CUIMC Update - February 21, 2024

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.


Division of Nursing Practice Expands Career Pathways
The Division of Nursing Practice will expand career opportunities for nursing professionals, connect Columbia Nursing students with diverse clinical experiences, and facilitate job placements within the medical center for graduates. 

Celebrating Heart Month
Columbia surgeons and cardiologists came together this month on social media to celebrate American Heart Month, sharing heart-healthy tips and engaging in a heart drawing contest. Read more and watch videos.

Postpartum Preeclampsia: A Silent But Serious Condition
Postpartum preeclampsia, which occurs when a patient’s blood pressure goes above 140/90 after childbirth, may not cause noticeable symptoms initially but can have severe health consequences. Cardiologist Sonia Tolani, MD, shares what you should know about postpartum preeclampsia and when you should call a doctor.

Screen Time Alternatives for Kids
The average child spends 7.5 hours every day in front of a screen for entertainment, and winter weather can boost the amount of screen time. Abstaining from screens is difficult, but caregivers can aim for a mix of entertainment options on and off screens, says pediatrician Edith Bracho-Sanchez, MD.



College of Dental Medicine

  • Steven Erde, MD, PhD
    $542,761 over one year from Colgate Palmolive Company for "Colgate toothbrush patient usage data and the Epic Wisdom environment."
  • Fatemeh Momen-Heravi, DDS, PhD
    $3,675,571 over five years from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for "Immune and transcriptomic biomarkers of progressive oral premalignant lesions."

Mailman School of Public Health

  • Rafal Tokarz, PhD, Center for Infection and Immunity
    $1,284,388 over two years from the Department of Defense for "Direct Detection of Tick-Borne Agents in a Single Point-of-Care Test."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Oliver Clarke, PhD, Anesthesiology
    $2,408,702 over one year from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for "Architecture, dynamics and regulation of erythrocyte ankyrin-1 complexes."
  • Giovanni Ferrari, PhD, Surgery
    $329,000 over one year for a subaward from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "Non-invasive imaging of reactive oxygen species in reperfusion injury myocardial infarction."
  • Brian Karolewski, VMD, PhD, Institute of Comparative Medicine
    $337,959 over one year from the Office of the NIH Director for "Smart ventilated cage systems for next-level experimental design and monitoring of specialized animal models."
  • Francesco Lotti, PhD, Neurology
    $269,926 over one year from Graviton Biosciences Corporation for "Graviton 2."
  • Elizabeth Clarice Verna, MD, Surgery
    $3,050,464 over one year from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for "2/4: The INTEGRATE Study: Evaluating INTEGRATEd Care to Improve Biopsychosocial Outcomes of Early Liver Transplantation for Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease."
  • Jason Zucker, MD, Medicine
    $432,807 over one year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "Life after Mpox (LAMP) Study: Clinical, Psychosocial and Behavioral Sequelae of the 2022 Mpox Outbreak in the US."


College of Dental Medicine

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Social Media Snapshot

Dad's Legacy through Her Lens: Sylvia Drew Ivie on Dr. Charles Drew's legacy as a Blood Bank pioneer

In the News Highlights

  • Black Women Are Six Times More Likely to be Killed Than White Women, Data Reveal
    Feb 9, 2024
    NBC Online
    The study was designed to provide more comprehensive data about homicide rates among Black women and fill in the gaps in the existing literature, said Bernadine Waller, the paper’s lead author and a postdoctoral psychiatry research fellow at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “For every one person who’s murdered, you’ve got their family members, you’ve got their friends, you’ve got their communities who are devastated,” Waller said. Many Black families have women as head of the households, she added. “So, if you’re looking at that through that lens, what does that mean for our Black families?”
  • Mental Health Emerges as a Dividing Line in Abortion Rights Initiatives Planned for State Ballots
    Feb 13, 2024
    Associated Press
    Policies that dismiss mental health as less important than physical health put lives at risk, said Columbia University psychiatrist Paul Appelbaum. He said there is also growing evidence that being denied an abortion causes significant mental distress. This distress has been apparent in recent stories of women forced to flee their states or continue pregnancies despite serious risks to their health. “I am extremely concerned by the exclusion of mental health exceptions in these ballot measures,” said Appelbaum, former president of the American Psychiatric Association. “It’s absolutely cruel and will lead to the suffering deaths of pregnant women in these states.”
  • Doctors and Parents Are Scrambling After Asthma Inhaler Switch Takes Popular Medication Off the Market
    Feb 13, 2024
    CNN Online
    Substituting one medication with the other “seems like it should be great,” said Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, chief of the Division of Pulmonology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “The problem is that insurance companies have not listed fluticasone as the preferred medication on their formularies.”
    “It’s all a big game,” says Victoria Piane, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Columbia University Irving Medical Center who said her team has been receiving 10 to 15 requests per day for prior authorizations from local pharmacies for the Flovent generic and age-appropriate medications not listed as preferred.
    Edith Bracho-Sanchez, the author of this article, is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.