EIPM Directors Memo November 2021

November 2021 EIPM Director’s Memo

Dear Members of the Englander Institute,

It’s always a pleasure to share the important work and contributions of our colleagues, especially those who are just beginning their careers. Over the next several weeks we will feature interviews on the News page of our website with colleagues like Helen Kuo, a PhD Candidate mentored by myself and Dr. Laura Martin. I hope you enjoy learning more about their backgrounds and research interests.

We also just launched a fun video branding campaign on our Twitter and Facebook pages that will introduce our social media audiences to the people who make the EIPM such a special place. If you would like to participate please email our Communications Manager Peter Cleary (ptc4001@med.cornell.edu).

October was a very busy month for our team, with significant news coverage of our work, important awards like a $2.6 million NCI research grant to Dr. Marcin Imieliński, live & virtual events, and impressive scientific publications.

I hope you enjoy reading about these developments as much as I enjoy sharing them with you.


Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.


Meet the Staff!
We recently published a profile on our website of our colleague Helen Kuo, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Pharmacology, and invite you to read the interview and learn more about her.

We are also pleased to welcome organoid research technician Thomas Caiazza to our team!


News Coverage & Awards
Congratulations to Dr. Marcin Imieliński on his new $2.6M research grant from the National Cancer Institute for a study entitled, “Cell-of-Origin Footprints of Passenger Mutations in Human Lung Cancer.”

Congratulations to Dr. Kristy A. Brown who was named Co Editor-in-Chief of the journal Endocrine and Metabolic Science on October 11th!

Congratulations to Dr. Melissa B. Davis who has been invited to serve as Senior Editor for the Health Disparities and Outcomes Research section of AACR’s newest journal Cancer Research Communications!

Dr. Nasser Altorki was interviewed for the article, “Dr. Altorki on the Results of Post-Hoc Analyses of the IMpower010 Trial in NSCLC,” in OncLive on October 4th, and on the same topic for the article “IMpower010: Benefits Observed With Atezolizumab Regardless of Stage, Type of Prior Treatment,” in the ASCO Post on October 10th. Dr. Altorki was also interviewed for the article “Extent of Lymphadenectomy Predicts Survival in Esophageal Cancer,” in Reuters Health on September 30th.

Dr. Scott T. Tagawa was interviewed for the article, “Overall Survival With Lutetium 177 May Be Impacted by Subsequent Therapies, Prognostic Risk Groups in mCRPC,” in CancerNetwork on October 10th. Dr. Tagawawas also interviewed for related articles, “Dr. Tagawa on treatment patterns and survival in mCSPC,” in the UrologyTimes on October 15th, and “Compelling ESMO Data for Metastatic Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer,” in CancerNetwork on October 18th. Dr. Tagawa was also interviewed for the article “A New Era of Precision Medicine Takes Shape in Prostate Cancer,” by OncLive on October 26th.

EIPM’s Director of Research Pathology Dr. Juan Miguel Mosquera was profiled in a Weill Cornell Medicine #HispanicHeritageMonth social media campaign.

Dr. Cora N. Sternberg was interviewed for the article, “Therapy Resistance Identified in Circulating Tumor Cell Morphologic Sub-Types Present Prior to Treatment in the CARD Trial,” in UroToday on October 15th. Dr. Sternberg also wrote a Beyond the Abstract article “Efficacy and Safety of Cabazitaxel Versus Abiraterone or Enzalutamide in Older Patients With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer in the CARD Study,” in UroToday/GU Onc Today on October 25th.

Dr. Lisa Newman was interviewed by ABC News for a story discussing the disparities in breast cancer between African American and white women on October 20th.

Dr. Bishoy Faltas provided the Expert Commentary “PARP Inhibition in Patients with Advanced Urothelial Cancer,” in UroToday on September 27th. Dr. Faltas also provided the Expert Commentary, “Efficacy of Adding Panitumumab to Dose-Dense MVAC Chemotherapy in Patients with Advanced Urothelial Cancer,” to UroToday on October 26th.

