CUIMC Update - September 29, 2022

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.


LatinX Employee Group Provides Space for Professional, Personal Growth
Hispanic Heritage Month brings a focus on CUIMC’s LatinX Employee Resource Group, which offers an array of programs and activities around themes of community, culture, professional development, personal wellness, and family life. Read more. 

Columbia Study Aims to Help Survivors of Suicide Loss
Noam Schneck, PhD, assistant professor of clinical medical psychology (in psychiatry) at Columbia, discusses Survive Together, a study that explores the way people adapt to the loss of a loved one by suicide. Read more. 

At Columbia, Integrative Therapy for Children with Cancer is Mainstream
Columbia’s Center for Comprehensive Wellness offers integrative treatments like acupuncture and massage to support cancer patients during their treatment with chemotherapy and radiation. Read more.

What a Columbia Urologist Wants Men to Know About Prostate Cancer
Christopher Anderson, MD, assistant professor of urology, shares the facts about prostate cancer and how it is treated today. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among men in the United States, and about one in eight men will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime. Read more.

Sleep is Good for Your Heart
Based on research from Columbia and others, the American Heart Association added sleep to its checklist of heart health essentials. Here's why. Read more. 


Van C. Mow Distinguished Lecture: Celeste Nelson, Princeton 
Sept. 30, 11 a.m., Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research  
Register here.

Columbia Football: CUIMC Day
Oct. 1, 1 p.m., Wien Stadium
Read more.

Velocity: Columbia's Ride to End Cancer  
Oct. 2, All day, Haven Plaza 
Read more.

Discovery and Disease - The Evolution of Molecular Pharmacology Research Symposium
Oct. 6, 8 a.m., Hudson View Room, 50 Haven Avenue  
Register here.

For more events, visit the CUIMC Events listing.



Jasmine McDonald, PhD, Epidemiology: $2,606,638 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “The Tumor Microenvironment and Lymphatic Remodeling in Postpartum Breast Cancer.” 


Peter Canoll, MD, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology: $702,579 over five years from the National Cancer Institute for “Image-based models of tumor-immune dynamics in glioblastoma.” 

Rajshekhar Chakraborty, MD, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center: $250,000 over two years from the Hope Foundation for “Non-Invasive Minimal Residual Disease Assessment in Multiple Myeloma with Liquid Biopsy and Functional Imaging.”  

Jan Claassen, MD, Neurology: $428,496 over four years from the National Library of Medicine for a subaward of “BIGDATA: Causal Inference in Large-Scale Time Series.”  

David Ho, MD, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center: $1,197,373 over one year from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a subaward of “In vitro testing and early detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants.” 

Sanja Jelic, MD, Medicine: $2,867,859 over four years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Vascular Endothelial Activation in Sleep Apnea.” 

Emmanuelle Passegué, PhD, Columbia Stem Cell Initiative: $2,553,290 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Mechanisms of Hematopoietic Stem Cell and Blood Aging.” 

Stephanie Rolin, MD, Psychiatry: $961,568 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Young adults with violent behavior during early psychosis: A mixed-methods assessment and intervention trial.” 

Nikhil Sharma, PhD, Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics: $1,458,000 over three years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nociception and pain.” 

Ronald Wapner, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology: $1,057,364 over three years from the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development for “ClinGen Expert Curation Panel for Severe Structural Anomalies and Stillbirth.” 

Hynek Wichterle, PhD, and Tulsi Patel, PhD, Pathology & Cell Biology: $272,484 over two years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Defining motor neuron diversity from embryo to adulthood and generating tools for in vivo and in vitro access.” 

Tania Wong, PhD, Pediatrics: $244,302 over two years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Understanding the immunometabolic response to Klebsiella pneumonia infection.” 

Xin Zhang, PhD, Ophthalmology: $722,746 over two years from Rejuvitas Inc. for “HIF2a work in Retinal Epithelium Cells for Retinitis Pigmentosa.” 



Rosemary Cater, PhD, Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, was announced as a finalist of the 2022 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. Read more.

Rita Charon, MD, PhD, Medical Humanities & Ethics and Medicine, will receive the Inaugural Philip Sandblom Prize in Creativity, Illness, and Health from the Grace S. Sandblom Endowment and Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities at the University of Lund, Sweden.  

George Hripcsak, MD, Biomedical Informatics, is the 2022 recipient of the Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence from the American College of Medical Informatics. Read more.


W. Ian Lipkin, MD, Epidemiology, was selected by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to join a new international task force to consider trends and oversight of high-risk pathogen research. Read more. 


Screenshot of a post from Columbia Medicine's Instagram account


The New York Times 
Officials Hopeful That Monkeypox Can Be Eliminated in the U.S.
Sep 22, 2022 - Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said she shared Dr. Daskalakis’s optimism that the outbreak could be brought under control, but only with intense efforts to reach underserved populations.  

The Washington Post 
Well+Being: Are Soul Mates Real, According to Science?
Sep 16, 2022 - What’s fascinating to me is that we are all unique. Our DNA is unique. Our faces are unique. Our brains are unique. And yet we all have the brain neurocircuitry to see another person as more special than anyone else. 

Editor's Note: Amir Levine, the author of this article, is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

USA Today 
Levels of Stress, Anxiety, and Sadness Among Women Are at a 10-Year High, Survey Shows
Sep 21, 2022 - “A lot of that has to do with traditional roles in terms of caregiving and responsibility for making sure that children are fed and tending to illnesses – even in high-resourced countries,” said Dr. Elizabeth Fitelson, director of the women’s program in Columbia University’s psychiatry department.