CUIMC Update – November 30, 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 [email protected]. Grants are provided by the Sponsored Projects Administration office.


Virtual Reality Training for Doctors Made Real by Columbia’s Clinical Innovation Lab
The Columbia Clinical Innovation Lab aims to advance medicine and patient care by nurturing ideas from people who work in the field and helping turn those ideas into real products. “We want to invent things people in medicine actually need,” says Shunichi Homma, MD, chief medical officer of ColumbiaDoctors. Read more and watch a video.

Join us for Winter Haven on Dec. 1!
Join your colleagues and community members for a festive winter celebration and tree lighting tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. on Haven Plaza! Enjoy live music, hot beverages, and snacks. Learn more.

Food That’s Surprisingly Good (Or Bad) For You, According to Columbia Nutrition Specialists
Eating the right food for you is surprisingly hard, and media myths have played a role in villainizing foods that are healthy and good to enjoy in moderation. Columbia nutrition medicine specialist Anne Lee, EdD, shares some tips for shaping your diet and philosophy about food. Read more.

Velocity Raises More Than $1.1 Million to End Cancer
Participants in this year’s Velocity event, Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer, organized their own bike rides, walks, and other activities to raise more than $1.1 million for cancer research and patient care at Columbia. Read more.

Columbia Study Shows Decades of Pollution Take a Toll on the Immune System
A study led by Donna Farber, PhD, professor of microbiology & immunology at VP&S, offers a new reason why individuals become more susceptible to respiratory diseases with age. Read more.


Reminder: Register for the CUIMC Gingerbread House Decorating Contest
Dec. 1: Deadline to Register
Register here.

Leave No One Behind! New Strategies for the Global HIV Response
Dec. 1, 10 a.m., Allan Rosenfield Building, 722 W. 168th Street, 8th Floor Auditorium and online
Register here.

Winter Haven
Dec. 1, 4:30 p.m., Haven Plaza, Haven Avenue between Fort Washington Avenue and 169th Street
More information.

Growing Good Physicians: Caretaking, Attention, and Good Medicine
Dec. 1, 5 p.m., Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Avenue, Room 405
Register here.

Recommendations for Active Shooter Incidents Presented by the NYPD
Dec. 2, 10 a.m., online
Register here.

All of Us Enrollment Drive
Dec. 5-9, Hammer Health Sciences Center, 701 W. 168th Street, 4th Floor
Learn more.

CU Public Safety / Shotokan Karate Club FREE Self Defense Class
Dec. 5, 6 p.m., 50 Haven Avenue, Main Ballroom Lower Level
Register here.

Creating Connections: An Alda Center Workshop
Dec. 6, 10 a.m., online
Register here.

Person, Place, Thing: Live Taping with Randy Cohen and Guest Dean Lorraine Frazier
Dec. 6, 3 p.m., Columbia University School of Nursing, 560 W. 168th Street, 7th Floor
Register here.

TISSUE TALKS: Sheila Chari, Cell Press
Dec. 7, 3 p.m., online
Register here.

The Quest for Simple Rules that Govern Brain Development
Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m., Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Avenue, 2nd Floor
Register here.

CUIMC Holiday Celebration, Toy Drive and Gingerbread House Display
Dec. 13, 2 p.m., 50 Haven Avenue, Riverview Lounge and Ballroom
Register here.



Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD, Taub Institute: $824,037 over three years for a subaward from the National Institutes of Health for “Routes to enhanced HIV neuropathogenesis through expression of subclinical levels of endogenous amyloid-beta.”

Hachung Chung, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology: $2,049,113 over five years from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for “Investigation of self-nucleic acids as a trigger for neuroinflammation.”

Jing Fu, PhD, Medicine: $250,000 over one year from the International Myeloma Foundation for “Amyloid Targeting CAR Macrophage Therapy Against AL Amyloidosis.”

Filippo Giancotti, MD, PhD, Medicine: $313,142 over six months from the National Cancer Institute for “Therapeutic efficacy of the CRL inhibitor MLN4924 in NF2 mutant mesothelioma.”

Utpal Pajvani, MD, Medicine: $2,289,167 over four years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “Beta cell Notch activity in Type 2 Diabetes.”

Kathleen Pike, PhD, Psychiatry: $1,258,999 over two years from One Mind for “Mental Health at Work Index.”

Katharina Schultebraucks, PhD, Emergency Medicine: $3,996,415 over five years from the National Institute of Mental Health for “Point-of-care prognostic modeling of PTSD risk after traumatic event exposure using digital biomarkers and clinical data from electronic health records in the emergency department setting.”

Robert Schwabe, MD, PhD, Medicine: $6,012,949 over five years from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for “The Columbia University Digestive and Liver Disease Research Center.”

Carrie Shawber, PhD, Obstetrics & Gynecology: $323,999 over two years from the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for “Role for Notch4 in vascular malformation pathobiology.”

Moriya Tsuji, MD, PhD, Medicine: $279,157 over one year from MEDRx Co. for “Tumoricidal effects of 7DW8-5 and iRGD delivered by Microneedle patch against human breast cancer cells in human immune system mice.”



Erika Rosenzweig, MD, was named a member of the American Pediatric Society.

Cameron Clarke, MS3, was a recipient of the Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship, given to outstanding students entering their third year of medical school.


Chris Chin, an executive MPH student, was awarded the Asha Saxena Prize for Entrepreneurship for his app to automate peer-support phone calls for people in recovery from substance use disorders.



A cell biologist shares the wonder of researching life’s most fundamental form
November 21, 2022 – As an oncologist, cell biologist and hematologist, Mukherjee treats cancer patients and conducts research in cellular engineering. In his new book, The Song of the Cell, he writes about the emerging field of cell therapy and about how cellular science could one day lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, HIV, Type 1 diabetes and sickle cell anemia. Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University.

Here’s what’s behind your holiday blues – and how to cope with loneliness this winter
November 22, 2022 – There is ample evidence that Americans are getting lonelier: widespread loneliness has become a modern-day problem. We often associate loneliness with aging, but it can afflict people at all ages. While roughly half of all adults over the age of 80 experience loneliness, 71 percent of adolescents and young adults are also affected. In contrast with today’s estimates, in the 1970s, just 11 percent of people reported feeling lonely. Public health experts, like myself, are developing new prevention strategies, including large-scale policy and program interventions, establishing ways to measure loneliness. Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, is the Dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Certain pain medications may actually make knee pain worse, new study suggests
November 21, 2022 – The new study is “very provocative,” Dr. Anca Askanase, associate director of the division of rheumatology at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, tells While Askanase thinks people should be cautious when taking NSAIDs because of potential side effects, the new study does not make her more worried about her patients taking them.