August 2021 EIPM Director’s Memo

August 2021 EIPM Director’s Memo

Dear Members of the Englander Institute,

I hope you’re enjoying the summer and continuing to stay healthy. We are closely monitoring the rise of the Delta variant, and encourage everyone to get vaccinated and to follow the new requirements from Dean Choi about wearing your mask on campus.

I’m very proud of our work over the past month, including the impressive news media coverage we generated, the events we participated in, the awards and grants we earned, and the research published in high-profile journals like The Lancet, Nature Communications, and others.

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
Dr. Pinkal Desai was interviewed for the article, “Effect of Myeloid Progenitor Cell Product on the Risk of Infection During Induction Chemotherapy for AML,” by the ASCO Post on July 1st. Dr. Desai was also interviewed for the article, “Therapy Can Prevent Infections in Immunocompromised Patients With Leukemia,” by AJMC News on July 16th.  

Congratulations to Dr. Melissa B. Davis whose work with The International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes received funding through an R13 grant from the National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health to support their annual meeting.

Dr. Bishoy Faltas published Expert Commentary in UroToday on “TERT Promoter Mutations Predict Benefit From Immunotherapy in Patients With Urothelial Cancer,” on July 1st; “Characteristics of Secondary Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer (MIBC) Following Pelvic Irradiation,” on July 7th; “Germline DNA Damage Repair Alterations in Patients with Localized Prostate Cancer Treated with Neoadjuvant Androgen Deprivation Therapy,” July 22nd;

Dr. Nasser K. Altorki was interviewed for the article “In early lung cancer, immunotherapy plus targeted radiation may up response rate,” by Reuters on July 6th. Dr. Altorki was also interviewed for “Neoadjuvant durvalumab plus SBRT safe, effective for lung cancer subset,” in Helio on July 2nd, and “Durvalumab with Radiotherapy Leads to Higher Response Rates in Early-Stage NSCLC,” in CancerNetwork on July 2nd.

Dr. Peter Martin was interviewed for the article, “3 Updates on Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” in Managed Healthcare Executive on July 7th, and for “Real-World Care Not Matching Recommendations From Clinical Trials in MCL,” in CancerNetwork on July 1st, and “Real-World Treatment Patterns and Outcomes in MCL Contrast With Clinical Trials,” in Targeted Oncology on July 12th. Dr. Martin discusses “The Role of Maintenance Therapy With Rituximab in MCL,” in OncLive on July 15th.

It was a pleasure to be interviewed for the article, “What you’ll find in medicine cabinets in 2030,” by Gizmodo, on July 12th.

Dr. Scott T. Tagawa was interviewed for the article, “Sacituzumab Govitecan-hziy in Urothelial Carcinoma Progressing After Platinum-Based Chemotherapy and Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy,” in The ASCO Post, on July 10th. Dr. Tagawa was also interviewed for the article “Dr. Tagawa on the Utility of Radium-223 in Prostate Cancer,” in OncLiveon July 14th.

A powerful natural immune-regulating molecule may lead to better treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases & some cancers, revealed in a Nature Communications study by Dr. Laura Santambrogio and promoted in a Weill Cornell Medicine Newsroom article on July 30th and reposted on the EIPM website.

Dr. John Leonard was interviewed for the article, “Follicular Lymphoma: What Role Should PI3K Inhibitors Play in Treatment?,” in Patient Worthy on July 28th.


Summer Program Pilots Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Educational Collaboration. This summer, 47 high school and college students have been
participating in the EIPM & Meyer Cancer Center six-week virtual summer program. Participants worked remotely with faculty to develop a research proposal and participate in weekly didactics on cancer biology and precision medicine. Additionally, students had the opportunity to participate in two pilot activities, designed by Spyridon Mylonas, Ph.D. and Francis Estrada from the Museum of Modern Art Education Department, on the impact of art on social issues, with a focus on addressing the socioeconomic factors that contribute to health disparities. Mr. Estrada led these two inquiry-based sessions with the students, featuring works by artists from various backgrounds and disciplines to demonstrate how they created works in response to the social, cultural, and political issues of their time.

