From our recent alumni

The CSRI Program was truly a life-changing experience, and has completely revolutionized the way I approach my research work and career. The intensive and immersive structure of the program lay the perfect groundwork for the acquisition of foundational knowledge and experience that has added tremendous depth to my ability to analyze the literature, evaluate my own research questions, and formulate protocols and projects. The emphasis on real-world applications such as grant-writing was an invaluable complement to the coursework in biostatistics and epidemiology as I started drafting my first grants and proposals. Furthermore, the high degree of personalized attention and thoughtful mentorship throughout the summer really helped to push my level of comfort with independent thinking, enabling me to grow as a clinician scientist. And the whole experiences created amazing networking opportunities with like-minded peers, colleagues, and mentors. CSRI offered an impressive toolkit to launch a career of meaningful investigation – looking back, I would have to say that CSRI has been one of the single most-important elements shaping my approach to academic medicine. Richard Greendyk, MD ('23)


I participated in CSRI bootcamp during the first few months of my Postdoc and I wasn’t sure if it was the best move, but looking back, it was perfect timing. CSRI transformed my approach to scientific research and has equipped me with the necessary skills to navigate the complexity of early career research. Through CSRI, I enhanced my statistical, epidemiology and grant writing skills. The course was practical, and the instructors were exceptional. I was mostly impressed by the practical training in grant writing and learning the process of reviewing and scoring grants. I also met wonderful people who continue to play an important role in my professional career.  Nametso Kalentse, PhD ('23)


CSRI was a transformative experience. As an early career scholar whose expertise was mostly situated within qualitative approaches, I gained the critical skills needed for quantitative research. The breadth, depth and rigor of the coursework, along with the individual and group projects and mentoring provided me with tools I needed to advance my career. And the best part is it provided the pathway for forging new friendships. It was a total win-win!  Bernadine Waller, PhD ('23)


What our more seasoned alumni are saying

CSRI provided a high-yield experience covering some of the basics of epidemiology, biostatistics health policy and management and heath care disparities. The professors were motivated, challenging and available in a way that I had not expected. In addition to critical fundamental research methodology, I also learned about using statistical and decision analysis software. The combination of the theoretical and practical aspects of research really prepared me to begin formulating my own independent research agenda. I took the skills I learned and was able to successfully compete for a grant within months of completing the course. I feel well-prepared at this stage to move my research career forward and CSRI helped make this possible.  Shrujal Baxi, MD ('11)


The CSRI provided me with the foundation to think about and understand my data on an entirely higher level. With the help of experienced Mailman professors, the course underlined the public health components of my clinical pediatric emergency medicine research, opening doors for funding and collaboration. CSRI was an investment in my career and my future.  Lauren Chernick, MD ('09)


The summer at CSRI has come to signify some of the most significant learning of my career. It is world-class teaching by researchers who are deeply committed to their work and to Public Health. The courses serve as a solid foundation in biostats and public health as well as professional development. CSRI is rigorous but the faculty and TA's are available to help and do so in a positive and proactive manner. It has helped organize my approach to my research and strengthen my methods and biostatistical capabilities. It was absolutely the best summer program imaginable for a kick start into research and has been a great investment in my future work.  Elizabeth Cohn, DNS ('11)


CSRI has had a major impact on my work in many ways, the most radical is my ability to help my students and colleagues design and execute research projects. I look at my projects before and after CSRI and am amazed at the type of basic design errors I made in the past. I feel that I am a much more effective and proactive communicator with our faculty statistician.  Stacie Deiner, MD ('11)


Life Post CSRI – Completion of CSRI accomplished two achievements in my career. First, endurance through the rigorous and leading research curriculum offered me guidance in grant writing expectation and techniques, producing high quality research, and identifying funding opportunities for my career development. I am now able to better interpret and evaluate research from leading journals (e.g. JAMA) and applications for grant funding opportunities, in academic medicine. Second, completion of CSRI offered a tremendous social networking opportunity - collaboration with my peers, interdisciplinary research projects, one-on-one learning opportunities, and great professional friendships!! Ellen-ge Denton, PsyD ('11)


CSRI completely revolutionized the way I approach my clinical research. The skills I learned have proven instrumental in helping me achieve publication of a manuscript in which I re-analyzed the data according to CSRI-learned methods and in writing a grant proposal that has been successfully funded. Kavita Dharmarajan, MD ('11)


Not only did CSRI give me the opportunity to work alongside established leaders in the research world and some of the brightest early-career researchers in the country, but it also introduced me to cutting edge tools like cost-effectiveness analysis that I have already incorporated into my scholarly work and grant proposals. Thanks to CSRI, I have established personal and professional relationships with colleagues that I would never have met otherwise, and I am in a better position to be successful as a behavioral medicine researcher. Not bad for a few weeks out of a summer. Donald Edmondson, PhD ('11)


In a five week period, I gained what I needed to carry out hypothesis driven research and develop a critical eye that enables me to evaluate and critique other work. I learned to appreciate the difference between a good idea and a research project that would have funding potential. Abdul Elnaggar, MD ('10)
The CSRI course was one of the best decisions I could have made. It has made a tremendous impact on the way I approach clinical questions, and my ability to comprehend and analyze data to make meaningful conclusions. I have incorporated each of the courses in some manner into my research this year. Most recently, I proposed and have begun two decision analysis projects. Anuj Goenka, MD ('10)


It wasn't until after I completed the CSRI and returned to my research that I was able to appreciate how much I had learned in a short period of time. In addition to helping me to establish a firm foundation in basic statistics and study design, the CSRI gave me skills in data analysis that I was able to immediately apply. The career advice from respected faculty members and the formal training we received in grant writing are also invaluable for anyone interested in a career in academic medicine. Caleb Ing, MD ('10)


