In-vivo Banner, Vol 3 No12, Nov/Dec 2004 co branded with the Columbia University Medical Center logo

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Steven Miller, 46, a much-beloved teacher and member of the pediatrics faculty since 1993, who was well-known in the movement to promote humanism in medicine, died in a plane crash Oct. 19. Dr. Miller was traveling to the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri to conduct a workshop promoting compassionate medical care. He had led more than a dozen such workshops nationally, working on skills such as understanding patients' religious beliefs and how that might affect treatment. Dr. Miller received his medical degree from P&S in 1984. He was the editor of "Childhood Symptoms," a textbook, and the Columbia University Children's Medical Guide, a reference book.

As the director of pediatric medical student education, Dr. Miller was honored with numerous prestigious awards for his exceptional teaching skills, including the Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. His students at P&S named him Teacher of the Year on numerous occasions. He was named Arnold P. Gold Associate Professor at P&S in recognition of his contributions to humanism in medicine. "We will never be able to replace Steve, but we have committed ourselves to continuation of his excellence in both medical education and pediatric critical care," says John Driscoll, M.D., Reuben S. Carpentier Professor and  Chairman, Department of Pediatrics at P&S. "We have all been blessed by his person and his many gifts." Dr. Miller graduated from Columbia College in 1980. Dr. Miller is survived by his wife, Dodi Meyer, M.D., assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at P&S, and his children.

A fund has been set up for Dr. Miller's family. Those wishing to make contributions may send them to The Steven Z. Miller Family Fund, 133 W. 81st St., New York, NY 10024.

A memorial service will be held for Dr. Miller on Jan 10, 2005, at 4 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium.

Students Remember Dr. Miller

Eva Turek'06 Dr. Miller was the one professor, preceptor, adviser, and physician I ever knew who really appreciated the completeness of people. On the day before his death, after speaking to one of the medical classes, Dr. Miller asked me for feedback on his presentation. I remember feeling honored that he thought so highly of my opinion to ask me for some reflection, but I felt even more special that he followed my response with the very simple, "And how are you…really?" that he took the time to ask so many of those whose lives he touched. He wanted to know about his students' families, significant others, hobbies, talents, hopes and dreams. Not surprisingly, he shared his complete self in return: His students knew that he loved his family dearly, that he loved his patients, and that he loved his involvement in medical education at every level. Dr. Miller was a self-appointed advocate for his students, working tirelessly to create the highest quality of education by teaching new instructors how to teach and communicate effectively. He passed on his belief that bedside manner is a skill that can be learned, and he advised all of his students to become team players united by the desire to enhance each patient's quality of life, much as the "best supporting actor" creates a scenario that allows the star to shine. The hundreds of doctors and future doctors who have learned from this man will undoubtedly strive to be truly great physicians, and because Dr. Miller's ideals will continue to support and drive them, they will succeed. As I work to become the best doctor I can, I remember the times Dr. Miller told me, "You can do it! You'll be fine!" and I know that no matter what I do, I will always see him as the star, the brightness that I can only hope to emulate.

Martin Epson'07 Dr. Miller was molded by a generation of educators who conjure up nostalgia for "the days of the giants" in medicine. Those giants heralded an age of ultimate autonomy and power of the individual physician. Medicine practiced and taught by Dr. Miller, however, ushered in a new era – the days of humanism. His humanism was rooted in a natural balance of power drawn from his family, friends, faith, and practice. He courageously redefined medicine by blending the influences of science, self-development, community, and incorporation of personal experience. His approach was intricate and tempered with humor, intelligence, and a thoroughly modern perspective. His endless web of interests revolved around his ability to be fully present and engaged with all people. The greatest lessons – like the greatest teachers – continue to unfold their meaning long after the original seed has been sown. To Dr. Miller's students, he led by example. He guided us through the depths of medicine with a steady hand. We followed his lead because of our faith in his integrity and the subtle genius of his ways. He gave us the space and confidence to see deeper meaning in everyday truths. Most importantly, he continues to call us to be better – to ourselves and to others. The greatness that he represented to all of us will always be with us.

Isidore Edelman, the Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular BiophysicsIsidore Edelman, the Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, died Nov. 21, at age 84. Dr. Edelman, a Brooklyn native known universally and affectionately as "Izzy," joined Columbia in 1978 as chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at P&S and built the department into one of the premier biochemistry departments in the world. He had spent the previous 26 years at the University of California at San Francisco. After becoming professor emeritus, Dr. Edelman founded the Columbia Genome Center, which he directed until 2000. Dr. Edelman made important contributions to the field of ion transport and received numerous national and international honors.

