​Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Scholars Program

The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Scholars Program supports physicians who are on a tenure track and conduct research that has the promise of ultimately bringing new treatments to patients. The fund will provide a stipend of $100,000 per year for up to three years to be used for salary or laboratory support of the awardees. During their time as a Gerstner Scholar, each investigator is expected to seek and obtain funding from NIH or other sponsors in order to effectively progress on an academic career track. Please note that due to the overlap in the terms of the award for the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Scholars Program and the Irving Scholars Program, faculty are eligible to hold only one of these awards at any one time. Additionally, the Louis V. Gertner Jr. Merit Award is awarded to a third-year Gerstner Scholar whose research shows great promise.


Applicants must hold a current faculty level appointment and currently have, have applied for, or are in the process of pursuing an NIH K or R award. An applicant with more than 5 years of faculty service, whether at Columbia or at another US institution, will be ineligible except in special cases which should be discussed with the Senior Vice Dean for Research prior to applying. All applicants must have a license to practice medicine in the state of New York. The applicant must have a senior faculty mentor who has current and sustained NIH research funding. Preference will be given to applicants who are on a rapid path to independence.

How to apply

Applications are announced in  InfoReady.

Previous Awardees


  • Shah Ali, MD; “A Rosetta Stone to Decipher Intercellular Crosstalk During Neonatal Heart Regeneration”
  • Edmond Chan, MD; "Elucidating a Novel Vulnerability in Cancers with Chromosomal Region 9p21.3 Loss or Microsatellite Instability (MSI)”
  • Pamela Good, MD; “Inflammation after Gentamicin-Induced Injury in Mouse Model of Human Premature Kidneys”
  • Juan-Manuel Schvartzman, MD, PhD; “Targeting Metabolism to Uncover Synthetic Lethalities between Epigenetics and Replication Stress”
  • Benjamin Izar, MD, PhD; Merit Awardee

For more information on the 2023 awardees, please read the CUIMC newsroom announcement.


  • Rebecca Muhle, MD, PhD; "Characterization of novel phenotypes resulting from loss of the autism risk gene CHD8."
  • Jennifer Small-Saunders, MD, PhD; "tRNA reprogramming as a driver of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum."
  • Neil Vasan, MD, PhD; "Targeting SHP2 in EGFR+ metastatic triple negative breast cancer."
  • Peter Yim, MD; "Endogenous ligands of opsin3 in human and mouse airways."
  • Amélie Collins, MD, PhD; Merit Awardee

For more information on the 2022 awardees, please read the CUIMC newsroom announcement.


  • Jennifer Gelinas, MD, PhD; "Closed Loop Electrical Stimulation to Improve Cognition in Epilepsy."
  • Catherine Spina, MD, PhD; "Defining and Leveraging Targetable Pathways to Mitigate Radiation-Induced Increase in Immunosuppressive Myeloid Cells."
  • Aaron Viny, MD, MS; "Alterations in DNA methylation and chromatin structure as convergent pathogenic drivers in myelodysplastic syndrome."
  • Xiao Zhao, MD; "The molecular basis of cholangiocyte identity and injury in biliary atresia."
  • Eliza Miller, MD; Merit Awardee

For more information on the 2021 awardees, please read the CUIMC newsroom announcement.


  • Rebecca Hough, MD, PhD; "Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Vaping-induced Acute Lung Injury."
  • Benjamin Izar, MD, PhD; "Immune fitness testing in patient-derived models using multimodal single-cell profiling."
  • Jared Kushner, MD; "Regulators and interactomes of CaV1.2 in health and disease."
  • Stuart Weisberg, MD, PhD; Mechanisms of pancreatic inflammation."
  • Kelley Yan, MD, PhD; Merit Awardee

For more information on the 2020 awardees, please read the CUIMC newsroom announcement.


  • Alejandro Chavez, MD, PhD; "Technologies to gain insight into neurodegenerative diseases." 
  • Amélie Collins, MD, PhD; Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell biology in the developing fetus and neonate."
  • Maya Mikami, MD, PhD, MPH; "Therapeutic potential of gelsolin modulation in asthma."
  • Vidhu Thaker, MD; "Integrated whole genome and transcriptome sequencing to identify the etiology of ROHHAD syndrome."
  • Thomas Connors, MD; Merit Awardee

For more information about the 2019 awardees, please read the CUIMC newsroom announcement.


  • Nicolino Dorrello, MD, PhD; "Targeted de-epithelialization as a novel therapeutic strategy for lung repair."
  • Justin Golub, MD, MS; "Elucidating the mechanism linking hearing loss with cognitive impairment using comprehensive audiometry and multimodal brain imaging."
  • Eliza Miller, MD; "Postpartum neurovascular unit dysfunction in women with severe preeclampsia."
  • Gene Thomas Yocum, MD; "GABAA Receptor-Mediated Modulation of Inflammation: A Promising Therapeutic Target."
  • Joy-Sarah Vink, MD; Merit Awardee  

For more information about the 2018 awardees, please read the CUIMC newsroom announcement.


