June 2023

Leading Hematology Textbook

Ronald Hoffman, MD, has been the lead editor of every edition of Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice, the hematology textbook most widely used by clinicians and scientists throughout the world and now in its eighth edition.

This extensively revised edition reflects advances that are redefining the field and influencing new approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. It covers virtually all aspects of hematology, detailing the basic science and clinical practice of hematology and hematopoietic cellular therapy.

Eleven of the 158 chapters were provided by faculty members at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, emblematic of the contribution of Icahn Mount Sinai to the field of hematology.

Faculty News and Awards

Jose Javier Bravo-Cordero, PhD, was elected to a three-year term as a member of the Steering Committee for the Tumor Microenvironment Working Group of the American Association for Cancer Research. 

Jose Javier Bravo-Cordero, PhD, has been granted tenure from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Bravo-Cordero is Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology).

Emily Bernstein, PhD, serves as an Associate Editor of Biomedicine and Life Sciences for Science Advances, the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s open access multidisciplinary journal, publishing impactful research papers and reviews in any area of science, in both disciplinary-specific and broad, interdisciplinary areas. Hirofumi Morishitam, MD, PhD, also with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is an Associate Editor for Neuroscience.

Editorial Board 

Alumni Awards

Two TCI members were honored with Mount Sinai Alumni Awards during the 2023 Alumni Reunion:

Dr. Najfeld

Dr. Smith

Grant Awards

Elvin Wagenblast, PhD, received a CureSearch Young Investigator Award for “Targeting Therapy Resistance in NUP98-NSD1 Rearranged Childhood Leukemia.” Dr. Wagenblast and team are using an innovative CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genomic engineering approach in human blood stem cells obtained from cord blood to model leukemia initiation and progression. They are working to identify and characterize novel therapeutic targets that prevent leukemic maintenance and progression in NUP98-NSD1 rearranged leukemia.

Karyn Goodman, MD, MS, received an Equity, Accessibility, and Diversity Project grant from the Lustgarten Foundation for “Navigating Pancreatic Cancer Multidisciplinary Care to Address Cultural and Language Barriers to Clinical Trial Enrollment among Mandarin and Spanish Speaking Patients with Pancreatic Cancer.” The study will focus on the development of a patient navigator program for patients who speak Mandarin and Spanish; the program will provide multidisciplinary care and clinical trial matching at participating clinics at Mount Sinai, Northwell Health, and Johns Hopkins.


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Marta Luksza, PhD, received a 2023 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research for “Evolutionary Models for Optimized Design of Personalized Cancer Vaccines." Dr. Luksza and team will use approaches from machine learning and physics to develop a predictive model for immune interactions and tumor evolution under vaccine immunotherapy. On the basis of this model, they will build a protocol for the optimal design of personalized anti-tumor vaccines.

Press Release

Christian Rolfo, MD, PhD, MBA, Dr.hc., is Principal Investigator (PI) and Triparna Sen, PhD, is co-PI on a grant award from the National Foundation for Cancer Research for research on small cell lung cancer (SCLC), the most aggressive subtype of lung cancer with very limited therapeutic options. While access to adequate material from SCLC biopsies remains a challenge, SCLC has a high content of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and DNA that may provide a solution for monitoring patients’ response and resistance to therapy. Dr. Rolfo and Dr. Sen will conduct next-generation sequencing of single CTCs and tissues from patients with SCLC to evaluate specific mutations that could identify mechanisms of resistance to different specific therapies. They will also establish patient derived xenograft models from CTCs to analyze the potential effectivity of specific treatments in each patient and use this information for guiding therapy.

Recipients of the 2023 NCI Paul Calabresi Award in Clinical Oncology Research (K12) for outstanding physician scientists conducting multidisciplinary translational research are:

Theodora Anagnostou, MD

Mentors: Joshua Brody, MD, and Jancie Gabrilove, MD

T-cell based therapies have revolutionized the treatment of B-cell lymphoma by allowing the patient’s immune system to target specific antigens present on cancerous cells. However, a common limitation of these immunotherapies is the ability of a subset of lymphoma cells to hide from the immune system by downregulating certain markers on their surface. Dr. Anagnostou will be investigating ways to prevent or treat resistance to T-cell based therapies for the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) by defining the genetic makeup of tumors on biopsies from treated patients. This work will allow the design of more effective combination immunotherapies to improve patient outcomes.