The CSRI experience was pivotal to my growth as an early stage researcher. Learning the language of research methods in conjunction with being challenged to apply the material to my own research questions was stimulating, challenging and fun. The relationships that I formed with faculty and students at CSRI continue to play an important role in my career development. Phil Green, MD ('10)


At least once a month some aspect of CSRI comes up, whether in analyzing my own data or better understanding a paper or being able to being able to critically think about that paper. I have opened a few trials here at MSKCC (I am the PI of 5 open trials now), presented the preliminary results of one at a major neuro-oncology meeting this past November, and I also submitted my first really large independent research project. Tom Kaley, MD ('09)


The CSRI program was an awesome opportunity to gain exposure to research methods and concepts that play an instrumental role in developing my research career. The courses were a great introduction to biostatistical methods, epidemiological frame-working, and the practicality of conducting and funding research. I learned basic tools that will help me design well thought out research projects in my field of interest, epigenetics in asthma. And now, I have a foundation that I build upon every day in my reading of literature and performing of experiments. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD ('11)


I often have access to a lot of routine health service data from various countries. The CSRI training has made it possible for me to ask the right research questions based on my kind of data and to select appropriate statistical procedures. Koyejo Oyerinde, MD ('11)


I certainly recognize that the CSRI experience equipped me with the language and awareness of biostatistical methods applied in clinical research. Although I see how much more there is to learn, I am at least at a level where I can converse and consider different methods with some degree of appreciation. I found that the format of the individual project we submitted at the completion of the course has been very helpful in framing my thought processes for each research endeavor. However, as I've told my mentors, I think one of the greatest benefits of the CSRI experience is the exposure to the faculty at Mailman. I now feel as though I have additional resources to bounce ideas off of and to approach with directed questions. The extended circle of support from distinguished faculty as well as the TA's is invaluable. Rituparna Pati, MD ('09)


The Columbia Summer Research Institute program was fantastic! It was a tremendous chance to meet other junior clinical investigators from almost every department within the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia University Medical Center and to develop collaborative and mentorship opportunities. As a group, we had lunch five times with Dean Lee Goldman to discuss the realities of academics at Columbia and other major medical centers, an invaluable and great experience! Although very time intensive, I would highly recommend this program for anyone with a true passion to learn how to better develop and answer focused clinical research questions, in my case Emergency Department point of care ultrasonography clinical research questions. David Riley, MD ('11)


The career development advice we received through the CSRI is truly unique for someone in their residency. To have the basics of research funding and CV presentation explained is something all residents should be exposed to and yet very few are. Additionally, the coursework was transformative. I have a new level of confidence in my research and analysis that I attribute to the amazing instructors in CSRI. Finally, I feel that I have developed a network of mentors in biostatistics and epidemiology who I can ask for career advice. Nino Sireci, MD ('09)


Directly because of the CSRI program, one of my research projects is a decision analysis between two types of tests to detect TB in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. While it was always an interest, I never had the skills to pull off this type of a project until I took the course. As a bonus, my collaborators came from a course - another student, and a professor who taught the class. It’s an incredibly efficient way to build the 'team' you need to get a project done! Arun Swaminath, MD ('11)


CSRI was an important start for me to examine fundamentals of clinical research and to get a perspective on my future endowment in academics. It was a well-designed and coordinated course with terrific faculty and eager to learn peers. After attending the Dean Goldman's lectures, I felt that I did the right thing moving from the private practice to academics. Intense challenge but worth trying it. Bekir Tanriover, MD ('11)


I'm currently working on a retrospective cohort study of MRSA vaginal colonization in pregnant women and the risk for infection in mothers and their infants. I have been applying the skills I learned in CSRI through every step of the process from the study design to the data collection and analysis. I am more critical of my own data and more confident in my ability to analyze the data and use the correct statistical tests. Partly as a result of the great experience I had at CSRI, I have decided to continue my studies in Epidemiology through the MS in Epidemiology program. Karina Top, MD ('10)


I'm certainly using many of the tools provided by CSRI. I have several projects in the works -- two close to publication -- and all have been made possible thanks to the instruction that I received at Columbia. CSRI gave me both the theoretical understanding as well as the practical know-how to excel in my work. Frankly, my ability to conduct research would have been extraordinarily difficult if not unfathomable without the Institute. I cannot praise it enough. Mary Welch, MD ('11)


The CSRI instructors are a panel of experts—in epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and management, and health care disparities—who essentially placed themselves at our disposal for five weeks. They absolutely transformed my approach to study design, data collection, and analysis. Collaborative relationships forged at the CSRI have helped broaden and amplify the scope of my research: I am developing a cost-effectiveness analysis of imaging in pancreatic cancer, and envision extending a prospective cohort to multiple institutions. As a result of extraordinary instruction in career development, funding, and grantsmanship, I feel exceptionally well-prepared at this early stage in my professional and research career. The CSRI is a fantastic program, and I'm proud to be part of it. Megan Winner, MD ('10)


While the pace of the coursework is demanding the integration of basic statistical and epidemiological concepts allows one to acquire a tremendous amount of knowledge in a short period of time. The quantitative skills from biostatistics and decision analysis have allowed me to analyze my data as I was never able to do prior to CSRI. Moreover, the qualitative skills emphasized throughout the course have endowed me with a unique approach to clinical neurosurgical problems that I believe provide me with a unique edge. Brad Zacharia, MD ('11)

Applications to CSRI 2024 Boot Camp are now closed

Join our mailing list