P&S News

News from around the
College of Physicians & Surgeons

 Commencement 2008
 Faculty Awards
 Student Awards and Prizes
 State of the School 2008
 75 Years of Eye Care
 New Chairs for Radiation Oncology, Rehabilitation Medicine
Commencement 2008

Commencement 2008
photo credit: Michael Dames

Faculty Awards

P&S Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Vincent P. Butler Jr., M.D., professor emeritus of medicine, for preclinical years, and Ralph M. Richart, M.D., professor emeritus of pathology, for clinical years.

Charles W. Bohmfalk Awards were presented to Ann-Judith Silverman, Ph.D., professor of pathology & cell biology, for pre-clinical years, and to Wendy K. Chung, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, for clinical years.

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation was given to Joseph Haddad Jr., M.D., professor of clinical otolaryngology/head and neck surgery.

The Dr. Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award in basic sciences was given to Boris Reizis, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology. Daniel C. Salzman, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, received the Dr. Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award in clinical sciences.

The Distinguished Teacher Award was given by the Class of 2008 to Michael S. Yuan, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Student Awards and Prizes

Dr. Harry S. Altman Award (outstanding achievement in pediatric ambulatory care) Marcel A. Green

Alumni Association Award (outstanding service to P&S) Carlton S. Prickett, Jason P. Sulkowski

Virginia P. Apgar Award (excellence in anesthesiology) Thomas E. Lo

Michael H. Aranow Memorial Prize (best exemplifying the caring and humane qualities of the practicing physician) Elizabeth C. Oelsner

Herbert J. Bartelstone Award (exceptional accomplishments in pharmacology) Adefolakemi M. Oni

Behrens Memorial Prize in Ophthalmology (outstanding graduate entering ophthalmology) Jonathan S. Chang

Edward T. Bello, M.D., Listening Award (to a graduating student who best portrays the art of listening to patients, colleagues, and self in practicing the chosen field of medicine) Adefolakemi M. Oni

Robert G. Bertsch Prize (emulating Dr. Bertsch’s ideals of the humane surgeon) Beth R. Hochman

Coakley Memorial Prize (outstanding achievement in otolaryngology) Tom T. Karnezis

Titus Munson Coan Prize (best essay in biological sciences) Lisa M. Bebell, Susan E. Mackie

Thomas F. Cock Prize (excellence in obstetrics and gynecology) Adefolakemi M. Oni

Rosamond Kane Cummins’52 Award (graduate entering orthopedics with academic excellence, sensitivity, kindness, devotion to patients, and the fine human qualities she exemplified) Bob Yin

Louis Gibofsky Memorial Prize Matthew J. O’Rourke

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the medical center Ellen J. Ezratty, Arun P. Wiita

Endocrine Society’s Medical Student Achievement Award Andrew T. Turk

Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Award (presented to the woman graduating first in her class) Elizabeth C. Oelsner

Glasgow-Rubin Achievement Awards (presented to women students graduating in the top 10 percent of their class) Lisa M. Bebell, Jennifer T. Chang, Kim Jain, Daniela J. Lamas, Susan E. Mackie, Moira M. McCarthy, Mary R. Mulcare, Adefolakemi M. Oni, Jessica A. Simms, Sarah G. Sliva, Maya K. Stowe, Karen Kai-Lun Wong

Izard Prize in Cardiology Janice Yu-Hsin Chyou

Janeway Prize (the highest achievement and abilities in the graduating class) Jason W. Harper

Jerry Jacobs Prize in Pediatrics Matthew J. O’Rourke

Albert B. Knapp Scholarship (awarded at the conclusion of the third year to the medical student with highest scholarship in the first three years) Jason W. Harper

John K. Lattimer Prize in Urology (outstanding essay in urology) Catherine R. Whitman

Samuel and Beatrice Leib Memorial Prize in Ophthalmology (outstanding graduating student entering the field of ophthalmology) Patrick Chan

Barbara Liskin Memorial Award in Psychiatry (empathy, scholarship, and excellence exhibited by Barbara Liskin) Ellen L. Goldstein

Robert F. Loeb Award (excellence in clinical medicine) Matthew I. Tomey

Admiral David W. Lyon Award (outstanding academic achievement by a student serving in the Armed Forces of our country) Emily HeeEun Shin

Alfred M. Markowitz Endowment for Scholars (exemplifying Dr. Markowitz’s dedication to patient care, teaching, and scholarship) Ronald J. Shonkwiler II

