New to commencement activities this year is a P&S honors convocation scheduled for 3 p.m. the day before graduation in the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (CPMC) Garden (rain location: Alumni Auditorium). More than 40 named prizes, endowed by donors, will be awarded for accomplishments ranging from compassionate patient care to community participation. In addition, the 15 percent of the class elected to Alpha Omega Alpha for outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and service, will be recognized.
COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS & SURGEONS, MAY 22
Ceremony Time and Location: 2:30 p.m., CPMC Garden
SCHOOL OF NURSING, MAY 22
Ceremony Time and Location: 4:30 p.m., Alumni Auditorium
MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, MAY 22
Ceremony Time and Location: 5:30 p.m., CPMC Garden
PROGRAMS IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY, MAY 22
Ceremony Time and Location: 1:30 p.m., Alumni Auditorium
SCHOOL OF DENTAL AND ORAL SURGERY, MAY 23
Ceremony Time and Location: 11 a.m., CPMC Garden
Dr. Joanna Rubenstein has joined Health Sciences as associate dean for institutional advancement. Dr. Rubenstein will play a key part in the advancement of scientific and educational programs in Health Sciences, including participation in strategic planning efforts, special projects, and scientific initiatives. She will be responsible for coordinating science-related meetings and ensuring that issues are resolved and decisions are implemented. She also will act as the dean's liaison in the design of research facilities and assist in the recruitment of research faculty.
Dr. Rubenstein comes to Columbia from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, where she was director of research and graduate education. Before that, she was with Sweden's Medical Research Council, where she was responsible for the peer review process for projects financed by the council.
The National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) has awarded 15 grants totaling $900,000 to scientists affiliated with Columbia University. The Young Investigator Awarda two-year, $60,000 grant that supports scientistshas been presented to the following Columbia researchers:
Dr. Cheryl Corcoran (for research in schizophrenia)
The largest non-governmental organization funding research in brain disorders worldwide, NARSAD provides important early career support for scientists. Its Scientific Review Council, composed of 65 scientists and academic leaders in all areas of neurobiological and psychiatric research, reviews hundreds of applications each year to find the most promising research proposals.
Columbia University has received a $2.75 million grant from Japanese trading firm Marubeni to support research in age-related neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, using a technique that quantifies gene expression in brain tissue.
The research will look at differences in gene expression in diseased vs. healthy brain tissue and employ serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), a method that tracks gene expression in cells by creating unique identifying tags from each gene transcript and then submitting all the tags to high-throughput sequencing. The goal is to isolate genes associated with neuronal cell death by comparing transcripts from tissue of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease patients to healthy tissue. Once identified, the genes could be potential targets for therapeutic drug development. Dr. Michael Shelanski, the Delafield Professor and Chairman of Pathology, and Dr. Lloyd Greene, professor of pathology, will be co-investigators on the project.
Marubeni is also funding a company called Fazix Corp., housed in the Audubon Biomedical Science and Technology Park. Fazix provides software tools that use computer algorithms to alleviate some of the major bottlenecks in the current methods of in silico molecular information processing. Marubeni also has agreed to lead an investment fund that will provide capital for Columbia's technology transfer and commercialization efforts in emerging industries such as health sciences and nanotechnology. The initial capitalization of the Marubeni fund is expected to be more than $20 million.
Florence Nightingale is the subject of The Lady with the Lamp, an exhibit at the Health Sciences Library. First editions of several of her works, including a signed copy of her 1860 landmark book, Notes on Nursing, and letters she wrote during her lifetime are on display, as are a handwritten poem about Ms. Nightingale written by the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier, the Nightingale family Bible, and the thermometer she is said to have used during the Crimean War.
The exhibit comes from a collection created by Hugh Auchincloss, a 1905 P&S graduate and longtime professor of clinical surgery, and presented by Dr. Auchincloss to the School of Nursing upon the 1932 graduation of his daughter.
The exhibit runs through May 31 on the library's lobby level. For more information contact Stephen E. Novak, Head, Archives & Special Collections, at 305-7931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.