April 2022 EIPM Director’s Memo

Dear Members of the Englander Institute,March was another very busy month for us, with important awards and honors for Drs. Anandasabapathy, Ocean, Faltas and Hajirasouliha, well done! We also generated a lot of news media coverage, participated in important events, and published impactful research.We celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th by paying tribute on our social media channels to some of the women who motivate and inspire us. We were happy to work with our WCM External Affairs colleagues to recognize National Doctor’s Day on March 30th and thank leaders like Drs. Massimo Cristofanilli, Cora N. Sternberg, and Pinkal Desai for the amazing care they provide to our patients and the inspiration they give us every day!It was a pleasure to give New York City Council Member Julie Menin, whose district includes our campus, and her staff a tour of our labs on March 18th. VIPs, donors, and others are always impressed by our team and the technology they use to advance science and speed new treatments to patients. I’m really excited to report that we are developing a new video that replicates that experience and will share it with you soon. We have several new career opportunities, including a two-year Clinical Research Fellowship in Precision Medicine and a Laboratory Administrative Assistant. I encourage you to help us fill these positions by circulating them within your professional networks.Thank you for your hard work and continued dedication to our mission.Sincerely,Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.News Coverage & Awards Congratulations to our colleague Dr. Niroshana Anandasabapathy on a $3.6M research grant announced March 9th from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for a study entitled, “Interrogating unique DC adaptations to tissue to promote barrier immunity and tolerance.”Congratulations to Dr. Allyson Ocean for being named by Medika Life on March 15th to the “50 Most Influential Voices in Healthcare for 2022–The People with the Potential to Change Health for the Better, Globally.” Dr. Iman Hajirasouliha won a Starr Cancer Consortium award for the project “Weakly-supervised tumor purity prediction from H&E-stained slides,” which was announced on March 10th. Bloomberg News recently published a profile of our work in the article, “The Next Life-Saving Innovation in Medicine May Be Developed Only for You. Meet the physician-scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine combating disease with extreme precision,” interviewing Alex Sigaras, Dean Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, and myself on March 7th.Dr. Melissa B. Davis was interviewed for the article, “Black Americans Have the Highest Cancer Death Rates in the U.S.; Let’s Close the Gap in Cancer Care For Black History Month and Beyond,” which appeared in SurvivorNet on March 10th. Dr. Bishoy M. Faltas received the Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation. The award was announced on March 3rd. Dr. Faltas was also interviewed for The ASCO Post article, “Groundbreaking Developments in Urothelial, Prostate, and Renal Cell Cancers Pave the Way for Future Progress, which ran on March 18th. Dr. Lisa Newman was interviewed for the article, “Black Women and Breast Cancer: Experts Discuss Shortcomings in Care,” which appeared in Clinical Oncology News on March 2nd.

Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.

NewYork-Presbyterian published an article, “Novel Technique Provides Insights into Lung Pathology in COVID-19,” on their website quoting myself and some of our WCM colleagues on March 11th. I was also interviewed for the article “Emerging Issues Regarding Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Research and Clinical Practice,” which ran in The ASCO Post on March 10th.  Dr. Karsten Suhre was interviewed for the article “WCM-Q researchers identify protein markers for COVID-19 disease,” which appeared in Zawya on March 7th. Dr. Scott T. Tagawa was interviewed for the article, “Data suggest radium-223 and PSMA-targeted radionuclides are well tolerated in prostate cancer,” which appeared in Urology Times on March 23rd. Dr. Tagawa was also interviewed for the article “Sacituzumab Govitecan-hziy in Urothelial Carcinoma Progressing After Platinum-Based Chemotherapy and Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy,” by The ASCO Post on March 21st.  Dr. Peter Martin was interviewed for the article, “Dr. Martin Discusses how to Approach Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” which appeared in the Oncology Learning Network on March 23rd.


