in the news

August 2015

Dr. Michael Weinberger, A New York Best Doctor For 2015!

Dr. Anis Dizdarevic, A New York Best Doctor For 2015!

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd publishes an annual guidebook titled – “Top Doctors: New York Metro Area” which lists those whom Castle, Connolly considers among the top 10% of the region’s physicians. Drs. Michael Weinberger and Anis Dizdarevic are listed in the Pain Medicine Section.

Congratulations to Drs. Dizdarevic and Weinberger! We are really proud of them both.

July 2015

The Allen I. Hyman, MD Professor of Critical Care Anesthesiology (in Anesthesiology) is Established

In May 2015, the Columbia University Trustees voted to establish this new endowed chair, following a generous donation from Dr. Hyman to fund this chair.

The Department also honors Dr. Hyman with a named lectureship devoted to the History of Anesthesia, which was started in 1982.

Allen I. Hyman, M.D. was born in New York City and received his BA degree from Columbia University in 1955 and the MD degree in 1959 from the Albany Medical College in Albany, New York.  Following a rotating internship in Mount Sinai Hospital he became a pediatric resident at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

In 1961 he decided to become an anesthesiologist and joined our residency program here at the N.Y. Presbyterian Medical Center.  He followed with special research training in neonatal physiology here and at the Nuffield Institute of Medical Research in Oxford, England.

Having joined the faculty of our department in 1965, Dr. Hyman dedicated himself to critical respiratory therapy in small infants. In 1980 his clinical activity moved toward adult critical care and he was appointed Co-Director of the Surgery-Anesthesiology Intensive Care Unit.

Dr.  Hyman was the Acting Chairman of our department in 1985-86 and the Vice Chairman until 1993.  In 1987 he was awarded a yearlong Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship and was appointed Health–Aide to Senator Bob Dole.  In 1993 Dr. Hyman became Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer at the Presbyterian Hospital. He became Senior Physician and Special Advisor to the CEO in 1999 and remained in this position until his retirement in 2003.  The Department of Anesthesiology thanks Dr. Hyman and his family for their generosity in making this Professorship possible. This is a wonderful gift, and will enable the Department to further the important goals of critical care medicine in Anesthesiology. 

The Professorship in Critical Care Anesthesiology will be held by the Division Director for Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology, and so the first holder of the Chair will be Dr. Robert N. Sladen.


Fahmina Jafri Appointed as Vice Chair for Finance

Recently the complexity of managing the finances of the Department has increased enormously reflecting both the growth of the Department and the necessary incorporation   of the various changes in the financial relationships among the Department, the Medical School and the Hospital.  The Department of Anesthesiology was fortunate in that we recognized early that these increases in financial complexity required us to recruit an experienced high level financial professional and we were doubly fortunate to recruit Fahmina Jafri, MBA as our Chief Financial Officer in 2009 from CitiGroup and a graduate from The Wharton Business School and The Stern Business School at NYU.In recognition of Fahmina’ s increased  responsibilities and importance to the financial health of the Department, effective immediately Fahmina will be appointed  as Department Vice Chair for Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

Every decision we make has financial consequences and conversely every financial decision we make has both downstream and upstream effects on our activities so that the financial leadership of the Department needs to develop financial modeling to understand and predict how proposed changes will affect us. Fahmina will provide the leadership for such financial insights, which will better position us to continue to prosper under an ever changing landscape. Please join me in congratulating Fahmina on her appointment as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer.

Annual Academic Evening

Our annual Academic Evening was held on Wednesday, May 20th and Dr. Berend Mets, Eric A. Walker Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was the judge for the research presentations.

We are pleased to announce the winners!

Johanna Mergeche
First Place (Clinical Research)
Mentor: E. Heyer

May Rabadi
First Place (Basic Research)
Mentor: H.T. Lee

Emily Vail
Second Place (Clinical Research)
Mentor: G. Li

Maya Mikami
Second Place (Basic Research)
Mentor: C. Emala

Alisa Chen
Best Case Report Award
Mentor: E. Heyer

Congratulations to our winners, and to all of those who presented!



June 2015

Construction Work Starts on the Anesthesia Simulation Center

Construction started on the new Anesthesia Simulation Center in May 2015, after many months of planning.  Drs. Wood, Moitra and Pang celebrate!  The center which has a debriefing/conference room, ICU, OR and training room should open in September 2015.



