EIPM Director’s June 2021 Newsletter

June 2021 EIPM Director’s Memo

Dear Members of the Englander Institute,

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter, which is packed with a remarkable number of news stories about the work of our colleagues, their awards, events and publications. I’m so proud of these achievements, and I hope you are as well.

In the next edition of this monthly newsletter I’ll be launching a new section called “Ask Olivier,” where I’ll respond to some of your comments and questions. So, please don’t be shy, send your questions to our Communications Manager Peter Cleary (ptc4001@med.cornell.edu), and we’ll take it from there.

I’d like to welcome the newest member of our team, computational biologist Peter Waltman, Ph.D., who will be working in my lab and in the lab of Dr. Andrea Sboner, our Director of Informatics and Computational Biology.

Finally, we have some really interesting new Career Opportunities and I encourage you to share them with your professional colleagues. Please also visit our website and social media channels Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for daily updates on our work.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our mission.


Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.

News Coverage & Awards
Congratulations to Dr. Marcin Imielinski for earning a 2021 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research. Using innovative methods to characterize structural changes in whole genome sequences, Dr. Imielinski hopes to explain why certain acral melanomas and other similar cancers with few small mutations respond to immunotherapy by examining a novel class of genetic alterations called tyfonas.

Dr. Juan Miguel Mosquera was promoted to Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, congratulations!

Dr. Lisa Newman was interviewed for the article “Breast Conservation Plus Radiation Tops Mastectomy. More extensive breast surgery does not appear to save any lives,” say Swedish researchers,” in MedPage Today, on May 5th. Dr. Newman was also interviewed for the article, “Breast-Conserving Surgery+RT Yields Significant Survival Benefits For Early-Stage Breast Cancer,” in the publication BreakingMD on May 6th.

Dr. Richard Furman was interviewed for the article “Umbralisib/Ublituximab Plus Venetoclax Triplet Moves Into Phase 3 Testing as Phase 2 Trial Completes Accrual in CLL,” which appeared in OncLive on May 4th.

Dr. Bishoy Faltas provided the Expert Commentary “Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for Palliative Treatment of Gross Hematuria from Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma,” in UroToday on May 5th. Dr. Faltas provided Expert Commentary, “Treatment Outcomes and Estimated Costs Associated with BCG Therapy for Patients with High-Risk Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer,” in UroToday on May 25th.

Dr. Scott T. Tagawa was interviewed for the article “Pivotal data published for sacituzumab govitecan in bladder cancer,” which appeared in Urology Times, on May 7th. Dr. Tagawa’s work on a cohort of the phase II TROPHY-U-01 trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, was featured in an ASCO Post article, “Sacituzumab Govitecan-hziy for Patients With Pretreated Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma,” on May 18th.

Dr. Lewis Cantley was interviewed for the article “Can Curbing Thirst for Sugary Drinks Reduce Colon Cancer?— Two servings a day more than doubled risk in women younger than 50, study showed,” which appeared in MedPage Today on May 6th. Dr. Cantley also collaborated on the preprint “Pyruvate kinase M1 suppresses development and progression of prostate adenocarcinoma,” in bioRxiv on May 10th.

Dr. Peter Martin provided an “Expert Point of View” for an ASCO Post article on May 10th about current therapies and the median survival for people with follicular lymphoma. Dr. Martin also presented “What’s New in Diagnostic Technologies for People Living with Blood Cancers,” during a WCM CancerCare Connect Education Workshop on May 24th.

Dr. Monica Guzman received the Weill Cornell Graduate School Faculty Diversity Award together with Bjorn Kafsack. Dr. Guzman is part of an amazing team, the WCGS Social Justice and Anti-racism Task Force (SJAR) focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Nasser K. Altorki was interviewed for the article, “Anti-PD-L1 Plus SBRT Enhances Major Responses in Early NSCLC–Neoadjuvant combo needs to be validated in a larger randomized trial,” that appeared in MedPageToday on May 20th.

As most of you know, I take mentoring very seriously and encourage as many of you as possible to spend time with younger colleagues and students to encourage them to pursue their academic dreams and help them achieve their professional potential. Learn why mentoring our former colleague Dr. Akanksha Verma meant so much to me.

Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg will be a panelist at the #APCCC21 Online Consensus Meeting on October 9, 2021! Register at https://apccc.org. Follow @APCCC_Lugano for more info.

Drs. David Nanus, Cora N. Sternberg, and Scott Tagawa provided advanced prostate cancer treatment updates during the New York City Prostate Cancer Summit on May 12th.

Thanks to Dr. Julie Rayes from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham for delivering a virtual EIPM Special Seminar lecture, “Novel targets of thromboinflammation during infection and hemolysis,” on May 18th.

We also thank Dr. Elly Tanaka, Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, for her EIPM virtual Seminar Series lecture, “Unravelling the Molecular Basis of Limb Regeneration,” on May 11th.

Dr. Melissa B. Davis will co-chair the AACR Virtual Conference: 14th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved from October 6-8, 2021.

Director of Strategy Theresa (Tess) MacDonald participated in a talk with a representative from Illumina, “Expanding Patient Access to Advanced Genomic Technologies: A Collaboration between Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital,” on May 19th.