Irene Ferrer, P&S’41, a cardiologist and medical educator who spent four decades at CUMCIrene Ferrer, P&S'41, a cardiologist and medical educator who spent four decades at CUMC, died Nov. 12. She was 89. Through her research, Dr. Ferrer helped refine the cardiac catheter and electrocardiogram. The cardiac catheter, which allows precise measurement of blood pressure, has led to the development of angioplasty and other heart procedures. Dr. Ferrer became an assistant professor at Columbia in 1951 and was appointed professor of clinical medicine in 1972. She became a professor emeritus in 1981. Dr. Ferrer was a former editor in chief of Current Cardiology and the Journal of the American Medical Women's Association.

Winners of Horwitz Prize Announced

CUMC's 2004 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize will be shared by Tony Hunter, Ph.D, American Cancer Society professor of molecular and cell biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Anthony Pawson, Ph.D., senior investigator and director of research at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, and university professor of medical genetics and microbiology at the University of Toronto. The researchers will receive the award in February 2005 in recognition of their discoveries in understanding protein-tyrosine phosphorylation – which has led to the development of drugs for halting cancer cell proliferation and has potential for other significant therapies. Awarded annually since its inception in 1967, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, named after the mother of Columbia benefactor S. Gross Horwitz, recognizes exceptional accomplishments in biological and biochemical research.

The Journal of Clinical Investigation Turns 80

The journal's current editor-in-chief, Andrew Marks, M.D., Wu Professor of Molecular Cardiology and chairman of physiology and cellular biophysics, and an all-CUMC group of associate editorsThe country's oldest continuously published scientific journal – The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) – celebrated its 80th birthday in October with a special issue and a party at the New York Academy of Sciences. The journal's current editor-in-chief, Andrew Marks, M.D., Wu Professor of Molecular Cardiology and chairman of physiology and cellular biophysics, and an all-CUMC group of associate editors brought the journal to Columbia in March 2002. From the invention of the iron lung in the 1920s to the first generation of cardiomyocytes from stem cells in the 1990s, JCI has a reputation for reporting landmark medical findings. An innovator in scientific publishing, the journal also pioneered the use of outside expert reviewers in 1942, rapid publications in 1978, and free online access in 1996, long before it became widespread. The editorship of JCI changes every five years after a competition among medical schools and universities. It will move from Columbia in 2007.

Berrie Diabetes Center Hosts Halloween Party

Renee Lawlor-Janso, pediatric nurse educator at the Diabetes Center

The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at CUMC recently hosted its fifth annual Halloween party for children with diabetes. The Berrie Center helps children with diabetes enjoy trick-or-treating by letting them exchange the sweets they collect for toys donated by Russ Toys and the Starlight Children's Foundation. They also learn about the nutritional value of candy and how it affects blood sugar. The Berrie Center donated the collected candy to U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Pictured are "the Cat in the Hat" Renee Lawlor-Janso, pediatric nurse educator at the Diabetes Center, holding 2-year-old Lauren Jeske at the party.


CUMC has received two new faculty development awards from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR): $750,000 to retain a scientist who is developing an interventional MRI for a clinical trial to test a guided carotid artery catheterization for the infusion of intra-arterial thrombolytics to diagnose and treat strokes; and $750,000 to recruit a researcher to lead a new research team aimed at better understanding two crucial phenomena for motor neuron development and disease.

Randolph S. Marshall, M.D., associate professor of clinical neurology, received a $1.9 million NIH grant to fund a multi-center, randomized surgical trial testing whether extracranial-intracranial bypass can improve cognition in patients with symptomatic carotid artery occlusion.

Regina Santella, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences, and Ruby Senie, Ph.D., professor of clinical epidemiology, both in the Mailman School of Public Health, have received a $250,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their ongoing investigation into environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility to breast cancer. They seek to determine if the ability of cells to repair their damaged DNA has an influence on cancer risk both among participants in the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project and among sisters participating in the Metropolitan New York Registry of Breast Cancer Families.

Scott A. Small, M.D., Irving Assistant Professor of Neurology in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, has received a McDonnell Foundation grant.

Richard C.E. Anderson, M.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery, has been awarded a grant from the Matheson Foundation for his study "Death Receptor Ligands and Decoy Receptors in Pediatric Medulloblastomas."

