Columbia University 7th Annual Engineering in Medicine Symposium - February 23, 2023

Jan 19 2023

About the Symposium

HOSTS

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
&
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
 

EVENT DETAILS

Thursday, February 23, 2023
10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. EST
Register now for a virtual ticket!

Join us virtually for a day of presentations and networking as we explore the interface of engineering and medicine and the path from bench to bedside. With opening remarks anticipated by Columbia Engineering Dean, Shih-Fu Chang, and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons Dean, Katrina Armstrong, the symposium comprises five sessions showcasing the role of engineering in the fields of Single Cell, Machine Learning, Neuroscience of Decision-Making, Development + Aging, and Tissue Engineering + Instructive Biomaterials.  

SYMPOSIUM CHAIRS

Elham Azizi, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Herbert and Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Cancer Data Research

Nandan Nerurkar, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Please direct any questions to [email protected]

OPENING REMARKS

Shih-Fu Chang, PhD
Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science; Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering; Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Katrina Armstrong, MD
Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences; Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons; Chief Executive Officer of Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor in the Faculty of the University

 

REGISTRATION

CLICK TO REGISTER FOR A VIRTUAL TICKET!

 

Click below to get to know our amazing speakers!

 

Treena Arinzeh, PhD

Treena Livingston Arinzeh, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Tissue Engineering and Active BioMaterials Laboratory

Treena Livingston Arinzeh, PhD is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. She is also a co-leader of an Integrated Research Thrust (IRT) and the Director of Diversity of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering Mechanobiology (CEMB). Dr. Arinzeh received her B.S. from Rutgers University in Mechanical Engineering, her M.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a project manager at the stem cell technology company, Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. and was a founding faculty member of the Biomedical Engineering faculty at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the National Academy of Inventors.

Katrina Armstrong, MD

Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences; Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons; Chief Executive Officer of Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor in the Faculty of Medicine

Katrina Armstrong, MD, leads Columbia University’s medical campus as the Chief Executive Officer of CUIMC, which includes the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S), the School of Nursing, the College of Dental Medicine, and the Mailman School of Public Health. She also is Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences for Columbia University and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. As VP&S dean, Dr. Armstrong leads the nation’s second oldest medical school and the first to award an MD degree. Trained as an epidemiologist, she is an internationally recognized investigator in health disparities, quality of care, and cancer prevention and outcomes, an award-winning teacher, and a practicing general internist. She has served on multiple advisory panels for academic and federal organizations and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Before joining Columbia, Dr. Armstrong was the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chair of the Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Before joining Harvard, she was Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Associate Director of the Abramson Cancer Center, and Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Yale University (BA degree in architecture), Johns Hopkins (MD degree), and the University of Pennsylvania (MS degree in clinical epidemiology). She completed her residency training in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins.

Elham Azizi, PhD

Elham Azizi, PhD, Herbert & Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Cancer Data Research in the Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Elham joined Columbia in 2020 as the Herbert and Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Cancer Data Research in the Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering. She is also affiliated with the Department of Computer Science, Data Science Institute, and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Elham holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, and an MSc in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Bioinformatics from Boston University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Dana Pe'er Lab at Columbia University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her multidisciplinary research utilizes novel machine learning techniques and single-cell genomic and imaging technologies to study the dynamics and circuitry of interacting cells in the tumor microenvironment. She is a recipient of the CZI Science Diversity Leadership Award, NSF CAREER Award, Tri-Institutional Breakout Prize for Junior Investigators, NIH NCI Pathway to Independence Award, an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an IBM Best Paper Award at the New England Statistics Symposium.​

Gwyneth Card, PhD

Gwyneth Card, Associate Professor of Neuroscience; Principal Investigator, Zuckerman Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Gwyneth Card is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard, an MPhil from Cambridge University, and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Caltech in the lab of Michael Dickinson. Dr. Card is interested in the neural mechanisms and circuit architectures that underlie decision-making during visually guided behaviors. The lab’s work combines high-throughput, high-resolution behavioral quantification with genetic, electrophysiological, and functional imaging techniques and focuses on the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system. Dr. Card is also a Principal Investigator at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute and and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Shih-Fu Chang, PhD

Dean of Columbia Engineering; Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor

Shih-Fu Chang is Dean of Columbia Engineering and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor. He leads the education, research, and innovation mission of the School and has greatly contributed to its growth and advancement, propelling it to be one of the top engineering programs in the nation.

As one of the most influential experts in multimedia, computer vision and artificial intelligence, his research has led to development of innovative image search tools, which have been used by major media companies and law enforcement agencies in fighting online human trafficking crimes. He has also launched AI tools for online disinformation detection and attribution.