Dr. Eduard Reznik, Assistant Member of the Computational Oncology team at Memorial Sloan Kettering, presented an EIPM Seminar Series lecture, “Five Not-So-Easy-Pieces About the Genetic Regulation of Tumor Metabolism,” on July 13th.

Dr. Barbara Treutlein of the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich presented an EIPM Seminar Series lecture “Human brain organoid development through the lens of single-cell technologies,” on July 22nd.

Dr. Bishoy Faltas gave a the state-of-the-art lecture at #EAU21 on “Germline mutations and urothelial cancer management,” on July 10th.

Thanks to our WCM colleague Dr. Susana Morales for presenting on cancer health disparities and health equity before the joint EIPM and Meyer Cancer Center Virtual Summer Internship program!

Dr. Melissa B. Davis participated in the National Medical Association’s 2021 Virtual Convention & Scientific Assembly “Restoring Hope and Health Across the African Diaspora,” on July 18th.

The EIPM & Meyer Cancer Center Metastasis Working Group hosted Seminar lectures on July 28th by our WCM colleagues. Dr. David C. Lyden presented “Pre-Metastatic Niche Signatures in the Liver Predict Metastatic Outcome in PDAC Patients,” and Dr. Ashley Laughney presented “Systems analysis of tumor-microenvironment crosstalk induced by chromosomal instability.”

Dr. Ashish Saxena delivered Department of Medicine Summer Series Grand Rounds, “Lung Cancer Management in 2021,” on July 28th.


Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg co-authored, “Ipatasertib plus abiraterone and prednisolone in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (IPATential150): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, phase 3 trial,” in The Lancet, on July 10th. Dr. Sternberg also published “Efficacy and Safety of Cabazitaxel Versus Abiraterone or Enzalutamide in Older Patients with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer in the CARD Study,” in European Urology on July 14th; “Differential Activity of PARP Inhibitors in BRCA1– Versus BRCA2-Altered Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer,” in JCO Precision Oncology, July 22nd; and “Safety and Efficacy of Atezolizumab in Understudied Populations with Pretreated Urinary Tract Carcinoma: Subgroup Analyses of the SAUL Study in Real-World Practice,” in the Journal of Urology on August 1st.

Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi and colleagues published “Targeting Serine in Cancer: Is Two Better Than One?” in Trends in Cancer on July 1st. Dr. Galluzzi also co-authored “Dendritic cell-based immunotherapy (DCVAC/OvCa) combined with second-line chemotherapy in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer (SOV02): A randomized, open-label, phase 2 trial,” in Gynecologic Oncology, July 20th.

Drs. Melissa B. Davis and Lisa Newman published, “Oncologic Anthropology: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understand the Association Between Genetically Defined African Ancestry and TNBC Susceptibility,” in Current Breast Cancer Reports on July 19th.

Drs. Juan Miguel Mosquera and Wael Al Zoughbi published, along with co-authors Drs. Shaham Beg, Kentaro Ohara, David Wilkes, Scott Tagawa, Kevin Holcomb, Manish Shah, Nasser K Altorki, Andrea Sboner, David Nanus, Bishoy Faltas, Cora N Sternberg, Yariv Houvras, Ana M Molina, Olivier Elemento with Michael Sigouros, Troy Kane, Daniel Bockelman, Donna Nichol, Rohan Bareja, Jyothi Manohar, Noah Greco, and Kenneth Wha Eng collaborated on the paper “Validation of a ctDNA-based next-generation sequencing assay in a cohort of solid tumor patients: a proposed solution for decentralized plasma testing,” in The Oncologist on July 19th.

Dr. Akanksha Verma and myself, along with our retired colleague Dr. Andrew J. Dannenberg, collaborated on the accepted manuscript “Blood Biomarkers Reflect the Effects of Obesity and Inflammation on the Human Breast Transcriptome,” in Carcinogenesis, July 27th.

Dr. Laura Santambrogio published “3-hydroxy-L-kynurenamine is an immunomodulatory biogenic amine,” in Nature Communications on July 21st.

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