EventsDr. Melissa B. Davis participated in a Karen’s Club event, “Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Information is Power, What do we Need to Know?” on March 3rd.  EIPM Members Dr. Melissa B. Davis and Dr. Karla Ballman participated in a WCM Racial & Social Justice Book Club Discussion on March 29th discussing Picture a Scientist, a film about gender discrimination and women scientists.Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi delivered a keynote address, “Challenges to expand further the success of (immuno)therapy to increase response rate and increase response duration,” at FitCancer 8 on March 11th. Dr. Ekta Khurana presented a WCM Meyer Cancer Center Director’s Seminar Series lecture, “Chromatin Profiles Classify Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer Suggesting Therapeutic Target,” on March 16th.WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and EIPM Fellow Dr. Majd Al Assaad presented a number of posters at the USCAP 2022 meeting this month, including “Enhanced clinical utility of integrative whole genome sequencing and RNAseq analysis of primary brain tumors,” developed with our colleagues Jyothi Manohar, Michael Saguaros, Drs. David Wilkes, along with WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine/EIPM Members Drs. Andrea Sboner, David J. Pisapia, Juan Miguel Mosquera and myself. Alex Sigaras presented a WCM Institute for Computational Biomedicine Research in Progress Seminar, “Metaverse: The Next Frontier in Medicine?” on March 18th. Upcoming Events:Dr. Niroshana Anandasabapathy will participate in Cornell University’s 2nd Intercampus Immunology Symposium on April 19-20 and speak on the “Imaging and Tissue Immunity,” panel. Learn more about the Symposium and register.Dr. Melissa B. Davis will chair the session, “Molecular Epidemiology of Stress and Discrimination and Cancer Outcomes,” on April 10th at the 2022 AACR Annual Meeting in New Orleans. And I’ll chair the “Models for Rare Cancers,” panel on April 12th at 10:15 AM. We encourage you to register for both events. PublicationsClinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg published, “Primary results of STRONG: An open-label, multicenter, phase 3b study of fixed-dose durvalumab monotherapy in previously treated patients with urinary tract carcinoma,” in the March edition of the European Journal of Cancer. Dr. Sternberg also published, “The Effect of Corticosteroids on Prostate Cancer Outcome Following Treatment with Enzalutamide: A Multivariate Analysis of the Phase III AFFIRM Trial,” in Clinical Cancer Research on March 3rd.WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Professor and EIPM’s Director of Research Pathology Dr. Juan Miguel Mosquera and I, along with colleagues, published “RET Fusion-Positive Papillary Thyroid Cancers are Associated with a More Aggressive Phenotype,” in Endocrine Tumors on March 1st. EIPM Member Dr. Ana M. Molina, with WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Professor and EIPM’s Director of Research Pathology Dr. Juan Miguel Mosquera, WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Professor and EIPM’s Director of Informatics and Computational Biology Dr. Andrea Sboner, together with EIPM colleagues Johannes C. van der Mijn, Kenneth W. Eng, Pooja Chandra, Evan Fernandez, Sinan Ramazanoglu, Alexandros Sigaras, Drs. Scott T. Tagawa, David M. Nanus, Bishoy Faltas, former colleague Himisha Beltran, Cora N Sternberg, and myself published “The genomic landscape of metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma after systemic therapy,” in Molecular Oncology on March 1st. EIPM colleagues Drs. Scott Kulm, B. Eng, Lior Kofman and I collaborated on the publication, “Simple Linear Cancer Risk Prediction Models With Novel Features Outperform Complex Approaches,” which appeared in Clinical Cancer Informatics on March 3rd.

Dr. Dolores (Dorrie) Lamb and collages published, “Leptin secreted from testicular microenvironment modulates hedgehog signaling to augment the endogenous function of Leydig cells,” in Cell Death & Disease on March 4th. EIPM Scientific Director Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli and colleagues published “Modeling the Prognostic Impact of Circulating Tumor Cells Enumeration in Metastatic Breast Cancer for Clinical Trial Design Simulation,” in The Oncologist on MarchWCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine’s Dr. Matija Snuderl; Pathology and Laboratory Medicine/EIPM Members Drs. Andrea Sboner, David J. Pisapia, Juan Miguel Mosquera and myself, with EIPM’s Dr. Jeffrey P. Greenfield, Prajwal Rajappa, Heng Pan, Tuo Zhang, with Kenneth Eng and Rohan Bareja, published “Utility of Multimodality Molecular Profiling for Pediatric Patients with Central Nervous System Tumors,” in Neuro-Oncology Advances, on March 10th. Dr. Allyson Ocean and colleagues published “Twitter Conversations About Pancreatic Cancer by Health Care Providers and the General Public: Thematic Analysis,” in JMIR Cancer on March 24th.Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi published the commentary, “BAX and BAK dynamics control mitochondrial DNA release during apoptosis,” in Cell Death and Differentiation on March 26th. Dr. Galluzzi and colleagues published the “Platinum-based chemotherapy inflames the ovarian carcinoma microenvironment through cellular senescence,” editorial in Onco-Immunology on March 17th. Dr. Galluzzi and colleagues also published “Targeting oncogene and non-oncogene addiction to inflame the tumour microenvironment,” in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery on March 15th.

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