CUIMC Update - May 18, 2022

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.


CUIMC’s Outstanding 2022 Graduates 
Meet some of the accomplished students graduating in the Class of 2022 across CUIMC’s medical, public health, dental, and nursing schools. Read more

Columbia Clinical Innovation Lab Champions New Clinical Ideas
The Columbia Clinical Innovation Lab is an incubator that connects clinicians with resources to nurture health care ideas from concept to reality. CUIMC employees are invited to submit their ideas for original clinical care solutions. 

Screening Program Could Identify 1 Million Americans with Genetic Heart Disease
A combination of genetic and lab testing could identify 1 million Americans who are at risk of early death from heart disease because they carry a gene that causes high cholesterol, according to a new study by VP&S researchers. Read more

VP&S Celiac Specialist Explains the Limitations of a Gluten-Free Diet
Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, director of clinical research at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and associate professor of medicine at VP&S and of epidemiology at Mailman, discusses why a gluten-free diet is not a cure-all for patients with celiac disease and how drugs might be able to help. Columbia’s Celiac Disease Center has an active clinical research program that is recruiting volunteers to participate in several trials for potential treatments. Read more

School of Nursing Focuses on Holistic Admissions
Columbia Nursing’s new holistic admissions process, the Pathways to Leadership and Advancement in Nursing (PLAN) program, aims to recruit students with a deep understanding of the varied populations served by the nursing profession and to bolster support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds once they are admitted. Pairing students with peer mentors is a crucial aspect of PLAN, which is discussed in the newest issue of the School of Nursing’s magazine. Read more and view the full issue

Sign Up for the Washington Heights CSA by May 19
The CUIMC community is invited to participate in the Washington Heights CSA, now in its fourth season. The community-supported agriculture group partners with La Baraja Farm in Goshen, New York, to bring fresh organic produce to upper Manhattan. The CSA’s summer season is May 22-Aug. 21 (sign up by May 19); the fall season is Aug. 28-Nov. 13 (sign up by Aug. 25). To join, fill out the CSA contract. For more information, email and follow @WaHiCSA on Facebook and Instagram



Christoph Kellendonk, PhD, Psychiatry, will receive $873,226 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for a subaward of “Structure and Function of Dopamine Receptors.”

H. Thomas Lee, MD, and Adam David Griesemer, MD, Anesthesiology, will receive $2,779,801 over four years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Paneth cells-derived IL-17A and liver ischemia reperfusion injury.”

Elizabeth Oelsner, MD, Medicine, will receive $2,804,648 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "COVID-19 Lung Microvascular and Parenchymal Sequelae (Lung-MaPS)."

Matteo Porotto, PhD, Pediatrics, will receive $3,603,355 over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Fusion inhibitors that block host-to-host transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”

Yuichi Shimada, MD, Medicine, will receive $3,511,723 over five years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Proteomics profiling in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and cardiac event prediction.”



Two teams of CUIMC runners set record times at the CUIMC Team Relay Marathon that took place at the Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center late last month. Dozens of teams completed 211 laps of the Armory’s 200-meter track with proceeds from registrations and sponsorships benefitting youth programming at the Armory. As the title sponsor of the event, CUIMC put together a team called “We Are CUIMC,” which set a record in the medical & health care women’s division. Members of the team: Ashley Boyce, Human Resources; Mary Ann Carlese, Human Resources; Sherley Desulme Willis, Human Resources; Milan Fredricks, Pathology & Cell Biology; Tamara Marie, Faculty Practice Organization; Angelic Pla, Pathology & Cell Biology; and Tonya Richards, Human Resources. A team named “The Runs” set a record in the medical & health care men’s division. That team included three individuals from the VP&S Department of Medicine’s digestive and liver diseases division: faculty members Daniela Jodorkovsky, MD, and Ivonne Ramirez, MD, and GI fellow Gabriel Perreault, MD. Read more.  


Mara Minguez, MD, Pediatrics, was selected as a 2022 National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership Fellow for her outstanding accomplishments and proven dedication to the Hispanic community.

Erika Berman Rosenzweig, MD is the recipient of the inaugural United Therapeutics Jenesis Trailblazer Award, which recognizes exceptional U.S.-based female researchers who have completed innovative research in the field of pulmonary hypertension.


Kenrick Cato, PhD, RN, was appointed the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) board of directors liaison to the 25x5 Task Force to Reduce Documentation Burden. Read more

Leah Estrada, PhD student, received second place at the ERNA Peer-Reviewed Doctoral Papers competition for her paper, “A Regional Evaluation of Nursing Home Palliative Care for Black and Hispanic Residents.”

Sarah Rossetti, PhD, RN, received the Rita D. Zielstorff Nursing Informatics Leadership Award at the New England Nursing Informatics Consortium. Rossetti was also appointed chair of the AMIA 25x5 Task Force to Reduce Documentation Burden. Read more.


Colon Cancer: Prevention, Surgery & Therapies Targeting Millennials, May 18, 5:30 p.m., register here

First Annual COMBO Playdate for Families, May 22, 12:30 p.m., Haven Plaza, read more.  

Supporting Our Veterans at Work Panel Discussion, May 23, noon, register here.

Columbia Science and Health Equity Lecture Series "Race, Place, and COVID-19 Sex Disparities" with Dr. Sarah Richardson, May 25, 4 p.m., register here.

Call for Applications: Columbia Global Mental Health Programs 2022-2023 Council Grants Program, through June 1, read more

Financial Empowerment Workshop Series: Make your Money Work for You—Grow Your Wealth (Investing 101), June 7, noon, register here

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.