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Columbia Spotlights MD/PhD Student Research
Congratulations to Phyllis Thangaraj, an MD/PhD student in the Nicholas Tatonetti lab, for her winning poster session at an event recognizing aspiring physician-scientists from the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Students in the MD/PhD program training program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center presented their research posters at the 14th annual Student Research Symposium on April 25, and topics included a wide range, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and stem cells. Thangaraj discussed ongoing research in applying machine learning methods to phenotype acute ischemic stroke patients in electronic health records.
In the Press
Targeting Cancer and Careers: Precision Medicine
In the field of oncology, innovations continue to grow rapidly in precision, or targeted medicine, as clinicians seek to find better treatments for specific kinds of cancer, rather than take a blanket approach to treating patients. This emerging direction in medicine and cancer research has also given birth to a flood of new jobs in previously unseen areas such as business, translational medicine and genetic counseling. Science magazine recently spoke to Andrea Califano, Dr, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology and a pioneering researcher in this space, to get his thoughts about the rapidly growing field of precision medicine.
Research News
Same Microbe, Different Effect
Our gut microbiome has been linked to everything from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and even neurological disorders and cancer. Researchers have been sorting through the multiple bacterial species that populate the microbiome, asking which of them can be implicated in specific disorders. But in a new study, co-led by Dr. Tal Korem and published in Nature, addressed a new question: "What if the same microbe is different in different people?" The study details a novel computational method that systematically identifies structural variants across human gut microbiomes, and could help scientists pinpoint the connections between our microbiome, health and disease.
Awards and Grants
Identifying High-Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer
Armed with a new two-year, $1 million grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, a global team of researchers, led by Dr. Raul Rabadan, is working to develop a comprehensive computational framework that will identify high-risk factors for pancreatic cancer. The team will attack pancreatic cancer research from multiple disciplines—genomics, mathematics and medicine—to provide an integrated approach to studying the contributing factors to this lethal disease. The need for a deeper understanding of pancreatic cancer is pressing--it is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality within the next decade.
Dr. Cory Abate-Shen Named Chair of Pharmacology at Columbia
Cory Abate-Shen, PhD, known for her leading work in the development of innovative mouse models for translational research in prostate and bladder cancers, has been named chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Columbia's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Her appointment will be effective April 1, 2019. Dr. Abate-Shen is the Michael and Stella Chernow Professor of Urologic Sciences at Columbia and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Systems Biology, Medicine and Pathology & Cell Biology, and is former interim director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.