Dr. Cecil G. Marquez, B.A.L.S.O. Student Award (outstanding contribution to the Black and Latino Student Organization and the minority community) Adler J. Perotte

Edith and Denton McKane Memorial Award (outstanding research in ophthalmology) Susan Koreen

Medical Society of the State of New York Community Service Award Alexander J. Koppel

Dr. Harold Lee Meierhof Memorial Prize (outstanding achievement in pathology) Elizabeth C. Oelsner

Drs. William Nastuk, Beatrice Seegal, and Konrad Hsu Award (demonstrating successful laboratory collaboration between student and faculty) Catherine A. Cox

Marie Nercessian Memorial Award (exhibiting care, unusual concern, and dedication to helping sick people) Jessica I. Rubin

New York Orthopedic Hospital Award Samuel A. Taylor

Office of Student Affairs Outstanding Service to P&S Award (outstanding contribution to improving the quality of life of his or her peers while at P&S) Carlton S. Prickett

Outstanding Student in Family Medicine (for the student who demonstrates academic achievement in family medicine, has shown initiative in community health service, and has an understanding of and commitment to the principles of family medicine) Erin K. Ferenchick

Donald M. Palatucci Prize (awarded to a student in the fall of his or her fourth year for excellent academic performance; interactions with patients reflecting kindness, humor, compassion, candor, and zest for life; and activities in art, music, and literature exemplifying that living and learning go together) Kristin L. Checchio Joseph

Garrison Parker Award (exemplifying, through activities in art, music, literature, and the public interest, that living and learning go together) Kim Jain

Samuel W. Rover and Lewis Rover Awards for outstanding achievement in:
Anatomy and Cell Biology: Jin-Wu Tsai
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics: Barbara Noro
Genetics and Development: Jacqueline H. Barlow

Drs. Robert A. Savitt and George H. McCormack Award (exemplifies Dr. McCormack’s medical skill, consideration, understanding, and compassion) Lisa M. Bebell, Richard L. Weinberg

Rebecca A. Schwartz Memorial Prize (achievement in pediatric cardiology) Adam J. Bograd

Helen M. Sciarra Prize in Neurology (outstanding achievement in neurology) Karen A. Spencer

Aura E. Severinghaus Scholar (superior academic achievement) Adefolakemi M. Oni

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award (excellence in the specialty of emergency medicine) Mary R. Mulcare

Miriam Berkman Spotnitz Award (excellence in research of neoplastic diseases) Marsha Laufer

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (excellence in science and compassion in patient care) Bram Welch Horan

William Perry Watson Prize in Pediatrics (excellence in pediatrics) Kim Jain

Dr. William Raynor Watson Memorial Award (excellence in psychiatry throughout four years of medical school) Maya K. Stowe

Dr. Allen O. Whipple Memorial Prize (outstanding performance in surgery) Matthew I. Tomey

Sigmund L. Wilens Prize (excellence in pathology) Adedamola Ogunniyi

State of the School 2008
A Year in Review: 2007-2008

By matthew harrison
P&S Dean Lee Goldman began his second annual State of the School report with a simple statement that drew immediate applause: “The state of the school is strong.”
   Elaborating on this statement, he described the achievements of P&S students and faculty, the school’s financial and administrative health, and its challenges and goals for the next year and beyond.

Students and the curriculum: “More flexibility with a real opportunity to focus”
P&S continues to have an outstanding student body, ranking in the five most selective U.S. medical schools in MCAT scores, GPA, and acceptance rate. A third of the class of 2008 received fellowships from prestigious organizations Students and the curriculum: “More flexibility with a real opportunity to focus”(Howard Hughes, Doris Duke, Fogarty, and others); nearly half took an elective abroad, half in developing countries; and 30 percent matched at CUMC for their residencies.
   Dr. Goldman outlined four goals to improve the caliber of education and the student experience at P&S, which he called the “four betters”: better educational space, through the ongoing renovations in the Hammer building and a future new education building; better housing through a “new or gut-renovated Bard Hall;” better financial aid; and a better curriculum. For financial aid, he announced a new plan, funded by several anonymous alumni, “that will match today $1 for every $3 that P&S alumni put into their wills for the medical school.”
   A new curriculum for M.D. students will be introduced starting in the fall of 2009 for the class of 2013. The new curriculum will reduce the two-year pre-clinical block at the beginning of their program to 18 months, to give students more patient contact earlier in their education. The major clinical year, roughly comparable to the current third year, will consist of 12-week blocks of clinical exposure with one-week classroom intersessions, “so our students see right from the beginning how the classroom science and the clinical component intermesh.” In their last year, students will complete a more-focused “major” or academic project in one of five areas: research, medical education, international health or global medicine, social medicine, or community service.
   The P&S graduate program is being updated to bring individual department programs together into five broad programs. In the first phase of this change, admissions standards have been made consistent across programs, and collaboration in teaching and research will increase. In later stages, the curricula will be revised.

