CUIMC Update - Oct. 26, 2020

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.


Thursday: CUIMC Forum to Discuss Campus Issues    
Join Interim EVP and Dean Anil K. Rustgi, MD, and other CUIMC leaders for a virtual forum on Oct. 29, 2020, at 11:45 a.m. to hear updates on campus issues of importance to our community. Register online to receive a Zoom link to the event. A Q&A session will follow presentations by the forum panelists. Send your questions or comments in advance to

Christopher J. Petit to Lead Pediatric Cardiology    
Christopher J. Petit, MD, an international leader in interventional pediatric cardiology and clinical research, has been appointed chief of pediatric cardiology in the Department of Pediatrics at VP&S. Read more

Kenneth A. Forde Diversity Alliance Presents 2020 Awards     
At a virtual reception on Oct. 22, the Kenneth A. Forde Diversity Alliance honored six members of the VP&S community who are dedicated to supporting diversity and minority health in medical education and patient care. Read more

AACN Recognizes Columbia Nursing and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Partnership 
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing presented Columbia Nursing and NewYork-Presbyterian with the 2020 AACN New Era for Academic Nursing Award for their continued academic-practice collaborations. Read more

‘Less Is More’ Signifies Shift in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy 
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Eileen Connolly, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, explains how radiation treatment for breast cancer has improved in recent years due to advances in technology and an increased understanding of the disease. Read her Q&A, and remember to schedule a mammogram at one of four Columbia locations this month—view more information and request an appointment online.

VP&S Researchers Find ECMO Support May Save Lives in COVID-19  
Data published in The Lancet from 213 hospitals in 36 countries show that more than 60% of severe COVID-19 patients who received ECMO, a heart-lung life support machine, survived. Read more

School of Nursing Launches Center for Research on People of Color 
A new center at the School of Nursing led by Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, the Helen F. Pettit Professor of Nursing, will focus on research on minority populations disproportionately affected by health disparities. Read more

Congenital Heart Defects May Not Increase the Risk of Severe COVID-19 Symptoms 
People with congenital heart disease had a lower-than-expected risk for severe symptoms from COVID-19, according to a new study from the congenital heart disease center at VP&S. Read more


Musical Monday featuring the works of Black composers, today at 7:15 p.m., view online.

All of Us Research Program, The Future of Precision Health: Engaging Underrepresented Research Participant Communities and Achieving Responsible Return and Use of Genomic Results, October 27, 2020, at 5 p.m., read more. For questions, email



Alex Dranovsky, MD, PhD, Psychiatry, will receive $540,980 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for a subaward of “Adolescence, Motivation and the Maturation of the Prefrontal Cortex.”

Antonio Iavarone, MD, Institute for Cancer Genetics, will receive $985,371 over three years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for “Dissecting the Tumor Microenvironment of Glioma from Neurofibromatosis 1 Patients by Single Cell Analysis.”

Munemasa Mori, MD, PhD, Medicine, will receive $809,362 over three years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for “Generating Humanized Lungs in Mice for Disease Modeling and Development of Personalized Medicine Therapies.”

Catherine Schevon, MD, PhD, Neurology, will receive $685,788 over four years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for a subaward of “Understanding the Fast and Slow Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Human Seizures.”



Sonia Angell, MD, MPH, Medicine; Wendy Chung, MD, PhD, Pediatrics (in Medicine); and Kam Leong, PhD, Biomedical Engineering (in Systems Biology), have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Read more.


Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Read more.


Patricia Stone, PhD, RN, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Read more.

Gregory Alexander, PhD, RN, was invited by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to be a committee member for the consensus study, “The Quality of Care in Nursing Homes.” More info.

Kenrick Cato, PhD, RN, was appointed chair of the American Medical Informatics Association 2021 Virtual Clinical Informatics Conference. More info.


INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, has named Columbia University College of Dental Medicine a recipient of the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Health Professions Award.