CUIMC Update - Oct. 18, 2021

October 18, 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.


Three VP&S Faculty Members Elected to the National Academy of Medicine
The National Academy of Medicine announced new members today, including VP&S faculty members René Hen, PhD, professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Elisa Konofagou, PhD, the Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of radiology (physics), and Jennifer Manly, PhD, professor of neuropsychology (in neurology, the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain). Election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Read more

Filippo Giancotti, a Leader in Cancer Metastasis Research, Joins CUIMC
Filippo Giancotti, MD, PhD, has joined the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) as an Irving Family Professor for Cancer Research in the Department of Genetics & Development at VP&S. Giancotti, who is recognized internationally as a pioneer in cell adhesion and signaling research, also serves as a member of HICCC's Tumor Biology and Microenvironment Program and will lead the new Cancer Metastasis Initiative. Read more

Call for Nominations: VP&S Martha A. Hooven Awards for Excellence
Each year, VP&S recognizes the outstanding performance of individuals and groups with the Martha A. Hooven Awards for Excellence. Nominate an exceptional colleague for a 2021 Award for Excellence by Friday, Oct. 29. 

Columbia Joins Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education Project
VP&S is among 11 medical schools from across the United States selected to participate in the Anti-Racist Transformation (ART) in Medical Education project funded by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation in partnership with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. ART seeks to dismantle systemic racism and bias in work and learning environments and to promote shared learning on this process within and across medical schools. Participation in the project builds on the work of the VP&S Anti-Racism Task Force. Read more

3D Mammogram and Intraoperative Radiation Lead to Early Detection, Breast-Conserving Options for Patient 
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Columbia breast cancer patient Karin Diamond credits the use of a 3D mammogram and her surgeon's use of intraoperative radiation for avoiding a full mastectomy, even after DCIS was detected following her first breast cancer. Read more.

Q&A with VP&S Clinical Psychologist: What Parents Need to Know about Bullying and Children
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Anne Marie Albano, PhD, an expert in child and adolescent psychology, explains how parents can recognize bullying and what to do if they suspect their child is being bullied or is bullying others. Read more.

Is a Bad Flu Season Coming? Mailman Study Projects Sharp Rebound Following Relaxation of COVID Distancing Measures
A new study by Mailman researchers projects the United States could experience a severe influenza outbreak after public health measures like face masks and social distancing are lifted. Read more.



Sachin Agarwal, MD, Neurology, will receive $3,142,920 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Characterize Psychological and Behavioral Dimensions of Cardiac Arrest Survivorship, and their Association with 1-year Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease Risk, and Health-Related Quality of Life.”

Giovanni Ferrari, PhD, Surgery, will receive $1,263,734 over three years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for a subaward of “Serotonin Signaling in Mitral Valve Homeostasis, Maintenance and Restoration.”

Shirong Li, PhD, Medicine, will receive $250,000 over one year from the International Myeloma Society for “GCK, a New Therapeutic Target for Undruggable RAS in Myeloma Treatment.”


Robin Richardson, PhD, Epidemiology, will receive $261,684 over two years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for “Evaluation of Social Policies to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence and Improve Child Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.”



Jacob Cogan, MD, Medicine; Morgan Lichtenstein, MD, Medicine; and Melissa Beauchemin, PhD, Nursing, were recognized as 2021 merit award recipients at this year’s ASCO Quality Care Symposium. 


Frank Costatini, PhD, Genetics & Development, is the recipient of the 14th International Society for Transgenic Technologies Prize.


Sharon Perelman, DDS, has been named a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association.


Global Perspectives on Racism in Public Health, Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m., register here

ICAP Grand Rounds: Protecting the Health Workforce in the Age of COVID-19, Oct. 19, 9 a.m., register here

CUIMC HR LGBT History Month events:

  • CUIMC LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group Prepares for International Pronouns Day 2021, Oct. 19, 3 p.m., register here
  • CU Benefits Office Hosts a Gender-Affirming Care Forum, Oct. 20, 1 p.m., register here.
  • Keynote Speaker on Rethinking Transnational LGBTI Movement-Making, Oct. 26, 1 p.m., register here.

Breast Cancer Awareness Blood Drive Campaign at CUIMC, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., schedule an appointment.

Walking Tour of Historic Harlem, Oct. 20, 5 p.m., register here.

COVID-19 Update: What Pediatricians & Families Should Know Now to Keep Kids Healthy, Oct. 20, 6 p.m., register here

CUIMC Asian Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group Events for Filipino American Heritage Month:

  • CUIMC Filipino Cultural Celebration, Oct. 21, 4 p.m., register here
  • Filipino Heritage Month Panel Discussion, Oct. 28, 4 p.m., register here

Monthly Cardiovascular Forum, “Failure to Rescue: A Quality Metric Whose Time has Come,” Oct. 25, 7 a.m., register here.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.