CUIMC Update - Oct. 4, 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 to Lead New York City’s Pandemic Response Institute
Columbia University—through the Mailman School of Public Health—will lead a consortium of academic, community, government, and corporate partners to launch New York City’s first Pandemic Response Institute. The institute will be led by Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, founder and director of ICAP at Mailman, and director of Columbia World Projects. Read more

Sandra Ryeom Appointed Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs and New Master's Degree Programs at VP&S
Sandra Ryeom, PhD, has joined VP&S as associate dean for postdoctoral affairs and new master's degree programs. She will hold a faculty appointment as associate professor of surgical sciences in the VP&S Department of Surgery. Read more.

Fifth Annual Velocity Ride Raises $1.1 Million
The 2021 edition of Velocity raised $1.1 million to support cancer research and care at Columbia University's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read more

In Case You Missed It: Sept 30 Employee Appreciation Events
On Sept. 30, faculty and staff enjoyed live jazz and apple cider in Haven Plaza and attended the premiere of “Broadway in the Heights 2021” at the Armory Theater (click here to view the show through Oct. 6). The events were part of this year’s CUIMC employee appreciation initiative. Watch a video.

CUIMC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Learn more about Hispanic CUIMC faculty and staff who help the medical center achieve excellence in research, education, and patient care. Read more

David Buchholz Addresses Questions about Booster Shots 
COVID-19 booster shots are now available for certain populations who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. David Buchholz, MD, senior founding medical director for primary care at ColumbiaDoctors, offers answers to frequently asked questions about booster shots. Read more.

VP&S Study Finds Intermittent Fasting Makes Fruit Flies Live Longer. Will It Work for People?
Intermittent fasting is a trendy weight loss strategy. A new VP&S study of fasting fruit flies shows how the diet, if properly timed, also slows the aging process and increases longevity. Read more

VP&S Research: Chemotherapy Before Surgery Improves Outcomes in Advanced Ovarian Cancer
Despite clinical guidelines that advocate surgery as a first step, a VP&S study suggests many patients with advanced ovarian cancer should be treated with chemotherapy before surgery. Read more

School of Nursing Research Roundup: September 2021 
Recent studies by Columbia Nursing researchers examine the interplay between psychological factors and disordered eating among sexual and gender minority individuals and delve into the impact of premature birth on a mother’s epigenome. Read more.

VP&S and Mailman Experts Discuss the Effects of Social Media on Mental Health
Deborah Glasofer, PhD, associate professor of clinical medical psychology in the VP&S Department of Psychiatry, and Claude Mellins, PhD, professor of medical psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry at VP&S and Sociomedical Sciences at Mailman, share their insights into social media’s effect on the mental health of young people and adults. Read more



Corinne Abate-Shen, PhD, Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics, will receive $2,369,258 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “Molecular Mechanisms of Prostate Cancer Metastasis.”

Dominique Bailey, MD, Pediatrics, will receive $827,176 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Molecular Mechanisms of Reactive Epithelial Changes in Pediatric Eosinophilic Esophagitis.”

Mary Keown, MD, Pediatrics, will receive $250,000 over five years from the Health Resources and Services Administration for “Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program.”

Harris Wang, PhD, Systems Biology, will receive $360,000 over four years from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for “High-Throughput Discovery of Microbial Colonization Factors in the Mammalian Gut.”



Sidney Hankerson, MD, Psychiatry, has been appointed chair of the Community Services Board of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In this role he will hold an ex officio seat on the NYC Board of Health, which is responsible for enacting the city’s health code and policies that promote the health of New Yorkers.

Kathleen Pike, PhD, Psychiatry, has received the 2021 Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology from the American Psychological Association.

Cheng-Chia Wu, MD, PhD, Center for Radiological Research, has been recognized as a Hannah's Heroes St. Baldricks Scholar. This award recognizes Wu and his lab's accomplishments toward enhancing treatment options for childhood cancers.


Judy Honig, EdD, DNP, has been inducted into National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nurse Educators.

Brenda Janotha, EdD, DNP, has been inducted as a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Rebecca Schnall, PhD, RN-BC, has been elected to the American College of Medical Informatics.

Maxim Topax, PhD, RN, has received the New Investigator Award from the American College of Medical Informatics.


Nicole Comfort, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences, tied for third place in the third annual Journal of Science Policy & Governance/National Science Policy Network memo competition.

Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, Epidemiology, has received the National Award of Excellence in Mentorship from the National Hispanic Science Network.


Virtually Speaking: Columbia Nursing Takes the Lead in LGBTQ Health, Oct. 5, 2 p.m., register here.

CUIMC LatinX Employee Resource Group Hosts: “Hispanics: Proud of their Past, Present and Future,” Oct. 6, 1 p.m., register here.

Women at VP&S: Courageous Past, Flourishing Present, Future Challenges, Oct 6, 4 p.m., register here.

Bold Conversations for Healing & Reshaping Our Medical Center Community, Oct. 7, 3 p.m., register here

A Conversation on Health Equity and Inclusion, Oct. 13, 6:30 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.