October 2022

Research Retreat

Tisch Cancer Institute Research Retreat 2022

New Faculty, New Technology, and New Advances in

Diagnostics and Treatment

Wednesday, December 14

8:30 am – 5 pm

New York Academy of Medicine

Agenda and registration instructions will be announced soon.

For more information, contact Jerry Edward Chipuk, PhD, or

Matthew Galsky, MD.

Grant Awards

Emily Bernstein, PhD, received an Established Investigator Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation for “Chromatin Remodeling Alterations and Consequences for Melanoma Metastasis.” Building on her laboratory's previous finding that in ARID2-deficient melanoma tumors in animal models cancer cells are more successfully able to metastasize to distal organs, Dr. Bernstein and team will investigate the role of ARID2 in metastasis using brain-tropic human melanoma cells in animal models. They will examine the genes and pathways that enable metastasis and potential for melanoma survival in the brain niche, with the goal of improved insights for the treatment of melanoma patients.

Dolores Hambardzumyan, PhD, MBA, was awarded renewal of her R01 grant from the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke. Dr. Hambardzumyan is investigating the role of tumor-associated macrophages in vasogenic cerebral edema in brain tumors.

Yelena Ginzburg, MD, received two grant awards from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: an R01 titled “Regulatory Role of Transferrin in Erythropoiesis and Iron Metabolism” in collaboration with Saint Louis University and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and an R56 titled “Mechanistic Understanding of Dysregulated Iron Metabolism in Polycythemia Vera” in collaboration with Ronald Hoffman, MD.

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, PhD, and team were awarded continuation of their U54 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—“Vulnerability of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Lung Cancer Based on Serological Antibody Analyses”—to study the impact of Covid 19 vaccination on antibody- and T-cell response in patients with lung cancer, and the specific cancer treatment implications for antibody and immunologic response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. They were also recognized for leading a pooling project—pooling data from different lung cancer cohorts from multiple institutions in the NCI/SeroNet network.

Grant Opportunity

Junior faculty physician scientists conducting multidisciplinary translational research are invited to apply for the 2023 Paul Calabresi Award in Clinical Oncology Research K12 Scholars Program.

This career development program offers scholars opportunities for mentored research, curricular activities and a needs-based tailored education to prepare them to compete successfully for peer-reviewed research funding and to advance their knowledge, skills and capacity for clinically impactful cancer research.

RFA and Details

New Faculty

Joshua Friedman, MD, joined Mount Sinai as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Internal Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology). He treats patients with primary and metastatic cancers of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and meninges, as well as the neurologic complications of systemic cancer. Dr. Friedman earned his MD at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He completed his medical internship and neurology residency at Icahn Mount Sinai and a fellowship in neuro-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Friedman’s research focuses on developing a liquid biopsy program for diagnosing, monitoring, and evaluating brain tumors. A significant portion of his research will also involve leading clinical trials for primary and metastatic brain cancers. 

Roshan Asrani, MD, joined Mount Sinai as Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) with a focus on lymphoma. He sees patients at the Ruttenberg Treatment Center. Dr. Asrani earned his MD at Ross University. He completed residency in Internal Medicine at Albany Medical Center and a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Stony Brook University Hospital, where he served as Chief Fellow and as a clinical instructor in the physician assistant program. While at Stony Brook, Dr. Asrani developed a clinical study to characterize the hematologic effects of COVID-19 and determine thrombosis risk in adult inpatients and pregnant women. 

Awards and Honors

Adriana Malone, MD, Director of Mount Sinai’s Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Program, has been honored with the 2023 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Dr. Malone and other award recipients from across the nation will be recognized at the 2023 ACGME Annual Educational Conference. In nominating Dr. Malone for this prestigious honor, Peter Kozuch, MD, Associate Director, said, “Adriana Malone embodies all the attributes we want in a colleague and medical educator—she is smart, creative, thoughtful, and exceptionally ethical. Our program has achieved excellence because Dr. Malone has the courage to make sure we always do the right things in the right way.”

Amaia Lujambio, PhD, and Jose Javier Bravo Cordero, PhD, with The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai; Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital; and other notable Spanish researchers from Columbia and Yale were invited to speak at the Instituto Cervantes New York at the invitation of Queen Letizia of Spain to mark World Cancer Research Day. They later joined Queen Letizia and First Lady Jill Biden at Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center as part of the Biden Administration’s Cancer Moonshot. 

Interurban Clinical Club

Please join Yelena Ginzburg, MD, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), for the 223rd meeting of the Interurban Clinical Club.

Friday, November 4

7:30 am – 3:45 pm

Davis Auditorium

Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine

The Interurban Clinical Club was formed in 1905 by Sir William Osler. It is comprised of 75 physician scientist members and more than 100 emeritus members from New York City, Philadelphia, New Haven, Baltimore, and Boston; the group’s meetings rotate between these cities. The November 4 program features members of The Tisch Cancer Institute—Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, and Bridget Marcellino, MD, PhD—as well as other physician scientists from Mount Sinai and other New York institutions. Topics will include multiple types of cancer, hormonal regulation, the ethics of genome editing, COVID biology, and novel methods for diagnostics in infectious diseases, among others. In addition, MD/PhD students from five New York City programs will be showcasing their work as part of the Jonathan Epstein Scholars Program.

