January - April 2021
Basic and Clinical Research Programs
Welcome to our Basic and Clinical Research Programs Newsletter.

The goal in creating this newsletter is to keep our members informed and involved. We are highlighting opportunities for collaborations, new funding opportunities, new grants and promotions, new members, along with past and upcoming seminars and events.

We always welcome your suggestions and contributions for future issues. Past issues of the Basic and Clinical Research Programs Newsletter can be found online here at the Rutgers Cancer Institute's website.
A Message From Dr. White
Dear Program Members,

2021 thus far has been a time of exciting scientific advancement at Rutgers Cancer Institute. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Christian Hinrichs as the new Co-Leader of the Cancer Metabolism and Growth (CMG) Research Program. Together, we are co-directing the new Cancer Immunology and Metabolism Center of Excellence in Cancer, which is a featured highlight of this edition of the newsletter. Dr. Hinrichs’ expertise in cancer immunology and T-Cell Therapy will build the new Cellular Therapies program at Rutgers Cancer Institute, building our immunology research initiative and fostering diverse opportunities for translational research. 

As vaccination against COVID-19 continues, it seems that the near future will hold the return of undergraduate students, in-person scientific meetings, and travel to both national and international conferences. I look forward to this “new normal”, while noting that the Research Programs and their members have continued to leverage virtual platforms, telecommuting, and social distancing and other safety measures in the laboratory, to produce innovative research findings and promote our cancer institute’s Mission. I look forward to what this year holds for Rutgers Cancer Institute and our Research Program Members and trainees. 

Best wishes,

Eileen White, PhD 
Deputy Director, Chief Scientific Officer, and Associate Director for Basic Research
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
2021 Virtual Program Meetings
Program Meetings Carry On Despite COVID-19!
Past CMG Program Meetings:

2/17/21 @12:00pm: Xiaoyang Su, PhD
3/17/21 @12:00pm: M. Maral Mouradian, MD
4/21/21 @12:00pm: Ken Irvine, PhD
5/12/21 @12:00pm: Junichi Sadoshima, PhD, MD
6/16/21 @12:00pm: Biju Parekkadan, PhD
7/21/21 @12:00pm: Shin-Heng Chiou, PhD

Upcoming CMG Program Meetings:

8/18/21 @12:00pm: Abdelfattah El Ouaamari, PhD
9/15/21 @12:00pm: Teresa Wood, PhD
Past CP Program Meetings:

2/16/21 @12:00pm: Sagar Khare, PhD
3/16/21 @12:00pm: Zheng Shi, PhD
4/20/21 @12:00pm: Shengkan (Victor) Jin, PhD
5/11/21 @12:00pm: Longqin Hu, PhD
6/15/21 @12:00pm: Adam Gormley, PhD
7/20/21 @12:00pm: Nilgun Tumer, PhD

Upcoming CP Program Meetings:

Past CIPT Program Meetings:

1/11/21 @3:00pm: Eric Singer, MD, MA
2/1/21 @3:00pm: Stephen Burley, MD, DPhil
3/1/21 @3:00pm: Andrew Evens, FACP
4/5/21 @4:00pm: Zhiyuan Shen, MD, PhD
5/3/21 @4:00pm: Christian Hinrichs, MD
6/7/21 @4:00pm: Hatem Sabaawy, MD, PhD

Upcoming CIPT Program Meetings:
Past GICG Program Meetings:

7/13/21 @12:00pm: Yuri Pritykin, PhD

Upcoming GICG Program Meetings:

9/10/21 @12:00pm: Cristina Montagna, PhD
10/14/21 @12:00pm: Zhiyuan Shen, MD, PhD
11/9/21 @12:00pm: Antonina Mitrofanova, PhD
12/14/21 @12:00pm: Devanshi Jain, PhD
Interested in being a speaker at a Research Program Meeting? Contact the Program Leader:





Catchment Area Guidance
As the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Jersey, Rutgers Cancer Institute is committed to reducing the burden of cancer by aligning its research priorities with the needs of the populations and communities across its catchment area. Rutgers Cancer Institute’s catchment area is the entire state of New Jersey, a place with great racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity, and multiple cancer health equity issues. Addressing the needs of our catchment area is central for basic, translational, clinical, and population science research programs. While many cancer center members have already aligned their research projects with the catchment area cancer burden and/or cancer disparities, others have been wondering how their research is relevant to New Jersey communities. Rutgers Cancer Institute has numerous resources to help researchers. For example, Sharon R. Pine, PhD, Assistant Director of Research for Community Outreach and Engagement, works closely with Anita Kinney, PhD in their mission to address the needs of the catchment area. Dr. Pine is available to meet with basic and translational science faculty and facilitate this process, and can be contacted at pinesr@cinj.rutgers.edu.

