EIPM October 2020 External Newsletter

The EIPM External Newsletter below is sent quarterly to people who sign-up on our website. 

Dear Friends of the EIPM:

During these extraordinary times we have continued to create breakthroughs in basic research that will benefit patients with cancer, metabolic disease, neurologic impairments, and many more conditions. Our researchers have also worked collaboratively with investigators across the country and around the world to unlock the mysteries of Covid-19, and contribute to new treatments and therapies for patients.

I look forward to sharing more information with you at the end of the calendar year. Until then, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more timely updates.

Thank you again for your interest in our work.


Oliver Elemento, Ph.D.
EIPM Director



@New York Genome Center.

Bishoy Faltas, M.D. and Harold Varmus, M.D., Nobel Prize-winning scientist and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, were interviewed for the New York Times article “Cancer Projects to Diversify Genetic Research Receive New Grants.” The September 11th article highlighted new funding from the New York Genome Center to a range of EIPM investigators, including Clinical Director Cora N. Sternberg, M.D., Director of Research Pathology Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D., Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D., Marcin Imielinski M.D., Ph.D., Lisa Newman, M.D., and myself.

Lisa A. Newman, M.D. (left in image) and Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D. were interviewed for Helio article, “COVID-19 adds urgency to fight against inequities in cancer care,” on September 10th. Dr. Davis was also interviewed by iHeartRadio for a related story on the importance of a set of “variants in the gene DARC ACKR one in women of sub Saharan West African Descent.” Dr. Newman was featured in the article “US Black Women With Breast Cancer Face Delayed, Longer-Lasting Treatment,” by Reuters Health/MedScape on September 22nd, and she was recognized with the 2020 AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship award on June 17th.

Karla Ballman, Ph.D. was quoted in the Gotham Gazette article “Randomized Testing Would Best Assess Covid Spread, Epidemiologists Say, But New York Isn’t Doing It,” on September 15th.

Pinkal Desai, M.D.

Pinkal Desai, M.D. (right) became our new Molecular Aging Institute Clinical Director this summer. Learn more about her research interests, including how COVID-19 has affected her personal and professional life.

Lew C. Cantley, Ph.D. and I were mentioned in an article about a company we founded, “Volastra Therapeutics Appoints Charles Hugh-Jones as Chief Executive Officer,” that was covered by a number of news outlets including Bloomberg, on September 16th.

Scott T. Tagawa, M.D. (left) was profiled by the ASCO Post on July 11th, where he shared his thoughts on why prostate-specific membrane antigen-targeted positron-emission tomography is the wave of the future, but that data on long-term outcomes is still needed.

John P. Leonard, M.D. was profiled in the article “‘No Question’ Patients with Follicular Lymphoma Can Benefit from FDA’s Approval of Tazverik,” on July 11th in Cure Today, where he observed: “Having new options is important, particularly when patients have already been through chemotherapy and some of the other therapies that are available.”


Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D. (right) earned a $100,000 COVID-19 Research Grant from Weill Cornell Medicine on September 11th for her project “COVID Disparities – DARC Side of SARS-Cov-2.” The study may lead to improved treatments for patients with COVID-19, and help efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in illness. Regarding her grant, Dr. Davis tweeted: “We know that social determinants are a key cause of over-exposures and access to care. But, for those who will suffer ‘severe’ vs ‘mild’ disease course, knowing biological determinants is essential to survival!”

Monica Guzman, Ph.D., EIPM Member and Associate Professor of Pharmacology in Medicine, was named to Cell Mentor’s “100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America” on September 15th.

Director of Research Pathology Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D. received a 2020 Dean’s Diversity & Healthcare Disparity research grant on July 22nd. The award celebrates the faculty members, trainees, students and staff who were recognized for their outstanding leadership and service in promoting diversity at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Iman Hajirasouliha, Ph.D.

Iman Hajirasouliha, Ph.D., (right), myself and several of our colleagues earned second prize this summer in the 2020 WCM $100,000 Biomedical Business Plan Challenge Pitch Night for our project: “STORK.ai: Developing a unique patent-pending software using an artificial intelligence approach to reliably assess embryo quality.”

Giorgio Inghirami, M.D. received a 2020 Pilot Award from the WCM Clinical & Translational Science Center this summer to fund his proposal as Primary Investigator for “Liquid Biopsy SCR Effector-based therapeutic strategies for the treatment of colon cancers screening for HPV-associated Cancers in Persons Living with HIV.” And Laura M. Martin, Ph.D. and Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D. were named Co-PIs on a C&TSC Pilot grant to study “Pan-Cancer Organoid Models for Live Imaging Gain-of-Function Mutant p53.”


Eleni Andreopoulou, M.D. and Doron Betel, Ph.D. collaborated with Kristy A. Brown, Ph.D. (left) on her new paper “Three-dimensional growth of breast cancer cells potentiates the anti-tumor effects of unacylated ghrelin and AZP-531,” in E Life Sciences on July 15th.

Manish A. Shah, M.D., John P. Leonard, M.D., David Nanus, M.D., Peter Martin, M.D., and WCM colleagues published “Hematology and oncology clinical care during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic,” in the ACS journal Cancer on July 14th.

Manish A. Shah, M.D., Allyson J. Ocean, M.D., Bhavneet Bhinder, Doron Betel, Ph.D., Paraskevi Giannakakou, Ph.D., and I collaborated with WCM colleagues and others on “Multicenter phase II study of Cabazitaxel in advanced gastroesophageal cancer: Association of HER2 Expression and M2-like Tumor Associated Macrophages with Patient Outcome,” published in the September 2020 edition of AACR’s Clinical Cancer Research.

Director of Research Pathology Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D. (right) and I coauthored “Molecular Profiles of Mixed Endometrial Carcinoma,” in the August 2020 edition of the American Journal of Surgical Pathology.

A collaboration between myself and the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University’s Andrea J. De Micheli, Ph.D., Jason A. Spector, M.D., and Benjamin D. Cosgrove, Ph.D. led to the publication of A reference single-cell transcriptomic atlas of human skeletal muscle tissue reveals bifurcated muscle stem cell populations,” providing a new benchmark reference resource to examine human muscle tissue heterogeneity in Skeletal Muscle on July 6th.

Lorenzo Galluzzi, Ph.D. (left) published “Immunoprophylactic and immunotherapeutic control of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer,” in Nature Communications with several WCM co-authors including myself. Dr. Galluzzialso published “Caspase 2 and p53 Reunited in Tumor Control,” in Cell on September 11th.

A range of EIPM Members including Wayne Tam, M.D., Ph.D., Lorenzo Galluzzi, Ph.D., Giorgio Inghirami, M.D., and myself, along with Weill Cornell Medicine colleagues, published “Longitudinal immune profiling of mild and severe COVID-19 reveals innate and adaptive immune dysfunction and provides an early prediction tool for clinical progression,” in medRxiv on September 10th.

Manish A Shah, M.D. (right) and colleagues collaborated on “Treatment of Locally Advanced Esophageal Carcinoma: ASCO Guideline, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on June 22.

David Pisapia, M.D., Howard A. Fine, M.D., myself, and our WCM and Tri-I colleagues published “Tumor Microenvironment Is Critical for the Maintenance of Cellular States Found in Primary Glioblastomas,” in the July 2020 edition of Cancer Discovery.

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