CUIMC Update - Jan. 25, 2021

January 25, 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.


Wednesday: Town Hall on Vaccination Efforts at CUIMC/NYP  
On Jan. 27 at 12:30 p.m., a CUIMC-wide town hall will share up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines and supply, the new vaccination center at The Armory, and our efforts to reduce vaccine hesitancy. The town hall will include a Q&A session. Registration via the link above is required; you will receive a confirmation email before the event with instructions for joining.

VP&S to Host Virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Symposium, Feb. 22-26  
Registration is now open for the 2021 Symposium on Vaccines and Global Health, which will feature more than 25 global leaders, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Melinda Gates, and experts from VP&S’s Programs in Global Health. This extraordinary event is the first of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic began and will cover development and implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine. Register online

CUIMC Launches Science and Health Equity Lecture Series  
The Office of Faculty Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion will host monthly presentations in a new Columbia Science and Health Equity Lecture Series. The CUIMC Task Force for Addressing Structural Racism in the Health Sciences has developed the lecture series to focus on research on racial and ethnic health disparities and their solutions. The inaugural event, “National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Framework," will be presented on Jan. 26. Read more.

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Annual Report: Pathways to a Cure  
Cancer is a field that touches all disciplines. In this year’s annual report, the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center showcases cross-collaborations in fields such as dental medicine and public health; how cancer researchers and clinicians have been instrumental in the fight against COVID-19; and programs—and people—making a difference in patients’ lives. View annual report

Columbia Nursing’s Group-Randomized Trial Shows Significant Improvement in Asthma Control Among Urban Black Adults   
A Columbia Nursing study led by Maureen George, PhD, associate professor of nursing, shows that a shared decision-making intervention in which clinicians collaboratively help patients reach medical decisions led to a significant improvement in asthma outcomes among the study population. Read more

Cybersecurity Alert and IT Update   
CUIMC IT continues to see phishing attempts via text message and email. It is critical we continue exercising extreme caution and thoughtful judgment when opening, responding to, or clicking on links to professional and personal email and text messages. Cybersecurity is paramount—please forward suspicious emails to CUIMC IT via for review. For more cybersecurity tips and updates from IT, see the January 2021 CUIMC Information Technology Newsletter.

GWB/Fort Lee Shuttle: 169th Street Stop Location Changes   
Effective today, stop locations for both pickup and drop-off on the George Washington Bridge/Fort Lee shuttle have been changed temporarily due to the closure of 169th Street. These changes will remain in effect until 169th Street reopens. Read more.


Office of Scholarship and Research Development's Research Excellence (REX) Seminar: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Presentations, Jan. 27, 12 p.m., register online.

Take a Break: Stretch and Reset, Jan. 27, 1 p.m., register online.

Advanced Clinical Management and Leadership Virtual Information Session, Jan. 28, 4 p.m., register online



Marlena Habal, MD, Medicine, will receive $269,861 over one year from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Belatacept in De Novo Heart Transplant.”

Elizabeth Oelsner, MD, and Tiffany Renee Sanchez, PhD, Medicine, will receive $445,500 over two years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Respiratory Health and Cigar and Pipe Use in the NHLBI Pooled Cohorts Study."

Joanna Smeeton, PhD, Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine, will receive $728,592 over three years from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for “Endogenous Stem Cells in Jaw Joint Cartilage and Ligament Regeneration.”


Ying Wei, PhD, Biostatistics, will receive $600,000 over three years from the National Science Foundation for “Conditional Quantile Random Forest with Biomedical and Biological Applications.”



Six VP&S faculty and staff members received 2020 Martha A. Hooven Awards for Excellence presented on Jan. 22: Regine Grandmougin, senior executive director, patient facilitated services and stewardship. VP&S Office of Development; Wei Jia Wang, grants manager, Department of Medicine, Columbia Center for Translational Immunology; Christopher Damoci, senior staff associate, Oncology Precision Therapeutics and Imaging Core of Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; Sofija Vlasevska, senior research worker in the Pasqualucci/Dalla-Favera Lab, Institute for Cancer Genetics; Brandon Ray Christophe, research worker, Department of Neurological Surgery; and Joan S. Bregstein, MD, associate professor of pediatrics (in emergency medicine) at CUMC. A posthumous award was presented to Rosellen Taraborrelli, department administrator in the Department of Psychiatry until her death in October. Read more


Elizabeth Corwin, PhD, is one of 13 founding members of the New York Academy of Medicine’s Women’s Health Research & Well-being Workgroup. Read more