Dr. Christine Garcia Appointed Director of Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Christine Kim Garcia, MD, PhD, as Director of the Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative (CPMI), a multidisciplinary effort launched in 2014 to accelerate the development of precision medicine and its use in clinical settings. Dr. Garcia succeeds Tom Maniatis, PhD, a renowned leader in molecular and cell biology who has been Director of the CPMI since its founding and has been central to the creation of Columbia’s vibrant community of genetic and genomic researchers.
Columbia was among the first institutions to bring together the full breadth and depth of a university to explore the promise of precision medicine. The disciplines engaged in this effort include and extend beyond the biomedical sciences to embrace scholarly fields with expertise in examining the legal, policy, and economic implications of rapid advances in our knowledge of human biology. CPMI has harnessed these resources to successfully elevate basic and translational research in genomics across the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and throughout the University; establish new educational degrees and courses; and advance genomic medicine in key clinical environments. Now we have arrived at an important juncture, possessing the opportunity to build on past progress and to expand the application of genomics in treating disease and finding cures. In Dr. Garcia, we have a new leader well equipped to ensure that Columbia continues to shape the future of genomic medicine and improve human health.
Dr. Garcia, the Frode-Jensen Professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, has committed herself to driving medical advances that emerge from the intersection of research and clinical care. Her scientific discoveries have helped to identify the genetic underpinning of adult-onset lung disease, and she has used next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analyses to discover rare mutations in genes linked to inherited forms of lung fibrosis. She has used these discoveries both to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanism of pulmonary fibrosis and to advance the use of genetic tools in caring for Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) patients. Dr. Garcia received MD and PhD degrees from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics focused on monogenic dyslipidemia. She holds appointments in Columbia’s Institute for Genomic Medicine and the Center for Precision Medicine and Genomics in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Garcia is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
In addition to crediting the Columbia faculty who have contributed to the success of CPMI since its inception, we acknowledge the generous support of Roy and Diana Vagelos and the many other dedicated and visionary donors who collectively have been committed to advancing precision medicine and securing its gains for current and future patients. This is also an opportunity to express our deep appreciation to Tom Maniatis for all he has done and to celebrate a decade of leadership that has achieved and, in many respects, exceeded the objectives established for this critical project when it began.
Please join us in thanking Dr. Maniatis, and congratulating Dr. Garcia on her appointment and wishing her every success in her new role.
Lee C. Bollinger
Katrina Armstrong, MD
Dean of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Columbia University