CUIMC Update - April 5, 2023

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.


Popularity of Weight Loss Drugs Soars, but Weight Stigma Persists
New drugs such as Ozempic are being used by many for weight loss. Judith Korner, MD, PhD, director of Columbia’s Metabolic and Weight Control Center, comments on the media frenzy surrounding these new drugs and shares why weight stigma, a form of discrimination based on a person’s body weight, may cause some to be reluctant to seek treatment. Read more.

Transition to Parenthood Center Established with Funding from Bezos Family Foundation
With a $21 million gift from the Bezos Family Foundation, Columbia University will launch the Center for the Transition to Parenthood in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Led by Catherine Monk, PhD, the center seeks to reinvent prenatal care, address the mental health of parents, improve the overall health of infants, and promote family well-being. Read more.

Columbia Dental Students Participate in Global Leadership Program
Ten students from the College of Dental Medicine were among a group of 100 students from around the world who traveled to the Columbia Global Center in Paris as part of an academic short-term immersion experience through the Columbia International Collaboration and Exchange Program. Read more.

Food FARMacia Breaks the Link Between Food Insecurity and Obesity in Children
Food insecurity can prevent children from reaching their full potential physically, cognitively, and socially. A study led by Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, a pediatrician at VP&S, found that a Food FARMacia program—a mobile food pantry program that allows parents to choose their own selection of free and healthy foods—was associated with reduced food insecurity in families and also had a measurable impact on children’s health by reducing childhood obesity risk factors. Read more.

“Life at VP&S” Welcomes Nearly 200 Accepted Applicants to Campus
Nearly 200 applicants accepted to VP&S visited campus last week for “Life at VP&S,” a two-day event offering applicants a window into what they can expect if they select VP&S for medical school. This was the largest group hosted to date for this event, which was held in person for the first time since 2019. Read more.


CopeColumbia Presents: How to Sleep Better: Ask the Experts
April 6, 12 p.m., online
Register here.

Novel models to improve equity in function and independence in aging
April 11, 11:30 a.m., online
Register here.

Bioethics in Film: From Screen to Seminar, Aftershock
April 12, 11:30 a.m., online
Register here.

Tissue Talks: Janet Rossant, University of Toronto
April 12, 3 p.m., online
Register here.

Translating Frailty Assessment & Management into Clinical Practice
April 13, 11:30 a.m., online
Register here.

ACE Master Clinician Mentorship Series: Delivering Care to Patients with Disabilities
April 14, 8 a.m., online
Register here

Disrupting the Culture of Online Sexual Violence
April 14, 12 p.m., online
Register here.



Wafaa Mahmoud El-Sadr, MD, ICAP: $1,000,000 over four years from Cepheid Inc. for "Pandemic Response Institute Cepheid."

Jennifer Hirsch, PhD, Sociomedical Sciences: $1,045,045 over five years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for "GSH Training Grant."


Joan Bathon, MD, Medicine: $307,171 over one year for a subaward from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for "Synovial Macrophage Transcriptional Signatures for Predicting Therapeutic Efficacy."

Joriene De Nooij, PhD, Neurology: $257,606 over four years for a subaward from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Sensing Active Movement of the Self: Reconsidering the Cellular Basis Kinesthesia."

Jennifer Manly, PhD, Neurology: $261,360 over two years from the National Institute on Aging for "Social Mechanisms Underlying Sex/Gender Inequalities in Alzheimer’s Disease: An Intersectionality Approach."

Kathrine Meyers, DrPH, Medicine: $6,000,000 over four years from the Health Resources and Services Administration for "Special Projects of National Significance ‐ Minority HIV/AIDS Fund."

Kenneth Olive, PhD, and Gulam Manji, MD, PhD, Medicine: $4,927,590 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for "Elucidation and targeting of paracrine cascades in PDAC."



Penelope Buschman received the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, given to educators who inspired their former students to make a significant contribution to their community.


Lanny T. DiFranza, MD, Pathology & Cell Biology, and co-authors won a Stowell-Orbison Award, and Maelle Saliba, MD, Pathology & Cell Biology, and co-authors won the ADASP Surgical Pathology Award at a recent United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology conference.



CBS News (video)
How the U.S. Is Failing to Prevent School Shootings and What It Could Be Doing
Mar 28, 2023 - There are once again calls for action in the wake of the school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. Sonali Rajan, an associate professor of health education at Columbia University, spoke with CBS News' Errol Barnett and Lilia Luciano about what the nation can do to try to prevent further school shootings.

Fox 5 New York (video)
The Fertility Factor: A Journey to Motherhood After Struggling with Infertility for More than a Decade
Mar 24, 2023 - Dr. Jessica Opoku Anane, a gynecological surgeon with Columbia University specializing in removing fibroids with minimally invasive techniques, says 70 percent of women suffer from fibroids, while Black women are disproportionately impacted. "Oftentimes they get put into this rabbit hole of going to treat the fibroids, but not actually diagnosing them with the other disorders that are really causing the symptoms."

ABC News Online
1 in 12 Kids Lose a Parent or Sibling Before Turning 18: Report
Mar 28, 2023 - Losing a parent during childhood is an important risk factor for adult mental health problems and the issue is often overlooked, according to Katherine Shear, a grief expert at Columbia University. While grief affects everyone in different ways, Shear said children are oftentimes not the focus of support from community members.