CUIMC Update - October 4, 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.


CUIMC Celebrates the Inauguration of President Minouche Shafik
Minouche Shafik was inaugurated as the 20th president of Columbia University earlier today, and the CUIMC community observed the ceremony at two watch parties held on campus. The inauguration continues tonight with a campus-wide celebration featuring a DJ, dancing, and a closing show. 

Columbia Researcher and NPR Ask Listeners to ‘Walk the Walk’ in Real-World Study
Research from Keith Diaz, PhD, suggests that “movement snacks” as small as one minute of walking each hour may be enough to mitigate some of the harms of prolonged sitting. Now, Diaz is embarking on a real-world study with NPR podcast listeners to gain more data about intermittent walking regimens.

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Haven Plaza
Join your colleagues on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from noon to 2 p.m. on Haven Plaza to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Learn about this culturally significant holiday and partake in festivities including light food, dancing, and trivia.

Measuring the Air Quality in the South Bronx
A research project organized by South Bronx Unite and environmental health scientists at the Mailman School of Public Health will install 25 air pollution monitors in locations throughout the neighborhoods of Mott Haven and Port Morris and a control monitor in Riverdale.

Carlos’ Story: Beating Two Leukemias Before College
As a teenager, Carlos Romero was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and while undergoing treatment was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He received care at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and made a full recovery before beginning college. 



Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Manu Johny, PhD, Physiology & Cellular Biophysics
    $2,242,063 over four years from the National Institute of Mental Health for "Mechanism-inspired Strategies to Prevent Pathogenic Late Na Current in Cardiac Arrhythmias."
  • Catarina Maria Quinzii, MD, Neurology
    $452,375 over one year from the National Institute on Aging for "Abnormalities of cholesterol metabolism in multiple system atrophy."
  • Robert Schwabe, MD, Medicine
    $1,680,140 over five years for a subaward from the National Cancer Institute for "Regulation of PDAC metabolism and immunity by collagen and its cleavage products."
  • Peter St. George-Hyslop, MD, Taub Institute
    $507,952 over two years from the National Institute on Aging for "Critical tools enabling analysis of biomolecular condensates in microglial signaling and function in aging and Alzheimer Disease."
  • Lena Sun, MD, Anesthesiology
    $1,144,686 over five years for a subaward from the Food & Drug Administration for "Analgesic, Anesthetic and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks and Pediatric Anesthesia Safety Initiative (ACTTION/PASI)."


Mailman School of Public Health

  • Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, ScD, Environmental Health Sciences
    Awarded the Tony McMichael Mid-term Career Award at the 35th Annual International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Conference.

School of Nursing

  • Melissa Beauchemin, PhD
    Received the Early Career Researcher award by the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing.
  • Ulf Bronas, PhD
    Received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • Maureen George, PhD
    Awarded the Outstanding Founders Award at the Association of Asthma Educators 2023 Conference.

Social Media Snapshot

Columbia Medicine on Instagram: "This #BreastCancerAwareness month, breast medical oncologist Dr. Julia McGuinness is sharing 🤚 things you can do to reduce your risk of #breastcancer - with staying active at the top of the list!

In the News Highlights

Forget About Living to 100. Let’s Live Healthier Instead.
Sep 28, 2023
The New York Times
A better quality of life in older age could provide cascading returns for society. “As we age, we gain knowledge and expertise, along with the intellectual and cognitive abilities to decide if something matters,” Linda P. Fried, a geriatrician and the dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, has said.

Smoking-Related Cancers Are Declining in NYC, but Vaping and E-cigs Raise Concerns
Sep 29, 2023
Vaporized tobacco comes with its own set of health risks, many of which aren’t yet known because the products are so new, said Mary Beth Terry, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health who wasn’t involved with the research. “These vaping products, in addition to nicotine, have many heavy metals which are also carcinogens,” she said. “Even though there haven’t been studies [yet], those studies will come.”

US Health Care Workers Face Elevated Risk of Suicide, New Study Finds
Sep 26, 2023
CNN Online
“Our results extend earlier research from outside the United States that health care workers compared with non-healthcare workers have greater risks for mental health problems and long-term work absences due to mental disorders,” Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor at Columbia University and an author of the new study, said in a news release.