  • Barry Fine, MD, PhD; "The STK25 Signaling Pathway in Cardiomyocytes."
  • Arnold Han, MD, PhD; "T cell function and specificity in human colorectal cancer."
  • Markus Siegelin, MD, Dr. med; "Induction of Synthetic Lethality by Inhibition of Bcl-xL in IDH1 Mutated Gliomas."
  • Kelley Yan, MD, PhD; "Age-related changes in intestinal stem cell function."
  • Elaine Wan, MD; Merit Awardee


  • Ziad Ali, MD, D. Phil; Role of the receptor tyrosine kinase ROS1 in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension."
  • Thomas Connors, MD; "Immune Dysregulation in the Airways of Children with Viral Respiratory Tract Infection."
  • Jennifer Danielsson, MD; "TMEM16A Antagonism: A Novel Target to Treat Asthma."
  • Teresa Lee, MD; "Identification and validation of novel genetic causes of infantile cardiomyopathy."
  • Sheng-Han Kuo, MD; Merit Awardee


  • Nasir Naqvi, MD, PhD; "The Role of Neural Systems for Emotion Regulation in Coping with Alcohol Craving."
  • Max O'Donnell, MD; "Biomarker for XDR-TB Treatment Response and Drug Resistance in HIV Endemic Area."
  • Sameer Sheth, MD, PhD; "Neuromodulatory Treatment for Refractory Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder."
  • Joy-Sarah Vink, MD; "The Role of Anthrax Toxin Receptors In Premature Cervical Remodeling And Preterm Birth."
  • Kimara Targoff, MD; Merit Awardee


  • Emilio Artega-Solis, MD, PhD; "Adiponectin-dependent neuronal regulation of bronchial diameter and obesity-associated asthma."
  • George Gallos, MD; "Chloride channel modulation of pre-term labor."
  • Benjamin Lebewohl, MD, MS; "Gluten and the Microbiome in Individuals With Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity."
  • Elaine Wan, MD; "Roles of Vascular Ion Channels In Heart Failure."


  • Anjali Ganda, MD, MS; "Mechanisms of Monocytosis and Accelerated Atherosclerosis in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease."
  • Adam Griesemer, MD; "Expansion of regulatory T cells to induce mixed chimerism in a translational xenotransplant model."
  • Quan Hoang, MD, PhD; "Novel Approaches to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pathologic Myopia."
  • Sheng-Han Kuo, MD; "Investigating neuronal dysfunction in dopaminergic neurons derived from Parkinson’s disease patient fibroblasts with heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutations."


  • Ali Jabbari, MD, PhD; "Transcriptional Profiling of Discoid Lupus in Humans and MRL/lpr Mice Treated with Ruxolitinib."
  • Fay Kastrinos, MD, MPH; "Identification of Pathogenic mismatch Repair Gene Variants for the Early Detection of Inherited Colorectal Cancer."
  • Kimara Targoff, MD; "Genetic Regulation of Cardiac Chamber identity by nkx Genes in the Zebrafish Embryo."
  • Simone Cheng, MD, PhD; "Immunomodulation of Thoracic Radiation Therapy."


  • Sarah Janicki, MD, MPH; "Genetics of the estrogen pathway, cognitive decline, and dementia in elderly men."
  • John Crary, MD, PhD; "MicroRNA regulation in temporal lobe degeneration."
  • Andrew Teich, MD, PhD; "Aging impairs neural activity-medicated clearance of amyloid in the brain."
  • Zachary Freyberg, MD, PhD; "Revealing Novel Mechanisms of Amphetamine action in a Drosophila Model."


  • Julian Abrams, MD, MPH; "Gastrin and its Role in the Development of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma."
  • Andrew Einstein, MD, PhD; "Estimating and Reducing Cancer Risk from Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography using Single-Heartbeat Volume Scanning."
  • Tamas Gonda, MD; "Targeting global DNA methylation in stromal cells of gastrointestinal cancers."
  • Eldad Hod, MD; "The Harmful effects of red blood cell transfusions are mediated by iron."


  • Susanne Ahmari, MD, PhD; "Dissecting the Neural Circuitry Underlying Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Humans and Mice."
  • John Morrow, MD; "Novel Therapeutic Targets to Prevent Sudden Death in Heart Failure Patients."
  • Utpal Pajvani, MD, PhD; "The Role of Notch1 in Regulation of Hepatic Gluconeogenesis."
  • Paul Planet, MD, PhD; "Microbial Diversity and Ecology in Cystic Fibrosis."


  • Howard Fine, MD, MHSc; "Robotic-Assisted retinal endovascular surgery."
  • Kara Gross, MD; "Control of Intestinal inflammation by anti-inflammatory neuropeptides: Oxytocin and Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP)."
  • Igor Matushansky, MD, PhD; "Solid tumor differentiation therapy for sarcomas."
  • Adam Ratner, MD, PhD; "Novel strategies for the prevention of preterm birth."