Another excellent resource for cancer center members to learn more about the needs of the community and get feedback on their research projects is to interact with the Community Cancer Action Board (CCAB). The CCAB meets monthly and comprises an active group of community thought leaders and patient advocates who provide real-time, bi-directional feedback to maximize how Rutgers Cancer Institute’s research activities address community needs. Additional strategies to help ensure that researchers’ work is community informed include: having an arranged dialogue with community members at a Community Research Café, engaging community members in research projects through study-specific Community Advisory Boards, and incorporating community-based participatory research components into the project. Cancer center members are also encouraged to attend the quarterly catchment area meetings. Those interested in participating in the CCAB meetings, Community Research Cafés, or catchment area meetings, or otherwise would like to work with the Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) Team to integrate community participatory research components into their research and/or assemble a study-specific CAB, should please contact Rita Musanti, PhD, APN-BC, Assistant Director for Community Outreach and Engagement, at rita.musanti@rutgers.edu.
Center of Excellence in Cancer Immunology and Metabolism
Innovation Inspiring Hope
In January 2021, Rutgers Cancer Institute opened its new Center of Excellence in Cancer Immunology and Metabolism. Selected as a Rutgers University “Big Idea” and supported through a $25M philanthropic gift, this new Center of Excellence will build on strengths in cancer metabolism and clinical immunology. Its co-leaders are Eileen White, PhD and Christian Hinrichs, MD. Dr. White is also Deputy Director, Chief Scientific Officer, and Associate Director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute, and Associate Director of the Ludwig Princeton Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and brings expertise in cancer metabolism. Dr. Hinrichs is a cancer immunologist recruited from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he pioneered the use of patient immune cells for the treatment of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)-associated cancers including cancer of the cervix and throat. He also discovered new technologies to make T cells target a range of common cancers including those arising in the stomach, lung, and breast. Dr. Hinrichs co-leads the Cancer Metabolism and Growth (CMG) Research Program. 

As part of the new Center of Excellence, Rutgers Cancer Institute has established a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Facility and expanded its Immune Monitoring and Advanced Genomics Shared Resource. Center of Excellence Membership spans the CCSG Research Programs, and the members participate in meetings such as the Cancer Immunology Working Group and the Immunotherapy Journal Club. Future plans include pilot award/seed funding opportunities and further recruitment of immunology-focused faculty. 

To learn more about the Center of Excellence and to become involved, contact Eileen White, PhD at epwhite@cinj.rutgers.edu or Christian Hinrichs, MD at ch977@cinj.rutgers.edu.
Joint IQB/RCINJ Crash Course: Applying Genomics/Proteomics Technologies To Problems in Oncology
The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, sponsored by the Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine, hosted a Crash Course entitled "Applying Genomics/Proteomics Technologies to Problems in Oncology" on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. This virtual event began with opening remarks by Stephen K. Burley, MD, DPhil and featured sessions on Monitoring Clonal Dynamics of Cancer in the Clinic presented by Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD. The co-chairs for this event were Stephen K. Burley, MD, DPhil and Edmund C. Lattime, PhD.
NCI has assigned a unique subproject number for each CCSG component. When acknowledging the CCSG in publications that resulted from Pilot Award/New Investigator funds and/or use of any supported Shared Resources - please use all of the appropriate CCSG grant numbers from the following:
*Pilot Awards and New Investigator Awards
Cancer Metabolism & Growth
Dear Colleagues:
We are seeking two motivated postdoctoral fellows for a two-year term supported by the NCI T32 award to provide translational research training in Cancer Metabolism and Growth and Tumor Host Interactions.  
This award supports fully funded opportunity for two post-doctoral trainees starting July 15, 2021. High achieving post-doctoral fellows may be supported for an additional third year of training supported by other funding sources. Selection of trainees will be done by the Program Steering Committee, based on applicants’ academic records and productivity, letters of recommendation, and personal interviews. Eligibility and application requirements are listed below:

  • High achieving post-doctoral fellows (evidenced by research productivity in the form of number and quality of publications, fellowship awards, presentations, etc.)
  • Evidence of interest in translational research in Cancer Metabolism and Tumor Host interactions
  • Commitment to a two year rigorous training program
  • High levels of communication and organizational skills
  • United States citizens or legal permanent residents (green card holders)
Mentors from Rutgers University and Princeton University, have agreed to train postdoctoral fellows. Applicants must select a research mentor from one of the labs mentioned below.

For further questions, application requirements and to submit an application, contact Sunita Chaudhary, PhD at chaudhs4@cinj.rutgers.edu.
Meet Our New Program Leader!
Meet Our New Member!
Awards and Honors
Bonnie L. Firestein, PhD was awarded with the title Associate Editor at Science Advances, part of AAAS, with a focus in Neurosciences in 2021.

Bonnie L. Firestein, PhD was awarded with a position on the Editorial Board at Cells in 2021.

Eileen White, PhD was elected a Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy (AACR) on March 29, 2021 "For key contributions to the understanding of oncogenic activation and the role of apoptotic inhibition in promoting cancer and treatment resistance, for discovering BCL-2 oncogene homologues, and for defining the role of autophagy in promoting cellular homeostasis and facilitating cancer metabolism and tumorigenesis."
Eileen White, PhD presented “Autophagy and Systemic Metabolism" on January 27th at the Virtual Keystone Symposia on Tumor Metabolism and the Microenvironment.

Eileen White, PhD presented “Role of Autophagy in Cancer Metabolism and Immune Tolerance” on February 24th at the Virtual Meeting of the Meyer Cancer Center Director's Seminar Series.

Eileen White, PhD presented “Role of Autophagy in Cancer Metabolism and Immune Tolerance” on April 21 at the Virtual Meeting of the University of Wisconsin Cancer Biology Seminar Series.

