CUIMC Update - May 24, 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.


ICYMI: CUIMC Well-Being Survey Report & Next Steps
Last week, the CUIMC Well-Being Initiative disseminated a summary of results from the CUIMC well-being survey and outlined next steps in the initiative. "We are only at the beginning of this journey and I am honored to be able to contribute to this initiative," says Chief Well-Being Officer Lou Baptista, MDRead the report and contact with questions and feedback.

Study Finds Multivitamin Improves Memory in Older Adults
Taking a daily multivitamin supplement can slow age-related memory decline, according to a study led by researchers at Columbia University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard. “Our study shows that the aging brain may be more sensitive to nutrition than we realized,” says Lok-Kin Yeung, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Columbia’s Taub Institute and first author of the study. Read more.

Columbia Expert Discusses the Impact of Chronic Stress on Your Health
Stress is a normal part of life, and short-term stress can be useful in helping us achieve our goals. When stress persists over longer periods of time, however, it is associated with health issues, including heart disease. Jeffrey Birk, PhD, who studies the relationship between emotions and health at the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, shares what you should know about chronic stress and offers tips for managing stress. Read more.

Molecular Biology Community Celebrates Tom Maniatis’ 80th Birthday
Scientists from around the world gathered at The Forum at Columbia University to celebrate the 80th birthday of Tom Maniatis, PhD, the Isidore S. Edelman Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics at VP&S, and his contributions to molecular biology. The celebration included a day-long symposium featuring former members of the Maniatis lab and his colleagues, including Katrina Armstrong, MD, P. Roy Vagelos, MD’54, and Richard Axel, MD. Read more.

Columbia Surgeon Creates Global Access to Pediatric Liver Transplant, One Country at a Time
Many countries have zero access to pediatric liver transplants for reasons that range from lack of financial support and surgical education to absence of an organizational structure for surgical programs. Columbia transplant surgeon Tomoaki Kato, MD, has helped create ways to establish systems and teams in local hospitals to build pediatric liver transplant programs around the world. Read more.


Memorial Day Celebration
May 25, 11 a.m., Haven Plaza, Haven Avenue between Fort Washington Avenue and 169 Street
Register here.

Jewish American Heritage Month on Haven Plaza
May 30, 11 a.m., Haven Plaza, Haven Avenue between Fort Washington Avenue and 169 Street
Register here.

Endocrine Surgery Summit
June 1, 9 a.m., online
Register here.

VP&S Open Forum
June 5, 8 a.m., Black Building, 650 W. 168 St., Alumni Auditorium
Register here.

ColumbiaDoctors Primary Care Outreach
June 6, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Haven Plaza, Haven Avenue between Fort Washington Avenue and 169 Street
Register here.

All Employee Resource Group (ERG) Meeting
June 6, 11 a.m., online
Register here.

Dean's Lecture Series: Innovation in Biological and Medical Sciences Lecture
June 7, 4:30 p.m., Black Building, 650 W. 168 St., Alumni Auditorium and Schaefer Awards Gallery
Register here.



Julie Herbstman, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences: $599,919 over four years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "Exposomic Approach to Identifying WTC Exposures and Effects in Survivor Youth."


Randy Auerbach, PhD, Psychiatry: $677,906 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute of Mental Health for "The Center for Enhancing Treatment and Utilization for Depression and Emergent Suicidality (ETUDES) in Pediatric Primary Care."

Kristin Baldwin, PhD, Genetics & Development: $983,000 over three years for a subaward from the National Institute on Aging for "Contributions of cell type and exosome signaling to prodromal synaptic and circuit changes in Alzheimer's Disease models."

Andrea Califano, PhD, Systems Biology: $6,909,000 over seven years from the National Cancer Institute for "Cancer Cell Response to Endogenous and Exogenous Perturbations at the Single Cell Level."

Simon John, PhD, Ophthalmology: $250,000 over two years from the Glaucoma Foundation for "Nicotinamide and Pyruvate for Primary Open Angle Glaucoma: A Multicenter, Randomized Clinical Study."

George Mentis, PhD, Neurology: $3,240,631 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Cellular and neuronal circuit mechanisms involved in locomotor activity."

Shirley ShiDu Yan, MD, Surgery: $1,734,153 over three years from the National Institute on Aging for "Tau clearance and synaptic and cognitive function rescue by activation of mitochondrial clearance in tauopathy model."



Jennifer Dohrn, DNP, was the chief guest at graduation ceremonies for bachelor’s and master’s degree students on May 8, 2023, at Bel-Air College of Nursing in Panchgani, India.


Owen Lewis, MD, Psychiatry, received first place in the Guernsey International Poetry Competition for his poem, “On the Hospital Bed.”



The New York Times
Letters to the Editor: Misinterpreting a Study on Masking
May 16, 2023 - Given the rising politicization of science in public health, researchers must anticipate as much as possible how the public may misinterpret findings.

Editor's Note: Robert Klitzman, the author of this letter, is a professor of psychiatry and the program director of the Master of Science in Bioethics at the School of Professional Studies.

NBC News Online
FDA Approves Drug to Treat Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
May 12, 2023 - “I’m so excited about this FDA ruling,” said Dr. Mary Rosser, an assistant professor of women’s health at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of Integrated Women’s Health at Columbia. “We’re talking about something that is going to be powerful."

Inaugural Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Poised to Make Great Advances in Science and Equity
May 16, 2023 - One of the Freeman Hrabowski Scholars is Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, an assistant professor at Columbia University. His research works to “understand how the brain generates the perception of pain and pleasure based on sensory stimuli applied to the skin.”