CUIMC Update – September 22, 2022

CUIMC Update is a weekly e-newsletter featuring news from the medical center and the achievements of our faculty, staff and trainees. Please send your news, honors and awards to [email protected] Grants are provided by the administration of the funded projects.


Conversation with Anil K. Rustgi, MD, on the visit of Jill Biden and Queen of Spain
As part of the Biden administration’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, First Lady Jill Biden and Queen Letizia of Spain visited Columbia University’s Cancer Center on Sept. 21. Read more.

VP&S expert on why climate change is bad for our health
Christopher Tedeschi, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of Emergency Preparedness in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VP&S, speaks about the increasing impact of climate change on our health. Continue reading.

cholesterol 101
When your cholesterol levels rise, so do health risks. Sonia Tolani, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and co-director of the Columbia Women’s Heart Center, explains the pros and cons of cholesterol and how to achieve healthy levels. Continue reading.

Columbia selects recipients of Learning Health System Awards
Two teams led by CUIMC faculty have received awards from Columbia University’s Learning Health System initiative to explore new technologies and practices that have the potential to save lives and reduce health inequalities. Continue reading.

Dean Fried announces winners of interdisciplinary Grand Challenges awards
Eight interdisciplinary teams have received the Columbia Mailman School Centennial Grand Challenges Awards. The awards, created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mailman School of Public Health, fund ambitious research projects that address some of the most pressing public health challenges of the next 100 years. Continue reading.

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MIG Mouse Genetics Interest Group
Sept. 26, 12 p.m., HICCC
Continue reading.

Operational ID / Electronic tattoos
27 Sept, 10am, Vagelos Education Center
For additional times read more.

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

Columbia Football: CUIMC Day
1 October, 1 p.m., Vienna Stadium
Continue reading.

For more events, see the CUIMC Event Listing.



Alwyn CohallMD, Sociomedical Sciences: $410,000 over five years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a sub-award of ASCLM/Alliance CDC PS21-2102.


Corrine Abate-ShenPhD, Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics: $486,000 from Department of the Army, Army Medical Research and Material Command for “Role of ATAD2 in Prostate Cancer Bone Metastases.”

Nadeen ChahinePhD, Orthopedic Surgery: $2,360,969 over five years from the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for “Anti-inflammatory cell-based repair of disc degeneration.”

Jonathan JavitchMD, PhD, Psychiatry: $585,345 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for a sub-award for “Co-Regulation of Striatal Dopamine and Acetylcholine While Flexible Learning.”

David KesslerMD, Emergency Medicine: $490,842 over one year from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for a partial award of “An AI-Based Multi-Functional Hand-Held Lumify Ultrasound for Automatic and Intelligent Quantitative Assessment of Lung Injuries, Diseases and Traumatic Injuries in a Mass casualty incident.”

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Laura Beth McIntirePhD, Pathology: $1,630,560 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Acyl chain remodeling and regional lipid dysregulation in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Yalda MoayediPhD, Neurology: $607,500 over three years from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for “Mechanosensory taste substrates in the mammalian tongue.”

David OwensPhD, Dermatology: $1,640,056 over five years from the National Institute on Aging for “Investigating the role of utrophin in the age-related decline of the Merkel lineage.”

Melissa StockwellMD, Pediatrics: $558,341 over two years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a Respiratory Virus Transmission Network sub-award.

David WalchPhD, Center for Radiological Research: $233,897 over three years from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for “Studying Far-UVC Radiation to Reduce Microbial Burden During Spacecraft Assembly.”

Jason WrightMD, Obstetrics and Gynecology: $534,422 over four years from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for a sub-award for Racial Disparity in Diagnostic Evaluation of Uterine Cancer.

Aaron VinyMD, Medical: $600,000 over three years from the Evans (Edward P.) Foundation for “DNA methylation dynamics and chromatin structure in the pathogenesis and therapeutic responsiveness of myelodysplastic syndrome.”



Paul Lewis, VP&S student, received an honorable mention for his essay in the American Medical Student Association’s Building Trust Essay Contest. Medical students from 18 schools across the country submitted essays on trust in healthcare. Read the essay here.

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Holly ReckerOtolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery recognized by the American Speech and Hearing Association as a Distinguished Early Career Professional.


Screenshot of a tweet from the Columbia Medicine Twitter account


The Washington Post (requires subscription)
Covid-19 in seniors linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s, study results
09/15/2022 – Scientists at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons examined the brains of a small number of deceased Covid-19 patients and found that they had defective receptors thought to be an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Editor’s Note: This article relates to a study conducted by Andrew MarkusChair of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics.

ABC news online
Which states have the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates?
09/12/2022 – dr Wafaa El-SadrProfessor of Epidemiology and Medicine at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Healthsaid another reason for the higher case counts in those states is the lack of subsequent mitigation actions.

Crains New York Business (requires subscription)
Columbia Nursing Professor Receives $5M from NIH to Study Equitable Health Care
September 13, 2022 – First grant of approximately $3.7 million awarded dr Corina Lelutiu-Weinberger an opportunity to work with organizations funded by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program over five years to develop interventions to reduce structural racism and discrimination against Black and Indigenous people living with HIV and AIDS and health workers who are living with HIV/AIDS identify as people of color.

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