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Point of View

The Office of Diversity and Minority Affairs hosted a closing ceremony for the 106 students in its Summer Medical Education Program (SMEP) last month. Yvonne S. Thornton, P&S'73, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, delivered the keynote address. For more than a decade, SMEP, formerly the Minority Medical Education Program, has helped committed college students prepare for medical school and the medical school application process. Last year Columbia added a pre-dental component to the program. By helping students become more competitive candidates for medical and dental school, SMEP works to increase the number of underrepresented physicians and dentists nationwide.


Michael E. Goldberg, M.D., the David Mahoney Professor of Brain and Behavior in Neurology, Psychiatry and the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, has been elected treasurer of the Society for Neuroscience, the largest neuroscience society.

Ramon E. Parsons, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to the Tumor Progression and Metastasis Study Section of the NIH Center for Scientific Review through June 2007.

Susan Karabin D.D.S., associate clinical professor of dentistry, has been elected secretary/treasurer of the American Academy of Periodontology.


Hunter College/CUMC Poster Session

The Columbia University Summer Research Fellowship Program, which hosts minority students from Hunter College to interest them in medicine and scientific research careers, held its annual poster session this month in the Physiology Library in P&S. The program, now in its third year, has nine students enrolled this summer in 10-week internships with leading Columbia physicians and researchers. As part of the course, students present their research findings at lab meetings and at the poster session. So far, 33 students have received training through the program.

SDOS Students Teach Kids Proper Oral Hygiene

SDOS students who are members of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) went to PS 128 in June to teach eight classes of first graders, 200 children, about the basics of oral hygiene. The effort was part of an ongoing summer community service effort. Pictured from left are Rinku Saini, SDOS'05; Science & Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) education coordinator and student mentor, Toral Ghandi, SDOS'05; Yonni Schwartz, SDOS'05; and Katayoun Yaraghi, SDOS'05, the SNDA community service coordinator.

Pat Molholt, Ph.D., has been appointed director of the newly formed Office of
Education and Scholarly Resources (OESR). Dr. Molholt has been with CUMC since 1992 when she was recruited to help focus technology applications in support of medical education and to head the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library. The OESR was created as a result of recommendations made by the Education Resources Committee formed to identify gaps in the education infrastructure and increase collaboration among the five schools within CUMC. The OESR will be responsible for providing administrative support to the Education Resources Council, managing space, developing an education projects budget, and assisting with education grant development.


Preparing for Aging Societies in Developing Countries Workshop

The Mailman School hosted its second annual international workshop on "Preparing for Aging Societies in Developing Countries". The opening session of the 10-day event in July featured talks by Andrew R. Davidson, senior vice dean at the Mailman School; Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, United Nations under secretary general and executive director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA); and Richard Parker, Ph.D., chairman and professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School. The United Nations estimates that 2 billion people will be age 60 and over by 2050 and about 80 percent of them will be living in developing countries. The workshop covered issues such as the demography, gender, economics, healthcare, and advocacy for policy changes in public policies toward improving aging and the work and living conditions of older persons in developing countries.

C250 Biomedical Engineering Symposium

As part of Columbia University's 250th anniversary celebration, the Department of Biomedical Engineering will hold a gala academic symposium, "Biomedical Engineering: Past, Present, and Future," on Sept. 18 and 19. The symposium will include sessions on the history of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia; neuroscience and computer-aided neurosurgery; biomedical image analysis; tissue engineering and bio-nanotechnology; computational biology and genomics; musculoskeletal biomechanics and imaging; and cardiac physiology and biomechanics. The free event is open to the public and will be held in Alfred Lerner Hall's Roone Arledge Auditorium at the Morningside campus. For more information, visit: or send email inquiries to

Bill Murray Visits Children's Hospital

Actor Bill Murray spoke to parents and their children at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian as part of an event to mark completion of a $120 million fund-raising campaign. Mr. Murray spoke about his experience as the parent of a child who was treated at the hospital. He is pictured playing bumper pool with Jonathan Powell. Children's Hospital, which opened in November 2003, was funded entirely through philanthropy, including more than $60 million contributed by 1,200 Morgan Stanley employees.

