CUIMC Update - Jan. 11, 2021

January 11, 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.


COVID-19 Vaccine and Distribution: CUIMC Towns Halls Today and Tuesday
CUIMC-wide town halls on the COVID-19 vaccine and distribution will be offered twice this week: today at 1 p.m. and tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. Each session will include up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccines and how they are being distributed to CUIMC personnel. Each town hall will include a Q&A session. Registration via the links above is required; you will receive a confirmation email before the event with instructions for joining.

Today: Seminar on Structural Racism and the COVID-19 Vaccine
All members of the CUIMC community are invited to attend today's Seminar on Structural Racism and the COVID-19 Vaccine at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom. The seminar, hosted by the Mailman School of Public Health, includes Mailman faculty Latanya Mapp Frett, JD, Micaela Martinez, PhD, and moderator Terry McGovern, JD. Register online and read more

VP&S Class of 2023 Begins Major Clinical Year in Ongoing Pandemic  
Second-year Columbia medical students marked their transition to patient-centered training in hospital and ambulatory settings on Jan. 7 at the Steven Z. Miller Student Clinician's Ceremony, held virtually for the first time. Read more

Mailman Adds a Pandemic Exercise to Health System Simulation   
A strategic decision-making and team-building exercise for hospital executives—developed at the Mailman School of Public Health—now includes a simulated pandemic. Read more.  

Columbia Technology Ventures Launches Program for Diversity and Inclusion in Commercialization and Entrepreneurship   
The new Diversity and Inclusion in Commercialization and Entrepreneurship program is open to graduate students and postdocs across Columbia who identify as being from traditionally underrepresented groups in life science entrepreneurship and commercialization, as defined by the NIH. The program will provide educational programming, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities to prepare participants for careers bringing life science innovation to market. Read more

Columbia Medicine Magazine Reports on the Life of a Hospitalist in Routine—and Pandemic—Times
The medical center’s hospitalist program of “in-house quarterbacks” coordinating care of hospitalized patients has grown to more than 25 hospitalists and almost 50 physician assistants since it was founded 25 years ago. When COVID-19 struck, the hospitalists at Milstein and Allen were well-equipped to deal with the illness that seemed to spare no system of the body. Read more and view the full fall/winter 2020 issue of Columbia Medicine magazine


Walker Percy Literary Society Meeting: Discussion of the Novel “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng, Jan. 16, 2021, 12 p.m. Meetings held monthly via Zoom are open to the entire CUIMC community. For more information, email



Rebecca Hough, MD, PhD, Pediatrics, will receive $827,280 over five years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Mitochondrial Mechanisms Underlying Alveolar-Capillary Barrier Regulation.”

Chao Lu, PhD, Genetics & Development, will receive $2,025,000 over five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for “Regulation and Function of Histone H3K36 Methylation in Mammalian Chromatin.”


Diana Hernandez, PhD, Sociomedical Sciences, will receive $3,361,189 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “A Randomized Controlled Trial to Support Smoke-Free Policy Compliance in Public Housing.”


Several VP&S and Mailman faculty were named to the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers 2020 list that identifies researchers who have demonstrated influence in their field through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the past decade. Their names were drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index. 

VAGELOS COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS: Charles Drake, MD, PhD, Medicine; Donna Farber, PhD, Surgery and Microbiology & Immunology; Michael First, MD, Psychiatry; David Goldstein, PhD, Institute for Genomic Medicine; Rebecca Hahn, MD, Medicine; Rene Hen, PhD, Neuroscience and Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Ivaylo Ivanov, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology; Daniel Javitt, MD, Psychiatry; Susheel K. Kodali, MD, Medicine; Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Psychiatry; Richard Mayeux, MD, Neurology; Mark Olfson, MD, Psychiatry; Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology; Raul Rabadan, PhD, Systems Biology, Biomedical Informatics, and Surgery; Naiyer Rizvi, MD, Medicine; David E. Shaw, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics; Ira Tabas, MD, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology; and Melanie Wall, PhD, Psychiatry.

MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences; and Daniel Belsky, PhD; Salim Abdool Karim, PhD; W. Ian Lipkin, MD; Mark Olfson, MD; Deborah Hasin, PhD; Katherine Keyes, PhD, Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, Bruce Link, PhD, all in Epidemiology.