CUIMC Update - Nov. 8, 2021

November 8, 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.


Columbia Recruits Expert in Essential Tremor, Parkinson’s as Co-Chief of Functional Neurosurgery 
Gordon H. Baltuch, MD, PhD, has been named co-chief of the Division of Functional Neurosurgery and professor of neurosurgery at VP&S and CUIMC/NYP. He helped to pioneer deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s and is an early adopter of focused ultrasound to treat movement disorders, including essential tremor. Read more.

New Webpage Details VP&S Educational Progress, Goals, and Resources on Anti-Racism  
A new webpage consolidates anti-racism education resources within VP&S. It contains information on the progress of anti-racism education-related efforts to date, including updates from the VP&S Anti-Racism Coalition, reports from anti-racism task forces, and other diversity, equity, and inclusion news. Access the webpage here.  

VP&S and CDM Scientists Awarded $3.97 Million to Study Link Between Alzheimer’s and Periodontitis 
Building on a long-term study of cognitive aging, researchers will collect and analyze oral health data to determine the association between periodontitis severity and progression, biomarkers of systemic inflammation and cognitive decline, and incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Read more

CUIMC Virtual Career Fair 
CUIMC HR will host a Virtual Career Fair on Dec. 10, 9 a.m. to noon. Registration is required in advance. Departments, schools, and institutes interested in participating should sign up here. Individuals may register and submit their resumes here

COVID-19 Vaccination for Kids Under 12: Q&A with VP&S Pediatrician Mara Minguez 
Mara Minguez, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at VP&S and of public health at Mailman, answers common questions about the COVID vaccine now available for children between 5 and 11 years old. Read more

Columbia University Selected as Rare Disease Center of Excellence 
Columbia University Irving Medical Center has been selected by the National Organization for Rare Disorders to join a national network aimed at improving patient care for people diagnosed with rare diseases. Read more

Veterans Across CUIMC Share Memories and Lessons 
This Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a vet for their service to the nation. You might begin with these eight CUIMC faculty and staff, whose experiences inform and inspire their work. 

Mailman Research: Machine Learning May Help Predict Success of Prescription Opioid Regulations 
A new study by Mailman researchers uses machine learning to evaluate laws aimed at reducing inappropriate prescription opioid dispensing and seeks to help identify what determines a successful prescription opioid dispensing model. Read more

Cannabis Use Disorder Rising Significantly During Pregnancy 
A new study from Columbia and Weill Cornell researchers published in JAMA Psychiatry found that cannabis use disorder in hospitalized prenatal patients increased 150% from 2010 to 2018. Read more.



Edward Nunes Jr, MD, Psychiatry, will receive $384,582 over three years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a subaward of “Evaluation of safety and pharmacokinetics of naltrexone implant.”

Steven Reiner, MD, Microbiology & Immunology, will receive $401,867 over one year from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Self-renewing Lymphocyte Division in The Immune Response.”

Stephen Tsang, MD, PhD, Ophthalmology, will receive $300,000 over three years from the Foundation Fighting Blindness for “1 Therapeutic cell - specific CRISPR editing of a roxadustat target for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.”


Jeanette Stingone, PhD, Epidemiology, will receive $481,457 over two years from the Health Effects Institute for “Race, Ethnicity, and Air pollution in COVID-19 Hospitalization OUTcomes (REACH OUT Study).”



James Noble, MD, Neurology, has joined the ranks of “Merritt’s Neurology” as co-editor of the textbook’s 14th edition. Read more

Project ALS, a non-profit dedicated to finding treatments for ALS, has named three VP&S faculty members to its research advisory board: Neil Shneider, MD, PhD, Neurology; Gerald D. Fischbach, MD, Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Neuroscience; and Ai Yamamoto, PhD, Neurology and Pathology & Cell Biology. 


Ashley Chastain, DrPH, and Leah V. Estrada, predoctoral fellow, have received awards from the American Public Health Association. Read more


Oncology Nursing of Columbia First Fall Meeting, Nov. 8, 8 p.m., register here.

2022 Benefits Open Enrollment Information Forums, Nov. 9-10, view sessions.  

History of White Supremacy and Violence, Nov. 9, 2021, 5:30 p.m., read more and register here.

School of Nursing Office of Student Life's Virtual Bingo Night, Nov. 9, 6 p.m., register here.

Psychological First Aid Training, Nov. 10, noon, register here.

School of Nursing General Virtual Information Session, Nov. 10, noon, register here

Town Hall: Addressing Structural Racism at CUIMC, Nov. 10, 4 p.m., register here

CUIMC HR and Employee Resource Groups Present: Mental Health, Equity & Resilience, Nov. 18, 1:30 p.m., register here

Moral Distress, Nursing and Bioethics: Challenges and Solutions, Nov. 18, 6:15 p.m., register here

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.