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Columbia University

A photo of the Columbia University Building.
© Columbia University

The Columbia University Medical Center’s mission is to provide world-class leadership in scientific and biomedical research, health and medical education and patient care.

The Choudhrie Family Foundation endowed a professorship, The Sudhir Choudhrie Professorship of Cardiology, allowing the holder to pursue crucial research projects and educate the next generation of physician-scientists without worrying about financial constraints.

Dr Paolo C. Colombo, who became the Sudhir Choudhrie Associate Professor of Cardiology in 2016, specialises in treating patients with heart failure, cardiac assist devices or who have undergone a heart transplant. He has published more than 90 manuscripts and presents his research all over the world.

His research includes a study of the immune system’s response to heart pump devices, implanted prior to transplantation. Installation can cause an immune reaction, known as sensitisation, which can make it difficult for the patient to match with a heart donor, increasing the risk of rejection after transplant. The transplant research team identified a subset of white blood cells, known as “innate B cells” that appear to be activated in patients receiving heart pumps. This is an important step in understanding how the immune system is controlled in heart transplant candidates and will allow physicians to develop and test new approaches for preventing rejection after a transplant.