Dean Chang is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and IEEE, and an elected member of Academia Sinica. He received the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates and is director of the Columbia Center of AI Technology in collaboration with Amazon.

 

Santiago Correa, PhD

Santiago Correa, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Santiago Correa is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. Dr. Correa’s lab works at the interface of materials science, nanotechnology and immunology to develop new tools to engineer the immune system to improve human health. Santiago trained as an NCI F32 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Materials Science Department at Stanford, where he developed immunomodulatory biomaterials. He received his PhD in Biological Engineering from MIT, where he investigated how nanoparticle surface chemistry could be engineered to create multifunctional nanotechnology. Santiago obtained his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Yale University, where he researched the foreign body response to biomaterials.

Bianca Dumitrascu, PhD

Assistant Professor of Statistics; Herbert and Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Cancer Data Research (in the Herbert and Florence Institute for Cancer Dynamics)

Dr. Bianca Dumitrascu recently joined the Department of Statistics and the Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics (IICD) as an Assistant Professor of Statistics and Herbert and Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Cancer Data Research. Prior to Columbia, she held positions in the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University, at the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, and in the Statistics Department of Duke University. She completed her PhD in computational biology at the Lewis Sigler Institute for Genomics (Princeton University).Her PhD research focused on the effect of experimental design in single-cell gene expression studies and on method development for structured, high-dimensional medical and genomic data.

Pierre Elias, MD

Pierre Elias, MD, Assistant Professor in Cardiology and Biomedical Informatics; Medical Director for Artificial Intelligence

Pierre Elias is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology and the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where he practices as a general cardiologist. He is also the Medical Director for Artificial Intelligence at NewYork-Presbyterian. His research lab develops machine learning technologies for medical imaging to improve the detection and management of cardiovascular disease.

Mildred Embree, DMD

Dr. Edwin S. Robinson Assistant Professor of Dental Medicine (Orthodontics)

Dr. Embree conducts cutting edge research in both an academic and clinical setting with the goal of translating basic science into clinical practice. Dr. Embree's laboratory focuses on TMJ biology and disease, stem cells and stem cell-based cartilage and bone regeneration. Dr. Embree and her team use a combination of stem cell/molecular biology methods and clinical questions in shaping the direction of scientific projects. Overall, Dr. Embree's research endeavors are geared toward improving the current treatment modalities for patients with TMJ and musculoskeletal diseases.

Joel Gabre, PhD

Joel Gabre, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Joel Gabre is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University. He did his undergraduate and medical school at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, respectively. He did his GI fellowship (including Chief GI fellow) at the University of Pennsylvania and post-doctoral research fellowship in the lab of Dr. Anil Rustgi. Funded through the AGA Research Scholar Award and NIH, Dr. Gabre uses 3D patient-derived and iPSC organoid culture systems to study early events in esophageal development, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. As a physician-scientist, he is dedicated to research, clinical care, teaching and diversity/equity/inclusion.

Jacqueline Gottlieb, PhD

Jacqueline Gottlieb, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Institute for Mind Brain and Behavior

Jacqueline Gottlieb is completed her undergraduate education in cognitive science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her PhD in neurobiology at Yale University and her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health and has been faculty at Columbia since 2001. Dr Gottlieb is an expert on the mechanisms of attention and decision making. Her focus is on the relation between attention control and learning, curiosity and decision making, which she studies using interdisciplinary approaches including computational modeling, neural recordings in animals and human brain imaging.

X. Edward Guo, PhD

X. Edward Guo, PhD, Department Chair and Stanley Dicker Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Professor of Medical Sciences (in Medicine); Director, Bone Bioengineering Laboratory

Professor X. Edward Guo is currently Chair and Stanley Dicker Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Medical Sciences (in Medicine).  He directs the Bone Bioengineering Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia focusing his research interests in micromechanics of bone tissue, computational biomechanics, and mechanobiology of bone.  His past honors include the Young Investigator Recognition Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society, the National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health, a CAREER award from the US National Foundation of Science, Funds for Talented Professionals from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Christopher R. Jacobs Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society.  Professor Guo is one of the founding members of the Department, and has served as its undergraduate Chair, ABET Chair, Vice Chair, and interim Chair.  He was elected Department Chair in 2017.  During his current tenure, the Department has risen to the top ten in the country.

Gamze Gürsoy, PhD

Gamze Gürsoy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics; Core Member of New York Genome Center

Gamze Gürsoy, PhD, is a Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center. She holds a joint appointment as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and affiliated with Computer Science at Columbia University. Dr. Gürsoy’s lab’s overarching research goal is to harmonize diverse fields such as biology, bioinformatics, molecular biology, engineering, and cryptography to achieve two fundamental aims: (1) to increase biomedical data access to a wider group of scientists while preserving privacy of research participants; and (2) to uncover the molecular underpinnings of gene dysregulation via knowledge gained from functional genomics data.

