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Recruiting Minority Students A Columbia delegation of scientists and administrators attended the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students Nov. 13 to 16 in New Orleans in an effort to attract more minority students to the university's basic science Ph.D. programs. Undergraduate participants of Columbia's residential program for minority students during the summer of 2002 presented research at the conference. Pictured from left, standing, are Dr. J. Eric Gouaux and Dr. Arthur Palmer III, both professors of biochemistry and molecular biophysics; Christopher Ortiz, a first year M.D./Ph.D student; Dr. Ronald Kian Hong Liem, professor of anatomy and cell biology and pathology and director of the Integrated Program in Cellular Molecular and Biophysical Studies; Dr. Richard Kessin, professor of anatomy and cell biology and associate dean of graduate affairs, and Fred Loweff, assistant dean of graduate affairs. From left, seated, are Kimberly Stacy Warren, program coordinator of the Integrated Pathology and M.D./Ph.D. programs, and Sharon Gamble, director of minority affairs for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Holiday Toy Drive
Dr. T. Conrad Gilliam, director of the Columbia Genome Center, was among 425 people who donated toys at Executive Vice President and Dean Gerald Fischbach's holiday party in the P&S Faculty Club on Dec. 16. The donations, including those collected by the Office of Government and Community Affairs, go to children in community day-care centers and Head Start programs in the Washington Heights area.

Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize winners Dr. James E. Rothman, Paul Marks Chair of Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics Program and vice chairman at the Sloan-Kettering Institute, left, and Dr. Randy W. Schekman, Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute investigator and professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, right, join Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, at a reception in Low Memorial Library on Dec. 3. The award, funded by a bequest to Columbia University, recognizes exceptional accomplishments in biological and biochemical research. The prize selection committee includes faculty from the Morningside and Health Sciences campuses. The recipients presented lectures on their prize-winning research: Dr. Rothman presented "The Machinery and Principles of Vesicle Transport in the Cell," and Dr. Schekman presented "Molecular Mechanism of Protein Sorting in the Secretory Pathway."

Avon Scholar Columbia Presbyterian's Center for Women's Health is administering a $150,000 grant from the Avon Foundation to help fund the newly created position of Avon Women's Health Scholar. The scholar will develop model preventive health programs with a focus on breast cancer for underserved women in northern Manhattan. Dr. Elsa-Grace Giardina, director of the center, will administer the grant to the selected candidate.

La Fete Africaine The second annual "La Fete Africaine: Taking Action for Africans with AIDS," a benefit dinner organized by the P&S International Health Organization, will take place Jan. 31, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Bard Hall conference room. Dr. Joia Mukerjee, medical director of Partners in Health, and New York Times reporter Donald McNeil Jr. will speak at the event, which also includes a catered West African buffet dinner and a performance by internationally known West African dancers and drummers. The event raises money for two groups in the Ivory Coast, Club de Amis and Centre de Solidarite et Action, both of which provide support for people living with HIV and AIDS. Tickets are $40 for students and residents and $65 for non-students. For tickets and information contact Julianna Schantz-Dunn at or at (917) 566-4362.

New Postdoctoral Office Dr. Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean, announced the establishment of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. To be headed by the associate dean for postdoctoral affairs, the office will expedite and ensure the recruitment of high quality postdoctoral trainees, support training and career development, and develop collaborative relationships among postdoctoral trainees, faculty, and administration. The office is scheduled to open early this year.

Bioterrorism and Research Dr. Gail Cassell, vice president of scientific affairs and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar for Infectious Diseases at Eli Lilly & Co., discussed the implications of bioterrorism for biomedical research and public health at a lecture hosted by the Mailman School of Public Health on Dec. 10. Dr. Cassell emphasized the need for a partnership among academia, industry, and government agencies to develop new vaccines, antibiotics, and antivirals as countermeasures against the threat of biological agents.

Prosthodontics Sessions Dr. Robert F. Wright Jr., professor of clinical dentistry and director of the Division of Prosthodontics in the School of Dental and Oral Surgery, and Hyung-Ui Yoon, Jungyoun Lee, and Jae-Hoon Lee, all postdoctoral fellows in prosthodontics, presented research at the American College of Prosthodontics Table Clinic Annual Session in Orlando, Fla., from Nov. 6 to 9. Hyung Ui-Yoon, a distance-learning student, traveled from Seoul, South Korea, to attend the session. Dr. Wright moderated the session's Educators Mentoring Workshop.

ICU CD Dr. Philip R. Muskin, professor of clinical psychiatry and chief of the consultation-liaison psychiatry service at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, has created a CD, "You and the ICU," providing basic information about intensive care units for patients, visitors, and physicians. The CD, in English and Spanish and co-produced by Columbia's Center for Biomedical Communications, is being distributed to ICU professionals through the Society of Critical Care Medicine. A companion brochure is available in the ICU waiting areas at the Milstein Hospital Building.

Edward H. Shortliffe, chairman of medical informatics and senior associate dean for information technology at P&S, presented an overview of an Institute of Medicine report, "Fostering Rapid Advances in Health Care: Learning from System Demonstrations," to the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., at its annual Rosenthal Lecture on Nov. 19. The report, a response to a request from Tommy Thompson, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, proposes measures to improve healthcare delivery. Dr. Shortliffe was a consultant to the report's study committee.

Kathie-Ann Joseph, instructor in clinical surgery and postdoctoral clinical fellow, has been awarded the first Women At Risk (WAR) Breast Surgery Fellowship, administered by the Comprehensive Breast Center at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. The one-year fellowship offers advanced training to surgeons in the area of breast diseases. Dr. Joseph earned an M.D./M.P.H. degree from P&S and the Mailman School of Public Health.

Nicole Suciu-Foca, professor of pathology and director of the Division of Immunogenetics, received the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics 2002 Distinguished Scientist Award. She received the honor for her significant contributions to research in human immunogenetics and immunology.

Jeffrey Szmulewicz, associate vice president of Health Sciences' Center for Biomedical Communications, was among the Top 100 producers selected by AV Video Multimedia Producer, a trade publication for the audio-visual industry. Winners are nominated by peers and clients for excellence in fulfilling clients' demands, successful business expansion, and demonstrating creative passion for their work.