New $15 Million Gift for Study of CIPN and Sensory Neuroscience: Implications for Pain Medicine – Research That Makes a Difference

The Department of Neurology and the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative will house a $15 million Thompson Family Foundation Initiative in CIPN and Sensory Neuroscience

The Department of Anesthesiology participates in a school-wide effort to improve the diagnosis and treatment of chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy (CIPN). Neurotoxic drugs are common components of treatment regimens to cure or slow the growth of solid tumors or hematological malignancies. Although these drugs help save the lives of cancer patients, they may cause substantial neurological impairment and induce persistent neuropathic pain. The Thompson Family Foundation has committed $15 million to launch a new Research Initiative in CIPN and Sensory Neuroscience, which will be jointly directed by Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD, Ellen A Lumpkin, PhD and Richard Mayeux MD, MSc, Chair of the Department of Neurology. Joachim Scholz, MD of our Department and Michio Hirano, MD, will direct the Basic Research Core Facility of the Initiative. They will investigate the mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo and establish state-of-the-art behavioral testing facilities to assess somatosensory and motor functions in mice and rats. In collaboration with colleagues in the Departments of Dermatology, Pathology and Cell Biology, and the Motor Neuron Center of Columbia University they will create new cell-based models of CIPN. These will include patient-derived somatosensory neurons for the study of genetic risk factors of the disease and the evaluation of mechanism-based neuroprotective treatment. The Basic Research Core Facility is supported by a two-year grant of $474,000.

Our congratulations to Joachim!

To read more about Joachim Scholz click here.



May 2015

Columbia at the Association of University Anesthesiologists Meeting (AUA)

Columbia Anesthesiology was very well represented at the 62nd Annual meeting of the Association of University Anesthesiologists in Nashville, once again underscoring its premier status as the exemplary training program for physician-scientists.  Ten scientific presentations were presented by departmental members, and 4 of these were honored by being selected for oral presentations.  These represented 25% of the total oral presentations selected for the meeting (exceeding the proportion contributed by any other single department).  The Department’s training heritage was even recognized when David Mintz (now at Hopkins) received the junior faculty award and acknowledged in his talk the critical role of the mentorship that he received at Columbia as part of the Apgar Scholars Program, played in launching his research career and obtaining his K08 award to study anesthetic neurotoxicity mechanisms.  The four highly competitive selected oral presentations from our department were delivered by Drs. Caleb Ing, Richard Levy, Tom Yocum and Maya Mikami, with Dr. Mikami also winning a resident research travel award.  So, congratulations Maya!  This award continues a long history of both junior faculty and resident research AUA awards garnered by departmental members in recent years.  This consistent high level of academic recognition for the research of our residents and junior faculty is a testament to the commitment of the department and mentoring faculty to fostering the development of the next generation of anesthesiology physician-scientists and all involved deserve our congratulations for another great year of recognition at the AUA.  What makes this recognition so very special, is that so many of our physician-scientists are also great clinicians, and are also outstanding role models in the operating rooms and intensive care units.

For details on the presentations – see more






April 2015

IARS 2015 Annual Meeting and International Science Symposium
Improving Health through Discovery and Education

March 21-24, 2015 | The Hilton Hawaiian Village – Honolulu, Hawaii

The department had a substantial academic presence at the annual meeting of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Dr. Minjae Kim's abstract entitled “Applying latent class analysis to perioperative risk stratification in patients undergoing intraabdominal general surgery” was selected for 2 categories 1) Best of Category (Perioperative Anesthesia) and 2) Best of  Meeting Finalist (One of 7 finalists). Other authors were Melanie Wall and Guohua Li.  Dr. Vivek Moitra presented a review course lecture entitled “Anesthesia Advanced Circulatory Support” and served on a panel discussion entitled “Optimization and preservation of organ function in the perioperative surgical home model.”  Drs. Gebhard Wagener and Anis Dizdarevic presented problem based learning discussions entitled  “A 60-year-old patient with low EF undergoing hepatic resection” and “Persistent post-surgical pain prevention, evidence based”, respectively.  Drs. Ing, Smiley, Sun, Whittington, Wagener and Dizdarevic served as moderators of multiple sessions.  A wide variety of research and clinical reports were presented by resident, fellow and faculty members from all departmental divisions including 12 research posters, 12 medically challenging cases and 5 resident e-Posters.