Dr. Brian D. Robinson presented a Meyer Cancer Center Director’s Seminar Series lecture, “Overview of Oncologic Pathology Shared Resources,” on May 19th.

I’ll be participating in the next D4 Pharma webinar, “Innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for target ID, Validation & Prioritisation,” on June 2nd at 10 AM. Registration is now open.

Dr. Monica Guzman led a big team including Drs. Juan Miguel Mosquera, Andrea Sboner, Jenny Z. Xiang, David Rickman, Wayne Tam, former members Mark A. Rubin and Himisha Beltran, with Kenneth Eng, David C. Wilkes, Rohan Bareja, Jaclyn A. Croyle, Theresa (Tess) MacDonald, Zohal Noorzad, Danielle Pancirer, Shuhua Cheng, Koen Van Besien and myself in publishing “Targeting the Epichaperome as an Effective Precision Medicine Approach in a Novel PML-SYK Fusion Acute Myeloid Leukemia,” in NPJ Precision Oncology on May 26th.

Drs. Nasser K Altorki, Ashish Saxena, Manik Uppal, Karla V Ballman, Silvia C Formenti, with Bhavneet Binder and I published “Neoadjuvant durvalumab with or without stereotactic body radiotherapy in patients with early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer: a single-centre, randomised phase 2 trial,” in Lancet Oncoloy on May 17th.

Dr. Kentaro Ohara, Jyothi Manohar, Noah Greco, Dr. Francesca Khani, Dr. Brian D. Robinson, Dr. Rema A. Rao, Dr. Juan Miguel Mosquera, and I published “Incorporating cytologic adequacy assessment into precision oncology workflow using telepathology: An institutional experience,” in Cancer Cytopathology on May 3rd.

André F. Rendeiro, Hiranmayi Ravichandran, Niroshana Anandasabapathy, and I published “A molecular single-cell lung atlas of lethal COVID-19,” in Nature on April 29th.

Drs. Lisa Newman and Melissa B. Davis, with WCM colleagues, published “Investigation of triple-negative breast cancer risk alleles in an International African-enriched cohort,” in Nature Scientific Reports on April 29th. Drs. Newman and Davis also collaborated on the review article “Cancer microenvironment and genomics: evolution in process,” in the Journal Clinical & Experimental Metastasis on May 10th.

Dr. Christopher Barbieri published the editorial “Understanding the True Prevalence of Prostate Cancer Genomic Subtypes: Use of Inverse Probability Weighting to Correct for Biases in Molecularly Profiled Cohorts,” in the Journal of Urology on June 1st.

Dr. Allyson Ocean published “Sacituzumab govitecan, a Trop-2-directed antibody-drug conjugate, for patients with epithelial cancer: final safety and efficacy results from the phase I/II IMMU-132-01 basket trial,” in Annals of Oncology on June 1st.

Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi and colleagues published, “Immunofluorescence microscopy-based assessment of cytosolic DNA accumulation in mammalian cells,” in STAR Protocol on June 18th.

Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg published “Immune-inflammatory biomarkers as prognostic factors for immunotherapy in pretreated advanced urinary tract cancer patients: an analysis of the Italian SAUL cohort,” in ESMO Open on June 1st; Dr. Sternberg and colleagues co-authored “Plasma tumor gene conversions after one cycle abiraterone acetate for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: a biomarker analysis of a multicenter international trial,” in Annals of Oncology in June 2021; Dr. Sternberg also published “SAUL, a single-arm study of atezolizumab for chemotherapy-pretreated locally advanced or metastatic carcinoma of the urinary tract: outcomes by key baseline factors, PD-L1 expression and prior platinum therapy,” in ESMO Open on June 1st.

Drs. Francesca Khani and Brian Robinson co-authored “Computationally Derived Cribriform Area Index from Prostate Cancer Hematoxylin and Eosin Images Is Associated with Biochemical Recurrence Following Radical Prostatectomy and Is Most Prognostic in Gleason Grade Group 2,” in European Urology Focus on April 30th.

Dr. Scott Tagawa, with Dr. Cora N. Sternberg, published “TROPHY-U-01: A Phase II Open-Label Study of Sacituzumab Govitecan in Patients With Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma Progressing After Platinum-Based Chemotherapy and Checkpoint Inhibitors,” in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on April 30th.

Drs. Pegah Khosravi, Zhuoran Xu, Akanksha Verma, Uska Naveed, and I published “Deep learning predicts chromosomal instability from histopathology images,” in iScience on May 21st.

Dr. Lewis C. Cantley co-authored the preprint “Pyruvate kinase M1 suppresses development and progression of prostate adenocarcinoma,” in bioRxiv on May 10th.

Drs. Karsten Suhre and Jan Krumsiek co-authored “maplet: An extensible R toolbox for modular and reproducible omics pipelines,” in arXiv on May 6th.

Dr. Niroshana Anandasabapathy published “The role of dendritic cells in cancer and anti-tumor immunity,” in Seminars in Immunology on May 20th.

Dr. André F. Rendeiro published “Ultra-high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing and perturbation screening with combinatorial fluidic indexing,” in Nature Methods on May 31st.

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