March 2023 EIPM Director’s Monthly Memo

March 2023 EIPM Director’s Memo


Dear Friends,

We just published a new animated video about the EIPM, which I hope you enjoy and will share with friends and colleagues! You can find it on our website,  Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Youtube channel.

February 11th was International Day of Women and Girls in Science, an annual observance adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the full and equal access and participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields. We hope you saw our social media posts on the 11th that recognized some of amazing women we work with every day!

Register today for the next MEYER CANCER CENTER 360: HEME MALIGNANCIES, the third meeting of this quarterly series that aims to explore critical research questions among the patients and community that they serve. The March 9th event will feature speakers like Dr. Giorgio Inghirami from the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Department, and an EIPM Member.

I hope you enjoy this month’s Director’s Memo, which is packed with news coverage of our team, awards they have received, industry partnerships, internal events like the 2023 Health Hackathon and major international conferences, and new research published by Drs. Cora Sternberg, Nasser Altorki, Lorenzo Galluzzi, Bishoy Faltas and more!

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


Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.

News Coverage & Awards
Our Associate Director for Precision Immunology Dr. Laura Santambrogio won an Amaranth Prize, which rewards the most impactful research in longevity, for her paper exploring the “Role of Carbonyl Modifications on Aging-Associated Protein Aggregation.”

Dr. Bishoy Faltas, our Director of Bladder Cancer Research, earned a new Starr Cancer Consortium award to study “Targeting cytidine deaminase-induced chromosomal instability as a driver of metastasis in bladder cancer”! Dr. Faltas participated in a Caris Molecular Minute Podcast discussing bladder cancer, the evolution of the disease, and the latest research being conducted to improve the outcomes of patients.

Dr. Majd Al Assaad, a Research Fellow in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department, and an EIPM Member, earned a 2023 AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Scholar-in-Training Award on February 21st.

Dr. Scott T. Tagawa was interviewed fore the article “Combo Shows Promise in High-Risk nmCRPC,” which appeared in Cancer Therapy Advisor on February 19th.

Our Director for Liquid Biopsy Research Dr. Pashtoon Kasi became the first ever Chair of the International Society of Liquid Biopsy’s Communications Committee on February 14th! Dr. Kasi also participated in an OncLive Peer Exchange Spotlight video “Role of Tissue Versus Circulating Tumor DNA in Molecular Testing in mCRC,” on February 9th.

Dr. Peter Martin was a February 1st guest on the Mantle Cell Lymphoma Podcast discussing “Autologous Stem Cell Transplant for Mantle Cell Lymphoma.”

NanoString Technologies announced a new collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine on February 2nd to create a comprehensive spatial atlas of human anatomy, the first comprehensive spatial atlas of healthy human tissue from multiple organs, including multi-cell and single cell resolution using both GeoMx and CosMx. Our Associate Director of Liver Research Dr. Shauna L. Houlihan will represent EIPM on this important new project.

Dr. Kristy A. Brown was interviewed for the article “Is Obesity Especially Dangerous for Women at Genetic Risk for Breast Cancer?” about new research published in Science Translational Medicine (see below) that appeared in HealthDay on February 27th.


The 2023 Health Hackathon, organized by Entrepreneurship at Cornell and WCM’s Clinical & Translational Science Center, took place February 17-19 and involved diverse student teams from the EIPM, Cornell in Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Cornell Tech and more who worked to develop creative solutions to human health & wellness problems. Congratulations to all who participated!

Dr. Hui-Hsuan (Helen) Kuo and colleagues presented the poster “Assessment of Homologous Recombination Deficiency Cancer Signatures with Patient-derived Tumor Organoid Models,” at the 2023 AACR Annual Meeting!

Our Associate Director for Precision Immunology Dr. Laura Santambrogio presented a Physician Scientist Seminar lecture, “Lessons Learned from the MHC Immunopeptidome,” on February 15th.


Our Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg had a first-author abstract, “Final results from SAUL, a single-arm international real-world study of atezolizumab (atezo) in 1004 patients with pretreated locally advanced/metastatic urinary tract carcinoma,” accepted for presentation at #ASCO2023. Dr. Sternberg co-authored a number of publications in February including: “Prognostic Value of the Lung Immune Prognosis Index Score for Patients Treated with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Advanced or Metastatic Urinary Tract Carcinoma,” in Cancers on February 7th; “Nadir Prostate-specific Antigen as an Independent Predictor of Survival Outcomes: A Post Hoc Analysis of the PROSPER Randomized Clinical Trial,” in The Journal of Urology on February 9th; “Darolutamide Plus Androgen-Deprivation Therapy and Docetaxel in Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer by Disease Volume and Risk Subgroups in the Phase III ARASENS Trial,” in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on February 16th; “Harnessing transcriptionally driven chromosomal instability adaptation to target therapy-refractory lethal prostate cancer,” in Cell Reports Medicine on February 21st; and “Safety Profile of Ipatasertib Plus Abiraterone vs Placebo Plus Abiraterone in Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer,” in Clinical Genitourinary Cancer on February 22nd.

“Lobar or Sublobar Resection for Peripheral Stage IA Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer,” was published by Dr. Nasser Altorki and colleagues in The New England Journal of Medicine on February 9th. The article generated news media attention by Helio on February 8th; HealthDay on February 9th; Medscape on February 8th; Physicians Weekly on February 10th; and a Weill Cornell Medicine Newsroom story on February 8th.

“Quantitative assessment of mitophagy in irradiated cancer cells,” was published by Dr. Lorenzo Galluzzi, from the Meyer Cancer Center and the EIPM, with colleagues, in Methods in Cell Biology on February 7th.

“The Cytidine Deaminase APOBEC3G Contributes to Cancer Mutagenesis and Clonal Evolution in Bladder Cancer,” was published in Cancer Research on February 15th by the Meyer Cancer Center’s Dr. Bishoy Faltas, who is also our Director of Bladder Cancer Research; with Drs. Francesca Khani and Andrea Sboner from the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department; and Ken Eng and Drs. Bhavneet Bhinder, Manik Uppal and myself from the EIPM.

“DPYD Testing: Time to Put Patient Safety First,’ was published by our Director for Liquid Biopsy Research Dr. Pashtoon Kasi and colleagues in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on February 23rd. Dr. Kasi also published the Commentary “Types of Liquid Biopsies: Understanding the Different Lenses Through Which They Can Detect Cancer,” in The Oncologist on February 27th.

“Obesity promotes breast epithelium DNA damage in women carrying a germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2,” in Science Translational Medicine by our colleague Dr. Kristy A. Brown with EIPM’s Rohan Bareja, myself, and WCM colleagues including Dr. Dilip D. Giri from the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department on February 22nd.

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