Chi-Min Ho, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Dr. Chi-Min Ho (Mimi) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Research in her lab focuses on understanding the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions of Malaria parasites, using cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) and cellular cryo electron tomography (cryoET).

Joshua Jacobs, PhD

Joshua Jacobs, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Josh Jacobs is an Associate Professor in Columbia University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, where he has been since 2015. Research in Jacobs’ laboratory examines the neural systems in humans that support spatial navigation and memory. An objective of this work is to characterize the principles underlying how the human brain represents spatial information during navigation and to test how these signals are used to support memory and other behaviors. His experiments directly record neural signals from neurosurgical patients who have electrodes surgically implanted in deep brain structures, including the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex.

Daniel Javitt, MD

Daniel C. Javitt, M.D., Ph.D. Professor and Director, Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Javitt is Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia and Director of Schizophrenia Research at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research. He received his BA magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1979, his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1983; completed his residency in Psychiatry in 1987; and earned a PhD in Neuroscience in 1990. He has published over 350 articles on issues related to neurophysiological biomarkers for schizophrenia. He has received research awards from the APA, ACNP, SOBP and others. His work has been continuously funded by NIH and private foundations

Lance Kam, PhD

Lance C. Kam, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences (in Medicine)

Dr. Lance Kam is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. His research group develops micro- and nano-scale fabrication approaches that reveal how cells recognize the spatial complexity of their environment. These methods revealed the role of spatially-resolved signaling and mechanosensing in T cell activation, leading to methods for directing subsequent proliferation and growth. In addition, this group is developing approaches for understanding the individuality of T cell exhaustion and their impacts on immunotherapy.

Karen E. Kasza, PhD

Karen Kasza, PhD, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of Kasza Living Materials Laboratory

Karen Kasza's research combines approaches from biology, engineering, and physics to explore how cells collectively organize into functional tissues. Karen received a B.A. in Physics from the University of Chicago, a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University, and did her postdoctoral research at the Sloan Kettering Institute. Since 2016, she has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, where she is currently an associate professor. Karen is the recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, 2022; Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, 2018; NSF CAREER Award, 2018; Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship, 2016; Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface, 2014.

David Arthur Knowles, PhD

David A Knowles, PhD, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Knowles did his undergraduate and PhD at the University of Cambridge, with an interlude at Imperial College for his MSc. During his PhD he developed Bayesian nonparametric models and variational inference algorithms. He was a postdoc at Stanford in Computer Science and Genetics. At Columbia he is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Systems Biology and an Affiliate of the Data Science Institute. He is a Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center. His lab develops statistical machine learning methods to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms that mediate genetic effects on disease risk.

Andrew Laine, PhD

Andrew F. Laine, PhD, Percy K. and Vida L.W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology (Physics), Columbia University; Director, Heffner Biomedical Imaging Laboratory

Andrew F. Laine received his D.Sc. degree from Washington University (St. Louis) School of Engineering and Applied Science in Computer Science, in 1989 and BS degree from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY).  He was a Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) from 1990-1997.  He joined Columbia University in 1997 and served as Vice Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering 2003 – 2011, and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering 2012 – 2017.  He is currently the Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Radiology (Physics). Laine served as Program Chair for the IEEE EMBS annual conference in 2006 (New York City) and for the EMBS annual conference in 2011 (Boston, MA). He Chaired the Council of Societies for AIMBE in 2012-2013 and was President of IEEE EMBS in 2015 and 2016.  He is a Fellow of IEEE, AIMBE, and IFMBE.

Helen Lu, PhD

PERCY K. AND VIDA L.W. HUDSON PROFESSOR OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING AND SENIOR VICE DEAN OF FACULTY AFFAIRS AND ADVANCEMENT

Helen H. Lu's research focuses on Orthopaedic Interface Tissue Engineering and the formation of complex tissue systems, with the goal of achieving integrative and functional repair of soft tissue injuries.  Additionally, her research group is active in the design of novel biomaterials for orthopedic and dental applications.  Her group has published extensively in biomaterials and tissue engineering, cell-material interactions as well as smart material design.

Lu is the inventor and co-inventor of more than a dozen patents and applications, and she has served on the editorial board of leading journals of the fields, including Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Engineering, Journal of Biomedical Material Research A, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, and is currently an associated editor for IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.   Her research has been supported by the Whitaker Foundation, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, the New York State Stem Cell Initiative, the National Football League (NFL) Charities, the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

Lu’s research has also been recognized with many awards, including the Early Faculty Career Awards in Translational Research (Phase I and Phase II) from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials.  She was honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at the White House in 2010, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2011. 

