Taub Institute: Genomics Core


Columbia University
Irving Medical Center
Neurological Institute

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

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Taub Institute news and events


2024 - present | 2023 - 2011

  • James Noble, MD, MS Inducted into the Academy of Community and Public Service

    February 7, 2024

    Associate Professor of Neurology James Noble, MD, MS, along with nine other faculty members from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, was recently inducted into the Academy of Community and Public Service (ACPS) in recognition of his exceptional efforts to promote health, well-being, and overall quality of life in the local communities of upper Manhattan, as well as nationally and globally.

    At the event, Professor of Neurology and Vice Dean of Community Health Dr. Olajide Williams, a co-chair of ACPS, said of the awardees, “The work and dedication to community and public service of the people here today are nothing short of inspiring. I’m a big believer in inspiration, because inspiration is what sparks imagination, and imagination sparks innovation. And it’s innovation that is truly going to move us to a place where we can finally say, ‘out of many, we are one.’” [read more]

    Source: CUIMC Newsroom

  • A Multidisciplinary Approach to Neurological Care Driven by Diverse Interests

    February 7, 2024

    5 Questions With Dr. James Noble

    Dr. James Noble isn’t one for being boxed in. The neurologist and neuroepidemiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is an expert in dementia, but a sampling of his work reflects his broad clinical and research interests: He’s investigating the link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease. He’s developed a prototype for a device that helps diagnose concussions in real time. He’s researching how hip-hop can be used in health education and cofounded a nonprofit, Arts & Minds, to support the power of visual arts in improving wellness for dementia patients and caretakers.

    These seemingly disparate projects all tie together for Dr. Noble. “First, I’m passionate about each of them. They tend to reflect a problem that I’m trying to solve or a question that I’m trying to answer,” he says. “And second, if I can prove in a methodical and scientifically rigorous way that all these things can make a difference for people, I believe they are worth doing.” [read more]

    Source: NYP Advances

  • Danurys L. Sanchez Receives Martha A. Hooven Award for Community Service Excellence

    February 1, 2024

    On January 23, 2024, Senior Staff Associate Danurys L. Sanchez and five other awardees were honored by Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) with Martha A. Hooven Awards for Excellence. These awards are given annually to recognize individuals at VP&S who make significant contributions to the medical school’s workplace and community.

    This year, Danurys (Didi) and her co-awardees were chosen from more than 160 nominations. This is the second time that Didi has received a Martha A. Hooven Award for Excellence, as mentioned by Dr. Olajide Williams, professor of neurology and vice dean of community health, who presented the award [watch the ceremony, with Didi's award beginning at 10:25.] “Didi understands cultural humanity; she understands mutual respect; she understands that the dedication to health justice is the only way to achieve strong recruitment and retention from our local community,” explains Dr. Williams.

    In accepting the award, Didi was quick to credit the dedication of her team and colleagues, noting that she is “surrounded every day by people who are leaving their marks in this community…we are doing so much, and my deeds out there are a testament that I’m not by myself.”

    The faculty and staff of the Department of Neurology, the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center congratulate Didi on this well-deserved honor!

    Community Service Award

    Danurys L. Sanchez is a senior staff associate for the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, where she collaborates with principal investigators to ensure the fulfillment of the center’s research mission. She has been a key team member for the Washington Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project since 2007, working to recruit participants, connect community members with relevant health care providers and social services, and increase community understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. She also helps connect departments, faculty members, and researchers with community organizations, creating networks for all parties to collaborate and share resources.

  • Fishing for Insights into Human Disease

    January 18, 2024
    By Gary Goldenberg

    Over the years, zebrafish (and to a lesser extent killifish) have become an important experimental model in biomedical research, thanks to their genetic similarity to humans, transparent embryos, rapid development, and regenerative abilities, among other features. Columbia researchers are using these finned wonders to gain insights into human health and disease. Caghan Kizil, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor of Neurological Sciences in Neurology and in the Taub Institute, uses zebrafish in his research on Alzheimer's disease. [read more about how other Columbia researchers are using zebrafish in their work]

    Can zebrafish teach us how to regenerate neurons?
    No one would argue that zebrafish, whose brains are the size of a sesame seed, are smarter than humans. But these tiny aquatic animals can do a few tricks that humans cannot, such as growing scores of new brain neurons in response to neurological pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease or injury, even well into adulthood. In contrast, once past childhood, humans can manage to regenerate only a smattering of neurons, a rate that declines even more with disease.

    Using zebrafish as a model organism, Caghan Kizil, PhD, associate professor of neurological sciences (in neurology and in the Taub Institute) at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, is gaining new insights into the molecular mechanisms that underlie neuronal regeneration, or neurogenesis.

    “The beauty of zebrafish is that we can get human-relevant experimental results in weeks instead of months or years with other animal models,” adds Kizil. “We can even get these fish to perform memory tests to investigate the cognitive consequences of therapeutic interventions for neurological diseases.”

    Thus far, Kizil’s studies have revealed a key molecule (nerve growth factor receptor) that controls nerve regeneration in zebrafish. The same molecule appears to be active in humans during early development but not in Alzheimer’s patients.

    “If we could kickstart neurogenesis in humans, we might be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by enhancing the brain’s resilience,” says Kizil. His team has already identified two potential targets for drug therapy. The researchers are designing compounds to selectively hit those targets, which they will evaluate in zebrafish.

    Source: CUIMC Newsroom

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