News in Brief

Michael N. Shadlen

Michael N. Shadlen, MD, PhD, professor of neuroscience, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Shadlen studies the neural mechanisms of decision making, such as reasoning, planning, and strategizing, with a goal of one day being able to manipulate them to treat a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, ranging from schizophrenia to autism to dementia. A faculty member since 2012, Dr. Shadlen is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science.

VP&S Dean Katrina Armstrong named two faculty members to new positions in the dean’s office. Olajide Williams, MD, professor of neurology and associate dean of community research and engagement, was named vice dean for community health. He will establish an advisory committee to advance health equity and access for Washington Heights, Inwood, and West Harlem and work to enhance community health and achieve meaningful progress in the ability to improve patient outcomes and treat preventable diseases that disproportionately affect the medical school’s local community. Muredach Reilly, MD, the Florence and Herbert Irving Endowed Professor of Medicine and associate dean of clinical and translational research, has been appointed to an expanded role as vice dean for clinical and translational research. Dr. Reilly, who is director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, will build upon the Irving Institute’s success in advancing priorities in clinical and translational research. 

Franklin Costantini

Franklin D. Costanini

Franklin D. Costantini, PhD, professor of genetics & development, and Sankar Ghosh, PhD, the Silverstein and Hutt Family Professor of Microbiology and chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Sankar Ghosh

Christine Kim Garcia, MD, PhD, was named director of the Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative, a multidisciplinary effort launched in 2014 to accelerate the development of precision medicine and its use in clinical settings. Dr. Garcia succeeds Tom Maniatis, PhD, who had directed the initiative since its founding. Dr. Garcia, the Frode-Jensen Professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine in VP&S, has conducted research that has helped to identify the genetic underpinning of adult-onset lung disease, and she has used next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analyses to discover rare mutations in genes linked to inherited forms of lung fibrosis. She holds appointments in Columbia’s Institute for Genomic Medicine and the Center for Precision Medicine and Genomics in the VP&S Department of Medicine.