CUIMC Update - November 16, 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.


VP&S Pediatrician Rachel Lewis on What Parents Need to Know about the Tripledemic
Pediatricians are seeing a higher-than-average surge this fall in cases of COVID, influenza, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), as well as more severe cases of these illnesses and others that commonly spike in autumn, says Rachel Lewis, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Here's what parents should know.

Columbia Center Offers Solutions to Treatment-Resistant Depression
For individuals who experience treatment-resistant depression, standard treatments provide little or no relief. The Treatment-resistant Depression Program at Columbia Psychiatry, under the direction of Adrian Jacques H. Ambrose, MD, MPH, and Joshua Berman, MD, PhD, provides a range of evidence-based services to address refractory depression, including creating an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Read more and watch video.

Apply by Nov. 21: VP&S Anti-Racism Coalition
Faculty and staff at CUIMC are invited to apply to join the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Anti-Racism Coalition, established by the VP&S Office of Education. Coalition members are dedicated to dismantling systemic racism and bias in work and learning environments and to championing the objectives of the VP&S Anti-Racism Task Force Report. Apply by Nov. 21.

Columbia Asian Liver Outreach Office Raises Awareness in Community
Chronic liver disease and liver cancer are surging in the United States, but no group is more affected than Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Tomoaki Kato, MD, professor of surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, created the Columbia Liver Asian Outreach Office, which serves a diverse population of Asian patients and sets a standard for culturally responsive care. Read more.

Implanted Pump Safely Delivered Chemo Straight to the Brain in Patients with Brain Cancer
Neurosurgeons at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian are taking a more direct approach to treating brain cancer: a fully implantable pump that continuously delivers chemo through a tube inserted directly into the brain. “This new approach has the potential to transform treatment for patients," says Jeffrey Bruce, MD, the Edgar M. Housepian Professor of Neurological Surgery Research at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Read more and watch a video.


NYPD Build the Block Meeting
Nov. 16, 6 p.m., Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Avenue, Room 1302/1303
Learn more.

Monkeypox and Protecting Communities of Color    
Nov. 22, 11:30 a.m., online    
Register here.

Grand Rounds: Contributing to the Public's Good - Foundational, Core, and Local Public Health Services  
Nov. 30, 4 p.m., Allan Rosenfield Building, 722 W. 168th St., 8th Floor Auditorium and online  
Register here.

Winter Haven
Dec. 1, 4:30 p.m., Haven Plaza, Haven Avenue between Fort Washington Avenue and 169th Street
Register here.

Growing Good Physicians: Caretaking, attention, and good medicine
Dec. 1, 5 p.m., Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Avenue, Room 405
Register here.

CU Public Safety / Shotokan Karate Club FREE Self Defense Class
Dec. 5, 6 p.m., 50 Haven Avenue, Main Ballroom Lower Level
Register here.

Quarterly All ERG Meeting
Dec. 6, 11 a.m., online
Register here.

TISSUE TALKS: Sheila Chari, Cell Press
Dec. 7, 3 p.m., online
Register here.

The Biology of Aging Seminar Series Presents Dr. Peter D. Adams
Dec. 14, 12 p.m., online
Register here.

TISSUE TALKS: Sam Sia, Columbia University
Dec. 14, 3 p.m., online
Register here.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.



Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences: $450,000 over two years from Pfizer for “COVID-19 Pandemic and Invasive Meningococcal Disease.”


Donna Farber, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology: $4,051,459 over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for "Evolution of T cell immunity in blood and tissues over childhood"

Anthony Ferrante Jr., MD, PhD, Medicine: $435,980 over one year from Office of The NIH Director/NIH/DHHS for "Mouse Metabolic Measurement System."

David D. Ho, MD, Microbiology & Immunology: $486,000 over one year from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for “Potent monoclonal antibodies against emerging COVID-19 variants.”

Lawrence Honig, MD, PhD, Taub Institute: $2,350,000 over five years from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for "Centers of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias at Columbia University Irving Medical Center."

Minah Kim, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology: $328,833 over two years from the National Institute on Aging for "Deciphering angiopoietin-2 regulation of BBB disruption and neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease."

Claudia Lugo-Candelas, PhD, Psychiatry: $381,858 over two years from the National Institute of Mental Health for "A longitudinal study of prenatal maternal obesity and the fetal origins of impulsivity in Puerto Rican children."

Ira Tabas, MD, PhD, Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics: $267,014 over one year from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited for "The Role of Indian Hedgehog as a Biomarker and Therapeutic Target in NASH."

Elizabeth C. Verna, MD, Medicine: $468,266 over two years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for a subaward of “Therapies for Outcomes Prevention in Cirrhosis: The STOP-C Liver Cirrhosis Network”



Nour Makarem, PhD, Epidemiology, is the winner of the American Heart Association Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Early Career Investigator Award. She was presented with the award at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions held in Chicago on Nov. 5.

Quarraisha Abdool Karim, PhD, Epidemiology, has been elected to serve as the seventh president of The World Academy of Sciences.


Screenshot of a post from Columbia Medicine's Facebook account


The New York Times
Antidepressants Don’t Work the Way Many People Think
Nov 3, 2022 - Nov 8, 2022 - For psychiatrists, this debate is nothing new. Dr. David Hellerstein, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said the question comes in many iterations but boils down to: Do antidepressants work? “I think they do,” he said.

U.S. News & World Report
Fatal Heart Infections Linked to Opioid Abuse Have Tripled Among Young Americans
Nov 9, 2022 - “We found that people who inject drugs comprise a bigger percentage of the deaths from infective endocarditis, compared to 20 years ago,” said senior researcher Dr. Polydoros Kampaktsis, an assistant professor with Columbia University's Division of Cardiology, in New York City.

CNN Online
Use of Government Food Benefits May Slow Cognitive Aging in Eligible Seniors, Study Finds
Nov 9, 2022 - The study doesn’t explain what caused these differences, but co-author Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri has a few ideas. “Improving one’s nutritional intake, general food security, all of these have been linked to better cognitive functioning,” said Zeki Al Hazzouri, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.