Lisa Eisler
Katie Gelber
Margaret Tejani      
Paul Weyker, Brandon Esenther, Anjali Rosario, Anis Dizdarevic


Columbia Department of Anesthesiology Announces a New Research Faculty Training Grant Program in Education

The Department of Anesthesiology is pleased to announce the establishment of a Columbia Department of Anesthesiology Research Training Scholars Pilot Grant Program to further the scholarly activity of faculty in the education research arena and improve resident education.  The goal of the project is to fund three research projects and then report and analyze the outcomes of this pilot research program.  The Department has funded three research projects with an award of up to $30,000 each.  These funds will come from my EM Papper Chair funds.  Guohua Li headed a research committee to evaluate these education grant applications.

Many problems with research education grants arise from the fact that there are no pilot studies, there is no testable hypothesis, no control group and there is no demonstration of feasibility.  Some of the criticisms leveled against previous efforts by other people in this field are that the studies have failed to show that the intervention (rather than an enthusiastic/gifted teacher) makes a difference.  Therefore, successful applications should have a great idea and a plan for testing that idea in a scientifically rigorous fashion--hence the choice of Guohua to chair this committee.  So the goal of these education grants is to have our departmental grants fund studies that ask and answer important questions in education—broadly defined—and will be expected to result in a publication and/or develop preliminary data to allow for the application to national foundations or other granting bodies.

These grants are not for curriculum development; rather it is hoped that they may lead to improved education measurement and /or performance assessment.  These grants might lie in the area of QA/QI projects, patient safety education, simulation projects or other scholarly/education research areas.

Congratulations to the first three recipients of our Research Training Scholars Grant Program

  1. Dr. Maya Jalbout Hastie
    Effectiveness of a Flipped Classroom Model in Anesthesiology Education.

  2. Dr. Robert Maniker
    Development and Validation of a Digital Game for Teaching Sonographic Anatomy to Resident Trainees.

  3. Dr. Parwane Pagano
    Impact of an Airway Simulation Course on Resident Medical Knowledge and Clinical Performance.


Congratulations to our new Chief Residents for 2015/16

Bill Jackson, Suzane Le, Rocco Addante, and Tim Cheng



March 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Lee, who has been elected to serve as an ABA examiner!

We have a number of ABA Examiners in the Department, ranging from Question Writers, Applied Examiners, and Oral Board Examiners – important because these individuals are role models for residents as they transition to independent practice through the ABA/ACGME process.

Allison Lee, MD has been an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) since October 2012. Prior to joining the faculty at CUMC, she was Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Miami from 2004 – 2012, where she also completed her residency and fellowship in obstetric anesthesia.

At CUMC her educational focus is in teaching the use of ultrasound in obstetric anesthesia and incorporating simulation in medical education. She is a member of the Simulation Committee, and has introduced in-situ simulation into the curriculum of the obstetric anesthesia rotation. Her current research interests include the effect of anesthetic/drug responses in labor and postoperative analgesia, genetic variants on pregnancy outcomes, and the effects of maternal position during cesarean delivery on neonatal acid-base balance.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Lee has recently been selected to serve as an examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology’s Part 2 Examination. She is looking forward to being a part of the ABA’s transition to using OSCEs as part of the oral examination process and to bringing this knowledge back to the department to help our residents and fellows prepare for the examination.



February 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Department of Anesthesiology wishes everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s celebrate with Valentine Cupcakes.




The Department of Anesthesiology Congratulates the 15 Best Teachers in the Anesthesiology Program for 2013/14 – results of the Resident Evaluations!

Robin Brown Teresa Mulaikal
Alan Gaffney Eugene Ornstein
John Gaudet Teeda Pinyavat
Manon Hache Jeremy Poppers
Robert Kazim Neeta Saraiya
Tatiana Kubacki Mark Weller
Robert Maniker June Zhao
Steve Mercer  

Great job well done!


January 2015

The Columbia Department of Anesthesiology Wishes all our Friends

a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!


Congratulations to Maya Hastie for her faculty grant award for online and hybrid learning!

Maya’s proposal was one of 16 funded across 14 schools of Columbia University, and one of 3 proposals from CUMC funded by the Provost’s office.  The competition for these awards was intense, and is important because it will help Columbia assess the effectiveness of innovative designs, delivery methods and learning strategies, with the goal to improving teaching and learning outcomes.

