Alumni News

J. Courtland Robinson, associate professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, writes that he enjoys retirement with his wife and spends time in his retirement community’s wood shop “where I spend a number of hours wood turning and repairing furniture most every day.” He spent 11 years on the faculty of Yonsei University College of Medicine in Korea before joining Johns Hopkins. He retired in 2001. He fondly remembers faculty members Virginia Apgar, Howard Taylor, and “other exciting teachers.”

Thomas Mack has authored a second edition of his book about cancers in urban environments. Read more in Alumni in Print. Tom is professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He has chaired California’s Carcinogen Identification Committee for the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment for more than 25 years.

Robert Lefkowitz has published a memoir, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm,” which is excerpted in our My Path from Columbia to a Nobel Prize feature. Bob shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by Jeffrey Fisher, who has retired in Phoenix, Arizona. After an internship at Harlem Hospital and a medicine residency at the University of New Mexico, he began a 45-year career in internal medicine. He worked for the State Department and the Indian Health Service and was in a private group practice. In retirement he mentors first- and second-year students at the University of Arizona.

Read about a book by Arnold Eggers in Alumni in Print. Arnold is an academic neurologist who made a midcareer shift into theoretical medicine. He has published 18 articles in the journal Medical Hypotheses describing the effects of stress. He retired from joint appointments at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center and Kings County Hospital. He is now associate professor emeritus of neurology at SUNY-Downstate.

Daniel Von Hoff received the American Association for Cancer Research’s inaugural Daniel D. Von Hoff Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education and Training in Cancer Research. Dan received the award named for him at the 2021 meeting of the association. He was recognized for his groundbreaking accomplishments as an educator, for his sustained scientific innovation that has accelerated advances in cancer science and medicine, and for his contributions to the education and training of thousands of clinical cancer investigators. Dan is Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona. He also is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research at City of Hope in Duarte, California; Virginia G. Piper Distinguished Chair for Innovative Cancer Research at HonorHealth Clinical Research Institute; Margaret Givan Larkin Endowed Chair in Developmental Cancer Therapeutics at Hoag Family Cancer Institute; chief scientific officer for US Oncology Research; and professor of medicine at the University of Arizona and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has been a member of the AACR since 1977 and was inducted into the inaugural class of Fellows of the AACR Academy in 2013. He served as AACR president from 1999-2000.

See Alumni in Print to read about a book written by Mindy Thompson Fullilove. Mindy is professor of urban policy and health at the New School’s Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment. Her work as a social psychiatrist focuses on the ways environmental factors affect the mental health of communities. Her latest book is her sixth, and she has published numerous articles in her field.

Aaron E. Glatt received the 2020 Laureate Award from the New York chapter of the American College of Physicians. The Laureate Award honors Fellows and masters of the college who have demonstrated an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research through service to their community, their chapter, and the American College of Physicians. Aaron is chair of medicine and chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside and professor of nedicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He also is the associate rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere. He has been designated a Master of the American College of Physicians by the American College of Physicians Awards Committee.

1986 PhD/1987 MD
George Yancopoulos and the company he leads, Regeneron, made headlines last fall with its new drug to treat COVID-19. Read about his work—and the antibody research done by Columbia’s David Ho, MD—in our IN THE LAB: The Hunt for COVID-19 Antibody Treatments feature.

Intermountain Healthcare based in Salt Lake City, Utah, named Shannon Connor Phillips chief medical officer for community-based care and president of the Intermountain Medical Group that includes more than 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice providers. She joined Intermountain Healthcare from the Cleveland Clinic in 2017 as chief patient experience officer. She has practiced as a pediatric hospitalist for 25 years (currently at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City) and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum. 

Sanjeev Bhalla has been named the American Roentgen Ray Society’s 2021 Distinguished Educator. He was formally recognized during the opening ceremony of the society’s virtual annual meeting in April. Sanjeev also has joined the Radiological Society of North America Board of Directors as liaison for education. Since 2007, Sanjeev has been section chief of the cardiothoracic imaging section at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis, where he also is professor of radiology, assistant residency program director, and vice chair for education. He also is co-director of body CT and clinical radiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. 

Mark D. Olszyk, chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at Carroll Hospital in Westminster, Maryland, received the American College of Healthcare Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award at a November 2020 event. Mark has served in leadership positions at Carroll Hospital since 2013 and is board-certified in health care management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has served on the Maryland Board of Physicians since 2014 and is currently vice chair. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and is a certified physician executive through the American Association of Physician Leaders.

Hillary Kunins has joined the San Francisco Department of Public Health as director of behavioral health services and mental health SF to lead the city’s mental health initiative. Hillary had been executive deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she oversaw the department’s major strategic initiatives to improve the mental and behavioral health of New Yorkers. She also has an MPH degree from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Hooman Kamel received a 2020 Joseph A. Vita Award from the American Heart Association at the group’s virtual scientific session meeting in November. The annual award honors the late cardiovascular scientist Joseph A. Vita, MD, to recognize research that has had a major impact on the field of cardiovascular biology or cardiovascular health during the past five years. Hooman was recognized for research on atrial dysfunction and atrial fibrillation that has shed insight into the causes of unexplained stroke. He is vice chair for research in the Department of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine and director of the college’s clinical and translational neuroscience unit in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute. After medical school, Hooman trained at the University of California, San Francisco as a neurology resident and neurocritical care fellow. He joined Weill Cornell in 2011.

Lori Leslie has been named co-medical director of the Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center’s cancer program, which is affiliated with the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. After a residency at Columbia, Lori completed a fellowship at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she served as chief fellow. She is board certified in hematology, medical oncology, and internal medicine and specializes in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. She also is director of the indolent lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia research programs at John Theurer Cancer Center.

Uzodinma Iweala has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Sundance Institute. He and other trustees on the 32-person board will work with the board chair and the institute’s executive director to help shape the business, cultural, and philanthropic goals of the organization, a nonprofit committed to the growth of independent artists through programs that discover and support independent filmmakers, theater artists, and composers all over the world. Uzodinma is a writer, filmmaker, and CEO of The Africa Center, which is dedicated to promoting a new narrative about Africa and its diaspora. His books include “Beasts of No Nation,” a 2005 novel that was adapted into a major motion picture.

Sarah Sherwood received a resident teaching award at the January 2021 transition ceremony that marked the Class of 2023’s transition to patient-centered training. Each year at the Steven Z. Miller Student Clinician’s Ceremony (named for a 1984 graduate), the class that just completed its major clinical year nominates residents for Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Awards. The residents were nominated for their qualities as teachers and role models for members of the Class of 2022. Sarah is chief resident in internal medicine and also an instructor in medicine at VP&S.

Stan Wang received a 2020 Henri Termeer Fellowship, which is awarded to up-and-coming company founders, CEOs, or heads of life science organizations working to bring life-changing treatments to patients. Stan, who also has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, is founder and CEO of Thymmune Therapeutics, a cell therapy company. Before founding Thymmune Therapeutics, Stan was founding chief scientific officer at Cellino Biotech.