EIPM Quarterly External Newsletter

December 31, 2020

Dear Friends of the EIPM,

Welcome to our final quarterly newsletter of the 2020! You signed-up on our website to receive this newsletter, and we hope you enjoy learning more about our researchers and the breakthroughs they are creating to advance science and speed new treatments to patients.

The promise and potential of precision medicine is to develop the right treatment, at the right time, for the right patient. 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.

I look forward to sharing more information about our work in the spring. Until then, please follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for daily updates.

Thank you again for your interest in our work!


Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.
EIPM Director


EIPM, Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Illumina and the New York Genome Center announced a collaboration, “Scalable Clinical Whole-Genome Sequencing Initiative to Expand Patient Access to Advanced Genomic Technologies.”

David Nanus, M.D. (left) and colleagues were featured in a new video from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian called “Hope’s Story” on how they are taking a collaborative, personalized approach to caring for people with bladder cancer.

Our former colleague Neel S. Madhukar, Ph.D. and I were profiled in the Cornell Chronicle article, “Cornell University’s thriving business incubators, accelerators take off.”

Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D. 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.

Scott T. Tagawa, M.D. (left) was profiled in a series of DocWireNews articles: “The Prostate Cancer Treatment Pipeline” and “Understanding PSMA Targeting in Prostate Cancer Treatment” as well as “How Racial Disparity and COVID-19 Affect Prostate Cancer Research.” Dr. Tagawa was also interviewed for the article, “Antibody-drug conjugates make splash in bladder cancer,” which appeared Urology Times.

Lisa Newman, M.D. 
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.

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

Cora N. Sternberg, M.D. 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.

John P. Leonard, M.D. (left) was featured in an ASCO Post article “Initial Therapy for Asymptomatic Follicular Lymphoma: Start With Watch and Wait or Rituximab,” on December 25th. Dr. Leonard also just released the #ASH20 #LeonardList of top 10 #lymphoma abstracts on his excellent #Cancercast podcast.

A number of EIPM investigators spoke with journalists for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month news articles in October. Lisa Newman, M.D. spoke with Glamour Magazine.” Allyson Ocean, M.D. was interviewed by Newsy.  Eleni Andreopoulou, M.D. spoke with The Cornell Daily Sun and the Chronicle of Higher Education. And Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D. was quoted in a SurvivorNet.

Marcin Imielinski M.D., Ph.D. (right) was interviewed by genomeweb about his recent paper in Cell that ‘identified a handful of new complex genome rearrangement groups in cancer genomes using a junction balance-based analysis focused on thousands of available tumor genome sequences.’

Manish A. Shah, M.D. (left) was interviewed by Medscape Medical News for an article about how cancer patients manage COVID-19 infections. Dr. Shah discussed the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-590 trial with OncLive, and he was interviewed for the article “Immunotherapy Investigations Lay Groundwork for Future Research Across GI Cancer Settings,” in OncLive.

M. Elizabeth (Betsey) Ross, M.D., Ph.D. was named co-PI on new study recruiting 1,000 healthcare workers to investigate underlying factors driving COVID19 outcomes, and covered by a WCM Newsroom article.

The EIPM recently welcomed several new staff members, including (from right) research technicians Meagan Ford, Phoebe Reuben and Jeremy Auh.


Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D. 
(right) earned a $100,000 COVID-19 Research Grant from Weill Cornell Medicine for her project “COVID Disparities – DARC Side of SARS-Cov-2.” The study may lead to improved treatments for COVID-19 and help efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in illness. Dr. Davis was also named to Cell Mentor‘s “1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America” list!

Monica Guzman, Ph.D. was named to Cell Mentor’s “100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America.”

A range of EIPM investigators, including Clinical Director Cora 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 earned New York Genome Center Collaborative Cancer Genomics Research Grants Focused on Underserved Populations.

Lisa Newman, M.D. (right) received a grant from Susan G. Komen Greater NYC to fund the Breast Health Equity and International Breast Cancer Research Program at Weill Cornell Medicine. The generous $100,000 Catalyst Research Grant will support the program in addressing breast-cancer disparities through a multi-pronged approach.

Several EIPM investigators recently earned Starr Cancer Consortium grants including Vivek Mittal, Ph.D.Brian Robinson, M.D., Steven Lipkin, M.D., Ph.D., Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., Associate Director for Precision Immunology Laura Santambrogio, M.D., Ph.D., and Bishoy Faltas.

EIPM’s Director of Research Pathology Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D. (left) is the Principal Investigator in a new Department of Defense Health Disparity Research Award “Novel Complex Structural Variants and Epigenetic Alterations Link the Genomes of Prostate Cancer in African Americans with Outcome Disparity,” along with multi-disciplinary colleagues Marcin Imielinski M.D., Ph.D., Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D., Cora N. Sternberg, M.D., David Nanus, M.D., Laura Martin, Ph.D., and Jones Nauseef, M.D., Ph.D., and myself.


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.”