Samir Parekh, MD, is a new member of the Interurban Clinical Club and Dr. Marcellino will receive the Sir William Osler Young Investigator Award at this year’s meeting.

Agenda and Program Details


Edmund Charles Jenkins, PhD; Mrittika Chattopadhyay, PhD; Maria Gomez, PhD; Denis Torre; Avi Ma’Ayan, PhD; Daniela Sia, PhD; Doris Germain, PhD; and colleagues


Age alters the oncogenic trajectory toward luminal mammary tumors that activate unfolded proteins responses

Aging Cell. 2022 Sep 15. PMID: 3611352


This study found that aging alters the oncogenic trajectory toward the estrogen receptor-alpha (ERα)-positive subtype of breast cancers, and that mammary tumors in aged mice are characterized by the upregulation of unfolded protein response stress responses regulated by the ERα. The results offer a potential mechanism for the observation of the increased incidence of ERα-positive breast cancer in older women and suggest that future studies are needed to understand the impact of age on the ERα transcriptional program to further enhance endocrine therapy.

Rima Patel, MD; Melanie Kier, MD; Erin Moshier, MS; Krystal Cascetta, MD; Shabnam Jaffer MD; Joseph Sparano, MD; Amy Tiersten, MD; and colleagues


Correlation of the Ki67 Working Group prognostic risk categories with the Oncotype DX Recurrence Score in early breast cancer

Cancer. 2022 Aug 10. PMID: 35947048


This study examined the correlation between Ki67, a marker of proliferation, and the Oncotype DX RS, a 21-gene assay demonstrated to be predictive of an adjuvant chemotherapy benefit in patients with early-stage breast cancer. Based on a retrospective review of 525 patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer, findings did not show a significant correlation between Ki67 and RS.

Josep Llovet, MD, PhD; Myron Schwartz, MD; Swan Thung, MD; Augusto Villanueva, MD, PhD; Daniela Sia, PhD; and colleagues

Molecular markers of response to anti-PD1 therapy in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Gastroenterology. 2022 Sep 12. PMID: 36108710


This study defines the key molecular drivers of response to the checkpoint inhibitor anti-PD1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Dr. Llovet and team developed a tissue-based genomic tool and validated a signature recapitulating these pathways that predict response and longer survival in HCC and other cancers and therefore has the potential to maximize the efficiency of anti-PD1 application. Discrepancies between patients treated in frontline and in second/third line highlight the need for fresh biopsies prior to immunotherapy.

Chandraini Mondal, PhD; Jose Javier Bravo-Cordero, PhD; and colleagues

A proliferative to invasive switch is mediated by srGAP1 downregulation through the activation of TGF-β2 signaling

Cell Reports. 2022 Sep 20. PMID: 36130489

This study identifies srGAP1 as a regulator of a proliferative-to-invasive phenotypic switch in breast cancer cells in vivo through a TGF-β2-mediated signaling axis. The data also suggest that highly motile cancer cells with low levels of srGAP1 may be more prone to enter into a state of dormancy. Therefore, it is important to consider phenotypic changes that could occur when treating cancer cells with therapies that target proliferating cells, such as chemotherapy. Therapeutic strategies combining treatments against both dividing cells and non-dividing invasive cells may be necessary to prevent metastatic disease.


Press Release

John Sfakianos, MD; Matthew Galsky, MD; Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD; Jun Zhu, PhD; David Mulholland, PhD; and colleagues


Tumor infiltrating myeloid cells confer de novo resistance to PD-L1 blockade through EMT-stromal and Tgf-beta dependent mechanisms 

Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2022 Sep 21. PMID: 36129800


In this study, Dr. Mulholland and colleagues completed a transcriptomic analysis of the tumor microenvironment of human and mouse muscle invasive bladder tumors. They assessed the heterogeneity in stromal and immune cell populations found in tumors that had received no previous immune checkpoint blockade. This led to the identification of a conserved gene signature that may explain the presence of de novo resistance to PDL-1 blockade that occurs in a significant portion of bladder cancer patients who have poor clinical outcome, particularly those with a history of smoking.

Presentations and Seminars

Tisch Cancer Institute Cancer Screening Retreat

From Bench to Bedside: Leveraging Team Science to Advance Cancer Screening

October 31

Noon – 4 pm

Hess Center for Science and Medicine, Seminar Room B

Keynote Speaker: Edith Mitchell, MD, FACP, FCPP, FRCP

Associate Director for Diversity Affairs, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health

Member, President’s Cancer Panel

Director, Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities

More Info and Zoom Link

TCI Seminar Series

October 25, Noon, Davis Auditorium

Shaomeng Wang, PhD

Co-Director, Molecular Therapeutics Program

Director, Cancer Drug Discovery Program

University of Michigan Medical School

“Induced Protein Degradation as a New Therapeutic Strategy: Promises and Challenges”

Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium

November 9-11

New York Marriott Marquis

Hybrid Interactive Conference

Ajai Chari, MD, Co-chair

Participating Faculty: Joshua Brody, MDJohn Mascarenhas, MD

Joseph Sparano, MD


Sacha Gnjatic, PhD, was an invited speaker at a September 14 seminar, “Cancer Immunology, Genomics and Metabolism,” hosted by Nagoya University Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Gnjatic also served as a panelist at a Computational Immuno-Oncology Workshop conducted by the National Cancer Institute on September 19. 


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