Five Teams Receive Pilot Awards to Advance Precision Medicine Research

August 10, 2020

Five teams of researchers from the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons have been awarded pilot grants to fund precision medicine research projects. The awards are given in three categories: Roy and Diana Vagelos Precision Medicine Pilot Awards, the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Award, and the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Award.

Jointly awarded by the Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative (CPMI), the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC), and the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (Irving Institute), the Precision Medicine Pilot Awards underscore Columbia’s commitment to supporting research targeting the promise of precision medicine across multiple diseases. The five teams will each receive $100,000 in funding for one year.

The Roy and Diana Vagelos Precision Medicine Pilot Awards are a cornerstone of the CPMI mission: to establish world class academic research centers of excellence to build precision medicine as a basic and applied science at Columbia. Seeding basic research in precision medicine with these awards is an efficient way to convert this money to external research grants.

Roy and Diana Vagelos Precision Medicine Pilot Awards

“Mechanistic Investigation of the Vaginal Microbiome in Different Manifestations of Spontaneous Preterm Birth”
Lead Investigator: Tal Korem, PhD

Co-PIs: Anne-Catrin Uhleman, MD, PhD; George Gallos, MD; Joy-Sarah Vink, MD

“Deciphering Monogenic and Polygenic Etiologies of a Longitudinal Multi-Ethnic Hidradenitis Suppurativa Cohort”
Lead Investigator: Lynn Petukhova, PhD

Co-PI: Suzanne Leal, PhD

“Unbiased Screen of Proximal and Distal Splicing Regulatory Elements Towards Drug Discovery”

Lead Investigator: Chaolin Zhang, PhD

Co-PI: Samuel Sternberg, PhD

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Award

"Biological and Therapuetic Relevance of Exosomes in Uveal Melanoma"
Lead Investigator: Richard Carvajal, MD

Co-PIs: Alex Rai, MD; Grazia Ambrosini, PhD

Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Award

“A microRNA Approach to Identify Renal Osteodystrophy Sub-Type”
Lead Investigator: Thomas Nickolas, MD, MS

Co-PIs: Stavroula Kousteni, PhD; Krzysztof Kiryluk, MD, MS