Dr. Christopher E. Barbieri wrote an accompanying editorial to a study that “Zeros in on Why Men Abandon Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance,” covered by Renal and Urology Newson October 25th.

Dr. Ashish Saxena was interviewed for the article “Adjuvant Immunotherapy Breakthroughs in Lung Cancer from ESMO 2021,” which appeared in OncLive on October 27th.


Dr. Melissa B. Davis opened the AACR Virtual Conference: 14th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, and delivered the meeting’s Closing Remarks on October 6th. Dr. Davis also presented during the Scientists Making a Difference session of a program hosted by Touch: The Black Breast Cancer Alliance and BlackDoctor.org on October 17th.

Dr. Richard Furman presented WCM Department of Medicine Grand Rounds, “CLL: Where to Next?” on October 6th.

I was happy to deliver WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Grand Rounds, “Towards Organoid-driven Precision Medicine,” on October 11th.

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

Register today for the Weill Cornell Medicine Dean’s Fifth Annual Symposium on Entrepreneurship and Academic Drug Development on November 8th and hear from great speakers like Dr. John P. Leonard.

Dr. Jan Krumsiek presented  “Alzheimers Disease – a Metabolomics Perspective,” during WCM Radiology’s BHII Science Friday event on Oct. 22nd.

The EIPM and our friends at The Meyer Cancer Center hosted our latest Metastasis Working Group Seminar featuring presentations by Drs. Claudia Fischbach-Teschl and Dawid G. Nowak on October 27th.

Last summer the EIPM, The Meyer Cancer Center and the Museum of Modern Art teamed-up to provide dozens of local high school & college students with a rich and rewarding 6-week virtual summer program. Learn more about last summer’s program, and please help spread the word about the 2022 summer program.

Upcoming: Dr. Geoffrey S. Pitt will present a WCM Department of Pharmacology Seminar Series lecture, “FGF13: Novel Functions for a Non-Growth Factor,” on Nov. 2nd at 4 PM. Look for Zoom mtg. info. emailed to WCM staff.

Upcoming: I’m happy to be invited to co-lead an “Artificial Intelligence for Genomics Workshop,” hosted by our friends at the NY Genome Center, and featuring presentations by our colleagues Drs. Ekta Khurana and Iman Hajirasouliha on the afternoon of December 3rd.

Upcoming: The March 2022 USCAP conference in Los Angeles will feature two new abstracts by Dr. Juan Miguel Mosquera with Dr. Majd Al Assad, Dr. Jenny Tu and a range of EIPM and other WCM colleagues.

Upcoming: Fans of Data Science might be interested in the University of Florida’s “Tackling Bias in Data Science: From Prediction to Intervention — A Workshop on Transdisciplinary Data Science,” November 15-17, 2021.


Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi and colleagues published “Control of host mitochondria by bacterial pathogens,” in Trends in Microbiology on October 13th. Dr. Galluzzi also co-authored “Immunological configuration of ovarian carcinoma: features and impact on disease outcome,” in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer on October 13th.

Drs. Vivek Mittal and Nasser Altorki published “Radiation-activated secretory proteins of Scgb1a1+club cells increase the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade in lung cancer,” in Nature Cancer on September 20th.

Drs. Nasser Altorki, Paraskevi Giannakakou and I published, together with our former colleague and co-author Dr. Neel Madhukar, “CLIP-170S is a microtubule +TIP variant that confers resistance to taxanes by impairing drug-target engagement,” in Developmental Cell on October 20th.

A range of current and former EIPM staff including Matthew J. Mosquera, Rohan Bareja, Heng Pan, M. Laura Martin, Michael Sigouros, Florencia M Rowdo, Sarah Ackermann, Jared Capuano, Jacob Bernheim, Cynthia Cheung, Ashley Doane, David S. Rickman, Loredana Puca, Mark Rubin, Himisha Beltran, and Juan Miguel Mosquera co-authored a new paper by Dr. Ankur Singh and myself, “Extracellular Matrix in Synthetic Hydrogel-based Prostate Cancer Organoids Regulate Therapeutic Response to EZH2 and DRD2 inhibitors,” in Advanced Materials on October 22nd.

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