Virginia Corbett, MD

Mentors: Thomas Marron, MD, PhD, and Edward Wolin, MD

Dr. Corbett will investigate the prevalence of Clonal Hematopoiesis of Indeterminate Potential (CHIP) in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) before and after peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) to identify which patients are at highest risk of developing therapy-related myeloid neoplasms. The project includes an early phase clinical trial of RRx-001, a radioprotective agent that can be given with radiation treatment to reduce CHIP mutations and prevent hematologic toxicity for patients with NETs undergoing PRRT.

Oscar Padilla, MD

Mentors: Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, and Oren Becher, MD

Dr. Padilla will investigate the impact of Trem2+ macrophages on diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) anti-tumor immunity, at baseline and in response to radiotherapy. He will also examine how the histone 3.3 K27M mutation in DIPG shapes immune responses to radiotherapy in the tumor microenvironment. Collectively, these studies will provide foundational knowledge of DIPG tumor immunology, contextualized within the appropriate histone mutation, and instruct novel immuno-radiotherapy combination strategies.

Clinical Trials

Featured Clinical Trials for Ovarian Cancer

Stephanie Blank, MD, Principal Investigator


Open-label Phase 2, Randomized, Controlled, Multicenter Study Comparing Niraparib Versus Platinum-Taxane Doublet Chemotherapy as Neoadjuvant Treatment in Participants with Homologous Recombination-Deficient Stage III/IV Ovarian Cancer



In this trial for patients with homologous recombination-deficient ovarian cancer, patients will be randomized to neoadjuvant chemotherapy versus a parp inhibitor. Dr. Blank says: “This is really exciting because we have been learning that parps seem to be more effective the earlier in the course of treatment they are given. For example, when we use maintenance parp in the front line, we may be seeing about 15 percent cure. One theory is that inserting parp inhibitors when heterogenicity and clonality are lowest promotes a higher chance of cure.”


A Study to Compare Two Surgical Procedures in Women With BRCA1 Mutations to Assess Reduced Risk of Ovarian Cancer



This trial studies how well two surgical procedures—bilateral salpingectomy (surgical removal of fallopian tubes) and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (surgical removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries)—reduce the risk of ovarian cancer for women with BRCA1 mutations. Involving more than 2,000 patients to be followed every 20 years, this patient-centric study has the potential to change the standard of care.


Search here for cancer clinical trials by disease site/cancer type, investigator, or trial phase.

From Ana Acuña-Villaorduña, MD:

Equitable Access to Clinical Trials: How Do We

Achieve It?

American Society for Clinical Oncology Educational Book

"The mismatch between the study populations participating in oncology clinical trials and the composition of the targeted cancer population requires urgent amelioration."

Shared Resources: Microscopy and

Advanced Bioimaging

The Microscopy Shared Resource (MSR), Deanna L. Benson, PhD, Director, provides TCI members access to equipment, training, expert consultation, and collaborative opportunities across a full range of light and electron microscopy applications including confocal, multiphoton, super-resolution, in vivo imaging, light sheet, widefield, and transmission electron microscopy.

The most recent addition is a Lifecanvas SmartSPIM. This is the MSR’s newest light sheet microscope. It allows for fast volumetric imaging, uniform axial resolution across sample, and optimal focus and illumination, and is compatible with diverse samples including organoids, rat brains, and entire juvenile mice. Contact Kate Cialowicz at [email protected] to learn more about its capabilities and usage.


For information about the MSR, contact Dr. Benson at 212-824-8974 or Jerry Edward Chipuk, PhD, Associate Director of Basic Science Shared Resources at TCI.


Kaitlyn London; James Ferrara, MD; John Levine, MD; and colleagues


Phase 2 study of natalizumab plus standard corticosteroid treatment for high-risk acute graft-versus-host disease

Blood Advances. 2023 May 26. PMID: 37235690


This paper reports on a multicenter, biomarker-based phase 2 study of natalizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks T cell trafficking to the gastrointestinal tract, combined with corticosteroids as a primary treatment for patients with new onset of high-risk graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Patients were eligible if they were high risk using a biomarker scoring system developed at Mount Sinai. The addition of natalizumab to standard corticosteroids was safe but did not improve overall or complete response rates compared to patients treated with corticosteroids alone.