Eileen White, PhD presented as an Invited Discussion Leader during one of the sessions at Janelia 4D Cellular Physiology Workshop: Composition on April 23rd at the Communication and Function of the Tumor Microenvironment, held virtually.
Selected Publications
Cliver RN, Ayers B, Brady A, Firestein BL, Vazquez M. Cerebrospinal fluid replacement solutions promote neuroglia migratory behaviors and spinal explant outgrowth in microfluidic culture. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2021;15(2):176-88. Epub 2020/12/05. doi: 10.1002/term.3164. PubMed PMID: 33274811.

Husain K, Coppola D, Yang CS, Malafa MP. Farnesyl dimethyl chromanol targets colon cancer stem cells and prevents colorectal cancer metastasis. Sci Rep. 2021;11(1):2185. Epub 2021/01/28. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-80911-z. PubMed PMID: 33500430; PMCID: PMC7838198 Prevention of Pancreatic Cancer” (June 26, 2007; OTML docket number 06A069) but does not have financial interest in the companies that have licensed this patent. Further patents are in development. The other authors declare no competing interests.

La Manna F, De Menna M, Patel N, Karkampouna S, De Filippo MR, Klima I, Kloen P, Beimers L, Thalmann GN, Pelger RCM, Jacinto E, Kruithof-de Julio M. Corrigendum: Dual-mTOR Inhibitor Rapalink-1 Reduces Prostate Cancer Patient-Derived Xenograft Growth and Alters Tumor Heterogeneity. Front Oncol. 2021;11:650623. Epub 2021/02/23. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.650623. PubMed PMID: 33614519; PMCID: PMC7887433.

Nagarsheth NB, Norberg SM, Sinkoe AL, Adhikary S, Meyer TJ, Lack JB, Warner AC, Schweitzer C, Doran SL, Korrapati S, Stevanovic S, Trimble CL, Kanakry JA, Bagheri MH, Ferraro E, Astrow SH, Bot A, Faquin WC, Stroncek D, Gkitsas N, Highfill S, Hinrichs CS. TCR-engineered T cells targeting E7 for patients with metastatic HPV-associated epithelial cancers. Nat Med. 2021;27(3):419-25. Epub 2021/02/10. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-01225-1. PubMed PMID: 33558725.

Rodriguez AR, Anderson ED, O'Neill KM, McEwan PP, Vigilante NF, Kwon M, Akum BF, Stawicki TM, Meaney DF, Firestein BL. Cytosolic PSD-95 interactor alters functional organization of neural circuits and AMPA receptor signaling independent of PSD-95 binding. Netw Neurosci. 2021;5(1):166-97. Epub 2021/03/11. doi: 10.1162/netn_a_00173. PubMed PMID: 33688611; PMCID: PMC7935033.

Sandiford OA, Donnelly RJ, El-Far MH, Burgmeyer LM, Sinha G, Pamarthi SH, Sherman LS, Ferrer AI, DeVore DE, Patel SA, Naaldijk Y, Alonso S, Barak P, Bryan M, Ponzio NM, Narayanan R, Etchegaray JP, Kumar R, Rameshwar P. Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Secreted Extracellular Vesicles Instruct Stepwise Dedifferentiation of Breast Cancer Cells into Dormancy at the Bone Marrow Perivascular Region. Cancer Res. 2021;81(6):1567-82. Epub 2021/01/28. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.Can-20-2434. PubMed PMID: 33500249.

Shen M, Xie S, Rowicki M, Michel S, Wei Y, Hang X, Wan L, Lu X, Yuan M, Jin JF, Jaschinski F, Zhou T, Klar R, Kang Y. Therapeutic Targeting of Metadherin Suppresses Colorectal and Lung Cancer Progression and Metastasis. Cancer Res. 2021;81(4):1014-25. Epub 2020/11/27. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.Can-20-1876. PubMed PMID: 33239430; PMCID: PMC8026491.

Singh NK, Khaliq S, Patel M, Wheeler N, Vedula S, Freeman JW, Firestein BL. Uric acid released from poly(epsilon-caprolactone) fibers as a treatment platform for spinal cord injury. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2021;15(1):14-23. Epub 2020/11/12. doi: 10.1002/term.3153. PubMed PMID: 33175472; PMCID: PMC7864535.

Song K, Cai X, Dong Y, Wu H, Wei Y, Shankavaram UT, Cui K, Lee Y, Zhu B, Bhattacharjee S, Wang B, Zhang K, Wen A, Wong S, Yu L, Xia L, Welm AL, Bielenberg DR, Camphausen KA, Kang Y, Chen H. Epsins 1 and 2 promote NEMO linear ubiquitination via LUBAC to drive breast cancer development. J Clin Invest. 2021;131(1). Epub 2020/09/23. doi: 10.1172/jci129374. PubMed PMID: 32960814; PMCID: PMC7773373.

Torrence ME, MacArthur MR, Hosios AM, Valvezan AJ, Asara JM, Mitchell JR, Manning BD. The mTORC1-mediated activation of ATF4 promotes protein and glutathione synthesis downstream of growth signals. Elife. 2021;10. Epub 2021/03/02. doi: 10.7554/eLife.63326. PubMed PMID: 33646118; PMCID: PMC7997658.