Clinical care: “The largest faculty practice on the East Coast”
In its 2008 list of “Best Doctors,” New York magazine included 192 P&S faculty members, a 14 percent increase over the prior year. As Dr. Goldman noted, “That’s almost one in six of the doctors who practice here as full-time faculty.” Fourteen P&S doctors, including four from Harlem Hospital, were listed in Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Best African American Doctors” nationwide, making up nearly a tenth of that list.
   Over the past year, the Faculty Practice Organization continued to make significant gains in billing and collections, while improving care for patients and quality of life for Columbia’s doctors. The FPO developed a web and print directory for its brand, “ColumbiaDoctors, the Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University,” established a new structure to help Columbia-affiliated physicians with their contracts and to ease referrals, and launched an ambulatory electronic medical record system. A major area of improvement has been in patient safety and malpractice. A new patient safety officer has been hired, and improved malpractice claims management has cut malpractice claims payments in half.
   Dr. Goldman announced several important goals for clinical practice in the coming years, including developing better ambulatory space, further improving billing and collections, making preparations to increase capacity to support the Milstein Heart Hospital being built by NewYork-Presbyterian, replenishing the pipeline of young doctors in ambulatory practices, increasing market share in New York, and continuing to develop the electronic medical record.

Research: “There’s nothing quite like space”
Dr. Goldman Dr. Goldman presented three major research themes that describe successes and areas of strategic growth: a transplant initiative to develop strength in immunology research to match NewYork-Presbyterian’s clinical expertise in transplants, a cardiovascular research initiative, and a stem cell initiative. To support the stem cell initiative, P&S will pursue renaming the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine to the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine to “symbolize an additional direction for the department” under its new chair, Joel Stein. A new Department of Neuroscience has been created, and the possibility of creating a systems biology department is being explored.
   P&S remains the leading institution in New York in NIH funding, totaling $342 million, compared with $176 million for Mount Sinai and $132 million for Einstein, the two closest competitors. Nationally, Columbia remains a leader in NIH funding, with five departments in the top six in NIH funding Research: “There’s nothing quite like space”(dermatology, neurology, OB/GYN, pathology, and physiology), but the medical center’s space constraints limit its ability to increase funding. Dr. Goldman estimates that the amount of space dedicated to the research enterprise must increase by two times or more to take advantage of increased research funding. Potential space gains in the next few years include a science building under construction on the Morningside campus and the development of another Audubon building for wet-lab research. Space needs are not limited to the research enterprise: Dr. Goldman also described the need for a new education building and a total renovation of Bard Hall. “P&S needs to redouble efforts to look for money to build buildings.” Other issues that impact research productivity include mouse space, bridge support for researchers between grants, and start-up packages for new hires.

Philanthropy: “Pushing onward”
Under the leadership of Roy Vagelos’54, the capital campaign has raised $740 million in four years, just $10 million shy of the initial seven-year campaign goal. Over the next three years, Dr. Goldman said, “We think we can get to well over a billion dollars.”
   Major gifts in the past year include $21 million from Angelica Berrie and the Russell Berrie Foundation in further support of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, $5 million from Michael Jaharis for the new cardiovascular research initiative and $5 million from Louis Gerstner for the Department of Ophthalmology to establish the Gerstner Young Clinical Investigators program, and contributions from Lynn Shostack, Clyde Wu, and Herbert Irving to the Dean’s Priorities Fund. The campaign has led to the establishment of 14 new professorships, bringing the P&S total to 176. “Professorships really are a coin of the realm for a medical school, and there is no higher priority than trying to increase the number of professorships.”

