Panel at Demystifying Publishing Symposium

Columbia Neurosurgery's Day with The Lancet

Showcasing Our Latest Research

February 28, 2023

On Thursday, February 23rd Columbia University and the Department of Neurological Surgery hosted The Lancet's senior editors and staff for "Demystifying Publishing and Promoting Medical Activism," a day-long program focused on strategies for publication and the ongoing need for diverse representation in the publishing industry at large. We started the day with the Department of Neurosurgery's Chief Resident, Dr. Matei Banu, who guided our Lancet guests through the Irving Cancer Research Center through some of our brain tumor research spaces. Dr. Banu studies cellular and molecular heterogeneity in glioma at the Cancer Research Center. The project includes collaboration from a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including immunologists and bioinformatics scientists. Each provides expertise around ferroptosis, a novel form of regulated cell death mediated by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation.

Dr. Matei Banu

Dr. Banu says, "The four years I've dedicated to research have changed my surgical approach. I appreciate surgery differently, weighing the risks of how aggressive we can be in our treatment, plus considering the safety risks to the patient. We can biopsy things differently." Dr. Banu offered The Lancet a firsthand view of our cutting-edge studies, including a bioinformatics approach to discovering potential therapies for glioblastoma based on combinations of existing drug treatments." Dr. Banu highlighted Columbia Neurological Surgery's team-based approach, where every surgeon immediately calls to get the samples to the lab during a case. "Our ability to publish these findings in journals like The Lancet is critical to secure grant funding to continue this groundbreaking work."


Students and The Lancet

Following the lab tours, The Lancet met with our Dean's Fellows for lunch and networking, providing some excellent dialogue on best practices for publication submission. After lunch, our team arranged for students and junior faculty to "soft pitch" their research in 1:1 sessions with the editors. From our spinal division, Dr. Andrew Chan pitched "A Comparison of 5-Year Outcomes Following Decompression Alone Versus Decompression With Fusion for Grade 1 Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis," a project leveraging the Quality Outcomes Database, the largest prospective spine registry in the United States, to investigate the optimal surgical approach for this prevalent disease. Dr. Brian Gill from Neuro-Oncology also pitched "Functional and Therapeutic Relevance of Increasing Peritumoral GABAergic Signaling in Glioma," where he focuses on the role GABAergic neurons and GABAergic signaling may play in glioma progression and identifying ways to leverage this therapeutically. Dr. Gill said, "This meeting allowed me to meet with The Lancet editorial staff members while my research is still relatively nascent. They provided encouragement, insightful comments and feedback that will be vital to developing my work."

Our closing event was a large-scale symposium with an audience from Columbia's medical, graduate and Mailman schools. The panel featured senior members of The Lancet and CUMC leaders for a riveting discussion on overcoming publishing barriers through medical activism, including real success stories that challenged the status quo of clinical settings. Director of Programmatic Advancement, Alexandra Clark, shared her unique and powerful perspective as the spouse of a patient and the urgent need for researchers to devote efforts to advocate for advancement in their specialty.

Our panelists engaged in a riveting discussion on overcoming publishing barriers through medical activism. Panelists included senior members of The Lancet (Prof. David Collingridge, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet Oncology, Miriam Sabin, PhD, MSSW, North American Executive Editor, The Lancet and Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPHm Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Director of The Ubuntu Center on Racism, Global Movements, and Population Health Equity) and CUMC leaders (Dr. E. Sander Connolly, Dr. Monica Lypson, Dr. Susan Bates) for a riveting discussion on overcoming publishing barriers through medical activism

Panelist Dr. E Sander Connolly, Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, recommended, "Aspiring researchers must think outside the box." Dr. Connolly also emphasized the importance of finding the right mentor for each career stage.

As The Lancet heightens its role on the global stage as a medical activist, Columbia's Department of Neurological Surgery remains committed to our research, patients, and their families as we remain steadfast in finding the answers to the world's most complex neurological issues. We look forward to our continued partnerships with the world's leading medical journals as we continue to innovate the field of neurosurgery through our research and clinical trials, as we have done for nearly one hundred years.