Emily Bernstein, PhD; Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, PhD; and colleagues


5-Azacytidine- and retinoic-acid-induced reprogramming of DCCs into dormancy suppresses metastasis via restored TGF-β-SMAD4 signaling

Cell Reports. 2023 May 29. PMID: 37267946


Using a combination of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and breast cancer models from human and mouse origin, Dr. Bernstein and team reveal that the therapeutic combination of the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-azacytidine (AZA) and the retinoic acid receptor ligands all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) or AM80, an RARα-specific agonist, promotes stable dormancy in cancer cells via epigenetic reprogramming. Their data support that therapeutically induced dormant cancer cells may represent an alternative for managing residual latent or progressively growing cancer that may not be manageable with standard of care approaches.

Bruno Almeida Costa, MD; Tarek Mouhieddine, MD; Ricardo Ortiz, MD; Joshua Richter, MD


Revisiting the role of alkylating agents in multiple myeloma: Up-to-date evidence and future perspectives

Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. 2023 May 25. PMID: 37244325


This review addresses the current and future role of alkylating agents, long a mainstay of standard therapy for newly-diagnosed or relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM), in the context of novel agents and modalities such as monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, and CAR T-cell therapy. Alkylator-containing regimens have mostly shifted from long-term therapies to short-term ones that aim for rapid disease control and patient bridging to new treatment lines. They remain an integral part of high dose therapy/autologous stem cell transplant, a standard-of-care consolidation strategy in newly diagnosed MM that is associated with progression-free survival.

Daniel Dickstein, MD; Eric Lehrer, MD; John Sfakianos, MD; Matthew Galsky, MD; Richard Stock, MD; Joshua Safer, MD; Deborah Marshall, MD; and colleagues


Sexual health and treatment-related sexual dysfunction in sexual and gender minorities with prostate cancer

Nature Reviews Urology. 2023 May 22. PMID: 37217695


This review provides a detailed overview of how sexual dysfunction in sexual minority men (SMM) and transgender women (TGW) patients differs from that of heterosexual cisgender male patients following prostate cancer treatment. The review identifies techniques and therapies used to manage iatrogenic damage responsible for sexual dysfunction in SMM following prostate cancer treatment and addresses sexual dysfunction in the TGW patient population. It establishes a framework for clinicians to counsel SMM and TGW with prostate cancer and support provision of equitable and personalized care.

Daniela De Martino, PhD; Jose Javier Bravo-Cordero, PhD


Collagens in cancer: Structural regulators and guardians of cancer progression

Cancer Research. 2023 May 2. PMID: 36638361


This review focuses on the role of collagens in tumor dormancy and immune evasion, and their interplay with cancer cell metabolism. Findings from studies support the potential of collagens as prognostic markers for patients with cancer and strategies targeting the collagen extracellular matrix to prevent tumor progression and metastasis.

Kavita Dharmarajan, MD, and colleagues


Palliative Radiation Oncology, 1st Edition

Elsevier Health


Integrating basic science, pathologies, and research with clinical applications, Palliative Radiation Oncology provides comprehensive coverage of tumor assessment, precise target definition, and dosing-specific guidelines to minimize toxicities.

Presentations and Events

Jian Jin, PhD, was an invited speaker at Northwestern University’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. His presentation on May 11 was “Discovery of Novel Small-molecule Degraders Targeting Oncoproteins and Development of New Approaches to Target Undruggable Proteins.”

Nina Bickell, MD, MPH, presented, “Impact of Reducing Breast Cancer Surgery Reimbursement on Travel Distance” at the Society for General Internal Medicine annual meeting.

Triparna Sen, PhD, is an invited speaker at the 2023 Annual Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR 2023) in Torino, June 12-15. She is presenting “Integrative Multi-omic Analyses of Lung Cancer Clinical Samples Proves AKT and MYC as Regulators of Lung Adenocarcinoma to Squamous Cell Lung Cancer Transdifferentiation.” Dr. Sen is also presenting two posters on her research in small cell lung cancer.


At the first Annual Meeting of the Egyptian Society of Respiratory Neoplasm, taking place in Cairo, June 15-16, Dr. Sen will speak on “Translational Medicine Updates in SCLC.” She will serve as moderator for the Climate Change Panel Discussion about the effects of air pollution on lung cancer among non-smokers, young adults, and women. Additionally, she will serve as an international thought leader for a session focused on improving standardization of thoracic oncology practices and access to testing and therapeutics.


