CUIMC Update - Aug. 9, 2021

August 9, 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.


Reminder: Sign the Columbia Community Health Compact
All faculty, staff, and students must use the ReopenCU app to digitally sign the Columbia Community Health Compact by Aug. 16, even if you signed it previously. The compact has been updated to include vaccination requirements. View compact

Thursday Forum for Students: University Life’s August COVID-19 Update, Vaccines, and Planning for Fall Return
On Aug. 12 at 4 p.m., all students are invited to join the Office of University Life at Columbia for an online forum with CUIMC experts who will discuss important updates on COVID-19 policies, vaccines, and planned activities for the fall return to campus. Registration is required here

Mailman Launches New Dual BA-MPH Degree Programs
Mailman School of Public Health has announced two new dual-degree programs for Columbia undergraduates interested in a career in public health. Read more about the BA-MPH with Columbia College and the BA-MPH with the School of General Studies.

VP&S Research: Fat ‘Shield’ Protects Immune Cells—and Some Cancers—from Destruction
A fat ‘shield’ that protects natural killer cells from self-destruction also allows some cancer cells to evade destruction by the immune system, VP&S researchers have found. The findings may lead to treatments for aggressive cancers. Read more

Q&A with VP&S Endocrinologist: Is the New Weight Loss Drug Approved by the FDA Right for You?
Endocrinologist Judith Korner, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at VP&S and director of Columbia’s Metabolic and Weight Control Center, discusses what patients with obesity can expect from a new weight loss drug. Read more

Mailman Research: Fewer Than Half of Older Adults Discuss Alcohol with Providers
Although older adults are at high risk for the harms of alcohol use, less than half of those age 65 and over discuss alcohol with their health care providers, according to new research led by Pia Mauro, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at Mailman. Read more.



Edmund Au, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, will receive $2,000,795 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Studying the Molecular Regulation of MGE Projection Neuron Identity by St18.”

Jonathan Dworkin, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology, will receive $2,041,376 over five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for “Regulation of Protein Synthesis During Quiescence in Bacteria.”

David Fidock, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology, will receive $2,262,645 over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Defining P. Falciparum Resistance to Artemisinin-Based Combination Therapies.”

Jennifer Gelinas, MD, PhD, Institute for Genomic Medicine, will receive $1,992,882 over four years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Closed-Loop Modulation of Hippocampal-Cortical Communication in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.”

Yoon Kang, MD, Columbia Stem Cell Initiative, will receive $360,705 over three years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Investigating the Mechanisms of Erythroid Lineage Commitment in Hematopoietic Stem and Multipotent Progenitor Populations.”

Falak Sher, PhD, Neurology, will receive $2,399,949 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Functional Dissection of Fibronectin Type 3 Domains of SORL1 in Alzheimer's Disease Associated Microglia.”


Parisa Tehranifar, DrPH, Epidemiology, will receive $2,616,318 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “De-implementation of Mammography Overuse in Older Racially and Ethnically Diverse Women.”



Ricardo Cruz-Acuña, PhD, HICCC, received the 2021-2023 Charles H. Revson Senior Fellowship in Biomedical Science. The fellowship will support Dr. Cruz-Acuña’s work in esophageal adenocarcinoma, helping lay the foundation for new novel therapeutics in esophageal cancer. Read more

Alexander Melamed, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, is one of five recipients of a 2021 National Academy of Medicine Fellowship. He has been selected to be a Norman F. Gant/American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fellow. Read more

Richard Polin, MD, Pediatrics, has received the Apgar Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics.


August 2021 Employee Appreciation Events  

Columbia Nursing PhD Virtual Information Session (for NYP employees only), Aug. 11, 10 a.m., register here.

The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Four-Part Webinar Series, Webinar 4, Aug. 11, 2 p.m., register here.

Columbia Nursing Masters Direct Entry Program Q&A Virtual Information Session, Aug. 11, 3 p.m., register here.

Virtual Naloxone Training, Aug. 11, 4 p.m., register here

Helping Kids with Back-to-School Anxiety: A Webinar for Parents and Caregivers Presented by Columbia Psychiatry, Aug. 11, 6 p.m., register here

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.