Student Clubs

Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach (CUNO)

CUNO is a student-run organization that seeks to enhance the communication skills of graduate students while promoting a lifelong interest in science in NYC communities. To this end, CUNO volunteers teach in local schools and host public science fairs that feature engaging scientific demonstrations to provide accessible lessons in neuroscience. We hold regular curriculum development meetings to plan lessons for these events, and we host sessions to train new GSAS student volunteers in teaching skills. CUNO administrators coordinate school visits and volunteer training and hold monthly executive meetings.

President: Michelle Stackmann (Neurobiology & Behavior)

CUIMC Chinese Students & Scholars Association (CUIMC-CSSA)

CUIMC-CSSA services Chinese students and scholars at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and seeks to unite all Chinese in the community, promote Chinese culture, and enhance international communication.

President: Yulong Xia (MHA); Vice President: Iris (Ziyi) Wang (Biostatistics)

CUIMC Data Science Club

The data science club snacks during a meeting.

Data science and bioinformatics are indispensable for biomedical research and are also just really cool to learn more about. The goal of CUIMC Data Science Club is to establish a community and support structure to help you in learning, incorporating, and doing data science. The purpose of the CUIMC Data Science Club is to provide a supportive and conducive environment to learn and do biomedical data science in the CUIMC community. The club serves the graduate student community during their PhD career, but the club is open to any CUIMC scientist at any point in time.

President: Jordan Kesner (Integrated Program); and Communication Chair: Aditi Trehan (Integrated Program).

Food for Thought

The Food for Thought group strives to facilitate discussions and activities, to educate ourselves and the community on the relevance of our food choices to issues of heath, the environment, and social justice. We hope that by applying our scientific knowledge, as well as what we learn from our discussions, to current problems in society we can gain a better understanding of how to approach these issues. The Food for Thought club will provide an environment for learning and experiencing the importance of food, and then use this information to give back to the broader community.

President: Quin Waterbury (Nutritional & Metabolic Biology)

Graduate Initiative for Diversity

The main goal of the Graduate Initiative for Diversity is to further the success of underrepresented graduate students at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). We strive to highlight and celebrate diversity and to build a community amongst peers. Our events will provide a safe space to network with other students and thus enhance the sense of community and belonging. We will also promote professional and career development seminars focused on specific issues found within the community. Finally, we aim to recruit and increase the diversity of the graduate student population and to engage with the Washington Heights community through outreach activities. This organization welcomes graduate students including but not limited to: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, first-generation, and those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

Directors: Crystal Colon Ortiz (Integrated Program), Virginia Aimiuwu (Genetics & Development), & Yocelyn Recinos (Integrated Program)


H(our)s seeks to provide CUIMC graduate students an outlet to engage in conversations and share graduate life experience. By fostering conversations, H(our)s hopes to spread a sense of community, and offer peer support by recognizing commonality in graduate student struggles. H(our)s also aims to work with members of the organization to promote wellness and mental health throughout CUIMC and beyond, by organizing events and participating in community outreach. Ultimately, the mission of H(our)s is to acknowledge the value of ‘our hours,’ and to use ‘our hours’ to learn and teach one another how to cultivate student well-being.

Presidents: Esther Cynn (Nutritional & Metablic Biology) & Alyssa Shearer (Nutritional & Metabolic Biology)


The NeuWrite functions as a workshop for work-in-progress and as a forum for people who are otherwise rarely in the same room (scientists, writers, filmmakers...). Each group meets regularly to discuss and critique member projects at all stages - from pitching to editors to final revisions. We also invite non-member guests to learn about and discuss the strategies they have designed for communicating complex information to nonspecialist audiences. NeuWrite groups also produce original writing and podcasts, and organize public events to further the understanding of science.

Science Matters Research Internship (SMRI)

The SMRI Program aims to develop interest and confidence in the sciences within underrepresented and underprivileged New York City high school students. SMRI selects enthusiastic 11th grade (Junior Year) students from the NYC Minds Matter Chapter, who first attend a rigorous Bio-Boot Camp where they receive lectures given by graduate students in the Coordinated Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences on a wide range of biological topics and are introduced to a laboratory setting during a tutorial workshop. This important training element to the internship provides the interns with a baseline level of knowledge and skill set that prepares them to excel when they start their research project. Secondly, they begin the three-month research internship where they are paired with a Columbia graduate student mentor to engage in a research project that culminates in a final presentation. SMRI interns earn valuable research experience in a Columbia University laboratory, develop professional speaking skills, and participate in active discussions on scientific research, career goals and life in the sciences. A quality science education provides children with the tools they will need to succeed professionally and lead healthy lives. Graduate students at Columbia have enormous potential to help surrounding New York public schools motivate and inspire their students to succeed in the sciences.

Directors: Yocelyn Recinos (Integrated Program) & Jennifer Gamarra (Integrated Program)

Women in Science at Columbia (WISC)

WISC is dedicated to the outreach, support, and advancement of women, underrepresented minorities, and their advocates in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematical graduate fields at Columbia University. WISC is one organization made up of two chapters – one at Morningside and one at the Medical Center. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend events on either or both campuses.

WISC-CUIMC Presidents: Sam Tener (Pathobiology & Mechanisms of Disease) & Caroline Connors (Pathbiology & Mechanisms of Disease)