindset: Navigating Finances Post-Pandemic," April 28, 1 p.m., register here.

School of Nursing General Virtual Information Session, April 28, 3 p.m., register here.

Webinar for Managers, “Heading Back to the Workplace: Strategies for a Successful Transition,” May 5, noon, register here

The Latinx, Working Parents, and CUIMC Women Employee Resource Groups Present: Virtual Yoga and a Facial Experience, May 6, 5 p.m., register here

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.