New Faculty Promotions

September 17, 2020

The Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research is proud to announce our recent faculty promotions.



Dr. Daichi Shimbo, MD is now Professor of Medicine (Tenured)

Dr. Shimbo is a board-certified cardiologist and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He co-directs the Columbia Hypertension Center, a multi-disciplinary center of excellence that provides high quality care and state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and treatment for patients with hypertension.

Dr. Shimbo’s clinical and research interests include the accurate diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, and evaluating the cardiovascular manifestations of hypertension. Dr. Shimbo conducts rigorous, innovative, interdisciplinary research that increases the understanding of the behavioral, psychosocial and biological processes in the pathogenesis of the increased cardiovascular disease risk associated with hypertension.


Additional Positions:

  • Co-Director, Columbia Hypertension Center
  • Director, Shimbo Hypertension Lab
  • Associate Director Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, & Director of TRANSFORM (TRaining And Nurturing Scholars FOr Research that is Multidisciplinary)
  • Associate Dean of Research Career Development 
  • Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center



Dr. Rachel Shelton, ScD, MPH is now Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (Tenured)

Dr. Shelton is a social and behavioral scientist with training in cancer and social epidemiology, and expertise in implementation science, sustainability, health equity, and community-based participatory research. She is Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, where she is the Associate Director of Research for the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion.

As the Associate Director of the Community Engagement Core Resource at the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, she helps lead a new university-wide initiative on Implementation Science at Columbia. Dr. Shelton developed and teaches one of the first courses offered in dissemination and implementation science nationally (since 2013) and is a co-author in the textbook on Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health. Dr. Shelton has been funded as Principal Investigator for the past ten years, with funding through American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, NCATS, and National Institute on Aging (NIA). Dr. Shelton is currently PI of a Research Scholar Grant for Health Equity through American Cancer Society focused on advancing understanding of the sustainability and adaptation of community-led lay health advisor programs for cancer screening in African American communities nationally. She has served as Program Chair for the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) 2018 Annual Meeting, is currently on the SBM Board as Member Delegate, and has received awards for her leadership and mentorship at SBM.

Additional Positions:

  • Associate Director of Research, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion 
  • Faculty, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health 
  • Member, Cancer Population Science Program, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center 
  • Associate Director of Community Engagement Core Resource (CECR), and Director for the Implementation Science Initiative
  • Editorial Board, Health Education & Behavior 
  • Member Delegate, Society of Behavioral Medicine  



Dr. Olajide Williams, MD, MS is now Professor of Neurology (Tenured)

Dr. Williams is a Professor and Chief of Staff of the Department of Neurology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. A specialist in the treatment of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, Dr. Williams is also an attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and a clinical neurologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He is a world-renowned leader in stroke disparities and community-based behavioral intervention research. He is founder and chair of Hip Hop Public Health, an internationally recognized organization that creates and implements multimedia public health interventions that target and engage young people in the health of their families and communities. He is a principal investigator of multiple NIH investigator-initiated awards, including a Center for Stroke Disparities Solutions in New York.

An influential clinician-educator, Dr. Williams is a member of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators, and an inaugural member of the VP&S Academy of Community and Public Service. In addition to teaching courses on clinical practice and neuroscience to VP&S medical students, he is actively engaged in addressing healthcare disparities and promoting greater diversity and inclusion in academic medicine. Dr. Williams is co-director of the Columbia Wellness Center, where he leads pioneering initiatives including the Community Health Worker Stroke Prevention program and the Tailored Approaches to Stroke Health Education research program.

Additional Positions:

  • Chief of Staff of Neurology
  • Associate Director Community Engagement Core Resource (CECR)
  • Special Advisor to the Dean of Health Sciences and Medicine on Community Affairs


peter sims photo

Dr. Peter Sims, PhD is now Associate Professor of Systems Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (Tenured)

The Sims Lab at Columbia University Medical Center focuses on the development of new technology for the application of systems biology in biomedicine. It recently developed and applied new experimental and computational methods for cell type-specific, genome-wide analysis of transcription and translation in complex tissues such as the brain. Additionally, the Sims Lab developed new technology for large-scale expression analysis of individual cells by combining cutting-edge microscopy, next-generation sequencing, and microfabrication. They apply these tools in several human disease contexts including brain tumors and other neurological disorders.


Additional Positions:

  • Director, Columbia Single Cell Analysis Core
  • Director, Systems Biology Graduate Studies
  • Collaborating Faculty in the Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR)