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CUMC celebrated the opening of the Louis V. Trusteeing Jr. Clinical Research Center in Vision on July 8. The vision research center will develop solutions to vision problems such as cataracts, nuclear degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy that affect millions of Americans. The facility is funded by the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Foundation, Angelica and the late Russell Berrie, and the Starr Foundation. Pictured, from left, are Stanley Chang, chairman of ophthalmology; Robin Gerstner; Henry Kissinger, a member of the Eye Institute's board of advisers; Florence Davis, president of the Starr Foundation; Louis Gerstner and T.C. Hsu of the Starr Foundation and an Eye Institute board member.

Jed Best, associate clinical professor of dentistry, and Margot Jaffe, assistant clinical professor of dentistry, are two of only 16 national advisers to the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

Steven Chussid, associate professor of clinical dentistry, is the District I Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) "Oral Health Initiative" representative.

Lois Jackson, assistant clinical professor of dentistry, has served three years as the District I Trustee.

Martin Davis, past president of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), has been elected to the executive committee of the pediatric dental section of the American Academy of Pediatrics and also is the District I (NE) member of the AAPD Council on Predoctoral Affairs.

Robert M. Lewy has been appointed senior associate dean for health affairs. He will oversee the health and safety programs of the medical center to minimize risk of exposure or injury, prioritize risk control procedures, proactively seek opportunities to improve health and safety programs, and seek ways to improve efficiency and monitor performance.

Dennis Mitchell is now assistant dean for diversity and multicultural affairs and director of community-based education at the School of Dental and Oral Surgery. He will be responsible for identifying funding opportunities to support SDOS programs in diversity and multicultural affairs and for coordinating and managing the SDOS Underrepresented in Dentistry Program and the Minority Faculty Development Program.

Jane Knitzer, clinical professor of population and family health, has been named the new director of the Mailman School of Public Health's National Center for Children in Poverty. Dr. Knitzer, who is known for her policy research on low-income and vulnerable children, has been leading the center as acting director since August 2003.

Columbia's CAT Grant Renewed

Columbia's Center for Advanced Information Management, a New York State Center for Advanced Technology (CAT), has been renewed by the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) for five years at up to $1 million a year. The center, one of 15 CATs in New York state, has been involved in the CAT program since its inception 20 years ago. The CAT program's goal is to identify and promote technology-based research and economic development in the state.

Neighborhood Fund Hosts 2004 Awards Reception

The Medical Center Neighborhood Fund, which has supported community activities for 17 years, raised $82,000 for 2004, all of which was distributed to 61 area organizations at its annual awards reception in the Faculty Club in June. Discovery Rooms for Children, an after-school educational care program in Washington Heights, received the fund's Donald F. Tapley Special Service Award. CUMC employees and students are invited to donate time, talent and "treasure." The fund also accepts donations of used, working office equipment to be provided to community groups. To donate or volunteer, contact Neighborhood Fund Director, Jean Armitage, at 212-304-7201 or For more information, visit the fund's web site at:

Pictured, from left, are Sandra Harris, director of government and community affairs at CUMC, Helen Morik, director of government and community affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Joseph Tenenbaum, associate dean of clinical affairs, and Francine Cournos, professor of clinical psychiatry and interim director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Richard Sohn Farewell Reception

Richard J. Sohn, associate vice president and associate dean for research administration, left Columbia this month after 22 years of service to become associate dean for research administration at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine. At Columbia, he started out as director of the Office of Grants and Contracts and gained increasing responsibility for the administrative, regulatory, fiscal, and animal care programs. Dr. Jaime Rubin, assistant vice president and senior assistant dean for research administration, has been appointed acting associate vice president and associate dean for research administration. Pictured are Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean; Dr. Sohn and Harvey Colten, senior associate dean.

Clinical Research Information Day for the Community

Two CUMC research centers with a focus on minority research in Northern Manhattan hosted a Clinical Research Information Day for the communities of Washington Heights, Inwood and Harlem at the Isabella Geriatrics Center in June. Researchers from the Center for the Active Life of Minority Elders (CALME), the Center for the Health of Urban Minorities (CHUM) and other CUMC centers presented recent research on diabetes, stroke, arthritis, and other diseases in partnership with the Washington Heights & Inwood Council on Aging (WHICOA).

