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In Vivo

CUMC At Large


Dr. Kaufman, associate professor of clinical pathology; Dr. Oz, professor of surgery; and Ms. Moose.
NEW BOOKS BY COLUMBIA FACULTY AND PATIENT Three new Columbia-affiliated books have hit the market, one of which, "You: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body that will Make You Healthier and Younger," by Michael Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet Oz, M.D., has already become a bestseller. This book is a personal do-it-yourself handbook geared to helping people live longer and better. The other books are "The Menanoma Book: A Complete Guide to Prevention and Treatment, Including the Early-Detection Self-Exam Body Map" by Howard Kaufman, M.D., and "The Grateful Heart, A Diary of a Heart Transplant", by Candace C. Moose, a patient who received a transplant at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital. Pictured above, from left: Dr. Kaufman, associate professor of clinical pathology; Dr. Oz, professor of surgery; and Ms. Moose.


Student winners, Adam Wenick, Jennifer Yu, Adam Reese, Joanna Zurada, and Brian Bateman. Back row, from left: Judges: Ronald Liem, Ph.D., professor of anatomy & cell biology; Arthur Palmer, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry & molecular biophysics; Eugene Marcantonio, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy & cell biology; and Sam Silverstein, M.D., the John C. Dalton professor of physiology & cellular biophysics.
DEAN'S DAY FOR MEDICAL STUDENT RESEARCH Dean's Day for Medical Student Research offers students who perform research while at P&S the opportunity to make a poster presentation of their work. This year's event, which took place in May, featured poster presentations from more than 20 P&S students. Five students received the Dr. Alfred Steiner Award for Best Medical Student Research for their work. The winners were (poster presentation titles in parentheses): Adam Reese (Genetic Heterogeneity of Isolated Vesicoureteral Reflux), Adam Wenick, M.D., Ph.D., (Control of a Single Interneuron Specific Gene Battery in C. elegans), Jennifer Yu, M.D., Ph.D., (Sibling Rivalry: A Pair of Protocadherins on Chromosome 13q Inversely Regulate EGFR-Signaling in Breast Cancer), Joanna Zurada (Identification of Putative Hairless DNA Binding Sites), and Brian Bateman (Racial and Economic Disparities in Access to Acute Stroke Treatments). Pictured above, in front row, from left: Student winners, Adam Wenick, Jennifer Yu, Adam Reese, Joanna Zurada, and Brian Bateman. Back row, from left: Judges: Ronald Liem, Ph.D., professor of anatomy & cell biology; Arthur Palmer, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry & molecular biophysics; Eugene Marcantonio, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy & cell biology; and Sam Silverstein, M.D., the John C. Dalton Professor of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics.


Dean Stepping Down After Five Years

Gerald Fischbach, M.D., executive vice president and dean, has announced his intention to step down from his leadership position at CUMC no later than June 2006. Dr. Fischbach has headed the medical center since February 2001.

Dr. Fischbach has led the medical center during a time when it faced significant challenges in its core missions of research, education and patient care. He initiated a sweeping, campus-wide strategic planning process that identified issues and established goals that served as guideposts for the ensuing years.

A renowned neurobiologist, Dr. Fischbach previously headed the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH and had long academic careers at Harvard and Washington University become coming to Columbia.

In his remaining time as dean, Dr. Fischbach says he hopes to focus on a number of key issues:

The Faculty Practice Organization (FPO). A task force Dr. Fischbach appointed last year has completed its work and will provide information about governance, capitalization, and implementation of a more integrated practice model.

A new Ambulatory Care Center. Dr. Fischbach wants to create a viable business plan for a new ACC, vital for the success of the FPO and for providing education in an ambulatory care setting.

Financial restructuring. Balancing the budget while continuing to make key investments is a primary mission.

Education. P&S plans to initiate an extensive curriculum review with the intention of creating tracks within the four-year program. Dr. Fischbach also plans to appoint a Dean for Education; name the first Fellows in the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy; and complete plans for a new education center that will meet the needs of all the schools.