Budget, facilities, and staffing: “A strong platform to move forward”
Budget, facilities, and staffing: “A strong platform to move forward” Perhaps the biggest applause during the presentation came with the announcement that the schoolwide effort to re-engineer the financial planning process has paid dividends with a projected balanced budget for FY 2009. The projected budget of $1.3 billion will make up 44 percent of the University budget. The balanced budget came as the result of the hard work of department chairs, directors, faculty, and staff to implement the new AIM HI financial model. But while breaking even is an impressive accomplishment, Dr. Goldman acknowledged the work that remains, estimating that P&S needs a 3 percent to 4 percent margin for investment.
   Dr. Goldman anticipates that “in the coming years we will all be spending a lot less time trying to balance the budget and a lot more time thinking about great ways to use our resources to benefit everybody.”
   Leading the effort to improve facilities and operations while controlling costs is a new administrative team, led by Chief Operating Officer Lisa Hogarty, Chief Financial Officer Joanne Quan, and Associate General Counsel Patsy Catapano. “We are committed to the highest of service standards,” Dr. Goldman said. He also identified several potential facilities improvement projects, including redevelopment of part of Haven Avenue to create more of a campus feel at the medical center.

A roadmap for our future
In conclusion, Dr. Goldman emphasized the importance of strategic growth to enable P&S to improve on its strengths, to recruit talent, and to continue to improve its financial footing. “The best way for us to deal with our financial problems is to grow. The best way for us to make the medical center better is to grow. The best way to keep and recruit great people is to grow.
   “Together,” he said, “we will continue to push the limits of what’s possible.”

Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellows

Doris Duke Clinical Research FellowsThe incoming class of Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellows began its year of clinical research at P&S on July 1. Chosen from a pool of 129 applicants, the fellows have taken a year away from medical school to conduct clinical research under the supervision of P&S faculty. Eighteen P&S students will join four from other medical schools in the program. As participants in a new Doris Duke international initiative, three of the students will conduct their research in other countries: Mozambique, Nicaragua, and South Africa. P&S has awarded Doris Duke fellowships since the program began in 2001. This class marks the beginning of the third grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, this one a renewal of three years. Under the direction of Donald W. Landry, M.D., Ph.D., professor and interim chair of medicine, P&S remains a popular destination for Duke Doris fellows. Columbia received more applications than any of the other 11 sites and yielded the largest class.

Playing to Win Against Pediatric Brain Tumors

Playing to Win Against Pediatric Brain Tumors Neurosurgeons from 16 of the nation’s top medical schools battled it out in Central Park in June at the 5th Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament (www.ColumbiaKidsNeuro.org). Hosted by Columbia University and sponsored by George M. Steinbrenner III and the New York Yankees, the tournament benefits pediatric brain tumor research and has raised more than $150,000 since its inception. Organized by Ricardo Komotar, a resident at Columbia University, the annual tournament has evolved rapidly into a national competition. Competing teams this year represented neurosurgery departments from Columbia, Emory, Harvard, Duke, Yale, Thomas Jefferson, Cornell, NYU, Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Albert Einstein, Mount Sinai, Pittsburgh, Utah, Northwestern, and Dartmouth universities. Harvard claimed its first championship by defeating Emory 4-2 in the finals. The championship trophy, named “The J. Lawrence Pool Memorial Trophy” in honor of the former Columbia chairman of neurosurgery, will be housed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for the upcoming year. Brandon Jacobs of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and Jeremy Schaap of ESPN threw out the honorary first pitches this year, and rock musician Julian Casablancas of the Strokes made a guest appearance. Supported by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the day of the tournament was declared “Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament Day.” Planning has begun for next year’s tournament, with up to 24 teams expected. In this photo Dr. Komotar, the event’s organizer, has his turn at bat.

75 Years of Eye Care

By Matthew Harrison
The first patient admitted to the newly completed nine-story Edward S. Harkness Institute of Ophthalmology on Jan. 16, 1933, was Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler. Over the 75 years since, the Harkness Eye Institute, as it has been known for most of those years, has preserved the sight of generations of patients and made important contributions to understanding and treating diseases of the eye, from the development of laser surgery to new treatments for glaucoma.

“A separate eye hospital”
When Columbia University and Presbyterian Hospital came together to create a medical center, no one knew quite what services a medical center should offer. The Neurological Institute, Babies Hospital, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute opened their buildings at the Medical Center in 1929.
  75 Years of Eye Care In 1930 Dean Sage, president of Presbyterian, drew up a wish list of services and submitted it to medical center benefactor Edward Harkness. One of the last items on the list was a “separate eye hospital.” On seeing the list, Mr. Harkness asked how much an eye hospital would cost. He agreed to donate the $6 million needed for construction and endowment.
   Albert Lamb, a 1907 graduate of P&S who wrote an early history of the medical center, says the Eye Institute “surpass[ed] any other building at the Medical Center for its intended purpose.” The pride of the facility was the operating room, equipped with a sealed upper level from which up to 16 visitors could observe a procedure, watching with opera glasses through a clear skylight.
   The new Eye Institute held 96 patient beds, along with many amenities for those working or being treated: In addition to the offices, conference rooms, and operating rooms, the building had living quarters for nurses and residents, two lounges for patients, and a shop for grinding lenses.