CUMC Shows Support for State Stem Cell Research Bill

Ross Frommer, deputy vice president for government and community affairs, and Marilyn Castaldi, chief communications officer, traveled to Albany last month to attend a news conference in support of stem cell research legislation sponsored by New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan). The legislation is aimed at fostering biomedical research while setting guidelines for human stem cell use in efforts to cure diseases. Ms. Castaldi and Mr. Frommer are standing in the fifth and sixth positions from the left.

Marvin L. Shelton, professor emeritus of clinical orthopedic surgery and special lecturer, died on July 7 at age 72. Dr. Shelton, an attending surgeon at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for four decades, was a leading orthopedic surgeon who pioneered advanced operative techniques and implants for the treatment of ankle fractures. He was also director of orthopedic surgery and director of the residency training program at Harlem Hospital Center, where he formalized the rotation of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia residents.

National Call In for Cures

Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean, participated in a National Call in for Cures Day event, in which individuals and U.S. senators called the White House to ask President Bush to expand his stem cell research policy. The event was organized by the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, an advocacy group in favor of stem cell and other regenerative medicine research whose members include patient organizations, universities, foundations, and people with life-threatening illnesses and disorders.

Dean Fischbach Moderates UN Cloning/Stem Cell Panel

Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean, moderated a discussion on therapeutic cloning by an international panel of experts, including Ian Wilmut, who cloned the first mammal - Dolly the sheep - and the two Korean scientists, Drs. Shin Yong Moon and Woo Suk Hwang, who first cloned a human embryo, at the United Nations in June. The Genetics Policy Institute, a nonprofit organization in favor of therapeutic cloning, planned the event to address UN delegates about the need for therapeutic cloning research. Last year, the institute was influential in getting a UN vote on a ban on all forms of cloning research deferred until October 2004.

Barron H. Lerner, Angelica Berrie-Arnold P. Gold Foundation Associate Professor of Medicine and Sociomedical Science, Sheila Rothman, professor of sociomedical science at the Mailman School of Public Health, and David Rothman, Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine, have been selected to receive investigator awards in health policy research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Only 11 individuals were chosen for these prestigious awards out of a national pool of applicants.

Wendy Chavkin, professor of clinical population and family health at the Mailman School and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at P&S, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to study fertility decline and the empowerment of women at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Culture et Societe in Canada during the 2004-2005 academic year.

Ralph Blume, clinical professor of medicine, and Craig Smith, the Calvin F. Barber Professor of Surgery and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, have been named Practitioners of the Year by the CUMC Society of Practitioners.

Megan Keniry, postdoctoral research fellow, has received a $98,000 postdoctoral traineeship award from the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program to fund her research proposal "Genetic Dissection of PTEN Signaling Mechanisms in Prostate Cancer."

Yankun Li, associate research scientist, was awarded an American Heart Association/Heritage Affiliate Scientist Development Grant for her research on "Mechanisms and Consequence of Free Cholesterol-Induced Macrophage Apoptosis: Implications for Atherosclerosis." Tracie DeVries, postdoctoral research fellow, has received a postdoctoral fellowship from AHA/Heritage Affiliate for her research titled "Connecting the Unfolded Protein Response to Macrophage Apoptosis: Implications for Atherosclerosis." Both researchers work in the laboratory of Dr. Ira Tabas, professor of medicine and anatomy & cell biology (in physiology and cellular biophysics).

Yves Lussier, assistant professor of biomedical informatics and medicine, has received a 2004 IBM Faculty Award for $20,000 in recognition of his achievement in the field of biomedical informatics. This is the third award Dr. Lussier has received from IBM in less than a year.

Gina Badalato, P&S'07, is the recipient of the prestigious 2004 J. Edgar Hoover Foundation Scientific Scholarship, awarded annually to only one student from an exclusive pool of applicants nationwide. Ms. Badalato will use the $25,000 award to defray expenses associated with her medical school education.

Magnon Ivan Reyes, SDOS'05, is participating in an otolaryngology head and neck surgery clinical elective at the National Institutes of Health this summer. Mr. Reyes is the first dental student accepted as a participant in this clinical elective.

Richard U. Levine, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received the Osteoporosis Outreach Award from the National Osteoporosis Foundation for his efforts in women's health care and for co-authoring a book, "I'm Not Slowing Down: Winning My Battle with Osteoporosis," with Ann Richards, former governor of Texas.

Daniel D. Shaye, postdoctoral research fellow, was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation to pursue his research project titled "A screen for targets of Wg/Wnt and Dpp/TGF-Beta involved in cell migration."

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has renewed CUMC's Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship Program for medical students for another three years, finding CUMC's program to be among the top of the participating schools.