CUIMC Update - July 6, 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.


Return to Campus Reminders: What You Need to Know for Fall 2021 
The final forum in the return-to-campus series reviewed what Columbia's campuses will look like for those returning after a long absence. The forum included information on vaccinations, gateway testing, and transportation. The recording can be viewed here. By Aug. 2, all students, faculty, and staff must upload COVID vaccine documentation to the ReopenCU app or apply for a religious or medical exemption.

Donna Farber, PhD, to Direct New Human Tissue Immunity and Disease Initiative
A new initiative on human tissue immunity and disease will be launched this month and will be based in the VP&S Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Donna Farber, PhD, the George Humphreys II Professor of Surgical Sciences and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, will direct the initiative. Read more

ICYMI: VP&S State of the School
Last week, Anil K. Rustgi, MD, Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, shared highlights of the 2020-2021 VP&S academic year at a virtual State of the School event. View recording

VP&S Research: Gene Discovery May Hold Key to Better Therapies for OCD
Some cases of OCD are caused by damaging gene variants that, while rare, provide a needed starting point for the development of better therapeutics, according to new VP&S research. Read more

Dental Research: A Clumping Protein Lets Common Oral Bacteria Shift From Harmless to Dangerous
A collaboration between two labs at the College of Dental Medicine and VP&S led to a discovery on how a protein called FadA can cause a common oral bacterium to lead to a variety of health problems including colorectal cancer and periodontal disease. Read more



Dawn Hershman, MD, Medicine, will receive $400,000 over five years from the American Cancer Society for “Improving the Delivery of Cancer Care.”

Filippo Mancia, PhD, Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, will receive $445,500 over two years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Molecular Mechanism of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Transport into the Brain.”

Umrao Monani, PhD, Neurology, will receive $941,040 over one year from Spacecraft Seven for “Gene Replacement Therapy for Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome.”

Bret Rutherford, MD, Psychiatry, will receive $830,134 over four years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Mentoring to Develop Aging-Informed Patient-Oriented Research in Neuropsychiatry.”

Melissa Stockwell, MD, Pediatrics, will receive $499,857 over three years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for “A Prospective Observational Study to Evaluate the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccination in Children and Adolescents (Contributing Site 2).”

Harris Wang, PhD, Systems Biology, will receive $273,648 over five years from the National Science Foundation for a subaward of “The Rules of Microbiota Colonization of the Mammalian Gut.”

Kazuhiko Yamada, MD, PhD, Medicine, will receive $922,698 over one year from Ossium Health for “Induction of Tolerance of Heart Grafts in Non-Human Primates.”


Ellen Spilker, Education Administration, will receive $644,779 and $299,039 over one year from the Health Resources and Services Administration for “HPSL - Dentistry” and “LDS - Dentistry.”



Anil Lalwani, MD, Otolaryngology, has been appointed to serve on the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council.


Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH, Epidemiology and Psychiatry, gave the 2021 Mysell Lecture at Harvard Medical School.


Kellie Bryant, DNP, received the Education Excellence Award from the International Council of Nurses Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Network.

Alexandra Fusco'21 received the Ann Penland Award from the Nurse Anesthesia Program at Columbia Nursing.

Danielle O'Neill, student, was named a 2021 Tillman Scholar by the Pat Tillman Foundation.


Columbia University Office of Work/Life Summer 2021 Workshops & Events, view all.  

Columbia Research Center for Science and Subjectivity Panel Discussion on Interdependence of Care: Centering Haudenosaunee Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, July 7, 2 p.m., read more and view event.  

School of Nursing General Virtual Information Session, July 7, 3 p.m., register online

Virtual Naloxone Training, July 13, 4 p.m., register here.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.