Meet Columbia Nursing Faculty Tenured in 2022
Two professors from the School of Nursing joined Columbia's tenured faculty in 2022. Tenure is a distinction that recognizes scholarly excellence, demonstrated capacity for imaginative, original work, and great promise for continued contributions at the leading edge of the disciplines.
Ruth Masterson Creber is a Professor of Nursing with tenure whose research is focused on improving quality of life for patients with cardiac conditions across the disease continuum, and developing innovative interventions for health care delivery. She is leading the evaluation of a mobile integrated health intervention for patients with heart failure to provide evidence to support a novel healthcare delivery service using community paramedics and facilitated telemedicine with emergency medicine teams to provide better transitions of care from hospital to home. Professor Masterson Creber is also leading global, pragmatic, cardiac surgery clinical trials across over 70 hospitals in Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Australia to evaluate the impact of coronary bypass graft surgery on patient's quality of life, symptoms, and cognition. The results of these trials will help determine what type of graft vessels for coronary artery bypass graft surgery offer long-term symptom relief and improve cognitive function. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the American Heart Association and has received numerous awards for her work, and was recently inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Hall of Fame.
Professor Masterson Creber received her BA and BSN from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and School of Arts and Sciences, an MSc in Epidemiology from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Columbia University School of Nursing. Prior to joining Columbia University, she served as an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences in the Division of Health Informatics, and Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine (2018-2022). Since completing her training, she has been funded as Principal Investigator by multiple NIH institutes and PCORI.
Maxim Topaz is a nursing scholar who specializes in health informatics and data science research. His impact lies in natural language processing (NLP) research to unlock hidden information about patients and nursing care. He developed products that are the first in the world to advance the science of NLP and artificial intelligence in nursing. First, his team created NLP software (NimbleMiner) that is used internationally to process millions of nursing notes. Second, he applied NimbleMiner to build and validate artificial intelligence algorithms/systems to alert home health care nurses when patients need prompt attention. Implementation of this software is underway in a major healthcare system. Professor Topaz has also developed an artificial intelligence system that alerts nurses to concerning patient symptoms.
In addition to his informatics and data science work, Professor Topaz is involved with health policy, leadership, and health entrepreneurship, and has clinical experience in internal and urgent medicine. He has published more than 120 articles on topics related to health informatics and received numerous prestigious awards for his work.
Professor Topaz obtained his BS in Nursing from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 2007 and his MA in Gerontology from the University of Haifa, Israel in 2009. He completed his PhD in Nursing as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Professor Topaz completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Health Hospital. He started his career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Haifa in 2016 and joined Columbia University as an Associate Professor without tenure in 2018.