Guy McKhann, II, M.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery, has been awarded the Florence and Herbert Irving Clinical Research Career Award for his study titled, "Mechanisms of Motor Control: a Combined fMRI and Electrical Stimulation Study."

Saadi Ghatan, M.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery, has been awarded the Charles A. Elsberg Fellowship in Neurological Surgery from the New York Academy of Medicine for his study titled, "The Chemokine Receptor CXCR4 in Cerebellar Development and Medulloblastoma."

The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center in November presented Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D., professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University, with its annual Naomi Berrie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Research. The two-year, $100,000 Naomi Berrie Award supports a research fellow working under Dr. Melton's supervision. Dr. Melton's research includes an effort to turn embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing islet cells, which have been destroyed in Type 1 diabetics. He is collaborating with the Berrie Center to investigate the therapeutic potential of stem cells for diabetes. Each year, the Berrie Center also awards a similar grant to a CUMC research fellow. This year the prize was awarded to James Love, a postdoctoral research scientist in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics.

The School of Dental and Oral Surgery received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop a postgraduate general dentistry curriculum that provides a model professional life-long learning program (PL3P). Through the use of online and distance learning technologies, PL3P will make advanced didactic training available to the new dentist who is in residency training at sites far removed from academic centers. John Zimmerman, D.D.S., assistant dean for information technology at SDOS and associate director of Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, leads the project with assistance from Stephen Marshall, D.D.S., associate dean for extramural programs, and Richard E. Abbott, Ph.D., director, special programs.

Honors & Appointments

Andrew R. Marks, M.D., professor and chairman of physiology and cellular biophysics and the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Molecular Cardiology (in Medicine), was named to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, one of the 65 new members appointed to the Institute. Members are elected through a highly selective process that recognizes those who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. Dr. Marks has conducted numerous ground-breaking cardiology studies, including the development of a new drug that potentially could prevent life-threatening arrhythmias associated with heart failure.

Susan Stalcup is the new vice president for CUMC Development. Ms. Stalcup has been the interim director of development over the past several months and was previously deputy vice president. She joined Columbia a few years ago from Baylor College of Medicine, where she directed a $500 million capital campaign.

Andrea Califano, Ph.D., professor of biomedical informatics, and his group received an award for the best scientific session in bioinformatics and data mining at the Advancing Practice, Instruction and Innovation through Informatics (APIII) conference in Pittsburgh in October. Their presentation was on the caWorkbench, the bioinformatics software platform Dr. Califano and other researchers helped develop in collaboration with the NCI.

Konstantina Matsoukas, head of information services at Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, has received the NY/NJ Chapter of the Medical Library Association's annual award for outstanding new member for her contributions to medical librarianship and for her achievements in education. She also presented a poster with Marina Chilov, CUMC reference librarian, at the annual chapter meeting. The poster was titled "Library Support of an Academic Medical Center's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee."

Leslie W. Seldin, D.D.S., SDOS '66, associate clinical professor of dentistry, is the recipient of the New York State Dental Association Jarvie-Burkhart award, the organization's highest honor, in recognition of outstanding service to mankind though dentistry.

The Department of Surgery's Healthpoints Summer 2004 newsletter won the platinum award for best external newsletter from an educational institution in the MarCom Creative Awards 2004 Competition, beating out more than 3,000 other entries. Created by the Department of Surgery's Office of External Affairs, Healthpoints provides medical information for healthcare consumers.

Richard Ansong SDOS '08, won the Summer Medical Education Program Ambassador recruitment competition for recruiting the most students for this past summer's program. He is eligible to receive up to $1,500 toward the cost of attending a health conference.

Sherry Glied, Ph.D., professor and chairwoman of health policy and management in the Mailman School of Public Health, is the 2004 recipient of Research!America's Eugene Garfield Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research award for her paper "The Value of Reductions in Child Injury Mortality in the U.S."

Mary Tyler Moore, Health Sciences Advisory Council honoree
Mary Tyler Moore, Health Sciences Advisory Council honoree

The Columbia Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council held its fall 2004 meeting in November, with a focus on "The Promise and Challenge of Stem Cells." Domenico Accili, M.D., professor of medicine, John K. Castle, chairman of the advisory council, Fiona Doetsch, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology, Gerald D. Fischbach, M.D., executive vice president and dean, Howard Kaufman, M.D., associate professor of clinical surgery, and Herbert Pardes, M.D., president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, spoke at the event on the latest developments in stem cell research and clinical applications in diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The council presented its Award for Distinguished Service to Mary Tyler Moore, the international chairwoman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, for her committed support of medical research.