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News

Dr. Christoper Cunniff is retiring as Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics at Weill Cornell Medicine this week

Dr. Christopher Cunniff’s inspired leadership of the Division of Medical Genetics significantly expanded the institute's clinical pediatric genetics services, allowing for greater access and improved outcomes for children and adults with rare diseases. His longstanding dedication in growing the Bloom Syndrome Registry has made significant contributions to the body of scientific knowledge about the rare condition and improved the medical care and quality of life for individuals with Bloom Syndrome. Through his dedication to medical education, as both Program Director for the Medical Genetics Residency and Unit Leader/Lecturer for first year medical students, Dr. Cunniff has impacted a generation of physicians and physician-scientists. His leadership and friendship will be missed. Thank you, Dr. Cunniff.

Maria Lame, MD and Oyinkan Marquis, MD were named Diversity Center of Excellence (DCoE) 2019 Faculty Scholars in Health Equity.  This initiative, which is a health equity education training program, was launched in Fall 2019 by the Cornell Center for Health Equity (CCHEq) and DCoE. For more information about the Faculty Scholars in Health Equity Program, visit: https://centerforhealthequity.cornell.edu/faculty-scholars-in-health-equity/

Members of the Weill Cornell Medicine community gathered on Oct. 25 in Griffis Faculty Club to celebrate the unveiling of a set of paintings depicting four icons of diversity and inclusion efforts at the institution. Dr. Daniel Laroche, M.D. ’92, his wife Marjorie Laroche and his cousin Marie Claude Brutus commissioned the paintings from the Haitian artist Junior Jacques to recognize the seminal contributions of Drs. James Curtis, Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey, Bruce Ballard, and Carlyle Miller, M.D. ’75 to Weill Cornell Medicine’s efforts to attract and retain underrepresented minorities in medicine.  See full story

The Department of Pediatrics is inviting all faculty to participate in its latest diversity climate survey, which will assist the Department in measuring progress over time.

LINK: Complete the Diversity Climate Survey

We are also pleased to announce the arrival of Genevieve Giny Fouda, M.D., Ph.D., to the Department of Pediatrics and Weill Cornell Medicine, effective July 1, 2022. Dr. Fouda will serve as Assistant Dean for Faculty Development, focusing on the professional development of basic scientists, and Director of the PhD Scientist Development and Training in Pediatrics Program, where she will help shape the next generation of pediatric scientists in basic sciences and promote wet bench research within the Department. Dr. Fouda will join the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases as a Professor of Pediatrics and provide mentorship to junior scientists and physicians involved in laboratory-based research.

Dr. Fouda’s research focuses on antibody responses to viral pathogens in children in comparison to adults following natural infection and vaccination. She is especially interested in investigating how the unique characteristics of the early life immune system can be harnessed to develop immunization strategies tailored to pediatric settings. Her research program is funded through several NIH grant mechanisms, including several R01s. She is also involved in collaborative projects to investigate pediatric HIV vaccine candidates and immune-based strategies toward a pediatric HIV cure.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Katharina Graw-Panzer on her appointment as Medical Director of the Pediatric Sleep Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, effective June 1, 2022. As Medical Director, Dr. Graw-Panzer will lead and direct the Pediatric Sleep Center’s clinical and research activities. She will work closely with the division administrator to expand patient access while reviewing and improving operational efficiency and financial sustainability.

The Pediatric Sleep Center includes a dedicated Pediatric Sleep lab on 61st street offering in and outpatient polysomnography. Outpatient consultations are provided for sleep disordered breathing, behavioral sleep disorders and CPAP adherence. Recently, Dr. Graw-Panzer expanded consultative services to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist and opened the NYP Kids Multidisciplinary Sleep Center in collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Anjali Rajadhyaksha, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience in pediatrics, has been awarded an NIH R01 grant for her study, “Investigating the mechanistic contribution of Cav1.2 channels in extinction of cocaine-associated memories.” The study will examine Cav1.2 L-type Ca2+ channels and its interacting signaling molecules within defined neuronal cell types in extinction of cocaine contextual memories.

Cocaine addiction exerts a high cost on society and individuals and to date no pharmacotherapies exist. Studies have shown that behavioral therapies are not effective at preventing relapse as 70-80% of cocaine users will experience relapse following therapy. Preventing relapse is the primary challenge for the treatment of cocaine dependent individuals. One of the many factors that contribute to relapse is the exceptionally strong associations that drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, make between environmental contexts and the rewarding properties of the drug. Therefore, understanding the neural mechanisms that are responsible for these drug-context associations is critical for the development of improved treatment options.

Congratulations to Nicole Kucine, M.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics, on being named by Weill Cornell Medicine - for the second time - as the Charles, Lillian and Betty Neuwirth Clinical Scholar in Pediatric Oncology.  

 As the Charles, Lillian and Betty Neuwirth Clinical Scholar, Dr. Kucine will continue her research on myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), rare pre-malignant bone marrow disorders in children. She is working to better understand the pathogenesis in young patients and complete the largest sequencing evaluation of this patient population. Dr. Kucine evaluates the clinical features of the disease by describing the incidence of thrombotic events and identifying treatment options for use in children with MPNs. She leads an internationally recognized pediatric MPN clinical and research program and sees children from across the country.

Pediatrics Research Day flyer

On June 2nd, 2022, the Department of Pediatrics and Gale and Ira Drukier Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine hosts Pediatrics Research Day 2022, highlighting basic and clinical research in children’s health by Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian faculty, fellows, residents, medical students, and staff.  The day features oral presentations, invited speakers, a career panel, and a poster session.

Please see the day's agenda below, and explore our abstracts guide!

PDF icon Pediatrics Research Day 2022 Abstracts Guide

 

Agenda

11:15 am-12:00 pm
Check-in / Grab and Go Lunch

12:00 pm-12:05 pm             
Welcome

This week, we are jolted by another mass school shooting that has claimed more young lives. We are shocked and saddened by the devastating deaths of 19 elementary school children and their two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, victims of intentional gunfire by a mentally unwell individual who was practically a child himself.

We stand with children, families, and other citizens across this country who are trying to make sense of another unimaginable violent act, and call upon our local, regional, and national leaders to meaningfully address gun violence – now the No. 1 cause of death of children and teens in the United States according to CDC data. It is clear: gun control is a public health issue.

As child health professionals, we vow to use our voice and knowledge to advocate for stronger gun laws, mental health support, and more effective interventions for at-risk youth. In order to keep kids safe from gun violence – in schools, grocery stores, on the streets, and in our homes – we must address the access to guns and lead the call to action.

Pediatrics Weill Cornell Medicine Appointments & Referrals: (646) 962-KIDS (646) 962-5437 Chair's Office: Weill Cornell Medicine 525 E 68th St.
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