CUIMC Update - March 29, 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.


Columbia Surgeons Make History with Rare Total Artificial Heart Surgery in a Pediatric Patient
Implanting a total artificial heart in a pediatric patient, a procedure in which a patient's failing heart is removed and replaced with a device that functions in its place, is a rarity. The procedure was a first for Emile Bacha, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery at VP&S, and his team and the first of this type of procedure performed in the Northeastern United States. Read more.

CUIMC Deans Celebrate Women’s History Month with Reflections on Leadership
To celebrate Women’s History Month, Deans Katrina Armstrong, MD, Lorraine Frazier, PhD, and Linda Fried, MD, describe what led them to embrace leadership roles in their fields and at Columbia and reflect on what Women’s History Month means to them. Read more and watch a video.

Columbia Allergist Shares What You Need to Know About Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies can result in symptoms like red, itchy eyes, difficulty breathing, and disrupted sleep. With a warm winter and projected wet spring this year, seasonal allergy symptoms could be heightened for many. Columbia allergist Mervat Nassef, MD, shares what seasonal allergies mean for your health and offers tips for controlling allergies. Read more.

National Doctors’ Day: Honoring Doctors Who Make a Difference in Patients’ Lives
In honor of National Doctors’ Day tomorrow, revisit the inspiring stories of patients who received life-saving and life-improving care from physicians at Columbia across more than a dozen specialties. Read more.

NY Gov. Hochul Kicks Off Statewide ‘Listening Tour’ on Youth Mental Health at New York State Psychiatric Institute
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a statewide listening tour and a spring summit aimed at exploring the issues affecting the mental health of youth in New York state at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where she hosted the first listening session with teens from New York City schools. The initiative builds on the governor's plan to reform the state’s psychiatric system and halve the unmet mental health needs of youth. Read more.


Employee Appreciation Networking Event
March 30, 4 p.m., School of Nursing, 560 W. 168 St., 7th Floor Rooftop
Register here.

Cancer and its Discontents: Speaking about the Unspeakable with Azra Raza, MD
March 30, 5 p.m., Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Ave., Room 201
Register here.

Effects of Dietary Sugars on Metabolic, Gut and Brain Developmental Outcomes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
March 31, 12:30 p.m., Allan Rosenfield Building, 722 West 168th St., Hess Commons
Register here.

The Enduring Legacy of Compassionate Presence in Serious Illness
April 3, 4:30 p.m., Black Building, 650 W. 168 St., Alumni Auditorium and Schaefer Awards Gallery
Register here.

Multicultural Issues in Palliative Care Workshop
April 4, 10 a.m., online
Register here.

Tissue Talks: Jennifer West, UVA
April 5, 3 p.m., online
Register here.

CopeColumbia Presents: How to Sleep Better: Ask the Experts
April 6, 12 p.m., online
Register here.

Bioethics in Film: From Screen to Seminar, Aftershock
April 12, 11:30 a.m., online
Register here.

Tissue Talks: Janet Rossant, University of Toronto
April 12, 3 p.m., online
Register here.



Michael Joseph, PhD, Epidemiology: $3,050,000 over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "Summer Public Health Scholars Program."

Zenebe Yirsaw, MD, ICAP: $7,000,004 over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "Technical Assistance to Strengthen Health Information System Capacity in Ethiopia under PEPFAR."


Vincent Duron, MD, Surgery: $191,025 over two years for a subaward from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for "Pediatric Critical Care and Trauma Scientist Development Program (PCCTSDP)."

David Ho, MD, Microbiology & Immunology: $3,676,713 over three years for a subaward from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "MAVDA Multiplex Small Molecule of Discovery to Identify Broad-Acting Viral Protease Inhibitors."

Jennifer Manly, PhD, Neurology: $261,360 over two years from the National Institute on Aging for "Social Mechanisms Underlying Sex/Gender Inequalities in Alzheimer’s Disease: An Intersectionality Approach."

Randolph Marshall, MD, Neurology: $3,183,844 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Carotid Revascularization and Medical Management for Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis Trial - Hemodynamics (CREST-H)."

Yiyi Zhang, PhD, Medicine: $469,896 over two years for a subaward from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "Bayesian machine learning for causal inference with incomplete longitudinal covariates and censored survival outcomes."



The ColumbiaDoctors Patient Safety team honored Rachel Ginsberg, PhD, Psychiatry, with the Rising Star/Unsung Hero Award, and Virginia Cox, Radiology, with the Leadership/Stewardship Award, in recognition of their contributions to promoting a culture of safety.

Rossella Labella, PhD, Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, has been awarded the inaugural Walkers Scholar Fellowship at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Delphine Taylor, MD, Medicine, was named the 2023-2024 Vanneck-Bailey Scholar by the Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators. The Apgar Academy also inaugurated 15 new members:

  • Amanda Bergner, Genetic Counseling
  • Marguerite Costitch, MD, Pediatrics
  • Devjani Das, MD, Emergency Medicine
  • Shubha Dathatri, PhD, Center for Education Research and Evaluation
  • Himabindu Ekanadham, MD, Medicine
  • Shavani Ghoshal, MD, Neurology
  • Teja Kapoor, MD, Medicine
  • Rosa Lee, MD, Senior Associate Dean of Curricular Affairs
  • Moneek Madra, PhD, Pediatrics
  • Carlos Pagán, MD, Pathology & Cell Biology
  • Madhavi Parekh, MD, Medicine
  • Joseph Picoraro, MD, Pediatrics
  • Briana Short, MD, Medicine
  • Chris Tedeschi, MD, Emergency Medicine
  • Chris Winfree, MD, Neurological Surgery



CBS News (video)
CBS Mornings: Facing Fertility, Part 1: IVF
Mar 20, 2023 - I found Dr. Eric Forman at Columbia University Fertility Center in New York City and was able to see him last April. The first sobering moment in our IVF journey came during an initial appointment with Dr. Forman. He had run some tests and told me I had a low ovarian reserve, which meant I had a lower-than-average egg count.

Editor's Note: Eric Forman, interviewed here, is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsDr. Forman's segment begins at 3:56.

CBS News (video)
CBS Mornings: Facing Fertility, Part 2: Egg Freezing
Mar 21, 2023 - "Whenever you're freezing eggs, you always have to remember that 14 eggs will not equate to 14 babies," said Dr. Rachel McConnell, a reproductive endocrinologist at Columbia University Fertility Center in New York. She's not Hanley's doctor but was given permission to review her medical records.

Editor's Note: Rachel McConnell, interviewed here, is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsDr. McConnell's segment begins at 2:46.

CNN Online
Being ‘Socially Frail’ Comes with Health Risks for Older Adults
Mar 21, 2023 - “It adds dimensions of what a clinician should know about their patients beyond current screening instruments, which are focused on physical health,” said Dr. Linda Fried, a frailty researcher and dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.