Englander Institute for Precision Medicine

February 2024 EIPM Director's Memo

News from Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.

Dear Members of the Englander Institute,

Thank you all for a very productive January!

Please join me in congratulating Drs. Jan Krumsiek on his promotion to Associate Professor; Omar Abdul-Rahman on becoming the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Professor of Pediatrics; and Silvia Formenti on making the American Association for Cancer Research Academy's 2024 fellows class list!

Congratulations also to Scientific Director Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli who earned a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program to validate a new blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.

We have new openings for a Translational Research Technologist and a Research Pathology Fellow in Precision Medicine! Thanks in advance for sharing this opportunity, and all of our current professional opportunities, within your professional networks.

I hope you enjoy reading about our January accomplishments, including new awards, media coverage of our work, upcoming meetings, and impressive publications by a range of EIPM colleagues.

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


Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.

News Coverage & Awards 
Congratulations to our EIPM colleague Dr. Silvia Formenti, Chair of the Dept. of Radiation Oncology, and a member of the Meyer Cancer Center, on making the American Association for Cancer Research Academy's 2024 fellows class list!

Dr. Bishoy Faltas was awarded the Young Investigator Awardby the Society for Basic Urological Research. The award is given to members under the age of 45 who have made significant contributions to urologic research. Dr. Faltas was also interviewed by Dr. John Leonard for his Vitals YouTube webcast on January 26th, and UroToday covered a urothelial carcinoma oral abstract session he recently presented at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary cancers symposium.

Congratulations to our Scientific Director Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli who earned a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program to validate a new blood test for the early detection of breast cancer. Dr. Cristofanilli recently discussed the role of Liquid Biopsy in terms of screening, diagnosis, detection of MRD, response to treatment and recurrence monitoring during the National Foundation for Cancer Research Global Summit and Awards Ceremony. 

Congrats to Dr. Omar Abdul-Rahman, Chief of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics, and an EIPM Member, on his appointment as the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Professor of Pediatrics!

Dr. Nassar Altorki was the subject of a Cornell Chroniclearticle "Adding radiation to lung cancer treatment improves outcomes," on January 16th that followed up on Dr. Altorki's research published in Nature Communications on Dec. 19th. 

Dr. Manish Shah discussed 5-year outcomes from KEYNOTE-590 of first-line pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in patients with advanced esophageal cancer with OncLive on January 18th. Dr. Shah's research was also covered in the Cancer Therapy Advisor, MedPage Today, and Oncology Tube, and The ASCO Post.

Dr. Pashtoon Kasi discussed outcomes from the BESPOKE CRC study and highlights use of #ctDNA for informing adjuvant chemo treatment decisions for patients with stage II/III colorectal cancer with OncLive on January 20th. Dr. Kasi's research was also covered in Targeted OncologyCancer Therapy AdvisorCancer NetworkCure TodayMedscapeMDEdgeCancer Nursing TodayOncology Nursing Newsand the ASCO Daily News.

Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg was featured in a UroToday video interview, "The EV-302 Study and the Implications for Metastatic Bladder Cancer Care," on January 2nd.

Our Weill Cornell Medicine colleague Dr. Ari Melnick from the Meyer Cancer Center will present at the "Chromatin Biology in Cancer," EMBO Workshop in Singapore in April. 

I'm excited to moderate the next Carnot CALYM RedTalk, "Single-cell Analysis of Germinal Centers in Lymphomas," scientific webinar on lymphoid neoplasms  on Feb. 8th at 6pm CET! Register and submit questions in advance.

Dr. Bishoy Faltas, together with Drs. Elemento and Fei Wang, built a deep learning model to fuse 3 neural networks trained on pathology images, gene expression, and spatial cell data to predict clinical trial outcomes and presented the findings at the ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium from January 25-27.  

"Lymph-node-targeted, mKRAS-specific amphiphile vaccine in pancreatic and colorectal cancer: the phase 1 AMPLIFY-201 trial," was published by our Director, Colon Cancer Research and Director, Liquid Biopsy Research Dr. Pashtoon Kasi in Nature Medicine on January 9th. 

"Noninvasive Detection of Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer through Targeted Cell-free DNA Methylation," was published in Cancer Discovery on January 11th by Michael Sigouros, and Drs. Alicia Alonso, Scott T. Tagawa, myself with former colleagues Joonghoon Auh, Drs. Francesca Demichelis and Himisha Beltran. 

"Non-mutational neoantigens in disease," was published in Nature Immunology on January 2nd by Drs. Lorenzo Galluzzi and Laura Santambrogio. 

"A pancreatic cancer organoid platform identifies an inhibitor specific to mutant KRAS," was published in Cell Stem Cell on January 4th by Jenna Moyer, myself and our former colleague Dr. Laura Martin. 

"Deciphering the origin and therapeutic targets of cancer of unknown primary: a case report that illustrates the power of integrative whole-exome and transcriptome sequencing analysis," was published in Frontiers in Oncology on January 22nd by Michael Sigouros, Jyothi Manohar, and Drs. David Wilkes, Cora N. Sternberg, Ashish SaxenaDavid Nanusand myself; with Drs. Majd Al Assaad and Juan Miguel Mosquera from the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department and the EIPM

"Patient-derived tumor organoids with p53 mutations, and not wild-type p53, are sensitive to synergistic combination PARP inhibitor treatment," was published in the March 2024 edition of Cancer Letters by Florencia P. Madorsky Rowdo, John Nguyen, and Drs. Nasser K. Altorki and Lisa Newman, with our Pathology and Laboratory Medicine colleagues Drs. Esther Cheng and Syed Hoda. 

"Prospective Evaluation of Circulating Tumor DNA using Next Generation Sequencing as a Biomarker during Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Localized Pancreatic Cancer," was published in Annals of Surgery on January 23rd by our Scientific Director Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli.

"Abscopal downstaging of intermediate stage hepatocellular via combination cryoablation and immunotherapy with complete pathologic response," was published in the March 2024 edition of Radiology Case Reports by Dr. Pashtoon Kasi, our Director of Colon Cancer Research and Director of Liquid Biopsy Research.

Clinical Director Dr. Cora N. Sternberg
 and the journal Bladder Cancer highlighted recently presented and published trials from ASCO 2023 and ESMO 2023 Annual Meetings.

"Distinct mesenchymal cell states mediate prostate cancer progression," was published in the January 8th edition of Nature Communications by Drs. Hubert Pakula and Mohamed Omar, with Ryan Carelli from the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine department, and EIPM co-authors.

#  #  #

Weill Cornell Medicine Englander Institute for Precision Medicine 413 E 69th Street
Belfer Research Building
New York, NY 10021