Venosa A, Gow JG, Taylor S, Golden TN, Murray A, Abramova E, Malaviya R, Laskin DL, Gow AJ. Myeloid cell dynamics in bleomycin-induced pulmonary injury in mice; effects of anti-TNFα antibody. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021;417:115470. Epub 2021/03/02. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2021.115470. PubMed PMID: 33647319.

Wang F, Zhang Y, Shen J, Yang B, Dai W, Yan J, Maimouni S, Daguplo HQ, Coppola S, Gao Y, Wang Y, Du Z, Peng K, Liu H, Zhang Q, Tang F, Wang P, Gao S, Wang Y, Ding WX, Guo G, Wang F, Zong WX. The Ubiquitin E3 Ligase TRIM21 Promotes Hepatocarcinogenesis by Suppressing the p62-Keap1-Nrf2 Antioxidant Pathway. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021;11(5):1369-85. Epub 2021/01/23. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2021.01.007. PubMed PMID: 33482392.

Xu XT, Chen J, Ren X, Ma YR, Wang X, Ma YY, Zhao DG, Zhou RP, Zhang K, Goodin S, Li DL, Zheng X. Effects of atorvastatin in combination with celecoxib and tipifarnib on proliferation and apoptosis in pancreatic cancer sphere-forming cells. Eur J Pharmacol. 2021;893:173840. Epub 2020/12/29. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173840. PubMed PMID: 33359649.

Yuan Z, Gardiner JC, Maggi EC, Huang S, Adem A, Bagdasarov S, Li G, Lee S, Slegowski D, Exarchakis A, Howe JR, Lattime EC, Zang X, Libutti SK. B7 immune-checkpoints as targets for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2021;28(2):135-49. Epub 2021/01/08. doi: 10.1530/erc-20-0337. PubMed PMID: 33410766.
Cancer Pharmacology
Meet Our New Members!
Awards and Honors
Arash Hatefi, PharmD, PhD was awarded a NCI grant entitled "Stem Cell-based Platform for Targeted Enzyme/Prodrug Therapy of Recurrent Ovarian Cancer" Grant Number: 1R01CA251438-01A1 Term: 04/01/2021 - 03/31/2026. FY Total Award Amount: $389,366.

Daniel Herranz Benito, PharmD, PhD was awarded the ALSF Alex's Million Miles award from the project entitled "Dissecting the Antileukemic Potential of a Novel Antibiotic Drug" Term: 01/04/2021 - 01/03/2022. FY Total Award Amount: $15,427.

The laboratory of Daniel Herranz Benito, PharmD, PhD lab published a paper entitled "SHMT inhibition is effective and synergizes with methotrexate in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia" was selected as a 2020 highlight by the NCI, per the NCI official Twitter account.
Steven An, PhD was awarded with the title Associate Editor at the Frontiers in Network Physiology with a focus in Respiratory Systems on February 16, 2021.

Steven An, PhD was awarded with a position on the Editorial Board at the Frontiers in Physiology on January 19, 2021.

X. F. Steven Zheng, PhD was awarded an NCI grant entitled "Metabolic Control and Anticancer Mechanism" Grant Number: 1R01CA260006-01 Term: 07/01/2021 - 06/30/2026. FY Total Award Amount: $341,161.
Ann M. Stock, PhD presented “Transcription Factors as Antimicrobial Drug Targets: Exploring the Sensitivity of Two-Component System Output to Response Regulator Sufficiency” at the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) Symposium held January 7 - 8, 2021 at University College London and Birkbeck University of London, London, UK.

Ann M. Stock, PhD presented “A Balancing Act in Bacterial Transcription Regulation: Titration of Transcription Factor Activity by DNA Binding Sites” on February 18, 2021 at The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Daniel Herranz Benito, PharmD, PhD presented "Novel therapeutic targets and transcriptional regulation in T-ALL" at The Immune System: in Sickness and in Health held 03/15/21 - 03/19/21 virtually.
Selected Publications
Al-Zubaydi F, Gao D, Kakkar D, Li S, Holloway J, Szekely Z, Chan N, Kumar S, Sabaawy HE, Love S, Sinko PJ. Breast intraductal nanoformulations for treating ductal carcinoma in situ II: Dose de-escalation using a slow releasing/slow bioconverting prodrug strategy. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2021. Epub 2021/02/17. doi: 10.1007/s13346-021-00903-y. PubMed PMID: 33590464.

Alasadi A, Cao B, Guo J, Tao H, Collantes J, Tan V, Su X, Augeri D, Jin S. Mitochondrial uncoupler MB1-47 is efficacious in treating hepatic metastasis of pancreatic cancer in murine tumor transplantation models. Oncogene. 2021;40(12):2285-95. Epub 2021/03/03. doi: 10.1038/s41388-021-01688-7. PubMed PMID: 33649533.

Anaya DA, Dogra P, Wang Z, Haider M, Ehab J, Jeong DK, Ghayouri M, Lauwers GY, Thomas K, Kim R, Butner JD, Nizzero S, Ramírez JR, Plodinec M, Sidman RL, Cavenee WK, Pasqualini R, Arap W, Fleming JB, Cristini V. A Mathematical Model to Estimate Chemotherapy Concentration at the Tumor-Site and Predict Therapy Response in Colorectal Cancer Patients with Liver Metastases. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13(3). Epub 2021/01/29. doi: 10.3390/cancers13030444. PubMed PMID: 33503971; PMCID: PMC7866038.

