CUIMC Update - August 3, 2022

August 3, 2022

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 Pediatric Heart Transplant Patient Makes Football Draft Pick Dream Come True 
Sam Prince, who was born with a rare and complex congenital heart defect, had his wish to announce the New York Giants’ first draft pick granted 11 years after receiving a lifesaving heart transplant at Columbia. Read and watch more about Sam’s Make-A-Wish story. 

The Key to Locks: Columbia Team's Breakthrough Led to Hair Loss Treatment
Columbia research led to the first systemic treatment specifically developed for severe alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. “The impact on patients has been truly transformative," says Angela M. Christiano, PhD, who led the research. Read more.

Latest COVID Wave Projected to Peak in August
A new study from Mailman School of Public Health found that the current wave of COVID-19 cases led by the BA.5 variant is projected to peak in August nationally. In New York City, cases are already declining. Read more.

Virtual Therapy Can Help Teens and Young Adults with Social Anxiety
An innovative program at Columbia’s Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders uses VR therapy to help youth with social anxiety disorder. The therapy enables teens and young adults to engage with and navigate social situations that trigger anxiety, increasing the likelihood that treatment will ultimately be successful. Read more.

Caffeine and Kids
More kids are drinking caffeine everyday. How much is too much? David Buchholz, MD, discusses the negative effects of caffeine on children and what parents can do to prevent them. Read more.


StudioLab DrawingBoard
Wednesdays, 6 p.m., online
Sign up here.

Open Office Hours for CUIMC Web Services
Aug. 3, 3 p.m., online
Register here.

ISSO Newly Arrived J-1 Faculty and Researchers Orientation
Aug. 16, 11 a.m., Zoom
Register here. 

Situational Awareness Training
Aug. 19, 10 a.m., online
Register here.

The Biology of Aging Special Seminar with Dr. Jan Hoeijmakers 
Aug. 22, 3 p.m., Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Register here. 

New Frontiers in Cancer Research and Care: The Next 50 Years
Sept. 15, 1:30 p.m., Vagelos Education Center
Read more.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.



Marissa Spann, PhD, and Christoph Juchem, PhD, Psychiatry: $5,302,478 over four years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “mChoice: Improving PrEP Uptake and Adherence among Minority MSM through Tailored Provider Training and Adherence Assistance in Two High Priority Settings.” 

Chin Hur, MD, Medicine: $4,226,585 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “Comparative modeling of gastric cancer disparities and prevention in the US and globally.” 

Dritan Agalliu, PhD, Neurology: $1,878,542 over two years from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for “Assessing the effects of peripheral immune activation on the NVU following TBI using a vascularized and perfused human blood/BBB model.” 

Chaolin Zhang, PhD, Systems Biology: $3,006,392 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “RNA regulatory networks in neuronal cell type diversity and function.” 

Rodney Joel Rothstein, PhD, Genetics and Development: $3,924,540 over five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for “Molecular mechanisms underlying recombination at DNA double-strand breaks and stalled replication forks.” 


Julianna Soares Linn, MD, ICAP: $10,150,000 over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief for “GH20-2024 Achieving and Maintaining Epidemic Control through Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Treatment Services in the Haut Katanga Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo under PEPFAR.” 

Katherine Keyes, PhD, and Andrew Rundle, DrPH, Epidemiology: $3,389,585 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Temperature, shade, and adolescent psychopathology: understanding how place shapes health.” 

Jessie Ford, PhD, Sociomedical Science: $790,435 over five years from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for “Alcohol-Involved Sexual Assault among Bisexual Women: Disentangling Mechanisms of Risk at Individual, Interpersonal, and Structural Levels Across the Lifespan.” 

Ian Lipkin, MD, Infection and Immunity: $1,000,000 over one year from Bacon Foundation Ltd. for “Global Alliance for Preventing Pandemics' Zambia and Southern Africa Pandemic Response Program.” 

Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, Iuliani Ionita-Laza, PhD, and Gary Miller, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences: $1,832,488 over five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for “The 'Career MODE' Program: Careers through Mentoring and training in Omics and Data for Early-stage investigators.” 



Vincent Racaneillo, PhD, was awarded the ASV Wolfgang and Patricia Joklik Distinguished Service Award from the American Society for Virology, recognizing his service to the field of virology. Read more.

Brooke Aggarwal, EdD, was elected as a 2022 fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.  

Nadia Ann Liyanage-Don, MD, Meghan Reading Turchioe, PhD, RN, and Churl-Su Kwon, MD, were named the 2022 Health Equity Scholars for the Center to Improve Chronic Disease Outcomes through Multi-level and Multi-generational Approaches Unifying Novel Interventions and Training for Health Equity, receiving $50,000 pilot grants funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for their research on chronic diseases.  


screenshot of a tweet from Columbia Medicine's Twitter account


New York Magazine
There is a Monkeypox Antiviral, But Try Getting It
Jul 21, 2022 - “We have these tools at our fingertips that, if we mobilize very rapidly, we have a chance of actually stopping this outbreak from extending further and becoming entrenched, endemic potentially, in our population,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

NBC News Online
Vitamin D Supplements Don't Prevent Bone Fractures in Healthy Adults, Study Finds
Jul 27, 2022 - "The takeaway is that in general, people shouldn't be popping vitamins left and right and if you're trying to prevent fractures, vitamin D alone is not enough," said Dr. Ethel Siris, an endocrinologist who works with osteoporosis patients at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. She was not involved with the trial. 

U.S. News and World Report
AHA News: Study of Sleep in Older Adults Suggests Nixing Naps, Striving for 7-9 Hours a Night
Jul 26, 2022 - The jury is still out on whether naps affect cardiovascular risk across the lifespan, said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, director of the Sleep Center of Excellence and an associate professor at Columbia University in New York City. She noted that the new research, which she was not involved in, was restricted to older adults.