CUIMC Update - September 20, 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.


2023 Horwitz Prize Award Winners
Today Columbia announced the recipients of the 2023 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize: Zhijian “James” Chen and Glenn Barber for discovering the cGAS-STING pathway, a key component of one of the body’s first line of defenses, the innate immune system.

Building Columbia’s Peer Support System for Surgeons
An initiative at VP&S to instill healthier coping mechanisms for surgeons who experience difficult complications and outcomes during procedures recognizes that sometimes doctors need help too. Read more and view the full fall 2023 issue of Columbia Medicine magazine.

Fall COVID Outlook: New Variant, New Vaccine
An updated COVID-19 vaccine is now available in the United States and is recommended by the CDC for everyone 6 months and older as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have trended higher in recent weeks.

Care Packages for Chemotherapy Patients
The Department of Radiology‘s breast imaging program and the Department of Surgery’s breast care program have joined together this September to hold their first Chemo Care Package Drive.

Latest Obesity Drug Not Cost-Effective for Adolescents
A study by Columbia researchers has found that the obesity drug Wegovy (semaglutide) is not cost-effective for teens at its current price. “The slight increase in weight reduction caused by semaglutide compared to a less expensive alternative does not offset the higher cost,” says Chin Hur, MD, professor of medicine at VP&S.



Mailman School of Public Health

  • Yuna Lee, PhD, Health Policy & Management
    $279,458 over five years for a subaward from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for "Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) VI."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Corinne Abate-Shen, PhD, Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics
    $2,878,750 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for "Preclinical analyses of advanced prostate cancer in genetically engineered mice."
  • Mohammed AlQuraishi, PhD, Systems Biology
    $990,001 over two years from Pfizer for "Open Platform for Machine-Learned Biomolecular Modeling and Drug Discovery."
  • Luke Benvenuto, MD, Medicine
    $369,600 over two years from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for "Improving Lung Transplant for Cystic Fibrosis Patients."
  • Joriene De Nooij, PhD, Neurology
    $329,000 over two years from the Department of Defense for "Mitochondrial metabolism and FRDA vulnerability."
  • Suzanne Leal, PhD, Sergievsky Center
    $3,197,870 over five years from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for "Identification of Autosomal Recessive Nonsyndromic Hearing Impairment Genes."


School of Nursing

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

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In the News Highlights

What to Know About the New Covid Shots
Sep 11, 2023
The New York Times
Data from a handful of academic labs suggests that patients infected with XBB.1.5 who had yet to receive the vaccine had developed enough neutralizing antibodies to “adequately handle” current versions of the virus, according to Dr. David Ho, a virologist at Columbia University. “We believe that would be equivalent to getting the XBB.1.5-based vaccine,” he said.

Night Owls May Be at Greater Risk of Diabetes than Early Birds
Sep 11, 2023
NBC News Online
Marie-Pierre St-Onge, director of the Center of Excellence for Sleep and Circadian Research at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, said if it's not possible to find jobs that can be done later in the day, then people with late-night body clocks need to be careful about their lifestyle habits. “If you are able to eat healthy, sleep well and be physically active, you’re at a lesser risk,” St-Onge said.

Lead Pipes More Common in NYC’s Latino Neighborhoods, Study Says
Sep 11, 2023
“When you have a lead service line, any change in corrosion control can have an impact on the amount of lead in drinking water,” said Anne Nigra, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health. “Flint, Michigan, is an important example of what happens when corrosion control goes wrong.”