Katherine Crew, MD, MS

Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology 

As new strategies are developed to reduce the incidence of breast cancer among high-risk women, there remain the challenges of identifying women who meet the high-risk criteria and implementing new strategies, such as chemoprevention and genetic testing. Katherine Crew, MD, is collaborating with Rita Kukafka from the Department of Biomedical Informatics to develop web-based decision support tools designed to increase the uptake of strategies among high-risk women. These tools are being integrated into clinic workflow and the Electronic Health Record (EHR) at 40 sites throughout the United States, through a multi-center cluster randomized controlled trials, with the goal of facilitating the dissemination and implementation of patient and provider education on breast cancer prevention.

A self-described Columbia "lifer", Dr. Crew has a medical degree from the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and a Masters in Biostatistics from the Mailman School of Public Health. The Irving Institute has also played an integral role in shaping her academic career. Over the years, she has participated in and benefited from multiple Irving Institute programs and awards, including the Master of Science in Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Program, the KL2 Mentored Career Development Award, and the Irving Scholar Award. Her community involvement is also inspired by the Irving Institute programs. After she participated in a course on Community-Based Participatory Research Scholars and Awards Program, she began an ongoing collaboration with a community organization serving the orthodox Jewish community, the Institute for Applied Research and Community Collaboration. Dr. Crew and this organization are working together to raise awareness about BRCA1/2 genetic testing among orthodox Jewish women, with engagement of rabbis and other community leaders.

Dr. Crew sees the Irving Institute as instrumental in helping her transition from a mentored researcher to an independent investigator and she is now excited to share her knowledge. "What I probably enjoy most about my job is research mentoring," she says. "I’m able to impart many of the grant-writing skills and career-development strategies that I’ve learned along the way at Columbia, which is extremely gratifying."