Domogauer JD, de Toledo SM, Howell RW, Azzam EI. Acquired radioresistance in cancer associated fibroblasts is concomitant with enhanced antioxidant potential and DNA repair capacity. Cell Commun Signal. 2021;19(1):30. Epub 2021/02/28. doi: 10.1186/s12964-021-00711-4. PubMed PMID: 33637118; PMCID: PMC7912493.

Eddy K, Shah R, Chen S. Decoding Melanoma Development and Progression: Identification of Therapeutic Vulnerabilities. Front Oncol. 2020;10:626129. Epub 2021/02/23. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.626129. PubMed PMID: 33614507; PMCID: PMC7891057.

Garcia-Canaveras JC, Lancho O, Ducker GS, Ghergurovich JM, Xu X, da Silva-Diz V, Minuzzo S, Indraccolo S, Kim H, Herranz D, Rabinowitz JD. SHMT inhibition is effective and synergizes with methotrexate in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia. 2021;35(2):377-88. Epub 2020/05/10. doi: 10.1038/s41375-020-0845-6. PubMed PMID: 32382081; PMCID: PMC7647950.

George B, Pillai PM, Paul AM, Amjesh R, Leitzel K, Ali SM, Sandiford O, Lipton A, Rameshwar P, Hortobagyi GN, Pillai MR, Kumar R. Cellular Fitness Phenotypes of Cancer Target Genes from Oncobiology to Cancer Therapeutics. Cells. 2021;10(2). Epub 2021/03/07. doi: 10.3390/cells10020433. PubMed PMID: 33670680; PMCID: PMC7921985.

Moore CA, Siddiqui Z, Carney GJ, Naaldijk Y, Guiro K, Ferrer AI, Sherman LS, Guvendiren M, Kumar VA, Rameshwar P. A 3D Bioprinted Material That Recapitulates the Perivascular Bone Marrow Structure for Sustained Hematopoietic and Cancer Models. Polymers (Basel). 2021;13(4). Epub 2021/02/07. doi: 10.3390/polym13040480. PubMed PMID: 33546275; PMCID: PMC7913313.

Murphy SA, Miyamoto M, Kervadec A, Kannan S, Tampakakis E, Kambhampati S, Lin BL, Paek S, Andersen P, Lee DI, Zhu R, An SS, Kass DA, Uosaki H, Colas AR, Kwon C. PGC1/PPAR drive cardiomyocyte maturation at single cell level via YAP1 and SF3B2. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):1648. Epub 2021/03/14. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21957-z. PubMed PMID: 33712605; PMCID: PMC7955035.

Prokopi A, Tripp CH, Tummers B, Hornsteiner F, Spoeck S, Crawford JC, Clements DR, Efremova M, Hutter K, Bellmann L, Cappellano G, Cadilha BL, Kobold S, Boon L, Ortner D, Trajanoski Z, Chen S, de Gruijl TD, Idoyaga J, Green DR, Stoitzner P. Skin dendritic cells in melanoma are key for successful checkpoint blockade therapy. J Immunother Cancer. 2021;9(1). Epub 2021/01/08. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2020-000832. PubMed PMID: 33408092; PMCID: PMC7789456.

Rather GM, Anyanwu M, Minko T, Garbuzenko O, Szekely Z, Bertino JR. Anti-Tumor Effects of a Penetratin Peptide Targeting Transcription of E2F-1, 2 and 3a Is Enhanced When Used in Combination with Pemetrexed or Cisplatin. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13(5). Epub 2021/03/04. doi: 10.3390/cancers13050972. PubMed PMID: 33652640; PMCID: PMC7956530.

Tottone L, Lancho O, Loh JW, Singh A, Kimura S, Roels J, Kuchmiy A, Strubbe S, Lawlor MA, da Silva-Diz V, Luo S, Gachet S, Garcia-Prieto CA, Hagelaar R, Esteller M, Meijerink JPP, Soulier J, Taghon T, Van Vlierberghe P, Mullighan CG, Khiabanian H, Rocha PP and Herranz D. A Tumor Suppressor Enhancer of PTEN in T-cell development and leukemia. Blood Cancer Discov. 2021;2(1):92-109. Epub 2021/01/19. doi: 10.1158/2643-3230.BCD-20-0201. PubMed PMID: 33458694; PMCID: PMC7810363.

Xiong H, Mancini M, Gobert M, Shen S, Furtado GC, Lira SA, Parkhurst CN, Garambois V, Brengues M, Tadokoro CE, Trimarchi T, Gomez-Lopez G, Singh A, Khiabanian H, Minuzzo S, Indraccolo S, Lobry C, Aifantis I, Herranz D, Lafaille JJ, Maraver A. Spleen plays a major role in DLL4-driven acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. Theranostics. 2021;11(4):1594-608. Epub 2021/01/08. doi: 10.7150/thno.48067. PubMed PMID: 33408769; PMCID: PMC7778594.

