Taub Institute: Genomics Core


Columbia University
Irving Medical Center
Neurological Institute

710 West 168th Street, 3rd floor
(212) 305-1818

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COVID-19 Response & Reopening:
A Letter from Our Directors

May 12, 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Taub Institute,

We hope this letter finds you and your families well during this challenging time. Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in New York City on March 1, 2020, life as we knew it in this «city that never sleeps» has certainly been drastically upended. We all share in the astonishment of what New York City—and cities like it around the nation and the world—have collectively accomplished in response to this global pandemic. Who would have thought it possible that the citizens of a city as dense, diverse, and determined as our own could so readily unite in common cause against a single invisible enemy? This is the stuff of fiction, or so many thought.

Here among the community of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s disease and the Aging Brain, we know better. We have long been united against a similarly pervasive and devastating enemy: Alzheimer’s disease and the related dementias. Our ability to continuously innovate new approaches to the extraordinary complexities of our singular focus has earned us a place in the vanguard of global AD research. Regardless of the challenges, we remain stalwart in our mission to uncover the causes, treatments, and eventual cure of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

In many ways, our current forced isolation has renewed collaborative energy and fostered greater creativity. Some Taub laboratories, such as the labs of Dr. Alejandro Chavez (featured in The New Yorker on April 13th) and Dr. Laura McIntire, have been able to immediately use their skills in drug discovery to attack the problem of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus. Other Taub faculty and staff have been redeployed to essential laboratories across the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), to assist with vital COVID-19 research and testing studies. The rest of us have immersed ourselves in the important work of general data analysis and bioinformatics studies, grant writing, and producing research publications.

Better days are on the horizon! For several weeks, the CUIMC Post-COVID Recovery Task Force and Working Group Committees, both of which include faculty members from Taub, have been carefully planning the gradual reopening of clinical, research, and educational activities on campus. We are writing to let you know that this process is to begin on May 18, 2020, when a limited number of research staff will be permitted to return to their laboratories, with measures in place to protect the safety and well-being of all those involved.

On behalf of the dedicated faculty and staff throughout our research laboratories, thank you for your unwavering support. Your generosity is critical and will enable our physician-scientists to carry out the kinds of innovative research projects that lead to scientific breakthroughs.

Thank you for standing with us!

Michael Shelanski, MD, PhD
Henry Taub Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology
Co-Director, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and Aging Brain
Richard Mayeux, MD, MSc
Sergievsky Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Epidemiology
Co-Director, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and Aging Brain

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