Lu received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently the Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Laboratory at Columbia University.  She also received tenure at the Columbia College of Dental Medicine, and serves as a Provost Leadership Fellow at Columbia.  

Nandan Nerurkar, PhD

Nandan L. Nerurkar, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Prof. Nerurkar received a BS in Biological Engineering from University of Maryland College Park in 2003, an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2005, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania 2010. Nerurkar completed his training as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School before joining Columbia as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering in January 2018, where his lab studies the emergence of form during embryonic development using approaches from engineering and developmental biology.

Tannishtha Reya, PhD

Associate Director for Translational Research and Director of the Irving Drug Discovery program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Tannishtha Reya, PhD is Associate Director for Translational Research and Director of the Irving Drug Discovery program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. An expert in how stem cells fuel cancer growth, Dr. Reya is particularly known for co-authoring a publication in Nature in 2001 that coined the term ‘cancer stem cell’ to describe how some cancer cells can mirror the properties of stem cells in normal tissues. Dr. Reya’s laboratory has uncovered critical pathways and therapeutic targets in leukemia and pancreatic cancer, contributing to clinical trials and approvals for new therapies. She has been recognized for her contributions to the field with many prestigious awards, including an NIH Director's Pioneer Award in 2009 and an NCI Outstanding Investigator Award in 2015.

Dr. Reya has made key contributions to the field of cancer biology by defining the signals that control stem cell growth, and how these signals are hijacked to drive cancer growth and recurrence. Her lab’s work identifying Wnt and Hedgehog pathways as critical players in promoting therapy resistance and residual disease contributed to clinical trials and ultimate approval of Glasdegib to treat acute myeloid leukemia. Dr. Reya and her team also identified the stem cell signal Musashi as a new class of RNA binding proteins regulating aggressive cancers such as myeloid leukemia and pancreatic cancer. Building on this discovery, they created a CRISPR-based genome-wide map of pancreatic cancer dependencies. This work identified immune signals such as CSF1R and RORg as direct mediators of disease and key therapeutic targets, and formed the basis of preclinical and clinical efforts to test the impact of immunomodulatory agents on pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Reya graduated with honors from Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned her PhD in immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she won the Saul Winegrad Award for Distinguished Dissertation in Immunology. She completed her postdoctoral studies at UCSF (Immunology) and Stanford University (Stem Cell Biology), and subsequently joined the faculty at Duke University where she also served as co-director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine program. Before coming to Columbia, Dr. Reya was a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and the Department of Medicine and the director of the Division of Cancer Biology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Paul Sajda, PhD

Paul Sajda, Ph.D. Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Paul Sajda is the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Radiology (Physics) at Columbia University. He received a BS in electrical engineering from MIT in 1989 and an MSE and PhD in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He is currently the Director of Columbia’s Center of Excellence in The Neuroscience of Decision Making sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory. Professor Sajda is also the current President of the IEEE EMBS.

Lawrence Schwartz, PhD

James Picker Professor of Radiology; Chair, Department of Radiology

Dr. Schwartz is internationally recognized for the innovative application of new technology in imaging to improve both clinical care and drug discovery. Renowned in the field of oncologic imaging, he is an authority on the development and validation of imaging biomarkers. His research has focused on new computational and functional techniques that utilize physiologic imaging and advanced image processing to assess and correlate imaging characteristics with molecular features of disease processes, in particular solid tumors of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. At MSKCC, Dr. Schwartz founded the Laboratory for Computational Image Analysis, which focuses on advanced image processing to quantitatively assess therapeutic efficacy in clinical care and drug discovery. 

Dr. Schwartz has also achieved international recognition in the field of medical informatics. He was the principal collaborator with IBM in the development of continuous speech voice recognition for radiology reporting and with GE in the development of one of the first enterprise-wide Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS).

Kimara Targoff, MD

Kimara L. Targoff, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director, Cardiac Development and Regeneration Laboratory, Columbia University

Kimara L. Targoff, MD, is interested in the identification and characterization of genes that are essential for key developmental processes in cardiac morphogenesis. She works clinically as a Pediatric Cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. Simultaneously, Dr. Targoff studies the genetic mechanisms regulating heart development in zebrafish. Her laboratory's research is focused on the role of nkx genes, cardiac-specific homeodomain transcription factors, in establishing and maintaining cardiomyocyte identity.