Departmental Chairs. Searches now under way for two chairs will be completed, and new ones will be initiated when appropriate.

The Capital Campaign. About $400 million has been raised in the past two years toward the eight-year goal of $1 billion. Efforts will intensify as major gifts are developed that focus on strategic priorities and as new opportunities are identified.

The Neuroscience Initiative. Programs, space and resources must be further identified and new recruits identified.

In commenting on Dr. Fischbach's announcement, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger said, "I know I speak for everyone in saying two things – how proud we have been to have Gerry represent our academic mission and how good it has been to work with someone of such decency and goodwill."



Request for Information Management Proposals

The Columbia University Center for Advanced Information Management (CAIM) is accepting proposals for one-year projects in the general area of information management. Projects must be primarily supported by a company with cash matching funds. Typical project budgets are $25,000 and $50,000 in direct costs. The company should, preferably, be located in New York state.

Indirect cost rates for CAIM co-sponsored projects are lower (15 percent of salary plus benefits) than normal projects and the application process is straightforward and timely. For additional information please see www.cat.columbia.edu or call 212-305-2944.

The Center for Advanced Information Management is supported by the New York State Office for Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR).



Conrad L. Pirani, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Pathology,
Dies at 90

Dr. Conrad Levi Pirani, an internationally recognized expert in renal pathology who has been described as one of the fathers of renal pathology, died of heart failure May 28 in Pittsfield, MA. He lived in Lenox.

Dr. Pirani, who founded Columbia's Renal Pathology Laboratory in 1973, developed a semi-quantitative method of evaluating needle biopsies of the kidney that is not only helpful in establishing an accurate diagnosis, but also provides valuable clinical information about the severity, activity, and reversibility of the renal lesions. His work forged the transition from autopsy-based studies of the kidney to modern biopsy-based pathologic interpretation. The lab has become one of the busiest of its kind – more than 200 nephrologists from hospitals in 13 states ship kidney tissue samples to Columbia for diagnoses of renal disorders.

Dr. Pirani was born in Pisa, Italy, and attended medical school in Italy. Because of racial laws enacted by the Mussolini government, he immigrated to the United States in 1939. His early career in pathology was at the University of Illinois and he was appointed chairman of pathology at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago in 1965. In 1973 he came to Columbia as professor of pathology and director of the newly created renal pathology laboratory. He retired from that position in 1985, becoming professor emeritus of pathology.


CUMC is Charity Tournament Champ

Members of Columbia's Department of Neurological Surgery, winners of the 2005 CUMC Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament, display their trophy.


Members of Columbia's Department of Neurological Surgery, winners of the 2005 CUMC Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament, display their trophy. The "J. Lawrence Pool Memorial Trophy" was named after the late J. Lawrence Pool, a former Columbia neurosurgery chairman and pioneer in the field. The trophy will be housed at the winning institution each year. Columbia is set to defend its title in June 2006.

Columbia was the winner in the 2005 Annual Neurosurgery Charity Softball Tournament benefiting pediatric brain tumor research that was played on June 11 in Central Park's Great Lawn. The event was hosted by CUMC and included teams from eight of the nation's top medical centers: Columbia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, NYU, Yale, Albert Einstein, and Mount Sinai. Attendings, residents, and interns from the neurosurgery departments participated. Proceeds benefited the Columbia University Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund.

Brain tumors have surpassed leukemia as the leading cause of cancer death in children. More than 3,000 new cases of childhood primary brain tumors are diagnosed each year, with about 70 percent occurring in children less than 15 years old. CUMC's pediatric neurosurgeons are committed to furthering the understanding and advancing the treatment of brain tumors in children and adolescents.

The tournament, which was sponsored by George Steinbrenner and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and organized by Ricardo J. Komotar, M.D., neurosurgery resident at CUMC, has already raised nearly $70,000 for children's brain tumor research.

To make a donation or to learn more about pediatric neuro-oncology research at CUMC, visit www.kidsbrainresearch.org or contact Dr. Komotar at 212-305-7056.




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