Autumn 2022 EIPM External Newsletter

Autumn 2022

Dear Friend of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine,

Welcome to our third quarterly external newsletter of 2022!

Thank you for signing-up on our website to receive this newsletter, we hope you enjoy learning more about the important progress we’ve made towards our mission since the summer.

Its been a remarkably productive year so far, with staff winning numerous high-profile awards, participating in significant collaborative events, attracting strong news media attention, and publishing impactful research highlighted below. None of this could be possible, of course, without our tremendous team. Their hard work and dedication inspire me every day.

The EIPM is hosting a very important upcoming event on October 27-28, and we encourage you to attend and spread the word. The inaugural 2022 Precision Health Equity Symposium will gather world-class leaders to build diversity projects for multidisciplinary research. Speakers include our colleagues Drs. Melissa B. Davis and Lisa Newman, with leading experts from Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, Memorial Sloan Kettering, the University of Southern California and beyond. Please register today!Leading scientists, industry executives, and foreign dignitaries have visited this year to meet our team and tour our labs, including: Dr. Khalid Fakhro, Chief of Research and Director of Precision Medicine at Sidra Medicine in Qatar; New York City Council Member Julie Menin; Charlie Roberts, the co-founder of Freenome; and Philippe Etienne, the Ambassador of France to the United States. We created an Instagram account to commemorate these visits, I hope you enjoy checking it out!I’d like to thank our colleagues at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Meyer Cancer Center (Twitter: @WCM_MeyerCancer) for partnering with us on a range of projects so far this year, including the joint MCC/EIPM summer 2022 internship program for STEM students! The students participated in sessions on cancer genomics, epidemiology, health disparities, and more. Thanks to all of our MCC/EIPM colleagues who are volunteering to mentor and train the next generation of researchers.  We have a number of exciting career opportunities we are hoping to fill soon, including openings for a Bioinformatics Analyst, Senior Software Engineer & Front End Developer. Thank you in advance for sharing these opportunities within your professional networks. Thank you for your interest in our work and mission. I look forward to sharing more information with you at the end of the second quarter. Until then, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our main Instagram page for daily updates.

Thank you again for your interest in our work!


Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.
EIPM Director

Meet the Team!We recently posted a website article about Dr. Pashtoon Kasi, our new Director of Liquid Biopsy Research: “A Conversation with Dr. Pashtoon Kasi.” I hope you enjoy learning about Pashtoon’s background and research interests.

On September 13th we announced a new joint program with the University of South Florida and Owkin that will use AI to diagnose diseases by the sound of your voice. The project is funded through the Bridge2AI program at the NIH, which supports projects that build ethical, rigorous, and accessible datasets that can be used to develop AI tools. This project earned news coverage by Fox News; the Precision Medicine Forum PodcastThe Verge, and other news outlets. Our friends at Owkin also produced a short video, in which I was featured, on how spatial omics technologies are revolutionizing cancer research.

