December 2020 EIPM Director’s Memo

December 01, 2020

Dear Members of the Englander Institute,

The past year will be remembered for the heroic response by the medical community to treat Covid-19 patients, and by the investigators who developed effective treatments and vaccines with amazing speed and precision.

We have a lot to be thankful for despite the pandemic’s deadly impact. I’m especially thankful for the hardwork and dedication of our EIPM and Weill Cornell Medicine colleagues who met these challenges head-on as the virus tore through New York City in the early days of the pandemic.

We are much better prepared now to deal with the dramatically rising rates of infection spreading across the country, but the next few months are going to be very difficult until the vaccines arrive.

Thank you, to all of our staff, for your amazing contributions to fighting the pandemic and advancing our mission this past year. I hope you return from the holiday season refreshed and energized for what will surely be another remarkable year.


Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.
EIPM Director

Our former colleague Neel S. Madhukar, Ph.D. (Twitter handle: @neelmadhukar) and I (@ElementoLab) were profiled in the article, “Cornell University’s thriving business incubators, accelerators take off.” Cornell Chronicle, October 26th.

Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D. (@CantleyLab) was interviewed for the article, “Early Evidence Shows Fasting, Keto Diet May Make Chemo and Some Other Cancer Treatments More Effective and Easier to Tolerate,” in Cure Magazine, on November 3rd.

John P. Leonard, M.D. (@JohnPLeonardMD) was interviewed for the article “Choosing the Optimal Frontline Approach for Low-Grade Follicular Lymphoma,” which appeared in OncLive on November 4th.

Richard Furman, M.D. (@RichardFurmanMD) was interviewed for the article “Safety Study Supports Acalabrutinib Alone or in Combination for CLL,” in Oncology Times on November 5th.

Scott T. Tagawa, M.D., left, (@DrScottTagawa) was interviewed for the article, “Antibody-drug conjugates make splash in bladder cancer,” which appeared Urology Times on November 11th. Dr. Tagawa was interviewed for “The Prostate Cancer Treatment Pipeline,” in DocWire News on November 27th, and for “PSMA Targeting in Prostate Cancer Treatment,” in Doc Wire News on November 30th.

Lisa Newman, M.D. (@WCMSurgery) was profiled in the article “Why Do African Americans Have Increased Breast Cancer Mortality? Socioeconomic factors and racism can lead to poorer health outcomes for Black Americans. Genetics may also be a factor behind increased mortality rates,” in Cancer Today in November 15th.

Congratulations to Lorenzo Galluzzi, Ph.D. (@deadoc80) and Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D. (@CantleyLab) whom, together with myself, were named to the @webofscience Highly Cited Researchers™ 2020 list.

Cora N. Sternberg, M.D. (@CNSternberg) was interviewed for the article, “IPATential150: Phase III Study of Ipatasertib plus Abiraterone vs Placebo plus Abiraterone in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer,” which appeared in UroToday on October 28th.

John P. Leonard, M.D., left, (@JohnPLeonardMD) just released the #ASH20 #LeonardList of top 10 #lymphoma abstracts on his excellent #Cancercast podcast.

Cornell University hosted a Covid-19 Research Summit on November 4-5 featuring a range of speakers. I was honored to present “Decoding COVID-associated immune responses in blood and tissue using single cell analyses.”

Mark your calendars for the WCM COVID-19 Research Grant Symposium on December 17th. Session #3 will feature a talk by Melissa B. Davis, M.D. (@MeliD32), “Socio-economic and racial risk factors for #COVID19.”

A number of EIPM Members presented during the virtual #AMP2020 conference, including Alex Sigaras (@AlexSigaras) who presented the poster, “Leveraging Mixed Reality in a Precision Medicine Laboratory to Increase Safety and Productivity of Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” And Director of Informatics and Computational Biology Andrea Sboner, Ph.D. (@asbonerw) presented “Many NGS-based Assays, One Platform: Ensuring a High-quality Case Review and Sign-out Process with NGS Reporter.”

Allyson Ocean, M.D. (@drallysonocean) co-hosted the November 17th PanChat discussing #PancreaticCancer Advocacy and how patients can become their own advocates.

Our Director of Research Pathology, Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D., left, together with @EngIPM and @WCMCPathology colleagues, have had six (6!) abstracts accepted for #USCAP2021.

Congratulations to all of our EIPM and WCM colleagues (including doctoral candidate Rachel Martini, (@MartiniRachel), right, who participated in the recent #MaskUp social media campaign to encourage the use of masks and face coverings to reduce Covid-19 transmission.

EIPM Members including Rohan Bareja (@iRonB25), David Wilkes, Joanna Cyrta (@Joanna_Cyrta), Andrea Sboner (@asbonerw), Karla V. Ballman (@kvballman), and Francesca Demichelis (@FrancescaBZNY) contributed to the new paper “Role of specialized composition of SWI/SNF complexes in #ProstateCancer lineage plasticity,” in Nature Communications on November 3rd.

Lorenzo Galluzzi, Ph.D. (@deadoc80) and colleagues published “Detection of immunogenic cell death and its relevance for cancer therapy,” in Cell Death & Diseaseon November 26th. Dr. Galluzzi also published  “Converging focal radiation and immunotherapy in a preclinical model of triple negative breast cancer: contribution of VISTA blockade,” in OncoImmunology on November 5th.

Bishoy M. Faltas, M.D. (@FaltasLab) published the Expert Commentary “Molecular Subtypes of T1 Bladder Cancers,” in UroToday on November 2nd.

Iman Hajirasouliha, Ph.D. (@hajirasouliha) and I published “Precision medicine and artificial intelligence: overview and relevance to reproductive medicine,” in the journal Fertility and Sterility on November 1st.

Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D., our Director of Research Pathology, and colleagues including Drs. Andrea Sboner (@asbonerw), Cora N. Sternberg (@cnsternberg), Bishoy Faltas (@FaltasLab), Brian Robinson (@surrealistNYC), Francesca Khani 
(@FKhaniPath), Rohan Bareja (@iRonB25), Rema Rao (@Raodyisms), Kentar Ohara, Shaham Beg, Kenneth Wha Eng, David J. Pisapia, Wael Al Zoughbi, Sarah Kudman, Jyothi Manohar, Troy Kane, Michael Sigouros, and I collaborated on “Integration of whole-exome and anchored PCR-based next generation sequencing significantly increases detection of actionable alterations in precision oncology,” in the January 2021 edition of ScienceDirect.

Cora N. Sternberg, M.D. (@cnsternberg) co-authored “Accelerating precision medicine in metastatic prostate cancer,” in Nature Cancer on November 17th.

WCM medical student David Kolin, Ph.D. (@DavidK111893), graduate student Scott Kulm (@KulmScott), and I published “Clinical, regional, and genetic characteristics of Covid-19 patients from UK Biobank,” in PLoS One on November 17th.

Francesca Demichelis, Ph.D., (@FrancescaBZNY) co-authored “Mutation–selection balance and compensatory mechanisms in tumour evolution,” in Nature Reviews Genetics on November 30th.

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