CUIMC Update - March 13, 2024

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.


ICYMI: The VP&S Strategic Plan
Last week, VP&S Dean Katrina Armstrong, MD, distributed the new VP&S strategic plan, intended to reestablish priorities for building the medical school’s future, energize institutional initiatives, and create mechanisms for accountability. 

Same-Day Sick Visits Available for CUIMC Employees
Medical center employees can now schedule sick visits for the same day or other health appointments, including annual physicals, within a week with the ColumbiaDoctors Nurse Practitioners Group, which has a block of appointments reserved every day for CUIMC employees.

Stay Safe During Spring Cleaning
With the itch for spring cleaning in the air, learn more about home cleaning products and their possible hazards from Adam Blumenberg, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at VP&S, who has additional expertise in toxicology.

More Schooling Linked to Slowed Aging and Increased Longevity
A study by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health and the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center is the first to connect educational mobility with the pace of biological aging and mortality.

Putting Research into Action at HICCC: Community Outreach and Engagement
The community outreach and engagement office connects the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and the population it serves, putting research into action through events and programs. Maya Lipsman, pictured, senior project coordinator, and Nicole Bayne, project manager, discuss how the office works to understand the needs of the communities and patients served by the center.



School of Nursing

  • Patricia Stone, PhD
    $2,652,119 over four years from the National Institute of Nursing Research for "Health Disparities in Hospice in Nursing Homes."

Mailman School of Public Health

  • Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, ICAP
    $60,000,000 over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "Regional Partnerships to Strengthen National Data Capacities for HIV, TB, and Other Pandemic Preparedness and Response under PEPFAR."
  • Pia Mauro, PhD, Epidemiology
    $3,457,257 over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for "Substance use treatment and county incarceration: Reducing inequities in substance use treatment need, availability, use, and outcomes."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Eric Greene, PhD, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics
    $377,375 over four years from the National Cancer Institute for "Role of nuclear chaperones in genomic instability and carcinogenesis."
  • Rebecca Haeusler, PhD, Medicine
    $2,595,594 over four years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for "Insulin regulation of hepatic transport."
  • Tal Nuriel, PhD, Taub Institute
    $4,107,842 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for "Investigating the role of long-term latent herpes simplex virus infection on APOE4-associated Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis."
  • Ayesha Sania, ScD, Psychiatry
    $757,993 over five years from Fogarty International Center for "Sleep health of preschool children in Bangladesh: predictors, role on executive function and obesity, and sleep promotion intervention."
  • Stephen Tsang, MD, PhD, Ophthalmology
    $1,623,480 over four years from the National Eye Institute for "Gene Editing and Silencing in Phototransduction."
  • Moriya Tsuji, MD, PhD, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center
    $1,136,124 over two years from Leyden Laboratories for "In vitro activity of 7DW8-5 in different formulations."


Social Media Snapshot


Columbia Medicine on Instagram: "With the days getting longer and the itch for #spring cleaning 🧽🫧 in the air, it’s important to learn about the #cleaning products you may use and their possible hazards. ⚠️

In the News Highlights

  • These Electric Fish Detect Images of What Their Companions Are ‘Seeing’
    Mar 6, 2024
    Scientific American
    “We were excited to see that the electrical pulses [of other fish] are not just some background noise,” says Nathaniel Sawtell, a neuroscientist at Columbia University and a co-author of the new paper. “The fish are actually using the pulses of the other fish to their benefit.”
  • Prisoners in Texas and Florida Face Biggest Risk of Increasingly Deadly Heat
    Mar 5, 2024
    The Guardian
    Deadly heat is threatening the lives of America’s ageing incarcerated population, who are trapped in increasingly hot and humid conditions as the climate emergency escalates, new research has found. “Prisons and other detention facilities are located in disproportionately hotter places because the idea of incarcerated people suffering from heat fits the retribution and punishment ethos of the US system,” said co-author Robbie Parks, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University.
  • Two Clinical Trials Test Cheap Pills to Extend Life
    Feb 23, 2024
    Worth Magazine
    But the Columbia-led study is focussed on a specific part of the body: ovaries. They deteriorate faster with age than other organs. If rapamycin can slow the process, it might put off menopause, and its attendant health challenges, till later in life. Dr. Yousin Suh leads the study, called VIBRANT: Validating Benefits of Rapamycin for Reproductive Aging Treatment.