CUIMC Update - March 29, 2021

March 29, 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.


Safety Escorts Available
Did you know that you can request a safety escort to walk with you to your car or public transit on and around the CUIMC campus? This service is available 24/7, seven days a week. Please call 212-305-8100 and allow 10-15 minutes for the escort to arrive. You must show your Columbia ID.  

This service is provided to all members of the CUIMC community by CUIMC Public Safety. The escort area is West 163rd Street to West 168th Street, between Riverside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue, and from West 168th Street to 181st Street between Broadway and Haven Avenue.

Long-Haul COVID: VP&S Physicians Review What’s Known
With more patients reporting lingering and chronic effects from COVID-19, VP&S experts published a scientific review in Nature Medicine on post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. The review article brings together more than 30 experts from Columbia and other medical centers hit by the initial wave. Read more

Mailman Researchers Report on How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Mental Health  
New research from Mailman’s Department of Epidemiology has found the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting physical distancing measures to mitigate viral spread, impacted mental health worldwide. Public transportation, school closures, and stay-at-home orders all played a role in rising rates of anxiety and depression. Read more

Maria Rosa: One Woman’s Journey to Becoming the First Female Engineer in CUIMC Facilities   
Maria Rosa’s story is one of persevering in the face of challenges and seeking out new opportunities to break barriers. Read more.  

Coronavirus Does Not Infect the Brain But Still Inflicts Damage, Finds VP&S Study 
The virus that causes COVID-19 does not infect brain cells but can inflict significant neurological damage, according to a VP&S study of dozens of deceased patients. Read more.  



Dritan Agalliu, PhD, and Ai Yamamoto, PhD, Neurology, will receive $437,812 over two years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “The Role of Autophagy in the Neurovascular Unit for the Physiological Response to Stress.”

Adam Brickman, PhD, Sergievsky Center, will receive $1,398,146 over three years from the National Institute on Aging for a subaward of “Spontaneous Speech and Health Disparities in Risk of Cognitive Decline: WHICAP Offspring Ancillary Study.”

Amelie Collins, MD, PhD, Pediatrics, will receive $663,324 over four years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Mapping the Unique Features of Fetal and Neonatal Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells Conferring Susceptibility to Inflammation and Infection.”

Gunnar Hargus, MD, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, will receive $445,500 over two years from the National Institute on Aging for “Using a Human Stem Cell Model of Tauopathy to Evaluate the Effects of Tau Filaments on Cell Metabolism at a Single Cell Level In Vitro and In Vivo.”


Mary Gamble, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences, will receive $1,852,969 over three years from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for “Interdisciplinary Approaches for Understanding the Metabolic Effects of Arsenic and Manganese” and $2,623,349 over four years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Metabolomic and Nutrigenetic Effects of Folic Acid Supplementation and Unmetabolized Folic Acid.”


Mildred Embree, DMD, PhD, will receive $895,923 over two years from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for a subaward of “Development of Minimally Invasive Drug Delivery System for TMJ Regeneration.”



In honor of Women’s History Month, the CUIMC Women’s Employee Resource Group has highlighted women in a video that can be viewed here


Tasha Brown, PhD, and Cristiane Duarte, PhD, Psychiatry, are recipients of Saks Fifth Avenue Visionary Voice Awards. This award recognizes women who are helping to pave the way for the future of mental health care and solutions through its first program in honor of Women’s History Month. Read more

Claudio Scuoppo, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, has received an ASH Research Restart Award from the American Society of Hematology. The new award addresses the urgent need to help researchers continue work disrupted by the global pandemic. Read more.


Kellie Bryant, DNP, was selected to join the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium’s Nurse-Led Vaccine Confidence Advisory Committee.

Stephen Ferrara, DNP, was elected to the Inaugural Advisory Committee of DNPs of Color. Read more.

Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, is the recipient of the 2021 ENRS Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Research Award by the ENRS Awards Committee.


Interprofessional Education Day Lectures, March 30, 11 a.m., open to the CUIMC community:

  • The Politics of Health Post-COVID and Black Lives Matter with Daniel E. Dawes, JD, register here.
  • Centering Equity with Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, register here

What We Have Learned from COVID-19: The Need of Advanced Practice Nurses in Health Care, March 30, 4 p.m., register here

Office of Scholarship and Research Development's Research Excellence (REX) Seminar: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Presentations, March 31, noon, register here.

CUIMC LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group Presents International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, 1 p.m., register here.     

School of Nursing General Virtual Information Session, March 31, 3 p.m., register here.

Crisis Communications and Vaccine Uptake in Fragile African Settings: What Works? March 31, 4:30 p.m., register here.               

Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative Conference on Advances in Precision Medicine: Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disease, April 7, 10:10 a.m., register here

CUIMC Asian American Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group Presents a Conversation on “Combating AAPI Hate and Fostering Solidarity in our Community,” April 7, 1 p.m., register here.

Asian American Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group Presents a Conversation on “The Ramadan Experience,” April 12, 1 p.m., register here.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.