Yang L, Kim TH, Cho HY, Luo J, Lee JM, Chueng SD, Hou Y, Yin PT, Han J, Kim JH, Chung BG, Choi JW, Lee KB. Hybrid Graphene-Gold Nanoparticle-based Nucleic Acid Conjugates for Cancer-Specific Multimodal Imaging and Combined Therapeutics. Adv Funct Mater. 2021;31(5). Epub 2021/03/30. doi: 10.1002/adfm.202006918. PubMed PMID: 33776614; PMCID: PMC7996391.

Wang X, Zhang H, Sapio R, Yang J, Wong J, Zhang X, Guo JY, Pine S, Van Remmen H, Li H, White E, Liu C, Kiledjian M, Pestov DG, Steven Zheng XF. SOD1 regulates ribosome biogenesis in KRAS mutant non-small cell lung cancer. Nature Communications. 2021;12(1):2259. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22480-x.

Zhang H, Spencer K, Burley SK, Zheng XFS. Toward improving androgen receptor-targeted therapies in male-dominant hepatocellular carcinoma. Drug Discov Today. 2021. Epub 2021/02/10. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2021.02.001. PubMed PMID: 33561464.

Zhen G, Guo Q, Li Y, Wu C, Zhu S, Wang R, Guo XE, Kim BC, Huang J, Hu Y, Dan Y, Wan M, Ha T, An S, Cao X. Mechanical stress determines the configuration of TGFbeta activation in articular cartilage. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):1706. Epub 2021/03/19. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21948-0. PubMed PMID: 33731712.

Zhang X, Wang X, Yuan Z, Radford SJ, Liu C, Libutti SK, Zheng XFS. Amino acids-Rab1A-mTORC1 signaling controls whole-body glucose homeostasis. Cell Rep. 2021;34(11):108830. Epub 2021/03/18. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108830. PubMed PMID: 33730578; PMCID: PMC8062038.
Clinical Investigations &
Precision Therapeutics
Awards and Honors
Lanjing Zhang, MD, MS, FCAP, FASCP and his team were awarded a Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award entitled "Ramzi S. Cotran Young Investigator Award" from the US Canadian Academy of Pathology. Term: 03/31/2020 - 04/01/2021. FY Total Award Amount: $5,000.
Selected Publications
Alexander HR, Jr., Devi-Chou V. Hepatic Perfusion for Diffuse Metastatic Cancer to the Liver: Open and Percutaneous Techniques. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2021;30(1):175-88. Epub 2020/11/23. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2020.08.007. PubMed PMID: 33220804.

Bertino EM, Gentzler RD, Clifford S, Kolesar J, Muzikansky A, Haura EB, Piotrowska Z, Camidge DR, Stinchcombe TE, Hann C, Malhotra J, Villaruz LC, Paweletz CP, Lau CL, Sholl L, Takebe N, Moscow JA, Shapiro GI, Jänne PA, Oxnard GR. Phase IB Study of Osimertinib in Combination with Navitoclax in EGFR-mutant NSCLC Following Resistance to Initial EGFR Therapy (ETCTN 9903). Clin Cancer Res. 2021;27(6):1604-11. Epub 2020/12/31. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.Ccr-20-4084. PubMed PMID: 33376097; PMCID: PMC7976451.

Deng F, Huang J, Yuan X, Cheng C, Zhang L. Performance and efficiency of machine learning algorithms for analyzing rectangular biomedical data. Lab Invest. 2021;101(4):430-41. Epub 2021/02/13. doi: 10.1038/s41374-020-00525-x. PubMed PMID: 33574440.

Deng F, Shen L, Wang H, Zhang L. Classify multicategory outcome in patients with lung adenocarcinoma using clinical, transcriptomic and clinico-transcriptomic data: machine learning versus multinomial models. Am J Cancer Res. 2020;10(12):4624-39. Epub 2021/01/09. PubMed PMID: 33415023; PMCID: PMC7783755.

Denmeade SR, Wang H, Agarwal N, Smith DC, Schweizer MT, Stein MN, Assikis V, Twardowski PW, Flaig TW, Szmulewitz RZ, Holzbeierlein JM, Hauke RJ, Sonpavde G, Garcia JA, Hussain A, Sartor O, Mao S, Cao H, Fu W, Wang T, Abdallah R, Lim SJ, Bolejack V, Paller CJ, Carducci MA, Markowski MC, Eisenberger MA, Antonarakis ES. TRANSFORMER: A Randomized Phase II Study Comparing Bipolar Androgen Therapy Versus Enzalutamide in Asymptomatic Men With Castration-Resistant Metastatic Prostate Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2021:Jco2002759. Epub 2021/02/23. doi: 10.1200/jco.20.02759. PubMed PMID: 33617303.

Doose M, Tsui J, Steinberg MB, Xing CY, Lin Y, Cantor JC, Hong CC, Demissie K, Bandera EV. Patterns of chronic disease management and health outcomes in a population-based cohort of Black women with breast cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2021;32(2):157-68. Epub 2021/01/07. doi: 10.1007/s10552-020-01370-5. PubMed PMID: 33404907; PMCID: PMC7837275.