New Dental Education Web Site Focuses on Access to Care

A new Web site launched with CUMC's expertise provides guidance for dental schools seeking to improve vulnerable populations' access to oral health care and to increase enrollment of underrepresented minority and low-income students. The site, located at, is run by the National Program Office of the Pipeline, Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education (Dental Pipeline) program, which receives technical support from the Center for Community Health Partnerships at Columbia University Medical Center. The Web pages feature the activities of 15 U.S. dental schools that are part of the Dental Pipeline program. Since 2003, each of the Dental Pipeline schools has been developing community-based dental education programs, revising dental school curriculum to include cultural competency classes and designing initiatives to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority and low-income students.

Ben-Gurion/CUMC Class of 2008 Departs for Israel

Members of the Class of 2008 of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Health Sciences Medical School for International Health, a program run in collaboration with CUMC, departed for Israel last month. The medical school expands upon the traditional medical curriculum to emphasize global health and health care for underserved populations across the globe. Richard Deckelbaum, M.D., the Robert R. Williams Professor of Pediatrics, directs the program at P&S. The incoming class, pictured above at Newark airport, includes men and women from the United States, Canada, and India.

Liskin Prizes in Psychiatry Awarded

Tracy Foose, M.D., has been awarded the Barbara Ann Liskin Medical Student Prize and Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford, M.D., has won the Barbara Ann Liskin Resident Prize. Each year the $5,000 Liskin Awards are given to two women: one a graduating P&S student who intends to train in psychiatry and the other an outstanding resident in psychiatry. The awards, presented in memory of Dr. Liskin, P&S'79, who died of cancer in 1994, were established by her father, Louis Liskin, and her husband Dr. Vincent Bonagura, P&S'75. Pictured are Dr. Bonagura, daughter Elizabeth Bonagura, Dr. Foose, Dr. Alves-Bradford, daughter Rebecca Bonagura, and Anita Liskin, Dr. Liskin's mother.

New International Center For AIDS Care & Treatment Programs

The Mailman School of Public Health has founded the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University (ICAP) to facilitate and support its efforts to establish HIV care and treatment programs and to efficiently use programmatic resources. Currently, the center has four major initiatives/programs: the MTCT-Plus Initiative; the Multi-country Columbia Antiretroviral Program (MCAP); the University Technical Assistance Program (UTAP); and the HIV Care and Treatment Program in the Dominican Republic. The director of the new center is Wafaa El-Sadr, M.D., professor of clinical epidemiology and medicine.

Vascular Surgery Fellowship Comes to CUMC

CUMC and NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia now have a vascular surgery residency, through a partnership with the existing program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. The program will train the next generation of surgeons in such cutting-edge techniques as carotid stenting and endograft repair of aortic aneurysms. The fellowship program enables the medical center to meet growing demand, especially in treating the most complex cases. The program is led by K. Craig Kent, M.D., chief of vascular surgery at NYPH, and James McKinsey, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, is the Columbia site chief. The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education recently approved the application to make the vascular surgery residency a two-campus program and to increase the length of training from one to two years.

Medical Students Become Duke Fellows

P&S welcomed this year's class of Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellows last month
at an orientation in the Faculty Club. The nationwide program provides one-year fellowships to students who have completed three years of medical school, enabling them to spend a year pursuing clinical research guided by mentors at Columbia. Dr. Donald Landry, professor of medicine, is the program's director at P&S. This year's fellows are Noah Raizman, P&S; Daniel Huddleston, P&S; Kiwita Phillips, Harvard; Ying Hua, Stanford; Kate Nellans, P&S; Evan Ransom, P&S; Brian Bateman, P&S; David Wilson, P&S; David Lee, P&S; Puneet Masson, P&S; Sarah Tyler, Duke; Dr. Landry; John Kirkham, P&S; and Daniel Peraza, P&S.