P&S Journal: Fall 1995, Vol.15, No.3
Alumni News and Notes
and gynecology. Columbia University also recently approved the creation of a new Department of Medical Informatics, to be chaired by Dr. Paul Clayton. New facilities include the Learning Center, the Center for Biomedical Communications, and the Center for Public Health. These and other changes, he said, are having a fundamental effect on academic excellence and quality of life at P&S. He is optimistic about the immediate future, thanks to a close working relationship with Columbia University President George Rupp and ongoing generous alumni support. However, Dr. Pardes warned of the cataclysmic effects of cuts in federal funding to biomedical research being discussed in Washington. "All academic medical centers are in jeopardy," he said, "and the quality of American health care is at risk."
The guest speaker at the March 22 council dinner, Dr. Philip O. Alderson, the James Picker Professor and Chairman of Radiology, offered an exciting peek at the high-tech frontiers of clinical care in the 21st century. In the past, he pointed out, the contribution of radiology to patient care was largely limited to the localization of a disease process, the establishment of its extent, and indication of changes over time. Today, he explained, thanks to state-of-the-art technology with positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the radiologist also can establish the chemical, biological, and quantitative characteristics of disease processes in vivo. The MRI facility at P&S is the most powerful in the United States today. When used together, PET and MRI can have important applications for the investigation of malignancy. Dr. Alderson credited his colleague, Dr. Sadek Hilal, for his vision and leadership in the perfection of this technology. He was pleased to point out that the new P&S curriculum includes an intensive introduction to the latest radiological techniques and their impact on diagnosis, patient progress, and prognosis.