CUIMC Update - Oct. 5, 2020

October 5, 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.


Velocity Raises $1.08 Million 
In its fourth year, Velocity, Columbia's Ride to End Cancer, registered 525 participants who came together virtually and raised $1.08 million to support cancer research and COVID-19 recovery efforts at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read more.

Flu Vaccine for CUIMC Faculty and Staff 
Workforce Health & Safety (WH&S) will provide the seasonal flu vaccine free of charge to all CUIMC faculty and staff through Nov. 9, 2020. You must present a CU ID and UNI to receive the vaccine. It is available at designated WH&S and CUIMC locations, from a “Flu Champion” on select NYP units, and in central locations throughout the hospital, such as cafeterias and lobbies. 

  • You may also get the flu vaccine from 7:30 a.m. to noon and 1:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at University locations on the following days (excluding holidays): Mondays and Wednesdays at VP&S Amphitheater 1 and Tuesdays and Fridays at Hammer Health Sciences Center, LL205. 
  • High-dose and egg-free vaccines are now available at WH&S in Harkness Pavilion, 1st floor, Room 112, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. 

CUIMC faculty, staff, and volunteers who work in NYP hospital space and decline the vaccination will be required to take an educational course about influenza and record their declination in SABA. View NYP’s Influenza FAQs

Breast Cancer Screening for Columbia Employees and Dependents  
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Columbia University employees and their dependents are encouraged to schedule a mammogram at one of four Columbia locations. View more information and make an appointment online.

Fact vs. Fiction: Mailman Professor Offers Guidance on COVID-19  
Sandra Albrecht, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of epidemiology at Mailman, and a group of like-minded health experts have formed “Dear Pandemic,” a multidisciplinary science communication project to spread evidence-based advice on the coronavirus via social media. Read more

Facebook Live Event on the Flu with David Buchholz 
Join David Buchholz, MD, senior founding medical director for Columbia Primary Care, on Oct. 8, 2020, at noon for a Facebook Live event about influenza and this year's vaccine. RSVP online

Fracking, Environmental Health, and Gender Justice with Chelsea Clinton 
Attend a virtual forum on Oct. 6, 2020, at 1 p.m. co-hosted by Mailman’s Global Health Justice and Governance Program and Chelsea Clinton, DPhil, MPH, adjunct assistant professor of health policy and management at Mailman. The forum will feature scientists, advocates, and policy experts who will share strategies to address the public health implications of fracking. The forum is open to the entire Columbia community. Read more about the forum and RSVP online

School of Nursing Hosts Upcoming Virtual Events 
The School of Nursing invites the CUIMC community to attend the following virtual events, Fulbright Impact in the Field: Nursing, COVID-19, and the Future of Care on Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. and Book Launch: Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies on Oct. 8 at noon.

COVID-19 from Virus to Vaccine: Biological, Clinical, and Public Health Dimensions
Recordings from Columbia Public Health’s free online course, “COVID-19 from Virus to Vaccine: Biological, Clinical, and Public Health Dimensions,” are now available to the CUIMC community. Through lectures and virtual labs, top scientific experts and leaders explore a broad range of topics related to COVID-19. Access the course.    

Take a Break: Mid-Day Stretch & Reset
Members of the CUIMC community are invited to free weekly 30-minute virtual sessions on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. with the University’s ergonomist. The sessions include stretches to lengthen and restore muscles and meditation to relax the mind and body. Read more and sign up



Alexander Galkin, PhD, Pediatrics, will receive $2,128,520 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “The Role of FMN Loss by Mitochondrial Complex I in Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury.”

Syed Hussaini, PhD, Taub Institute, will receive $3,153,129 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Electrophysiological Evaluation of Brain Regions Vulnerable to Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Tae-Wan Kim, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology, will receive $2,561,115 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Microglial TREM2 Interactome in Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Muredach Reilly, MBBCh, Medicine, will receive $2,654,710 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Computational and Functional Strategies to Decipher lncRNAs in Human Atherosclerosis.”

Ana Tergas, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, will receive $1,213,164 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “Impact of the Therapeutic Alliance on Reduction of Disparities in Latino End-of-Life Cancer Care.”

Badri Vardarajan, PhD, and Suzanne Leal, PhD, Sergievsky Center, will receive $3,834,269 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Gene Discovery in Multi-Ethnic Late Onset Alzheimer's Disease Families.”

Debra Wolgemuth, PhD, Institute of Human Nutrition, will receive $1,465,241 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Graduate Training in Nutrition.”



Anne Gershon, MD, Pediatrics, has been chosen to receive a 2021 Smith Medal from Smith College, her undergraduate alma mater, in recognition of professional achievement and service. 


Myrna Weissman, PhD, Epidemiology, will receive the 2020 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation for “Thirty Years of Studying Families at Risk for Depression: What Have We Learned?” Weissman’s work on depression and the application of its findings to the care of disadvantaged persons includes the development and scientific testing of an evidence treatment that has been adopted by the WHO and used free for humanitarian purposes all over the world.


Billy Caceres, PhD, RN, was named the Sexual Gender Minority Investigator of the Month by the National Institutes of Health Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office.

Kasey Jackman, PhD, RN, and Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, are recipients of the 2020 Excellence in Nursing Research Award by Nursing Outlook, the official journal of the American Academy of Nursing, for their article titled "Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research in Nursing."

DNP student Nicole Martinez Santana was selected to receive the National Health Service Corps Scholarship award presented by the Health Resources and Services Administration National Health Service Corps.