CUIMC Update - Sept. 27, 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.


Program between Columbia and United Negro College Fund Links HBCUs and CUIMC
The E.E. Just Scholars program provides students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with summer internships in biomedical research at CUIMC. The program aims to increase the number of Black researchers in tenure-track positions at Columbia and other top-tier biomedical research institutions in the country by providing a critical link between young scientists in the pipeline at HBCUs and established researchers at Columbia University. The program began this past summer with 12 students from Morehouse School of Medicine who were paired with  faculty researchers at CUIMC depending on the students' research interests. Read more

Employee Appreciation Events Update
Employees are invited to events on Sept. 30 to recognize their contributions to CUIMC. Enjoy live jazz and apple cider in Haven Plaza and watch the premiere of “Broadway in the Heights, 2021” at the Armory Theater. Employees are also invited to register here for a voucher redeemable for a meal at the Faculty Club Café in the next four months.   

CopeColumbia Workshop, Panel Discussion
In October, CopeColumbia will host two events designed to provide ongoing support and resources for CUIMC faculty and staff:

  • Workshop for managers and leaders on “Challenging Times Call for Challenging Conversations: Supporting Healthcare Leaders and Managers in Navigating Return to Onsite Work,” Oct. 1, noon, register here.
  • Panel discussion, “Bold Conversations for Healing & Reshaping Our Medical Center Community,” Oct. 7, 3 p.m., register here.  

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Members of the CUIMC community are invited to upcoming events in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The CUIMC LatinX Employee Resource Group will host “Hispanics: Proud of their Past, Present and Future” on Oct. 6, and CDM, Nursing, VP&S, and CUIMC Human Resources will present “A Conversation on Health Equity and Inclusion” on Oct. 13. Registration is required. 

Town Hall on Tuesday: The New Center for Precision Cancer Medicine
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m., the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center will host a virtual town hall to announce the launch of a new Center for Precision Cancer Medicine. Register here

How Three VP&S Doctors Saved a Singer Who Suffered a Heart Attack on Stage
When a musician suddenly collapsed during a performance in New York City, three VP&S doctors in the audience—Marc Dyrszka, MD, Andrew Luzzi, MD, and Matthew Simhon, MD—quickly stepped in to help save his life. Read more

A New Technology Provides a More Precise Measure of Pain
Standard pain measurement—rating your discomfort on a scale of 1 to 10—is highly subjective and often unhelpful. A technology known as quantitative sensory testing, or QST, could change that. Caroline Arout, PhD, assistant professor of clinical neurobiology in the VP&S Department of Psychiatry, is testing the methodology in two projects that aim to develop a model of cannabis-induced changes in pain perception over time. Read more.

Q&A with Mailman’s Terry McGovern on Texas Abortion Law
Terry McGovern, JD, the Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor and chair of Mailman’s Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, discusses the new Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, its implications for public health, and how researchers and advocates are working to protect the right to abortion. Read more



Shana Coley, MD, Pathology & Cell Biology, will receive $421,056 over two years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for “Predictive Biomarkers of Treatment Response in Kidney Transplant Rejection.”

Robyn Gartrell, MD, Pediatrics, will receive $300,000 over two years from Hyundai Hope on Wheels for “Correlating Genomic Features with the Immune Microenvironment in Pediatric Glioma.”

Deborah Hasin, PhD, Psychiatry, will receive $317,800 over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a subaward of “Leveraging Social Media to Develop The Cannabis Exposure Index (CEI), A Standardized Measure of Cannabis Use.”



Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD, Neuroscience, was named to Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 list of the most innovative up-and-coming minds in science. Read more.

Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH, Psychiatry, has received the 2021 Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research.


School of Nursing Doctoral Student Organization Kickoff Event Meet & Greet, Sept. 27, 7 p.m., register here

VP&S New Faculty Orientation, Sept. 28, 8 a.m., register here.  

DNP Nurse Anesthesia Admissions Overview, Sept. 28, 2 p.m., register here

Women at VP&S: Courageous Past, Flourishing Present, Future Challenges, Sept. 28, 4 p.m., register here. 

School of Nursing Center for Research on People of Color REX Seminar, Sept. 29, noon, register here

School of Nursing Masters Direct Entry Virtual Information Session, Sept. 29, noon, register here

Annual HIPAA & Security Briefing for faculty, researchers, and management staff, Sept. 29, 2 p.m., register here.

5th Annual Velocity Day, Oct. 3, 9 a.m., view event.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.