Kaveri Thakoor, PhD

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmic Science (in Ophthalmology)

Kaveri Thakoor, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmic Science (in Ophthalmology) at CUIMC, and has faculty affiliations with the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and the Columbia Data Science Institute (DSI). Dr. Thakoor earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University as an NSF Fellow. She earned her B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from Stanford University and her M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California. She also worked on the Earthquake Early Warning algorithm development team at Caltech before joining Columbia. She was awarded the Morton B. Friedman Memorial Prize for Doctoral Excellence by Columbia Engineering and a DSI Seed Funds Program grant for her research on "Creating an Expert–AI Team for Eye Disease Detection Driven by Expert Gaze Data."

Stavros Thomopoulos, PhD

Stavros Thomopoulos, Robert E. Carroll and Jane Chace Carroll Laboratories Professor; Professor of Biomechanics (in Orthopedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering), Columbia University; Director, Carroll Laboratories for Orthopedic Surgery

Dr. Thomopoulos holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, and Masters of Science degrees in both mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan. He completed his doctoral studies in biomedical engineering in 2001 through the University of Michigan. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University in Biomedical Engineering, he started a faculty position at Washington University in 2003. Dr. Thomopoulos joined Columbia University in 2015 as a full professor and the director of the Carroll Laboratories. Dr. Thomopoulos studies the development and regeneration of the tendon-to-bone attachment. The Thomopoulos laboratory seeks to understand the mechanisms by which the healthy attachment transfers load between tendon and bone and applies this knowledge to enhance tendon-to-bone repair.

Sanja Vickovic, PhD

Sanja Vickovic, PhD, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering; Director of Technology Innovation at NYGC

Sanja Vicković, PhD, is a Core Faculty Member and Director, Technology Innovation Lab, at the New York Genome Center. She holds joint appointments as an Assistant Professor at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics at Columbia University. The Vicković Lab leverages technologies including spatial transcriptomics, co-invented by Dr. Vicković, single-cell sequencing, and machine learning. A particular area of disease focus for the lab is developing tools for spatial genomics that will enable perturbing highly complex interactions in the human gut.

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, University Professor

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic is University Professor, the first engineer to receive this highest academic rank at Columbia University. The focus of her lab is on engineering functional human tissues for use in regenerative medicine and patient-specific “organs-on-a-chip” models of diseases, including cancer. She is well published and highly cited, has mentored over 150 trainees, and founded four biotech companies. She is a member of eight national and international academies including the Academia Europaea, US National Academies of Engineering, Medicine and Inventors, International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, Royal Society – Academy of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
 

Qi Wang, PhD

Qi Wang, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Director of Neural Engineering and Control Laboratory

Qi Wang is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Neural Engineering and Control Laboratory at Columbia. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia University in January 2013, he held a research faculty position in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. His research interests include neuromodulation, neural information processing, and brain-machine interfaces. He has received numerous awards including IEEE EMBS Early Career Achievement Award, Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Foundation, and the Best Paper Awards at the 14th IEEE Haptics Symposium.

Yvon Woappi, PhD

Yvon Woappi, PhD, Herbert and Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, Dermatology, and Biomedical Engineering; Director of Synthetic Regeneration and Systems Physiology Laboratory

Yvon Woappi received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, and his PhD in Biomedical Sciences as a Grace Jordan McFadden Fellow under Lucia Pirisi-Creek at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. In September 2022, Yvon joined the Department of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University where his laboratory studies synthetic wound healing, investigating how varied skin cells orchestrate tissue repair. Yvon was a recipient of the MIT Rising Star Award and was designated among the “1000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America” by Cell Press News. In 2021, he received the inaugural NIH K99/R00 MOSAIC award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Kelley Yan, MD

Kelley Yan, MD, PhD, Warner-Lamber Assistant Professor of Medicine and of Genetics & Development, Co-Director of the Organoid and Cell Culture Core

Kelley Yan is a physician-scientist with a background in clinical gastroenterology, structural biology, and stem cell biology. She received her MD and PhD degrees from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and then completed her clinical training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology as well as postdoctoral fellowship in intestinal stem cell biology at Stanford University as a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) MD Scholar.
Currently, she is a physician-scientist practicing general gastroenterology and holds an appointment as the Warner-Lambert Assistant Professor of Medicine and of Genetics & Development at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where her lab studies intestinal stem cell biology in health and disease. Her lab uses multi-disciplinary approaches to understand the behavior of intestinal stem cells with the ultimate goal of manipulating them for therapeutic benefit. She is the recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (DP2), Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists, the Young Investigator Award in the Basic Sciences from the AGA, and the Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award from Columbia University.