“To be trained by Wheeler is to be assured of success”
Responsible for much of the planning of the new building was John Wheeler, M.D., who had been hired to direct the eye service of the new medical center. Commonly regarded, according to news reports at the time, as the best “eye man” in New York, Dr. Wheeler achieved fame by successfully performing a cataract operation on the king of Siam. The importance Dr. Wheeler put on patient treatment is legendary: Not only would he detect his assistants’ slightest errors in diagnosis, he would also point out grammatical and spelling mistakes in patient histories. In his private practice in the 1920s, reports Newell Giles, one of his early assistants, Dr. Wheeler became so bothered by the poor quality of his staff’s drawings of patients’ eye anomalies that he hired an artist to give mandatory drawing lessons two days a week. When the Institute opened, a full-time artist was on staff.
   In this, as in his other hires, Dr. Wheeler took advantage of the creation of the Eye Institute to develop his vision of what a department of ophthalmology should do. In the late 20s and early 30s, most departments were concerned largely with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease in patients, with research at the bottom of the agenda, if on it at all. For the new Eye Institute, he hired a number of researchers, “with the purpose of attacking any ocular problem which seemed feasible.”
   Dr. Wheeler’s precision, along with his skill as a surgeon and diagnostician, made him well-regarded as a teacher. Time magazine wrote that “to be trained by Wheeler is to be assured of success.” Among the first scientists attracted by his teaching skill was Ramon Castroviejo, M.D., who in February 1933 completed the first corneal transplant in the United States. Even among Europeans, his “square graft” technique attracted many converts.

“The largest and most diverse research unit...in this country”
In 1940, the Knapp Memorial Hospital, where P&S staff held appointments before the move uptown, shut its doors and moved its 12 endowed beds into the Eye Institute. The resulting funds helped create the Knapp Memorial Laboratory of Physiological Optics, a major upgrade to the Eye Institute’s research capacities.
   After World War II, Al Reese, M.D., raised $50,000 to purchase radiotherapy equipment to establish radiotherapy and retinoblastoma clinics, which quickly became world-renowned in the treatment of ocular tumors. This clinic pioneered outpatient examinations for retinoblastoma. Other clinics, focusing on glaucoma, the retina, reconstructive surgery, children’s sight, orthoptics, and muscles, were established to treat patients, to train residents, and to research the conditions.
   To allow the Eye Institute to grow, staff dining rooms and housing were turned into offices and laboratories but ultimately this space was not enough, and a new wing was constructed. By the end of 1971, Arthur DeVoe, M.D., M.S.D.’40, then head of the Eye Institute, wrote that the Institute had “the largest and most diverse research unit of any eye department in this country and possibly the world.”

First to use lasers in medicine
One of most productive areas explored in research was retinal photocoagulation: using light to seal tears in the retina to avoid retinal detachment, a major cause of blindness. In 1959, the Institute purchased the best photocoagulator available. Though a significant advance for patients over older methods of coagulation, the machine gave out light at a wide angle and caused large lesions. The iris contracted during the half-second operation and caused pain.
   Recognizing that better treatment required a light with a tighter, more powerful beam that operated on a more limited wavelength, the faculty saw potential in the first laser completed in 1960 with synthetic ruby. Less than a year later, Charles Campbell, M.D., M.S.D.’57, made medical history by treating a patient’s tumor with a ruby laser.
   Improvements in laser technology came rapidly. In 1965, Francis L’Esperance, M.D., who had been investigating the potential of the ruby laser in treating diabetic retinopathy, observed at a conference that doctors needed a blue-green laser for more effective light absorption. He learned from a patient that Bell Laboratories had developed such a laser, and by 1968 the argon laser was first used for human treatment. When Dr. L’Esperance sought funding to design an argon laser for clinical use, he approached the John A. Hartford Foundation. Echoing Edward Harkness nearly four decades earlier, the foundation’s director told him: “Forget all the preliminary stuff. All I want is the budget.” Dr. L’Esperance published his designs, and the argon laser soon replaced the ruby laser as the medical standard.
   In the early 1980s, scientists at IBM theorized that the excimer lasers the company used to etch semiconductors were also suitable for delicate human surgery. Working with IBM and Dr. L’Esperance, Steven Trokel, M.D., M.S.D.’66, realized the excimer laser could revolutionize corneal surgery. In 1987, he performed laser eye surgery that led the way to modern LASIK. “Ninety percent of all lasers used in ophthalmology, and in medicine worldwide, were developed at the Harkness Eye Institute,” says Dr. L’Esperance.

