Announcing the Mentors of the Year - 2021

June 16, 2021

The Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research in collaboration with the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Office of Academic Affairs, are delighted to announce the recipients of the 2021 Mentor of the Year Award. Congratulations!

Truly great mentors can change the direction of their colleagues’ lives and careers. Research has demonstrated that effective mentorship can lead to greater research productivity, teaching effectiveness, and job satisfaction. Each year, mentors from the CUIMC community are nominated by student, postdocs, and faculty for their outstanding guidance and support provided to their fellow colleagues.

We owe thanks to the selection committee with representatives from across the health sciences campus for their efforts in reviewing the many nominations received.



Donald Edmondson, PhD., MPH

Donald Edmondson is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine and the Executive Director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health (CBCH)—a collective of NIH-funded researchers from the Divisions of Cardiology and General Medicine, with deep ties to Emergency Medicine, Neurology, and Psychiatry. His research focuses on psychological and behavioral contributors to secondary cardiovascular risk. He is also PI of the NIH Science Of Behavior Change center, created to speed behavioral scientists’ adoption of the experimental medicine approach to identifying mechanisms of behavior change.




Dawn Hershman, MD, MS, FASCO

Dr. Hershman is an American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology with Tenure at Columbia University Medical Center. She is Director of Breast Oncology and Leader of the Population Science Program of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. She has developed nationally recognized expertise in cancer care delivery, late-effects of cancer therapy, health outcomes and health disparities research. She has received research funding from the NCI, American Cancer Society, ASCO, Department of Defense, Susan Komen Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She has mentored numerous faculty members who have been granted mentored career development awards.  She has a strong publication record with over 450 papers and including many in high profile journals, with many receiving national press coverage.She has several national leadership roles in oncology. She is the Vice-Chair of the SWOG NCORP research base and Co-Chair of the Cancer Care Delivery Committee. She serves on the breast cancer and the cancer care delivery steering committees of NCI. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Clinical Oncology and is an Associate Editor at the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Hershman has received several awards including the highly prestigious Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a Conquer Cancer Foundation Research Professorship in Breast Cancer Comparative Effectiveness Research, the Advanced Medical Achievement Award from the Avon Foundation. She is a Komen Scholar and was awarded the Conquer Cancer Foundation Women who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award.  


silvia martins

Silvia S. Martins, MD, PhD.

Dr. Silvia S. Martins is the Director of the Substance Use Epidemiology Unit of the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and of the Policy and Health Initiatives on Opioids and other Substances interdisciplinary group (PHIOS). She is also the co-director of the NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program in the department and the Course Director of Principles of Epidemiology (P6400). She has co-authored >200 peer-reviewed epidemiological and substance use articles (>100 first or senior-authored), 80 of them led by her current or former mentees. She has served as PI or MPI of multiple NIH funded grants. Some of her notable research findings have focused on a typology of prescription drug monitoring programs and its impact on prescription opioid and heroin overdoses, machine learning techniques to better understand opioid policies associated with high-opioid prescribing, the effects of recreational cannabis laws in cannabis use outcomes in adolescents and adults in the US, and substance use and psychiatric disorders in child and adolescents in Brazil. Dr. Martins has received several awards for my research and mentoring, including the 2011 Award for gambling research, the 2013 Columbia President’s Global Innovation Fund, the 2017 Columbia University MSPH Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. She has also been selected as one of Columbia MSPH’s 2021-2024 Tow Faculty Scholars. She has mentored and advised 5 undergraduate summer students, 52 Masters students, 12 predoctoral students, 10 post-doctoral fellows and 6 junior faculty, in different areas. Several of her current and former US and International mentees have received conference awards, including the CPDD NIDA Director’s travel award, the Society for Epidemiologic Research best poster award, the Best New Paper Award, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco; Over the years, she has also mentored graduate students and junior faculty from Brazil, Lebanon, France, and Chile via Columbia University Global Center internal funding, NIDA-Invest and NIDA-INSERM. Her trainees have published widely in peer-reviewed journals and received several awards recognizing their scientific and service achievements. They have attained academic research positions in the U.S. and globally. Her mentees are now spread across different countries and continents (the Americas, Middle East and Asia). She is particularly dedicated to mentoring women, under-represented minorities, and international researchers from low/middle-income countries and she is committed to contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic scholarship. 



Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor is the Helen F. Petit Professor of Nursing at CUSON, where she is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Research on People of Color (CRPC). Dr. Taylor has been a trailblazer in cardiovascular genomics research among minority populations, and diversity and inclusion efforts, having been the first black woman to reach tenure at CUSON, New York University School of Nursing, and Yale School of Nursing. Dr. Taylor has been recognized for her contributions to the advancement of biomedical sciences, health care, and public health, having been elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019. Dr. Taylor is committed to mentoring students and faculty as she herself is a product of previous diversity mentorship pipeline initiatives, having been supported by an R25 - Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program to support her undergraduate training at Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, MI; a Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) P30 to support her postdoctoral work at WSU Institute of Gerontology; a PRIDE R25 at Washington University in St. Louis as the first nurse accepted into the Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology Program as junior faculty, followed by a major career development award from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Nurse Faculty Scholars.Dr. Taylor has been PI of many studies including, but not limited to, an R01 from National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)- The Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure (InterGEN), a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) award from President Obama in 2017, a P20 from NINR on Precision Health in Diverse Populations in 2018, and an MPI on an R25 on Research Opportunities in Cardiovascular Diseases for Minority Undergrad and Grad Students Across the Health Sciences (RECV) in 2020. In addition to leading these grants, Dr. Taylor founded the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Yale School of Nursing and served as its inaugural Associate Dean of Diversity, and then went on to become the inaugural Endowed Chair of Health Equity and to develop and direct the Meyers Biological Laboratory at NYU before joining Columbia University.