P&S Journal: Winter 1997, Vol.17, No.1
P & S News
Dr. John M. Driscoll Jr. became chairman of pediatrics after serving as acting chairman since 1992. He also was named by the Columbia Trustees as the Reuben S. Carpentier Professor of Pediatrics.
Dr. John M. Driscoll Jr.
Dr. Driscoll, a graduate of Wake Forest University's Bowman Gray School of Medicine, began his career at Babies Hospital in 1967 as a pediatric resident. Upon completion of that training, which included a neonatal fellowship, he joined the faculty in 1971.
Dr. Driscoll has been director of the neonatal intensive care unit since 1971. Under his leadership, the NICU has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to the treatment of respiratory distress in premature and full-term infants.
As a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of several other pediatric medical associations, Dr. Driscoll has been an active leader in teaching and practicing pediatric medicine. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Maternal & Fetal Medicine and as a reviewer for the American Journal of Pediatrics, the American Journal of Diseases of Children, and Pediatrics. He has authored numerous abstracts, articles, and book chapters on newborn issues and research in neonatal nutrition, longitudinal outcome of high-risk infants, and ethical issues in newborn care.
Dr. Driscoll has been an investigator in several NIH studies, including the natural history of retinopathy of prematurity, which is the leading cause of blindness in premature infants. He also took part in a SCOR grant, in which he established the neonatal follow-up program in 1975. He served on the executive committee of the perinatal section of the American Academy of Pediatrics between 1987 and 1993 and was chairman of the organization between 1990 and 1992.
Dr. Driscoll's goal as chairman is to combat the challenges facing health care institutions today. "It is my fondest wish to initially lead the pediatric service and department to a position of pre-eminence locally and then to a top five ranking on the national scene," he says.
Dr. Karen Antman, professor of medicine and chief of medical oncology, was named director of the Columbia-Presbyterian Cancer Center, now the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Karen Antman
Dr. Antman, a 1974 graduate of P&S, returned to Columbia in 1993 from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she was associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading cancer specialists with a special interest in breast cancer and sarcoma.
One of her first projects after returning to Columbia was to coordinate the design and activities of the new Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Atchley Pavilion, which, through a $12 million gift to the hospital from Herbert and Florence Irving, revitalizes the outpatient and clinical activities of the cancer center. Dr. Antman has been involved in planning all aspects of the new center, from setting research goals to planning the facilities themselves.
Columbia's cancer center is one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in New York City, and Dr. Antman believes it is among the nation's best. "Our cancer center is an integrated part of a major medical center. We have the best consultative services. We treat the whole patient," she says. "Plus, Columbia has the tradition of attending faculty providing patient care. They are totally involved."
Although it's hard to predict what cancer research will reveal in the future, Dr. Antman believes progress will continue steadily. "Over the 20 years of my career in medicine, curative treatments have been developed one step at a time--for leukemia, lymphoma, testis, breast, and colon cancers. Advances in this field will continue in that way. That's just realistic."
What she finds tremendously exciting in current cancer research is genetics--the ability to predict those at high risk for certain malignancies. "Regular testing of such patients can diagnose disease early when it is most likely to be cured. Even better, regular surveillance of patients at high risk (for example, colon cancer with removal of precancerous polyps) may prevent the disease altogether--the best outcome. That's cost-effective and a good way to concentrate resources."
Dr. Cynthia Hughes Harris became director of Occupational Therapy Programs after chairing the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health Sciences at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, where she also was an associate professor.
Dr. Cynthia Hughes Harris
Dr. Harris is a 1995 graduate of the Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she concentrated on studies in higher education, curriculum design, and policy. She also has a master of education degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy from the University of Illinois Medical Center.
Dr. Harris is not a newcomer to Columbia. From 1974 to 1978 she was associate director of the occupational therapy program and an occupational therapist with the New York State Psychiatric Institute.