CUIMC Update - Feb. 22, 2021

February 22, 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.


Leadership Appointments Announced at VP&S
Effective June 1, Monica L. Lypson, MD, MHPE, a national leader in medical education now at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., will become vice dean for education at VP&S where she will oversee all aspects of the MD program, including admissions, financial aid, student affairs, curricular affairs, and student research. Jonathan (Yoni) Amiel, MD, who served as interim co-vice dean for education since January 2020, has been appointed to a new role as senior associate dean for innovation in health professions education at VP&S. Read more

Columbia Launches Virtual Forums on COVID-19 Vaccination       
Faculty, staff, and students are invited to a new series of University-wide virtual forums that will occur twice per month and include up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccines and availability. Each presentation will be followed by a live question-and-answer session. The first forum is slated for tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. Registration is required. You will receive a confirmation email before the event with instructions for joining.

VP&S Neurologist Collaborates on New Rap Videos to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Communities of Color    
New videos from Hip Hop Public Health, an organization founded by Olajide Williams, MD, professor and chief of staff in the Department of Neurology at VP&S, use the power of music to help address vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccine literacy in communities of color. Read more

Heart Disease in Women: VP&S Cardiologists Address Disparities Through Improved Diagnosis and Treatment  
In honor of American Heart Month in February, we are highlighting the work of VP&S cardiologists exploring disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women. Read more

Columbia Nursing: ‘Dream Big,’ and Remember to Take Care of Yourself, Too  
In honor of Black History Month, Columbia Nursing alumni, faculty, and students offer advice for future Black nurses and speak about their critical role in promoting health equity. Read more.

Mailman Participates in Development of First Test for All Known Human Coronaviruses    
Scientists at Mailman’s Center for Infection and Immunity and SunYat-Sen University in China have set the stage for the development of highly sensitive antibody tests for infection with all known human coronaviruses, including new variants of SARS-CoV-2. Read more.

Columbia Nursing Recognizes American Heart Month and Cardiovascular Professionals Week
Columbia Nursing highlights three researchers studying cardiovascular health in marginalized populations. Read more


2021 Symposium on Vaccines and Global Health, today through Feb. 26, register online

Office of Scholarship and Research Development's Research Excellence (REX) Seminar: Dr. Ruth Masterson Creber, Feb. 24, noon, register online

African, Black & Caribbean Employee Resource Group Presents: Virtual Zuzu African Acrobats Performance in Celebration of Black History Month 2021, Feb. 24, 2 p.m., register online.

Columbia Nursing Center for Research on People of Color’s Anti-Racism Speaker Series: Amadou Gaye, PhD, MSc, Feb. 25, 10 a.m., register online

Webinar on Project REACH and Engage to Advance Community Health, Feb. 25, noon, read more and register online.

VP&S Department of Pediatrics, 5th Annual Celebration of Diversity & Inclusion Symposium Webinar: “Brave Enough to Be it and See It: Using Science & Innovation to Address Inequities in Health,” Feb. 26, 8 a.m., register online

“Conversations with Historians: In Pursuit of Equity,” Feb. 26, noon, register online.



Michaela Anderson, MD, Medicine, will receive $854,280 over five years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Role of Visceral Adipose Tissue in Frailty Among Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.”

Louise Kuhn, PhD, Sergievsky Center, will receive $745,080 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for a subaward of “Automated Visual Evaluation for Cervical Cancer Screening in HIV-positive Women.”

David Brenner, PhD, Center for Radiological Research, will receive $263,264 over one year from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for a subaward of “Krypton Disinfection Lighting.”


Alfred Neugut, MD, PhD, Epidemiology, will receive $445,410 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for a subaward of “Novel Predictors of Survival Among Breast Cancer Patients with/without HIV in South Africa.”



The Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research’s Implementation Science Initiative, the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and the CDC Columbia Center for Injury Science and Prevention have announced awards to CUIMC faculty for intervention and implementation science pilot projects for 2020-2021: 

“Reducing Public Stigma Towards Individuals with Psychosis Across Race and Gender: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Young Adults”

  • Doron Amsalem, MD, Psychiatry (Principal Investigator)
  • Lisa Dixon, MD, Psychiatry
  • John Markowitz, MD, Psychiatry
  • Yuval Neria, PhD, Psychiatry and Epidemiology
  • Linda Valeri, PhD, Biostatistics
  • Lawrence Yang, PhD, Epidemiology

“The Impact of Race and Other Characteristics on Parent-Teacher Communication: Examining a Critical Mechanism of Change for Implementation and Mental Health Outcomes in Children with Autism”

  • Christina Hoven, PhD, Epidemiology and Psychiatry (Co-Principal Investigator)

“Lock and Protect: Reducing Adolescent Access to Lethal Means for Suicide"

  • Ashley Blanchard, MD, Pediatric Emergency Medicine (Principal Investigator)
  • Randy Auerbach, PhD, Psychiatry

“Adaptation and Piloting of Brief Interpersonal therapy (IPT) for Remote Delivery among Refugees and other Displaced Persons in Peru”

  • Jeremy Kane, PhD, Epidemiology (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Claire Greene, PhD, Population and Family Health
  • Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, Epidemiology

“Adapting the Suicide Safety Planning Intervention for Delivery to Adolescents in Mozambican Primary Care Settings: An Implementation Science Pilot Proposal"

  • Kate Lovero, PhD, Psychiatry (Principal Investigator)
  • Barbara Stanley, PhD, Psychiatry
  • Milton Wainberg, PhD, Psychiatry


Vivek Moitra, MD, Anesthesiology, has been elected to the American Board of Anesthesiology’s board of directors. 

Guillaume Urtecho, PhD, Systems Biology, has been named by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a 2020 Hanna Gray Fellow.