Learn more






Congratulations to the Pediatric Team for their award for excellence for their poster presentation at the NYP Health Care Symposium held in November 2014. 

The poster was entitled Pediatric Surgical Care Improvement Project: Improving Perioperative Prophylaxis and Reducing Surgical Site Infection Rates”
Lisa Saiman1,2, Natalie Neu1, Litty Varghese1, Michael Vitale1, David Roye1, Benjamin Roye1, Jennifer Crotty1, Hiroko Matsumoto1, Rozelle Corda1, Emile Bacha1, Ganga Krishnamurthy1, Neil Feldstein1, Rich Anderson1, Bill Middlesworth1, Gudrun Aspelund1, Steve Stylianos1, Robert Kazim1, Anthony Clapcich1, Amy Mesa-Jonassen1, Brian Thumm2, Diane Mangino2, Maria Messina2, Ava Brozovich1, Megan Murray1, Elizabeth Salsgiver1, and Philip L Graham1,2  (1Columbia University Medical Center, 2 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospita)

Learn more  - See the poster


ABA Part 1 Examination

 We would like to congratulate all the 2014 residency graduates on achieving a 100% pass rate on the ABA Part 1 Examination.


December 2014

Congratulations to George Gallos
A 2014 recipient of the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Award!  

The award is designed to support physician-scientists in their goal of bringing new treatments to patients, and will provide monetary support for three years ($225,000). Dr. Gallos' project will establish the critical role the Anoctamin channel plays in the initiation of rhythmic uterine contractions and will investigate this target as a potential treatment for preterm labor. One of 4 recipients this year, Dr. Gallos' project was selected from over 50 applications submitted by 20 departments here at CUMC.

A highlight of this year’s award ceremony during which each recipient described their motivation behind their projects involved Dr. Gallos presenting Mr. Gerstner with a token of gratitude for his considerable support of the medical sciences. That gift - an original pen and ink sketch from Dr. Gallos' 3rd year medical student rotation in obstetrics is entitled "the dance of life" - symbolizes the joy of pregnancy and demonstrates the inspiration behind Dr. Gallos work. It is pictured below.





Brian Egan Election to Virginia Apgar Academy

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Egan who was elected in October to the Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators. He joins previous members, Drs. Dickstein, Sladen, Moitra, and Ludwin in membership in this esteemed group of faculty. The Academy is “dedicated to promoting, rewarding, and supporting outstanding education for…medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty. Academy [membership] represents not only recognition of excellence as an educator, but also a commitment to contributing to the educational life of our medical community.” Dr. Egan received his undergraduate training at Dartmouth College, and then earned his MD and MPH degrees from Yale University. Following residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he joined the faculty in 2004. Since his arrival he has been focused on resident education. His efforts have garnered him the Catherine Cozine teacher of the year award in 2008 and the M. Finster Attending of the year award in 2009, ’11, ’12 and ’13. In addition to direct teaching in the OR, Dr. Egan participates in the formal didactic lecture series wherein his lectures focus on capitalizing on his expertise in evidence based medicine. Since 2006, he has also been co-program director of the PGY1 year. Under the guidance of Dr. Margaret Wood, and with grant support from the Glenda Garvey Academy, Dr. Egan introduced into the intern year a required 4-week rotation on patient safety and quality improvement. Now 8 years into the rotation, output from these quality projects have consistently made important contributions to our department’s quality processes. In 2011, he also became a board member of the Interhospital Study Group, a national group of anesthesia clinician educators who founded and maintain the long-running anesthesia knowledge test (AKT) series. Since 2012, he has also been working with a group of clinician educators within the department who are interested in education research. In January of 2014 they published a review on the use of objective structured clinical exams (OSCE) in anesthesia. Throughout his tenure he has also maintained an active participation in medical student education, serving as the oral exam moderator during the 3rd year rotation as well as a frequent preceptor during the 4th year elective with 7 of his preceptees having matriculated in the program since 2007 and 2 having gone on to serve as Chief Residents.



And finally....

November 2014

Columbia at the Annual ASA Meeting in New Orleans


Congratulations to Team Columbia who participated in the Run for the Warriors!

