CUIMC Update - November 8, 2023

November 8, 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.


Share Your Thanksgiving Traditions
Share what you love about Thanksgiving! The CUIMC Office of Communications would like to hear about Thanksgiving traditions in your family and your favorite Thanksgiving dishes and recipes, to be shared in the CUIMC newsroom. 

Medical Center Neighborhood Fund Holds 36th Annual Awards Ceremony
At its annual awards ceremony, the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund awarded grants to 58 local non-profit organizations to support their work in Washington Heights and Inwood. The reception included performances by fund awardees Leadlights Ensemble, East Winds Inc., and the Dance Project of Washington Heights.

Afternoon of Science Series: Department of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics
The Afternoon of Science series, which highlights the work of VP&S basic science departments and centers, continued on Oct. 30 with a focus on the Department of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics. The next event on Nov. 16 will feature the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. 

Prediction Model for Risk of Opioid Relapse Shows Early Promise
A prediction model developed by Columbia psychiatrist Sean X. Luo, MD, PhD, may be able to calculate the risk of opioid relapse among individuals in the early stages of medication treatment.

Should We Worry about Woodsmoke at Home?
Most people have little to fret about when it comes to combustion smoke from firepits, fireplaces, or scented candles, but some circumstances can create real health concerns. Darby Jack, PhD, professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, shares tips for reducing the health risks from air pollution generated by fireplaces and scented candles.



School of Nursing

  • Maxim Topaz, PhDJulia Hirschberg, PhD, and Zoran Kostic, PhD
    $2,523,403 over four years from the National Institute on Aging for "Using automated speech processing to improve identification of risk for hospitalizations and emergency department visits in home healthcare."

Mailman School of Public Health

  • Darby Jack, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences
    $979,735 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for "Early life household air pollution, metal composition and cardiovascular health: Evidence from GRAPHS."
  • Adana Llanos Wilson, PhD, Epidemiology
    $3,397,237 over four years from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for "Assessing Cervical Cancer Healthcare Inequities in Diverse Populations: The ACHIEVE Study."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Benjamin Izar, MD, PhD, Medicine
    $3,478,256 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for "Multi-cellular interactions defining the human brain metastatic niche."
  • Ka Kahe, MD, ScD, Obstetrics & Gynecology
    $2,396,221 over three years from the National Institute on Aging for "Radon exposure in relation to the risk of cognitive impairment and mitochondrial function."
  • Wen-Hsuan Lin, MD, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology
    $658,000 over three years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for "Targeting inflammatory signals as therapeutic strategies for peripheral T-cell lymphomas."
  • Charles Murphy, MD, Medicine
    $309,090 over three years for a subaward from the Health Resources and Services Administration for "Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Program."
  • Marisa Spann, PhD, Psychiatry
    $1,870,793 over two years for a subaward from Wellcome Leap for "In utero observations of neurobiological trajectories through dyadic hyperscanning."
  • Zhiguo Zhang, PhD, Institute for Cancer Genetics
    $2,275,935 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Roles of chromatin remodeler CHD2 in diffuse midline glioma with oncohistone mutations."


Columbia University Irving Medical Center

The Irving Institute and the CUIMC Office of Academic Affairs announced the 2023 Mentors of the Year awardees. Kiran T. Thakur, MD, Neurology, was named a Junior Mentor of the Year, and Ana Navas Acien, MD, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences; Susan L. Rosenthal, PhD, Pediatrics and Psychiatry; Magdalena E. Sobieszczyk, MD, Medicine; and Timothy C. Wang, MD, Medicine, were named Seniors Mentors of the Year.

School of Nursing

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Social Media Snapshot


Columbia University Irving Medical Center

The Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research is pleased to announce the 2023 'Mentor of the Year' Awards! 👏

Presented each year to faculty on the Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus, the Mentor of The Year Award recognizes those who've provided outstanding guidance and support to students, fellows, and colleagues.

Congratulations to Drs. Kiran ThakurTimothy Cragin WangMagdalena Sobieszczyk, Ana Navas Acien and Susan R.

Read more:

In the News Highlights

  • The Death Rate for Babies in America Rose for the First Time in 20 Years
    Nov 1, 2023
    The Wall Street Journal
    Higher prices for staples such as gas and groceries could also add to the stresses on expectant mothers. “If you’re worrying about putting food on the table for the rest of your family, getting to your prenatal care appointment is probably not going to be your top priority,” said Dr. Rebecca Carlin, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
  • Bariatric Surgery at 16
    Oct 31, 2023
    The New York Times Magazine
    The tenacity of body weight can be traced to our biology. Humans evolved to resist losing body fat so that we don’t become extinct, says Rudolph Leibel, chief of the pediatric molecular genetics division at Columbia University’s medical center. “You cannot get a person to chronically defend a lower level of body fat by chronically restricting their calories,” Leibel says. But, he adds, that level may be pushed up “by virtue of environment.”
    Helen Ouyang, the author of this article, is an associate professor of emergency medicine at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
  • Can Brain Ultrasound Treat Addiction? A Cocaine Study May Hold Answers.
    Nov 2, 2023
    The Washington Post
    For certain mental health conditions, “ECT is remarkably effective,” said Diana Martinez, a professor emerita of psychiatry at Columbia University. But, she said, in addition to requiring anesthesia, ECT can cause temporary memory impairment, which many patients understandably dislike.