Jeanine D’Armiento, MD, PhD, selected for the Columbia Provost’s Faculty Service Award

The Department of Anesthesiology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons is pleased to announce Jeanine D’Armiento, MD, PhD as a recipient of Columbia University Provost’s Faculty Service Award for 2022. This highly competitive, once-in-a-lifetime achievement award recognizes faculty whose work has a sustained impact on the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Dr. D’Armiento is Professor of Medicine in Anesthesiology at Columbia, Director of the Center for Molecular Pulmonary Disease in Anesthesiology and Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, and Director of the Center for Lymphangiomyomatosis (LAM) and Rare Lung Disease. 

She was nominated for the award for her leadership in three distinct DEI-focused activities: her clinical and research efforts to support medically underserved women domestically and abroad, her leadership in the Faculty Senate’s Commission on the Status of Women, and her role as executive director of SPURS, the university’s biomedical research program for underrepresented and disadvantaged students.

Leading clinical and research efforts in LAM

LAM is a rare, progressive multisystem disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is often misidentified as asthma, emphysema, or other interstitial lung disease, so women often have symptoms for several years before receiving the correct diagnosis. Like patients with other rare diseases, women with LAM often bear the social and economic consequences of not having appropriate healthcare. As Director of the Center for LAM and Rare Lung Disease, Dr. D’Armiento has dedicated her career to providing women with LAM with quality care and disease management, and her patients have the benefit of the most up-to-date treatments because of the research she conducts in parallel with her clinical practice. Her research is translatable and generalizable to lung injury and other pulmonary diseases. As a result, over the past few years, she has expanded her work to India, where she is investigating the damaging effects of biomass exposure in women and their communities, and the significance of clean cookstove interventions to improve pulmonary health and overall well-being.

Advocating for women in medicine

Dr. D’Armiento is Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women at Columbia, a permanent function of the Senate Executive Committee. In 2019, she published the committee’s paper, “Achieving women's equity in academic medicine: challenging the standards,” in a landmark edition of The Lancet. The special edition, “Advancing Women in Science, Medicine, and Global Health,” presented international evidence demonstrating gender bias and the lack of inclusivity in the sciences. Dr. D’Armiento’s analysis identified systematic impediments to equity in academic medicine, and her strategies to remedy them are prompting change by institutional leaders worldwide.

Improving diversity in biomedical research

For twenty years, Dr. D’Armiento has led the charge to improve diversity in biomedical research at the pipeline level. As Executive Director of the Summer Program for Undergraduate Rising Stars (SPURS), she recruits socially or economically disadvantaged students from the City of New York public university system to study lab research at Columbia. Most are first-generation college students interested in medical and research careers. SPURS keeps the students inside the pipeline: the program assures that they maintain interest in the sciences, have positive experiences in the laboratory, and receive committed mentorship by a CUIMC research faculty member. Since 2002, SPURS alumni have been admitted to and graduated from some of our country’s most competitive medical schools and biomedical research programs, including Columbia, Princeton, and Northwestern universities. 

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Dr. D’Armiento!