Ryan Ivie and Caleb Ing
in Columbia T-shirts


Thank you to everyone who helped our team raise $3,340 for the ASA Run for the Warriors!  That put us in a solid 4th place for fundraising with an event total of $64,350!  Many thanks to our dedicated runners and walkers who were undeterred by the 6am start time and 77% humidity.  After the race, they enjoyed a sunrise walk along the Mississippi followed by beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde.  Can't beat that!

To see how fast your colleagues were, go to and click on the event.

To see Columbia’s many scholarly activities and participation at the ASA meeting please click here.


Congratulations to Robert Maniker

Dr. Maniker has received an Apgar Academy grant for his project entitled “Development and validation of an interactive web-based anatomy teaching tool to improve sonographic anatomy education.”

A novel web-based tool will be developed for learning sonoanatomy relevant to the performance of peripheral nerve blocks, that incorporates visual, active and kinesthetic learning. The tool will then be tested for its effect on educational outcomes as measured by learning efficiency (the amount of time required to acquire anatomical knowledge) and quality (long-term knowledge retention). 




Congratulations to Monica Goldklang and John Gaudet

John Gaudet

Monica Goldklang

Drs. Goldklang and Gaudet both received 2014 Irving Institute Clinical Trials Pilot Grants!

Monica’s grant application is entitled “Functional Lung Imaging in Acute Lung Injury” a project to expand her laboratory’s functional lung imaging work to an acute lung injury model. John’s grant application is entitled “Perioperative inflammation as a cause of postoperative delirium” a project to identify the role of perioperative systemic and central nervous inflammation as a mechanism for postoperative delirium.








And finally....


October 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Danielsson

Dr. Danielsson has been selected as the First Place recipient of the 2014 Resident Research Award of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  It will be presented to her at the Celebration of Research, at 11:45 a.m. on Monday, October 13, 2014 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Great Hall B, in New Orleans, LA.

Amount:   $1,000.00





Dr. Goldman hosted a reception to honor P&S Faculty on September 10th, 2014.

Congratulations to our Anesthesiology Faculty who have been promoted and honored in the year 2013-2014.

  • Endowed Professorships

    Richard Smiley, MD, PhD
    Virginia Apgar, MD Professor of Anesthesiology (in Obstetrics and Gynecology)
    At the Columbia University Medical Center

  • Promotions to Professor

    Robert A. Whittington, MD
    Professor of Anesthesiology at the Columbia University, Medical Center
  • Promotions to Associate Professor

    Danielle Ludwin, MD
    Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the Columbia University Medical Center
  • Honors and Awards

    George Gallos, MD
    Department of Anesthesiology, 2014 Gerstner Scholar


Congratulations to our Residents!

American Board of Anesthesiology:  2014 July Basic Examination.

All our residents passed, so the Department enjoyed a 100% Pass Rate this year.  This is a brand new high stakes examination and we applaud our residents for doing so well!

September 2014

On July 10th, 2014, the Department came together for a group photograph in the Medical School Garden.  There is no question that over the last 20 years, the Department has grown in number of residents, fellows and faculty, leading the way for its pathway to success.

The Department of Anesthesiology
July 2014


Columbia at the “Society for Education in Anesthesia" Annual Spring Meeting.
May 30 – June 1st, 2014. Boston, MA.

Dr. Saundra Curry gave a talk entitled “The State of Teaching Anesthesia to Medical Students in the US Today” while Drs. Namrata Khimani, Allen Friedman and Saundra Curry co-authored an abstract about the “Utility of Electronic Teaching Aid for Medical Student Education in the OR”.  Clearly, iPads are being increasingly used as a teaching tool at CUMC!


Congratulations to Drs. Jennifer Danielsson and Minjae Kim

Dr. Danielsson received the FAER Mentored Research Training Grant for her project titled “Antagonism of the Calcium-Activated Chloride Channel TMEM16A: A Novel Target to Treat Bronchospasm”.

Mentor: Dr. Charles Emala
Amount: $175,000

Dr. Danielsson also received the 2014-2015 Stony Wold-Herbert Fund Research Grant for her project titled “Antagonism of the Calcium-Activated Chloride Channel TMEM16A Induces Functional Relaxation of Airway Smooth Muscle”.

Mentor: Dr. Charles Emala
Amount: $25,000



Dr. Kim has been awarded the 2014 IARS Mentored Research Award for his project titled “Assessing perioperative comorbidities through latent class analysis”.

Mentor: Dr. Guohua Li
Amount: $150,000










Columbia University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology