CUIMC Update - December 6, 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.


What Virtual Reality Teaches Students About Real-World Bias
Students in the occupational therapy program are using virtual reality simulations to help them recognize bias, discrimination, and microaggressions in interactions that may include patients and colleagues from many different backgrounds. 

You're Invited: CUIMC Holiday Break Room and Toy Drive Collection
Join your CUIMC colleagues for a holiday celebration with treats and creative activities Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will include a collection for the CUIMC Holiday Toy Drive. Learn more about the holiday celebration and ways to give back, including how to support science programs at local schools.

Generosity is Good for Your Health. Here's Why.
Columbia psychiatrist Kelli Harding, MD, an expert in the science of kindness and the social dimensions of health, explains the many benefits of generosity and how even a small gift or gesture can have an outsized impact on both the giver and the recipient.

Mailman School Represented at the Global Climate Summit
Continuing through Dec. 12, the UN-sponsored COP28 climate summit is the largest such gathering to date, with some 70,000 delegates, world leaders, and senior officials from nearly every nation in attendance. Read more about how the Mailman School of Public Health is involved.

How to De-Stress for the Holidays
From travel hassles to grief and loss, the holidays can be stressful. Columbia primary care doctor Arthi Reddy, MD, discusses stress triggers around the holidays and offers five strategies to alleviate them. 



Mailman School of Public Health

  • Abigail Greenleaf, PhD, ICAP
    $651,439 over five years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for "Dynamics of Contraception in Eswatini (DYCE)."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Miguel Arce, PhD, Sergievsky Center
    $1,887,247 over four years for a subaward from the National Institute on Aging for "Multilingualism as a factor of resilience to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in India."
  • Luke Benvenuto, MD, Medicine
    $681,119 over five years for a subaward from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "The impact of body composition on peri-operative and patient-centered outcomes in lung transplantation."
  • Wellington Cardoso, MD, PhD, Medicine
    $3,261,615 over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "Local translation and viral infection in the airway epithelium."
  • Alberto Ciccia, PhD, Genetics & Development
    $1,250,000 over five years from the Cancer Research Institute for "High-throughput functional interrogation of the impact of DNA repair gene mutations on anti-tumor immunity."
  • Soojin Park, MD, Neurology
    $3,248,657 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Machine Learning to Optimize Management of Acute Hydrocephalus."
  • Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, Pediatrics
    $987,000 over three years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for "Food FARMacia: Reducing childhood obesity in households with food insecurity."


School of Nursing

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Social Media Snapshot

Columbia Medicine (@ColumbiaMed)

As a former smoker, @columbiaimaging's Dr. Mary Salvatore understands the challenges and stigma people who are trying to quit may feel. Here, she shares why getting screened for lung cancer is so important and why it’s never too late to quit.

In the News Highlights

  • Soccer 'Heading' Tied to Declines in Brain Function
    Nov 28, 2023
    U.S. News & World Report
    "There is enormous worldwide concern for brain injury in general and in the potential for soccer heading to cause long-term adverse brain effects in particular," said senior study author Dr. Michael Lipton, a professor of radiology and an affiliate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University in New York City. "A large part of this concern relates to the potential for changes in young adulthood to confer risk for neuro-degeneration and dementia later in life."
  • How to Avoid Holiday Loneliness: Doctor's Coping Strategies, Ways to Reach Out
    Nov 29, 2023
    CBS 2 New York (video)
    We spoke with the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health dean Dr. Linda Fried for some strategies to cope with loneliness. Dr. Fried explained how loneliness impacts our physical and mental health, and why the holidays are such a vulnerable time.
  • What Role Does the Nervous System Play in Cancer? Finding Out May Mean Beating the Disease.
    Nov 19, 2023
    Nerves are also an integral part of most cancers' early development and progression, said Dr. Timothy Wang, a gastroenterologist and cancer specialist at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University. For cancers to grow, they need signals from nerves, he said. "We don't know about what the tumor is saying to the nerves and where that message goes," Wang said.