CUIMC Update - June 14, 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.


New Columbia Research on Taurine Spurs National Conversation
New research on aging related to the role of taurine, a nutrient produced in the body and found in many foods, was published by Science last week and led to widespread national media attention. Learn more about the research by Vijay Yadav, PhD, assistant professor of genetics & development, and watch a video.

A Columbia Physician Shares What to Expect When You’re LGBTQ and Want Children
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month is celebrated in June. Iris Insogna, MD, a reproductive medicine specialist at VP&S, discusses what LGBTQ individuals and couples can expect when pursuing fertility care. Read more.

Five VP&S Physician-Scientists Receive Gerstner Awards
Four physician-scientists at VP&S—Shah Ali, MDEdmond Chan, MDPamela Good, MD, and Juan-Manuel Schvartzman, MD, PhD—have been named 2023 Gerstner Scholars and will receive funding for up to three years to support their research. In addition, Benjamin Izar, MD, PhD, a 2020 Gerstner Scholar, will receive the highly coveted Gerstner Merit Award. Read more.

Columbia Research Links Professional Hockey Fighting to Earlier Deaths
A study led by Charles Popkin, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at VP&S and a team physician for USA Hockey, found that hockey enforcers (defined as those who had 50 or more career fights) died a decade earlier on average compared with peers who were involved in fewer fights. In addition, the enforcers were more likely to die of suicide and drug overdose, which are common occurrences in people with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Read more.

Columbia Study Finds Transplant Centers May be Skipping Top Candidates for Kidney Transplantation
A Columbia study led by Sumit Mohan, MD, a kidney transplant physician at VP&S, has found that some transplant centers regularly apply their own criteria for matching donor kidneys to eligible patients, skipping over their highest-ranking transplant candidates in favor of lower-ranked patients. Read more.


Why Are Your Patients Angry and Fearful, and What Can You Do About It?
June 14, 8 p.m., online
Register here.

From Childcare to Elder Care: The Sandwich Generation
June 15, 11 a.m., online
Register here.

ColumbiaDoctors Primary Care Outreach
June 20, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Haven Plaza, Haven Avenue between Fort Washington Avenue and 169 Street
Register here.

We are CUIMC: Pride on Haven
June 20, 12 p.m., Haven Plaza, Haven Avenue between Fort Washington Avenue and 169 Street
Learn more.

Community Research Forum on Cancer
June 20, 6 p.m., Irving Cancer Research Center, 1130 St. Nicholas Ave., 1st Floor Auditorium
Register here.

ChatGPT, Knowledge, and Misinformation: Technology and Its Many Impacts on Health, Wellness, and Society
June 21, 12 p.m., online
Register here.

Tissue Talks: Paula Arlotta, Harvard University
June 21, 3 p.m., online
Register here.

Drag Story Hour with Harmonica Sunbeam
June 22, 11:45 a.m., Presbyterian Building, 622 W. 168 St., King Library, PH West 1560
Register here.

VP&S Afternoon of Science: Department of Genetics and Development
June 22, 12 p.m., School of Nursing, 560 W. 168 St., 7th Floor
Register here.

VP&S Afternoon of Science: Institute for Cancer Genetics
June 26, 12 p.m., School of Nursing, 560 W. 168 St., 7th Floor
Register here.

Callen-Lorde Presents: LGBTQ+ Health
June 27, 11 a.m., online
Register here.

LGBTQ+ Lecture Series: Nothing For Us Without Us: The Role of Intersectionality and Positionality in LGBT Health Equity Research
June 28, 4 p.m., Faculty Club, 630 W. 168 St., 4th Floor
Register here.

My Name is Pauli Murray: Film Screening & Panel Discussion
June 29, 4 p.m., School of Nursing, 560 W. 168 St., 7th Floor Rooftop
Register here.



Adana Llanos Wilson, PhD, Epidemiology: $3,526,470 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for "Understanding the role of adiposity and adipokine-related RNA expression in the tumor microenvironment on breast cancer outcomes in a racially and ethnically diverse sample."


Anca Askanase, MD, Medicine: $749,943 over three years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for "Evaluation of lupus arthritis using novel technologies."

Cristiane Duarte, PhD, Psychiatry: $359,427 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for "Prenatal air pollution and neurodevelopment: a longitudinal neuroimaging study of mechanisms and early risk for ADHD in Puerto Rican children."

Stephen Goff, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology: $769,500 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "Center for Structural Biology of HIV RNA."

Robert Goldenberg, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology: $412,291 over three years for a subaward from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for "Postpartum IV Iron to Treat Maternal Anemia."

Gamze Gürsoy, PhD, Biomedical Informatics: $2,228,639 over five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for "Tools to Address the Challenges of Preserving Privacy in Sharing and Analysis of Biomedical Data."

Anil Rustgi, MD, Medicine: $4,624,591 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for "Mechanisms underlying gastric intestinal metaplasia and carcinogenesis."

Peter Henry St George-Hyslop, MD, Taub Institute: $568,750 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute on Aging for "Protective genetic variants for Alzheimer's disease and the Amish."

Milton Wainberg, MD, and Jonathan Eric Posner, MD, Psychiatry: $536,465 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute of Mental Health for "Mental Health and Bolsa Familia: A Mechanistically Focused Clinical Trial of a Cash Transfer Intervention on Child Brain, Behavior, and Mental Health."



Miriam Laugesen, PhD, Health Policy and Management, received a Hitachi International Affairs Fellowship 2023-2024 from the Council on Foreign Relations.


Mijo Simunovic, PhD, Genetics & Development, has been named a 2023 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.



The Wall Street Journal
What a ‘Clean Room’ Is and Why You Need One When the Air Is Bad
Jun 8, 2023 - A clean room is a particularly good option for people at high risk from exposure to polluted air, including children, the elderly and those with underlying cardiac or pulmonary disease, says Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, director of pediatric pulmonology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

The New York Times
The Most Common Eating Disorder in the U.S. Is Also the Least Understood
May 31, 2023 - At the time, the diagnosis was fairly controversial, said Dr. B. Timothy Walsh, who led a group that recommended changes to existing criteria for eating disorders and proposed adding new ones to that edition of the D.S.M. Some thought that it was “pathologizing normality,” he said, and did not understand how it was different from ordinary overeating.

Huff Post
Is Your Kid Experiencing Anxiety? Here Are 7 Things You Can Do to Help
Jun 1, 2023 - “Our nervous system is wired to act and help us to remain safe from harm. This often assists us in doing productive things to help meet goals and aspirations but sometimes causes anxiety,” Anne Marie Albano, a psychologist and clinical director of the Center for Youth Mental Health at NewYork-Presbyterian, told HuffPost.