News

Tal Korem, PhD, Systems Biology and Obstetrics & Gynecology, will receive $307,136 over five years from the National Institute of Nursing Research for a subaward of “The Role of Host-Microbial Interactions in Altering Preterm Birth Risk Among Black Women.”

Read the full article in the CUIMC Newsroom.

One of the most recognizable characteristics of autism is an amazing diversity of associated behavioral symptoms. Clinicians view autism as a broad spectrum of related disorders, and the origin of the disease's heterogeneity has puzzled scientists, doctors, and affected families for decades.

In a recent study, led by Dennis Vitkup, PhD, associate professor of systems biology, researchers have made an important step towards understanding the biological mechanisms underlying the cognitive and behavioral diversity of autism cases triggered by de novo truncating mutations. These mutations occur in parents’ germline cells and usually strongly disrupt the functions of target genes. De novo truncating mutations are responsible for close to 5% of autism cases and up to 20% of cases seen clinically.

Read the full article in the CUIMC Newsroom.

Two Systems Biology GRAs Receive Awards

Tomasz Blazejewski has received the 2021 Dean's Award for Excellence in Research. His PhD research centered on generative models for biological sequences, a relatively new area at the interface of machine learning and biology. “I'm deeply appreciative to my advisor, Harris Wang,” says Blazejewski, “for giving me the freedom to investigate this relatively uncharted area, and to my thesis committee for its guidance as I tried to figure out the best approaches to the problem.”

Hanna Mendes Levitin has received the Titus M Coan Award for Excellence in Research. Her PhD research focused on extracting biological signals from-high dimensional data, specifically in the context of high-grade glioma, and on human tissue T cell activation. “I was surprised to receive the award,” says Levitin, “and believe it speaks to the excellence of my collaborators and mentors—especially my advisor, Dr. Peter Sims, and the entire Sims lab, as well as our collaborators, Dr. Donna Farber, Dr. Peter Canoll, and Dr. David Blei, and their respective labs.

Raul Rabadan, PhD, professor of systems biology and of biomedical informatics, has been named a 2020 Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate. Announced Nov. 18, Dr. Rabadan is one of 45 Columbia University faculty members who were selected for the annual list. 

The Highly Cited Researchers annual report recognizes researchers who have had major impacts in their fields. To be named to the list, researchers must produce multiple papers ranking in the top 1% globally by citations for their field and year of publication, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers.

Dr. Rabadan, founding director of Columbia's Program for Mathematical Genomics, also was named to the list in 2019, along with fellow Systems Biology faculty member, Xuebing Wu, PhD.