Congratulations to Valerie Gallegos, a Ph.D. student co-mentored by our Ex Vivo Models Director Dr. Laura Martin and myself, on her new WCM CTSC TL1 Training Award to study the Influence of Senescent Fibroblasts on Patient-Derived Organoid Behavior & Drug Response! Dr. Bishoy M. Faltas published several Expert Commentary articles in UroToday over the past quarter, including: “Using Immunohistochemistry for Practical Molecular Subtyping of Bladder Cancer,” on July 5th; “Outcomes of First-line Chemotherapy and Second-line Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor in Patients with Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma,” on August 25th: and “CK5/6 and GATA3 for Phenotyping Subtypes of Bladder Cancer,” on September 15thClinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg was interviewed for the news story, “No Longer ADT Alone in Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer, The ARASENS Trial,” by UroToday on July 14th. Dr. Sternberg also sat down with The Uromigos Legends Series podcast hosts for a fascinating and in-depth interview that celebrated her successful career in medical oncology and urological malignancies on August 15th. Dr. Lisa A. Newman from WCM’s Department of Surgery and the EIPM recently chaired an AACR steering committee that produced a report “AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2022,” that was covered by the Oncology Times on July 20th. And Dr. Newman was interviewed for the article, “How Is the Medical Community Addressing Disparities,” in Medical News Today on August 3rd.Shortly after Dr. Manel Esteller, a researcher at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute in Barcelona, visited us to present a Seminar Series lecture, The New York Times published a front page article “Your Doppelgänger Is Out There and You Probably Share DNA With Them,” on August 23rd about findings from his recent paper in Cell Reports. I was happy to provide my thoughts with the Times about how discrepancies between DNA’s predictions and people’s actual appearances might alert doctors to problems within the article.Drs. Melissa B. Davis and Lisa A. Newman were interviewed for the article, “Neighborhood Adversity Associated With Increased Risk of ER- Breast Cancer, TNBC for Black Women in the United States,” which appeared in Pharmacy Times on September 21st.

At the end of September we helped announce the launch of “Engineering Innovations in Medicine,” an initiative that will form unconventional partnerships that transcend academic disciplines to find solutions for such diseases as Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes. Together with Cornell University, Cornell Engineering, and Weill Cornell Medicine, the EIPM will support multi-pronged approaches to accelerate progress in research, teaching and technology innovation at the intersection of engineering and medicine. I was very happy to be part of the Kickoff Symposium for the initiative, and Chair the first session on Data Driven Medicine with an all star lineup of our colleagues.
Dr. Lisa A. Newman participated in a Society of Surgical Oncology panel discussion, “Responding to Racial Bias in Medicine,” on July 19th.

Dr. Bishoy M. Faltas Co-Chaired the 2022 Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Think Tank meeting from August 3-5. Dr. Juan Miguel Mosquera from WCM’s Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department, and our Director of Research Pathology, presented a Seminar in GastroIntestinal Molecular Pathology in August at the 43rd Meeting of the Colombian Society of Pathology in Cartagena de Indias.Dr. Enrique Podaza presented “Next Generation Patient Derived Tumor Organoids,” at the 3D Cell Culture Summit hosted by Corning Life Sciences and held in the Belfer building September 21-22.

Congratulations to Drs. Melissa B. Davis and Lisa Newman and their colleagues from the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes on the successful 6th Annual International Symposium “Improving Breast and Gynecological Cancers Management & Outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries,” from September 5-8 in Kumasi, Ghana. Dr. Davis also helped to organize “Changing the Narrative of Breast Health Disparities,” on September 27th with our friends from the Meyer Cancer Center, the Department of Surgery, and NewYork-Presbyterian. Finally, Dr. Davis also spoke about incorporating genetic ancestry into cancer research at the last AACR plenary session on September 19th. Dr. Ekta Khurana presented “Cancer evolution through the lens of the non-coding genome,” before the Yale Department of Genetics on September 27th. Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg presented “Disease-Free Survival and Distant Metastasis-Free Survival as Surrogates for Overall Survival in Adjuvant Treatment of Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer,” at ESMO on September 12thOur Administrative Specialist Fatma Dansoko did a great job representing the EIPM on September 10th at the annual Third Avenue Street Fair!

Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg co-authored a number of papers recently, including, “Management of Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer: Report from the Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference 2021,” in the July 2022 edition of European Urology; “Triplet therapy with androgen deprivation, docetaxel, and androgen receptor signaling inhibitors in metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer: A meta-analysis,” in the European Journal of Cancer, August 11th; and “Application of artificial intelligence to overcome clinical information overload in urological cancer,” in BJU International, with Dr. Andrea Sboner from the WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department and our Director of Informatics and Computational Biology, September 2022. “The landscape of metabolic brain alterations in Alzheimer’s disease,” by Dr. Richa Batra with Dr. Jan Krumsiek in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, July 13th and covered by the WCM Newsroom.“Mitochondrial control of inflammation,” was published by Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi and WCM Department of Radiation Oncology colleagues in Nature Reviews Immunology on July 25th. Dr. Pashtoon Kasi pubished a number of articles this past quarter, including “Using Circulating Tumor DNA in Colorectal Cancer: Current and Evolving Practices,” in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on July 15th, and “Liquid biopsies and tumor mutational burden: the cutoff conundrum,” in Nature Medicine on September 12th.“Genomic Landscape of Advanced Solid Tumors in Circulating Tumor DNA and Correlation With Tissue Sequencing: A Single Institution’s Experience,” was co-authored by our Scientific Director Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli in JCO Precision Oncology on June 30th. “Next generation patient derived tumor organoids,” was published by Ex Vivo Models Director Dr. Laura Martin and myself, with Post Doc Enrique Podaza, Hui-Hsuan Kuo and John Nguyen in Translational Research, August 12th. Dr. Martin also published “Acid Sphingomyelinase-Ceramide Induced Vascular Injury Determines Colorectal Cancer Stem Cell Fate,” in Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry on August 31st. “Immuno-epigenetic escape of cancer stem cells,” a Nature Immunology commentary on a paper that proves how important potent immune responses driven by therapy are to avoid cancer stem cells to persist and drive cancer relapse, by Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi on August 24th. “GLI1-Rearranged Enteric Tumor. Expanding the Spectrum of Gastrointestinal Neoplasms with GLI1gene fusions,” was published in The American Journal of Surgical Pathology by Drs. Jose Jessurun and Juan Miguel Mosquera, both from the WCM Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department–Dr. Mosquera is our Director of Research Pathology–with a range of WCM colleagues on August 15th. “Characterization of Genetic Risk of End-Stage Knee Osteoarthritis Treated with Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Genome-Wide Association Study,” in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, by our former colleague Dr. Scott Kulm and myself, August 23rd. “PDIA3 epitope-driven immune autoreactivity contributes to hepatic damage in type 2 diabetes,” in Science Immunology by our Associate Director for Precision Immunology Dr. Laura Santambrogio and Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi, August 19th. “Endothelial-leukemia interactions remodel drug responses uncovering T-ALL vulnerabilities,” in the journal Blood co-authored by our colleagues Drs. Liron Yoffe and Yang Hu, on August 22nd. “Efficient detection and assembly of non-reference DNA sequences with synthetic long reads,” in Nucleic Acids Research, by Dr. Iman Hajirasouliha, August 4th. “A nuclear cAMP microdomain suppresses tumor growth by Hippo pathway inactivation,” by Dr. Jonathan Zippin, with our colleagues Ashley S. Doane, Rohan Bareja, Akanksha Verma, and myself in Cell Reports on September 27th.“Modeling tissue-specific breakpoint proximity of structural variations from whole-genomes to identify cancer drivers,” by Drs. Alexander Martinez-Fundichely and Ekta Khurana from the Meyer Cancer Center and the EIPM, in Nature Communications on September 26th.“Multi-omic comparative analysis of COVID-19 and bacterial sepsis-induced ARDS,” by Drs. Jan Krumsiek, Karsten Suhre (right), Richa Batra, Kelsey Chetnik, Mustafa Buyukozkan, and Elisa Benedetti in PLOS Pathogens on September 19th.“African Ancestry Associated Gene Expression Profiles in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Underlie Altered Tumor Biology and Clinical Outcome in Women of African Descent,” by Drs. Melissa B. Davis, Lisa A. Newman, and Andrea Sboner from the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department and our Director of Informatics and Computational Biology, with WCM colleagues, in Cancer Discovery on September 19th.“Sensing of SARS-CoV-2 by pDCs and their subsequent production of IFN-I contribute to macrophage-induced cytokine storm during COVID-19,” co-authored by Dr. André F. Rendeiro and myself in Science Immunology on September 9th.

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