Finally, Dr. Sen will give two keynote addresses at the 9th International Lung Cancer Network meeting in Athens, June 23-25:

  • “Lineage Plasticity in Lung Cancer: The Devil is in the Details”
  • “Understanding and Overcoming Therapeutic Resistance in Small Cell Lung Cancer”

TCI Seminar Series

June 20, 12 pm, Davis Auditorium

Hani Goodarzi, PhD

Department of Biophysics & Biochemistry, UCSF

"Revealing the Regulatory Code Underlying Pathological Regulation of

RNA Dynamics in Metastasis"

Save the Date - TCI Community Outreach and Engagement Retreat

September 29, 10 am - 1:30 pm

Annenberg Building, 5-205

Also via Zoom


Attendee Information

Dolores Hambardzumyan, PhD, MBA, will be running the 2023 New York City Marathon NYC in November to raise funds for the American Brain Tumor Association. To support Dr. Hambardzumyan, click here.

Education News

Daniel Dickstein, MD, Radiation Oncology resident, and Andrew Srisuwananukorn, MD, Hematology and Medical Oncology fellow, received Young Investigator Awards from Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation.

Dr. Dickstein’s project is “Improving Sexual Health Outcomes in Sexual and Gender Minorities With Prostate Cancer After Radiotherapy.” He aims to identify clinically meaningful predictors of problematic receptive anal intercourse to be used during radiation planning to prevent this sexual dysfunction and improve the quality of life for sexual and gender minorities.

Dr. Srisuwananukorn’s research—“Novel Machine Learning Algorithms for the Detection of Actionable Mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia”—aims to extract digital biomarkers in newly-diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia in adults using machine learning to determine which patients may respond to targeted therapies. 

Dr. Dickstein

Dr. Srisuwananukorn

Four medial students are participating in the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials: Clinical Investigator Pathway Program (Winn CIPP) at Mount Sinai this summer from June 5 to July 14. WINN CIPP is designed to expose talented medical students from diverse backgrounds to clinical research in community-based clinical research settings.


This is the first year The Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) has partnered with the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program. Janice Gabrilove, MD, and Jamilia Sly, PhD, are site leaders for Winn CIPP at TCI. Lina Jandorf, MA; Melissa Mazor, PhD, MS, RN; and Cardinale Smith, MD, PhD, are serving as mentors.


The students and their medical institutions are:

  • Veronica Chacon, Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
  • Livingston Graham, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Lensa Toka, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Marcos Vargas, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University College of Medicine

Supportive Oncology Intervention

Melissa Mazor, PhD, MD, RN, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at The Tisch Cancer Institute, is expanding her National Cancer Institute Career Development (K) Award recruitment partners to include BronxCare Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care, Kevin Jain, MD, Director. Through this novel collaboration, Drs. Mazor, Jain and co-investigators will be able to expand their navigator-led supportive oncology intervention program to reach women seen at Bronxcare, many of whom are historically underserved and underrepresented in research. Through a community-engaged approach, this intervention is designed to use a patient-centric and culturally/linguistically sensitive approach improve distress and increase access to supportive care for Black and Latina women with advanced cancer. This new collaboration will allow for greater care access across structurally marginalized neighborhoods in NYC.

Postdoctoral Opportunity in Cancer Biology

Two postdoctoral trainee positions are available in a National Cancer Institute-funded program in Cancer Biology under the mentorship of James Manfredi, PhD and Stuart Aaronson, MD. The T-32 program is intended for individuals in their first postdoctoral experience outside their graduate mentor’s laboratory. Eligible candidates must be American citizens or permanent residents. The current mentor must have extramural support, defined by NCI as at least $150k/year in direct costs for three years.


To apply, candidates should email the following as Word documents to Dr. Manfredi ([email protected]) by July 24, 2023:

  1. Statement of research experience and interest in cancer biology (one page limit)
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Contact information for three references other than current mentor
  4. Other support for the mentor

Questions? Contact Dr. Manfredi.


Do you have news for the next issue of TCI Connections

Please send to Janet Aronson (646-745-6376).

Remember to share breaking news and high impact news that might be appropriate for media coverage with Marlene Naanes (929-237-5802) in the Press Office. This may include pending FDA drug/device approvals, studies/trial results being published in high-impact journals, and patient stories. The more lead time you can give Marlene, the better—ideally, four weeks or when a paper is accepted by the journal. Embargoes will always be honored and news will only be released with your approval.

  TCI Connections  is a monthly publication of The Tisch Cancer Institute
Ramon Parsons, MD, PhD, Director
Janet Aronson , Editor
Past issues of  TCI Connections  are available on the TCI website