CUIMC Update - September 27, 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.


VP&S State of School, Thursday at 4 p.m.
All VP&S faculty, students, and staff are invited to attend the 2023 State of the School tomorrow at 4 p.m., presented by Katrina Armstrong, MD, dean of the faculties of health sciences and VP&S. Armstrong will update the VP&S community on the school’s present and future strategic initiatives in education, research, clinical care, and community engagement.

Martin Picard: Exploring the Mind-Mitochondria Connection
The lab of Martin Picard, PhD, featured this month in the inaugural VP&S Research Insights newsletter from the CUIMC Office of Communications, is working to understand how mitochondria may influence our mental health. Read more and subscribe to receive next month's edition of VP&S Research Insights.

Watch the Investiture of Columbia President Minouche Shafik
Join one of two CUIMC watch parties on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m. in the School of Nursing or Hammer Health Sciences Center to see the formal ceremony that installs Minouche Shafik as president. Watch party accessories and light refreshments will be served.

CUIMC Rallies on Capitol Hill for Research Funding
Members of the CUIMC community traveled to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 14 for the national Rally for Medical Research to advocate for medical research funding. They met with members and staff of the New York congressional delegation to stress the importance of NIH funding.

Do Diagnostic Labels Do Harm or Good?
A diagnosis is a tool clinicians use to treat conditions, but a diagnosis can sometimes feel like a label, especially for those with rare and/or chronic conditions. VP&S faculty members Rita Charon, MD, PhD, and David Buchholz, MD, discuss the good and bad of diagnostic labels and how they impact patients.



Mailman School of Public Health

  • Harriet Nuwagaba-Biribonwoha, MD, PhD, ICAP
    $300,000 over one year for a subaward from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "COVID-19 Vaccination Program Support in Eswatini-Digitizing Port of Entry Vaccination Data."

Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Patrick Lao, PhD, Taub Institute
    $747,000 over four years from the National Institute on Aging for "Understanding the mechanisms linking small vessel cerebrovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease pathophysiology with neurodegeneration and cognition during midlife."
  • Steven Reiner, MD, Microbiology & Immunology
    $2,737,460 over six years from the National Cancer Institute for "Strategies to predict and overcome resistance to cancer immunotherapy."
  • Yufeng Shen, PhD, Systems Biology
    $810,000 over five years for a subaward from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for "CLEAR consortium: Discovering the Developmental Mechanisms of Trachea-Esophageal Birth Defects."
  • Stephen Tsang, MD, PhD, Ophthalmology
    $600,000 over three years from the Foundation Fighting Blindness for "ARMS2/HTRA1 in non-cell-autonomous oxidative and anti-inflammatory therapeutic targeting."
  • B. Timothy Walsh, MD, Psychiatry
    $523,381 over four years for a subaward from the National Institute of Mental Health for "No Way Around But Through: Mechanisms of Persistence and Remission of Habits in Anorexia Nervosa."


Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Social Media Snapshot

Columbia Surgery on Instagram: "An amazing milestone to celebrate. The Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at has performed their 500th pediatric liver transplant! Incredible work from the most dedicated team of #ColumbiaMed doctors! Thank you an

In the News Highlights

NYC Pediatrician Overcomes Challenges in Venezuela to Inspire Patients in the Bronx
Sep 15, 2023
ABC 7 New York (video)
Many of Edith Bracho-Sanchez's patients have never heard her story, but there is a connection. There is a special love and compassion and strength from what she endured that they can feel. The 35-year-old now practices at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia Ambulatory Care Network. "There is something that brings us together, our culture, our heritage definitely brings us together, but we don't always have the time to really sit down and discuss it," Bracho-Sanchez said. "It's really just so meaningful. And I'm so grateful that I get to do this job."

The Cut: The Cost of Straight Hair
Sep 14, 2023
New York Magazine
But for Adana Llanos, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who studies cancer, the existing research communicates clearly enough that “these products are the problem.” “I do wonder, At what point do we say it’s time to intervene?” she says. “The FDA regulates drugs and medical devices. We use personal-care products more than we use drugs.”

'You're Not Alone': How One Suicide Survivor Spreads the Message That Help Is Out There
Sep 16, 2023
"Things are not good. We have not been able to put a persistent, visible dent in suicide rates in the U.S.," Dr. J. John Mann, a professor of translational neuroscience at Columbia University in New York and the director of the Conte Center for Suicide Prevention, told USA TODAY.