A vision for the future
Since 1995, the Eye Institute has been under the direction of Stanley Chang’74, a leading clinician and researcher whose research into the use of perfluorocarbons has significantly improved retinal surgery. Under his leadership, the Eye Institute undertook major capital renovations, improving patient areas and outfitting labs with state-of-the-art equipment to attack diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. The fifth floor, once housing for nurses, has become the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Clinical Research Center, which includes the Russell Berrie Diabetic Retinopathy Research Unit and the Starr Foundation Retinal Research Unit.
   Among the benefits already reaped in these laboratories is the discovery by Rando Allikmets, Ph.D., of two genes for age-related macular degeneration and the development of new screening technology for glaucoma. Nine new endowed professorships support these efforts.
   The Eye Institute continues to provide extraordinary patient care. The overnight patient beds are long gone, replaced by laboratories and offices as modern ophthalmologic procedures made eye treatments outpatient visits, but patients are still seen in the original building, whose first floor has become the Flanzer Eye Center. Under Dr. Chang’s leadership, the faculty practice has expanded widely beyond 165th Street to five more locations in New York and New Jersey.
   While the technological equipment in use in today’s Harkness Eye Institute might not be recognized by John Wheeler, its guiding spirit — and the generosity of its many benefactors — certainly would. At the end of 1933, Dean Sage assessed the institute’s first year, writing, “There is a thrill about a new venture into an uncharted realm with success the only goal.”

New Chairs for Radiation Oncology, Rehabilitation Medicine
P&S has appointed two new department chairs who also will oversee their correlate Weill Cornell Medical College programs.

Radiation Oncology

K.S. Clifford Chao
K.S. Clifford Chao
K.S. Clifford Chao, M.D., a pre-eminent expert in the use of image-guided targeted radiotherapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy to treat cancer, is the new chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. He also serves as director of the Combined Program in Radiation Oncology at Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and chief of Weill Cornell’s radiation oncology division.   Dr. Chao joined P&S in May from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
   Dr. Chao also will serve as radiation oncologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and supervise the Department of Radiation Oncology at New York Hospital Queens, an affiliate of Weill Cornell and part of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System.
   Dr. Chao’s research focus includes intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and combining the use of PET and CT images to direct customized radiation treatment plans tailored specifically to individual patients and the molecular characteristics of each tumor. His pioneering work in IMRT (he is author of the widely read textbook, “Practical Essentials of IMRT”) and functional image-guided therapy earned him the Radiological Society of North America’s prestigious Annual Oration Award in 2005.
   Before joining M.D. Anderson in 2002, Dr. Chao was an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He received his medical degree from Kaohsiung Medical School in Taiwan. His postgraduate training included residency and fellowship in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Chung-Gung University in Taipei, Taiwan; a fellowship in the Department of Surgery in the Cancer Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan; and residency and fellowship in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis.

Rehabilitation Medicine

Joel Stein
Joel Stein
Joel Stein, M.D., a leading figure in stroke research and patient care, became chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in September. He also serves as chief of the Coordinated Program in Rehabilitation Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He also is director of the rehabilitation medical service and physiatrist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and chief of the rehabilitation medicine division at Weill Cornell Medical College. As chair of rehabilitation medicine at P&S, he directs Columbia’s degree programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy.
   Dr. Stein joined P&S from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard, where he was chief medical officer for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and an associate professor.
   Internationally regarded for his expertise in clinical care for stroke survivors and patients with other neurological disorders, Dr. Stein’s research explores the use of robot-aided rehabilitation for weakness after stroke and other neurological conditions, the use of electrical cortical stimulation to facilitate motor recovery, and the development of wearable sensors to monitor daily activity levels of recovering stroke patients. He has written two books for stroke survivors and their families and is editing a comprehensive medical text on stroke recovery and rehabilitation, due to be published this year.
   After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Columbia, Dr. Stein received his M.D. degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Columbia, serving as chief resident. Since 1993, he has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, where he has practiced at Spaulding, Brigham and Women’s, and Massachusetts General hospitals.


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