Esposito M, Ganesan S, Kang Y. Emerging strategies for treating metastasis. Nat Cancer. 2021;2(3):258-70. Epub 2021/04/27. doi: 10.1038/s43018-021-00181-0. PubMed PMID: 33899000; PMCID: PMC8064405.

Evens AM, Danilov A, Jagadeesh D, Sperling A, Kim SH, Vaca R, Wei C, Rector D, Sundaram S, Reddy N, Lin Y, Farooq U, D'Angelo C, Bond DA, Berg S, Churnetski MC, Godara A, Khan N, Choi YK, Yazdy M, Rabinovich E, Varma G, Karmali R, Mian A, Savani M, Burkart M, Martin P, Ren A, Chauhan A, Diefenbach C, Straker-Edwards A, Klein AK, Blum KA, Boughan KM, Smith SE, Haverkos BM, Orellana-Noia VM, Kenkre VP, Zayac A, Ramdial J, Maliske SM, Epperla N, Venugopal P, Feldman TA, Smith SD, Stadnik A, David KA, Naik S, Lossos IS, Lunning MA, Caimi P, Kamdar M, Palmisiano N, Bachanova V, Portell CA, Phillips T, Olszewski AJ, Alderuccio JP. Burkitt lymphoma in the modern era: real-world outcomes and prognostication across 30 US cancer centers. Blood. 2021;137(3):374-86. Epub 2020/07/15. doi: 10.1182/blood.2020006926. PubMed PMID: 32663292.

Kadiwar P, Shah N, Black T, Caban-Martinez AJ, Steinberg M, Black K, Sackey J, Graber J. Dietary Intake Among Members of a Volunteer Fire Department Compared With US Daily Dietary Recommendations. J Occup Environ Med. 2021;63(2):147-50. Epub 2020/12/05. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002102. PubMed PMID: 33273397.

Li J, Huynh L, Cornwell WD, Tang MS, Simborio H, Huang J, Kosmider B, Rogers TJ, Zhao H, Steinberg MB, Thu Thi Le L, Zhang L, Pham K, Liu C, Wang H. Electronic Cigarettes Induce Mitochondrial DNA Damage and Trigger TLR 9 (Toll-Like Receptor 9)-Mediated Atherosclerosis. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2020:ATVBAHA120315556. Epub 2021/01/01. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.120.315556. PubMed PMID: 33380174.

Modi C, Berim L, Isserow L, Malhotra J, Patel M, Langenfeld J, Aisner J, Almeldin D, Jabbour SK. Combining radiation therapy and immunotherapy for lung cancers: a narrative review. Shanghai Chest. 2021;5. Epub 2021/02/02. doi: 10.21037/shc-20-66. PubMed PMID: 33521559; PMCID: PMC7842553.

Moerdler S, Ewart M, Friedman DL, Kelly K, Pei Q, Peng M, Zang X, Cole PD. LAG-3 is expressed on a majority of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma. Leuk Lymphoma. 2021;62(3):606-13. Epub 2020/10/29. doi: 10.1080/10428194.2020.1839651. PubMed PMID: 33112183; PMCID: PMC7940566.

Popli P, Gutterman EM, Omene C, Ganesan S, Mills D, Marlink R. Receptor-Defined Breast Cancer in Five East African Countries and Its Implications for Treatment: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JCO Glob Oncol. 2021;7:289-301. Epub 2021/02/17. doi: 10.1200/go.20.00398. PubMed PMID: 33591798; PMCID: PMC8081496 manuscript.

Riedlinger GM, Joshi S, Hirshfield KM, Barnard N, Ganesan S. Targetable alterations in invasive pleomorphic lobular carcinoma of the breast. Breast Cancer Res. 2021;23(1):7. Epub 2021/01/15. doi: 10.1186/s13058-020-01385-5. PubMed PMID: 33441174; PMCID: PMC7805167.

Shah MR, Jan I, Johns J, Singh K, Kumar P, Belarmino N, Saggiomo KJ, Hayes C, Washington K, Toppmeyer DL, Haffty BG, Libutti SK, Evens AM. SARS-CoV-2 nosocomial infection: Real-world results of environmental surface testing from a large tertiary cancer center. Cancer. 2021. Epub 2021/02/19. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33453. PubMed PMID: 33599303; PMCID: PMC8014051.

Shiuan E, Reddy A, Dudzinski SO, Lim AR, Sugiura A, Hongo R, Young K, Liu XD, Smith CC, O'Neal J, Dahlman KB, McAlister R, Chen B, Ruma K, Roscoe N, Bender J, Ward J, Kim JY, Vaupel C, Bordeaux J, Ganesan S, Mayer TM, Riedlinger GM, Vincent BG, Davis NB, Haake SM, Rathmell JC, Jonasch E, Rini BI, Rathmell WK, Beckermann KE. Clinical Features and Multiplatform Molecular Analysis Assist in Understanding Patient Response to Anti-PD-1/PD-L1 in Renal Cell Carcinoma. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13(6). Epub 2021/04/04. doi: 10.3390/cancers13061475. PubMed PMID: 33806963; PMCID: PMC8004696.

Wen J, Wei Y, Jabbour SK, Xu T, Wang Y, Chen J, Wang J, Hu C, Su F, Fan M, Zhang Z, Lu X. Comprehensive analysis of prognostic value of lymph node staging classifications in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma after cervical lymph node dissection. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2021. Epub 2021/02/08. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2021.01.020. PubMed PMID: 33549377.

