CUIMC Update - March 20, 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.


Match Day 2024 Welcomes Friends, Family to Celebrate New Residents
On an overcast Friday afternoon, the clouds parted for 140 medical students at VP&S as they received the results of their residency match. The class of 2024 had a singular experience as medical students, beginning their medical studies in 2020 during the height of the pandemic's emergency phase.

Menstrual Health and Equity: Why We Need to Do Better
Menstrual health directly impacts more than half of the world’s population yet is frequently overlooked. Marni Sommer, DrPH, director of the Gender, Adolescent Transitions and Environment (GATE) program at Mailman, discusses her research on menstrual equity, how we can address period poverty, and more.

PhD Students Win Honors at Three-Minute Thesis Competition
Doctoral students from VP&S and Mailman participated in a university-wide competition designed to help students communicate their research quickly and effectively, and two students tied for first place.

Helping Neurodivergent Individuals Succeed in a Neurotypical World
Mental health care and support options for autistic adults are limited, something Liliana Valvano, LMSW, of Columbia University's Lieber Recovery Clinic hopes to change. Valvano discusses shifting mainstream views of neurodivergence and how social workers can help neurodivergent individuals thrive.

The Latest in Sleep Science at Columbia
Columbia scientists are learning how lack of sleep strains our bodies—and how getting more rest lowers the risk for a range of diseases.



College of Dental Medicine

  • Sunil Wadhwa, DDS
    $1,756,526 over five years from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for "Dental-Biomedical Engineering Scholars Training (D-BEST) Program."

Mailman School of Public Health

  • Wenpin Hou, PhD, Biostatistics
    $2,031,090 over five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for "Methods for inferring and analyzing gene regulatory networks using single-cell multiomics and spatial genomics data."
  • John Santelli, MD, Population and Family Health
    $3,633,393 over five years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for "Rakai Orphans in Communities."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Swarnali Acharyya, PhD, Institute for Cancer Genetics
    $567,654 over two years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for "Spatial profiling of early, osimertinib-resistant brain lesions in EGFR-mutant lung cancer models."
  • Julian Agin-Liebes, MD, and Christine Kim, MD, Neurology
    $656,255 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute on Aging for "Role of GlcSph in cognitive deficits in Lewy body dementias."
  • Anne Moscona, MD, Pediatrics
    $3,085,671 over four years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "Broad spectrum inhibitors of paramyxovirus envelope proteins."
  • Kenneth Olive, PhD, Medicine
    $3,000,000 over three years from the Gray Foundation for "Defining and detecting the initiation of cancer from BRCA2-associated inflammation."
  • Alan Tall, MD, Medicine
    $2,467,500 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "Cholesterol efflux, CHIP and inflammasome activation."
  • Chunhua Weng, PhD, Biomedical Informatics
    $4,478,542 over five years from the National Human Genome Research Institute for "Fair Phenotype Annotation and Genomic Reinterpretation."


Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Social Media Snapshot

Columbia University Irving Medical Center 

On March 15, 2024, 140 Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons students found out the results of their residency match — a pivotal moment in their medical careers. 🩺

The most popular hashtag#residency matches for our VP&S hashtag#Classof2024 were internal medicine (20%), psychiatry (12.2%), orthopedic surgery (6.4%), pediatrics (5.7%), obstetrics & gynecology (5.7%), and anesthesiology (5.7%).

For more information and photos:

In the News Highlights

  • Commentary: A Way to Ease New York's Doctor Shortage and Expand Health Care Access
    Mar 13, 2024
    Times Union
    If New York joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC), it would be far easier for the state to build our physician workforce and for New York doctors to get licensed in other IMLC member states. This would allow more patients to get care within our state and allow our New York physicians to see patients in other IMLC states via telehealth. It’s a win/win for patients and doctors.
    Katrina Armstrong, a co-author of this commentary, is dean of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
  • Eating Healthy Slows 'Aging Clock,' Helping to Shield Your Brain From Dementia
    Mar 15, 2024
    U.S. News & World Report
    “Our findings suggest that slower pace of aging mediates part of the relationship of healthy diet with reduced dementia risk," said study first author Aline Thomas. She's a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University's Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, in New York City.
    “Much attention to nutrition in dementia research focuses on the way specific nutrients affect the brain,” said study senior author Daniel Belsky, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia Aging Center. “We tested the hypothesis that healthy diet protects against dementia by slowing down the body’s overall pace of biological aging," Belsky explained in a Columbia news release.
  • Police Suicides in Suffolk County Highlight Mental Health Risks for Law Enforcement
    Mar 15, 2024
    Jeff Thompson, a psychologist, is a former NYPD detective who was the agency’s first mental health and wellness coordinator. He's now a researcher in Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry and has run suicide prevention trainings for first responders across the world. “People like to fit things into nice neat little boxes — suicide isn’t one of them,” he said.