The WCM COVID-19 Research Grant Symposium was held on December 17th. Session #3 featured a talk by Melissa B. Davis, Ph.D., “Socio-economic and racial risk factors for COVID19.”

A number of EIPM Members presented during the virtual #AMP2020 conference, including Alex Sigaras (right) 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. presented “Many NGS-based Assays, One Platform: Ensuring a High-quality Case Review and Sign-out Process with NGS Reporter.”

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

Our Director of Research Pathology, Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D., together with EIPM and Weill Cornell Medicine colleagues, have had six (6!) abstracts accepted for #USCAP2021.


EIPM Members including Rohan Bareja, and Drs. David Wilkes, Joanna Cyrta, Andrea SbonerKarla V. Ballmanand Francesca Demichelis contributed to the new paper “Role of specialized composition of SWI/SNF complexes in #ProstateCancer lineage plasticity,” in Nature Communications.

Lorenzo Galluzzi, Ph.D. and colleagues published “Detection of immunogenic cell death and its relevance for cancer therapy,” in Cell Death & DiseaseDr. Galluzzi also published  “Converging focal radiation and immunotherapy in a preclinical model of triple negative breast cancer: contribution of VISTA blockade,” in OncoImmunology. Finally, Dr. Galluzzi also published “Immunomodulation by targeted anticancer agents,” in Cancer Cell.

Bishoy M. Faltas, M.D. published the Expert Commentary “Molecular Subtypes of T1 Bladder Cancers,” in UroToday.

Iman Hajirasouliha, Ph.D. and I published “Precision medicine and artificial intelligence: overview and relevance to reproductive medicine,” in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Director of Research Pathology Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D. and colleagues Rohan BarejaJyothi Manohar, Troy Kane, Michael Saguaros, Kenneth Wha Eng, and Sarah Kudman along with Drs. Andrea SbonerCora N. SternbergBishoy FaltasBrian Robinson, Francesca KhaniRema RaoKentar Ohara, Shaham Beg, David J. Pisapia, Wael Al Zoughbi, 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 Translational Oncology.

Clinical Director Cora N. Sternberg, M.D. co-authored “Accelerating precision medicine in metastatic prostate cancer,” in Nature Cancer.

A novel computational algorithm has identified complex genome sequencing patterns in tumors, this finding “Distinct Classes of Complex Structural Variation Uncovered across Thousands of Cancer Genome Graphs,” was published in the journal Cell by Marcin Imielinski, M.D.Ph.D. with Sarah Kudman, and Drs. David Wilkes, Andrea Sboner, Juan Miguel Mosquera, M.D. and myself, and covered in an article by the WCM Newsroom.

WCM medical student David Kolin, graduate student Scott Kulm, and I published “Clinical, regional, and genetic characteristics of Covid-19 patients from UK Biobank,” in PLoS One.

“The spatio-temporal landscape of lung pathology in SARS-CoV-2 infection,” is an in-depth analysis of what happens in the lungs of severe COVID-19 patients using imaging mass cytometry. Ground-breaking work led by ICB and EIPM colleagues including co-first authors André Figueiredo Rendeiro, Ph.D. and Hiranmayi Ravichandran, along with myself and WCM colleagues in an medRxiv preprint.

Dolores J. (Dorrie) Lamb, Ph.D. (right) and colleagues published “Short-Acting Testosterone: More Physiologic?” an Opinion Article in Frontiers in Endocrinology.

First author Elisa Benedetti, Ph.D., along with Jan Krumsiek, Ph.D., Karsten Suhre, Ph.D., and graduate student Mustafa Büyüközkan published “A strategy to incorporate prior knowledge into correlation network cutoff selection,” in Nature Communications.

Bishoy M. Faltas, M.D. provided the Expert Commentary “Clinicopathological Characteristics and Survival Outcomes in Micropapillary Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder,” in UroTodayDr. Faltas also provided the Expert Commentary, “Clinical Outcomes in Bladder Cancer Patients with Histological Variants,” in UroToday, and “Global Trends in Bladder Cancer Incidence and Mortality,” in UroToday.

Director of Informatics and Computational Biology Andrea Sboner, Ph.D. and Christopher Barbieri, M.D. (left) co-authored “Diversity in Androgen Receptor Action Among Treatment-naïve Prostate Cancers Reflected in Treatment Response Predictions and Molecular Subtypes,” in the Science Direct journal European Urology Open Science.

Jan Krumsiek, Ph.D. co-authored, “A Workflow for Missing Values Imputation of Untargeted Metabolomics Data,” in the journal Metabolites.

Graduate students Andrew Marderstein & Scott Kulm,along with myself, published “Leveraging phenotypic variability to identify genetic interactions in human phenotypes,” in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Giorgio Inghirami, M.D., Lorenzo Galluzzi, Ph.D., André F Rendeiro, Ph.D. (left), Wayne Tam, M.D., Ph.D., and I co-authored “Profiling of immune dysfunction in COVID-19 patients allows early prediction of disease progression,” in Life Science Alliance.

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