Zhang B, Yao K, Zhou E, Zhang L, Cheng C. Chr20q amplification defines a distinct molecular subtype of microsatellite stable colorectal cancer. Cancer Res. 2021. Epub 2021/02/24. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-4009. PubMed PMID: 33619118.

Zhang J, Zhang L, Luo J, Ge T, Fan P, Sun L, Hou L, Li J, Yu H, Wu C, Zhu Y, Wu C, Jiang G, Troncone G, Malhotra J, Okuda K, Santarpia M, Zamarchi R, Goto T, Cardona AF, Xu J, Chen Q, Zhang Z, Zhang P. Comprehensive genomic profiling of combined small cell lung cancer. Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2021;10(2):636-50. Epub 2021/03/16. doi: 10.21037/tlcr-20-1099. PubMed PMID: 33718010; PMCID: PMC7947408.
Genomic Instability & Cancer Genetics
Meet Our New Members!
Awards and Honors
Zhiyuan Shen, MD, PhD was awarded a NCI grant entitled "Regulation of Ku70 methylation and functions by SETD4" Grant Number: 1R01CA260724-01 Term: 02/01/2021 - 01/31/2026. Total Award Amount: $1,794,737.
Karen A. Schindler, PhD presented “Understanding the genetic contributions to making a healthy egg” at the Invited seminar for Colorado State University Fall Webinar Series held October 2020.

Karen A. Schindler, PhD presented “Understanding the genetic contributions to making a healthy egg” at the Invited seminar for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey held September 2020.
Selected Publications
Aiyer S, Swapna GVT, Ma LC, Liu G, Hao J, Chalmers G, Jacobs BC, Montelione GT, Roth MJ. A common binding motif in the ET domain of BRD3 forms polymorphic structural interfaces with host and viral proteins. Structure. 2021. Epub 2021/02/17. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2021.01.010. PubMed PMID: 33592170.

Biswas A, De S. Drivers of dynamic intra-tumor heterogeneity and phenotypic plasticity. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021. Epub 2021/03/04. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00575.2020. PubMed PMID: 33657326.

Chan CS, Sun Y, Ke H, Zhao Y, Belete M, Zhang C, Feng Z, Levine AJ, Hu W. Genetic and stochastic influences upon tumor formation and tumor types in Li-Fraumeni mouse models. Life Sci Alliance. 2021;4(3). Epub 2020/12/31. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202000952. PubMed PMID: 33376133; PMCID: PMC7772779.

Choi WS, Liu B, Shen Z, Yang W. Structure of human BCCIP and implications for binding and modification of partner proteins. Protein Sci. 2021;30(3):693-9. Epub 2021/01/17. doi: 10.1002/pro.4026. PubMed PMID: 33452718; PMCID: PMC7888581.

Hu X, Biswas A, Sharma A, Sarkodie H, Tran I, Pal I, De S. Mutational signatures associated with exposure to carcinogenic microplastic compounds bisphenol A and styrene oxide. NAR Cancer. 2021;3(1):zcab004. Epub 2021/03/16. doi: 10.1093/narcan/zcab004. PubMed PMID: 33718875; PMCID: PMC7936647.

Khella CA, Mehta GA, Mehta RN, Gatza ML. Recent Advances in Integrative Multi-Omics Research in Breast and Ovarian Cancer. J Pers Med. 2021;11(2). Epub 2021/03/07. doi: 10.3390/jpm11020149. PubMed PMID: 33669749; PMCID: PMC7922242.

Llanos AAM, Yao S, Singh A, Aremu JB, Khiabanian H, Lin Y, Omene C, Omilian AR, Khoury T, Hong CC, Ganesan S, Foran DJ, Higgins MJ, Ambrosone CB, Bandera EV, Demissie K. Gene expression of adipokines and adipokine receptors in the tumor microenvironment: associations of lower expression with more aggressive breast tumor features. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2021;185(3):785-98. Epub 2020/10/18. doi: 10.1007/s10549-020-05972-0. PubMed PMID: 33067778; PMCID: PMC7925351.

Lu H, Ye C, Liu J, Rabson AB, Verzi M, De S, Shen Z. Requirement of Bccip for the Regeneration of Intestinal Progenitors. Am J Pathol. 2021;191(1):66-78. Epub 2020/10/12. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2020.09.009. PubMed PMID: 33039352; PMCID: PMC7857062.

Mehta GA, Angus SP, Khella CA, Tong K, Khanna P, Dixon SAH, Verzi MP, Johnson GL, Gatza ML. SOX4 and SMARCA4 cooperatively regulate PI3k signaling through transcriptional activation of TGFBR2. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021;7(1):40. Epub 2021/04/11. doi: 10.1038/s41523-021-00248-2. PubMed PMID: 33837205.

Zhang C, Liu J, Wang J, Zhang T, Xu D, Hu W, Feng Z. The Interplay Between Tumor Suppressor p53 and Hypoxia Signaling Pathways in Cancer. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021;9:648808. Epub 2021/03/09. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2021.648808. PubMed PMID: 33681231; PMCID: PMC7930565.
Basic Research & Clinical Research Programs 
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey