Roy and Diana Vagelos Precision Medicine Pilot Awards Announcement

We are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Roy and Diana Vagelos Precision Medicine Pilot Awards. We were impressed with the response and with the broad range of proposals from Columbia faculty.

March 02, 2018

The standard of the 56 applications we received was very high, and investigators came from all Columbia campuses. Thanks to all who submitted proposals and to those who participated in the review process.

The three winning proposals reflect the high standard, the broad base, and the collaborative nature of precision medicine basic science research being conducted and conceived at Columbia:

Two proposals are a collaboration between junior and senior faculty;

Two feature collaboration between investigators on different campuses;

One, a collaboration between basic and clinical researchers.


The winning proposals are:

1. Programmable probiotics for personalized cancer immunotherapy.

Nicholas Arpaia, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology;

Tal Danino, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering


2. Elucidating the tissue-specific molecular mechanisms underlying disease associations through integrative analysis of genetic variation and molecular network data.

Tuuli Lappalainen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Systems Biology; Junior investigator and Core Member, New York Genome Center

Harmen J Bussemaker, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Biological sciences; Dept. of Systems Biology


3. Notch2 polymorphisms as predictors of low β-cell mass and increased type 2-diabetes risk.

Utpal Pajvani, MD, PhD, Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dept. of Medicine, Endocrinology;

Dieter Egli, PhD, Maimonides Assistant Professor of Developmental Cell Biology, Dept. of Pediatrics;

Domenico Accili, MD, Russell Berrie Foundation Professor of Diabetes, Dept. of Medicine; Chief of Endocrinology Division; Director of the Columbia University Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center.