2010 Faculty Grants

Below is a list of the faculty grants awarded to Mailman School faculty in 2010:


Miriam Rabkin, MD, MPH, associate clinical professor of Epidemiology and associate clinical professor of Medicine (P&S), received an 18-month grant for $500,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation to support research relating to global public health and scaling up HIV/AIDS services in sub-Saharan Africa. The projects supported by the grant include a conference at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Italy, exploring ways in which to leverage HIV scale-up to strengthen health systems, and a conference on the "Changing Landscape of Global Public Health," hosted by Dean Linda Fried and the Mailman School of Public Health in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Public Health.


Neil Boothby, EdD, the Allan Rosenfield Professor of Clinical Forced Migration and Health, and director of Program on Forced Migration and Health, was awarded a grant of $621,267 by the United States Agency for International Development. The grant will support the efforts of Columbia University, the University of Indonesia, and UNICEF to establish the Center on Child Protection at the University of Indonesia.


mvg7_3_GambleMary_mgv7.jpgMary V. Gamble, PhD, associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences, has received a four-year grant of $1.9 million from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences titled "Biomarkers for Arsenic Toxicity: Genetics, Epigenetics, and Folate." Current estimates indicate that as many as 100 million people in over 70 countries are drinking water with arsenic concentrations up to 100 times the World Health Organization guideline of 10 ug per liter. There is significant variability in progression from arsenic exposure to clinical manifestations of disease. This study seeks to identify genetic, epigenetic, and nutritional factors that may together account for a substantial portion of this variability and predict risk for the development of arsenicosis.


Andrew G. Rundle, DrPH, associate professor of Epidemiology, has received an 18-month grant of $267,283 from the Urban and Community Forestry Program, part of the United States Department of Agriculture's Forestry Service, to study "The Urban Forest, Childhood Asthma, and Community Air Quality." Rundle will collaborate with the city's Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to investigate how trees and forests affect air pollution and the health of New York City children.


Mailman School of Public Health's Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health received a Challenge Grant of $725,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant will help broaden the Center's mission to bring the insights of the humanities to bear on public health. This is the first NEH Challenge Grant given to a school of public health. The center is co-directed by David Rosner, PhD, the Ronald H. Lauterstein Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and professor of History; and Ronald Bayer, PhD, professor of Sociomedical Sciences.


Ruth Ottman, PhD, professor of Epidemiology, and David B. Goldstein, PhD, of Duke University, received $2,000,025 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for "Whole Genome Sequencing in Multiplex Epilepsy Families." This study aims to identify new and important genetic contributions to epilepsy by performing very high-throughput genomic sequencing in individuals with epilepsy from families containing multiple affected individuals. Identification of these genes could point the way to the development of new therapies for epilepsy.

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David Abramson, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences and director of research at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, has received $100,000 from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and $50,000 from the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation to study "Community Factors Associated with Long-Term Disaster Recovery." Employing case studies of four to six United States communities, Abramson examines the long-term recovery issues facing communities that are exposed to significant disaster risks and explores the pre-disaster planning decisions that could accelerate a community's recovery of its critical infrastructure, economic and housing base, and population.

Alastair Ager, PhD, professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, has received $36,932 from UNICEF for "Technical Support and Structured Review of Field Findings for Inter-Agency Child Protection Assessment in Emergencies." The work is focused on providing technical support to UNICEF country offices for more rigorous assessment of child protection concerns. It also involves analyzing field experience of child protection assessment in recent crisis settings including Georgia, Gaza, the Central African Republic, and the Gambella Region in Ethiopia. The report of the work is being used as a basis for the developing policy of the United Nations Protection Cluster through its Child Protection Working Group.


Robyn Gershon, DrPH, associate dean for Research Resources and professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences (in Nursing), has received a $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study "Patient Safety in the Home Healthcare Sector: A Pilot Study." Her recent work on household hazards and the health and safety of home healthcare workers identified several risk factors that could adversely impact the quality of patient care in this setting. This pilot study aims to develop and test a novel household safety survey tool for use in the home healthcare setting. The pilot will provide the basis for household-related hazard identification and guide the development of targeted risk reduction interventions. Gershon is collaborating with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York on this pilot.


Regina Santella, PhD, professor of Environmental Health Sciences, director of the Epidemiology Program and the Biomarkers Shared Resource at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of Columbia's Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan; and Mary Beth Terry, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology and co-director (with Santella) of the Cancer Epidemiology Program, have received $200,000 from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to continue to study "Epigenetics and DNA Repair in Breast Cancer Risk."


Sheila Smith, PhD, director of Early Childhood for the National Center for Children in Poverty, has received $300,000 from Birth to Five Policy Alliance for expanding the Improving the Odds for Young Children Initiative, adding to the knowledge base about quality rating and improvement systems at the state level, tracking states' policy choices affecting low-income children, and partnering in the Early Childhood Data Project.