CUIMC Update - Jan. 4, 2021

January 4, 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.


Reminder: 2021 Required Gateway COVID-19 Testing  
All current faculty, staff, and students have to complete a SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic gateway test from Jan. 4 to 25; you may schedule your appointment on the Columbia Health Online Patient Portal. This includes individuals who have been on campus throughout 2020 and were previously tested through the initial gateway testing program. All undergraduates living in University housing must complete testing twice a week thereafter the Gateway test. All gateway tests must be administered by Columbia University’s COVID Testing Program. Read more.  

2021 Human Resources Recognition Calendar and Rewards and Recognition Document Now Available  
CUIMC Human Resources has assembled a 2021 calendar of widely recognized and notable days/celebrations acknowledging significant events each month. Also available is a rewards and recognition resources document, which includes additional department programs and links to guide managers on recognizing employees that are remote.  

VP&S Annual Report Features Reflections on Medicine Amidst a Global Health Crisis and a Racial Reckoning  
As VP&S redoubles its efforts to promote racial justice, Black medical students and physicians at VP&S shared their thoughts on navigating this historical moment in the cover story of the 2019-20 annual report edition of Columbia Medicine. Read more.

Viral Load as a Predictor of COVID-19 Patient Outcomes: Q&A with Daniel Griffin of VP&S  
Daniel Griffin, MD, PhD, clinical instructor of medicine, explains how clinicians should be using viral load, or the amount of virus detected in a PCR nasal swab, to treat COVID-19 patients. He also discusses the FDA's recent decision to share viral load information with clinicians. Read more.

CUIMC Providers Using Telehealth to Connect Virtually with Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
Twenty-two percent of visits with ColumbiaDoctors are now conducted via virtual visits, underscoring how quickly CUIMC doctors and patients embraced telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Integrating Zoom into Epic is just one way that ColumbiaDoctors is working to improve the patient telehealth experience. Read more.

The Power of Nursing: Life Line on the Front Line  
2020 was a year like no other for nurses everywhere. In this video, Columbia Nursing celebrates the challenges faced by CUIMC nurses, educators, and students and commemorates the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. View roundups of 2020 stories, media, and awards highlights on the Columbia Nursing website

In Memoriam 2020: CUIMC Faculty and Staff 
CUIMC recognizes members of our medical center community who died in 2020. Read more


The 2020 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Lecture, Tracing the Road from the Genetic Dissection of Auditory Molecular Mechanisms to Hearing Restoration, Jan. 28, 2021, 10 a.m., register online



Ali Gharavi, MD, Medicine, will receive $2,495,778 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Genetics of Human Renal Hypodysplasia.”

Ulrich Hengst, PhD, Neuroscience, will receive $1,020,540 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Advanced Graduate Training Program in Neurobiology and Behavior.”

Patrick Lao, PhD, Taub Institute, will receive $260,220 over two years from the National Institute on Aging for “Understanding the Mechanisms Linking Small Vessel Cerebrovascular Disease and Alzheimer's Disease Pathophysiology with Neurodegeneration and Cognition During Midlife.”


Chang Lee, PhD, will receive $3,482,969 over five years from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for “Bioactive Scaffold for TMJ Disc Regeneration by Endogenous Stem/Progenitor Cells.”



Delivette Castor, PhD, Medicine, was awarded a grant in Fall 2020 from the Provost’s Grant Program for Junior Faculty Who Contribute to the Diversity Goals of the University. 

James Noble, MD, Taub Institute, has been awarded the 2021 A. B. Baker Teacher Recognition Award by the American Academy of Neurology.

Megan Sykes, MD, Medicine, has been selected as Distinguished Fellow for 2021 by the American Association of Immunologists.


Salim Abdool Karim, PhD, Epidemiology, has been awarded the John Maddox Prize 2020.

Quarraisha Abdool Karim, PhD, Epidemiology, has received an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Stellenbosch. 

Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, ScD, Environmental Health Sciences, has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee to Reassess the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.


Jennifer Dohrn, DrNP, was named in Women in Global Health’s 100+ Outstanding Women Nurses and Midwives. Read more.