CUIMC Update - February 8, 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.


Academy of Community and Public Service Inducts 16 CUIMC Faculty Members
The Academy of Community and Public Service honors faculty members at CUIMC who have gone above and beyond to promote health, well-being, and overall quality of life in the Washington Heights community and around the world. The new class is the third to be inducted into ACPS. Read more.

A Columbia Dermatologist's Guide to Healthy Winter Skin
Winter in New York brings cold weather and low humidity indoors and out, making our skin drier and more depleted of moisture. Columbia dermatologist Alexandra Coromilas, MD, shares tips for achieving healthy winter skin. Read more.

What You Should Know About Hormone Therapy and Menopause
About 85% of women experiencing menopause have at least one symptom that negatively impacts daily functioning. According to Columbia gynecologist Hoosna Haque, MD, research shows that for most women, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy outweigh the risks. Dr. Haque also addresses why many women do not receive treatment for menopause symptoms when they should. Read more.

Will Revitalizing Old Blood Slow Aging?
Young blood has a rejuvenating effect when infused into older bodies, according to recent research from Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD, director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative. Rejuvenating an older person’s blood may now be within reach, based on recent research conducted in mice. Passegué’s lab published the study in Nature Cell Biology. Read more.

Columbia Brain Surgeon Successfully Treats Rare Case of Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia
When Dennis Pearsall received a probable diagnosis of glossopharyngeal neuralgia—a condition in which the glossopharyngeal nerve is wedged against an adjacent blood vessel and causes excruciating pain—his treatment options were limited. After years of pain and visits to specialists, he got a referral to Raymond Sekula Jr., MD, a brain surgeon at VP&S, and received same-day surgery that cured his condition. “I’m forever grateful,” Pearsall said. Read more.


Second Annual Kathleen Hickey Lectureship
Feb. 9, 4 p.m., Columbia School of Nursing, 560 W. 168 St., 7th Floor
Register here.

A Celebration of Life Honoring John M. Driscoll Jr., MD
Feb. 13, 4:30 p.m., Black Building, 650 W. 168 St., Alumni Auditorium and Schaefer Awards Gallery
Register here.

NINR Director's Lecture Series: Systems and Models of Care
Feb. 14, 2 p.m., online
Register here.

Depression Research Summit: Understanding Suicide Risk in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults
Feb. 14 and 16, online
Register here.

Unpacking Cultural Stigma and Care-Seeking Behavior on Staff
Feb. 15, 12 p.m., online
Register here.

Tissue Talks: Leslie Leinwand, UC Boulder
Feb. 15,  3 p.m., online
Register here.

Pros and Cons of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
Feb. 15, 5 p.m., Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Avenue, Room 401
Register here.

The 2022 Horwitz Prize Lectures
Feb. 16, online
Register here.

Columbia University 7th Annual Engineering in Medicine Symposium
Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., online
Register here.

Reimagining the VP&S Curriculum Retreat
Feb. 28, 1 p.m., Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Avenue, Room 401
Register here.



Wenpin Hou, PhD, Biostatistics: $747,000 over three years from the National Human Genome Research Institute for "Computational Methods for Inferring Single-cell DNA Methylation and its Spatial Landscape."

Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, Epidemiology, and Morgan Philbin, PhD, Sociomedical Sciences: $3,788,799 over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for "State-level opioid policies and policies that regulate substance use during pregnancy: a mixed methods exploration of their effects on maternal and infant outcomes."


Veronica Barcelona, PhD: $500,000 over three years from the Moore (Gordon and Betty) Foundation for "Using Machine Learning to Measure Racial/Ethnic Bias in Obstetric Setting."


Iok In Christine Chio, PhD, Institute for Cancer Genetics: $2,292,381 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for "Studying the role of eIF4A in Pancreatic Cancer."

Hyunmi Choi, MD, and Jose Gutierrez, MD, Neurology: $4,096,883 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for "Effects of vascular risk factors on risk for dementia and stroke after late-onset epilepsy (EpilepsyCOG)."

Stephen Goff, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology: $2,237,915 over three years for a subaward from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "Metropolitan Anti-Viral Drug Accelerator (MAVDA) Virology Core."

Chin Hur, MD, Medicine: $4,255,720 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for "Coordinating Center for the Program on the Origins of Gastroesophageal Cancers."

Joseph John Mann, MD, Psychiatry: $987,755 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute on Aging for "New technologies to identify molecular regulators of the human hippocampus neurogenic niche in healthy aging and Alzheimer’s Disease."

Utpal Pajvani, MD, Medicine: $2,936,654 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for "Adipsin in NASH."

Lawrence Purpura, MD, Medicine: $753,698 over four years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "Evaluating the Epidemiology and Determinants of Neurologic Post-acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2."



Ana Navas Acien, MD, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences, was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board by President Joe Biden.


Kellie Bryant, DNP, received an award for service from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare.


Donna L. Farber, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology, was selected as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Association of Immunologists for 2023.

Jennifer Puac, Occupational Therapy, has been selected as a FPI John Robert Lewis Fellow for 2023-2024 cohort.



The New York Times
Who Should Get a Covid Booster Now? New Data Offers Some Clarity.
Feb 2, 2023 - “If you’re young, say you’re 35, 40, you’re otherwise healthy, you’ve already gotten vaccinated and boosted and probably had an infection or two in the past, I think that person is pretty well protected for quite some time,” said Dr. David Ho, a professor of medicine at Columbia University who led one of the antibody studies.

U.S. News & World Report
Celiac Disease Could Raise Heart Risks, Study Finds
Jan 31, 2023 - This isn’t the first study to suggest a link between celiac disease and heart disease, said Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City. There are many theories about the link between the two conditions, he said.

U.S. News & World Report
AHA News: Pregnancy Complications Could Increase Women's Stroke Risk at Earlier Age
Feb 2, 2023 - "That's really young," said lead study author Dr. Eliza Miller, an assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University in New York City. "These women are still in their prime working years."