Awards and Honors Across Weill Cornell Medical College
Dr. Cerchietti Receives Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Award for Study of B-Cell Lymphoma
|Dr. Leandro Cerchietti, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Research Scholar and assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell|
Dr. Leandro Cerchietti, based in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, received the prestigious Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award to find new ways to detect lymphomas before they become an incurable and improve current therapies.
Dr. Cherchietti, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Research Scholar and assistant professor of medicine, was one of only a dozen researchers to receive this annual award. The Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award provides support and protected time for mentored research to junior faculty members working in any disease area as they begin their careers as independent clinical researchers.
Dr. Chercietti will receive $150,000 a year for three years to research the role of metabolism in determining the clinical behaviors of tumors. He will use metabolic profiling for the study of B-cell lymphoma.
"We will harness the power of metabolomic profiling to detect certain biological processes in patients; to ascertain whether drugs are hitting their targets in vivo; and to predict clinical outcomes in patients," Dr. Cerchietti said. "I think this work has the potential to make important scientific and translational contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of B-cell lymphomas."
Metabolism refers to all the biochemical processes of an organ, tumor or cell that sustain life. These processes allow cells to grow, reproduce, maintain their structures and respond to environmental changes. Dr. Cerchietti's study will reveal how — and what — the lymphoma "eats" to survive. It will also explore how these pathways can be manipulated in order to "starve them to death." The goal is to ultimately launch the development of a new class of specific and non-toxic drugs and treatments that could benefit patients with lymphomas.
The metabolomic tools that Dr. Cerchietti utilizes are known as high-throughput technologies which allow researchers to distinguish metabolic pathways unique to a certain disease. In this case, B-cell lymphoma.
"We want to detect lymphomas using a drop of blood that we will process to separate thousands of chemical components," said Dr. Cerchietti. "By applying computational and mathematical algorithms, we will be able to detect and differentiate compounds from lymphoma, versus normal organs. We will then follow it through the disease evolution."
Because the lymphoma-specific chemical signature comes from only a few lymphoma cells, Dr. Cerchietti and team will be able to detect the presence of lymphoma cells when the tumors are still undetectable clinically. For patients already diagnosed with a lymphoma, the chemical blood drop analysis will allow for determination of how aggressive the lymphoma is and the right moment to administer treatment.
"The purpose of our study," Dr. Cerchietti said, "is to find new ways to detect lymphomas before they become an incurable and aggressive disease and to find new cures by improving currently available treatment. This will allow doctors to follow the treatment and to detect treatment failures much earlier and in a more gentle way for the patient (no biopsy or surgery involved) than current techniques."
Department of Medicine Presents Awards to Faculty, Fellows and Residents
The 21st Annual Department of Medicine Investigator Award
Sponsored by the Michael Wolk Heart Foundation
The 2012 Department of Medicine Investigator Award is presented to members of the Department of Medicine, below the rank of professor, who perform on an outstanding level in the areas of clinical and/or basic biomedical research. The finalists, listed below, delivered their talks during Grand Rounds May 22.
Dr. Himisha Beltran, assistant professor of medicine
Hematology & Medical Oncology
"Understanding Disease Heterogeneity in Advanced Prostate Cancer and Identification of New Drug Targets Using Next Generation DNA Sequencing"9>
The 2012 Fellows Research Award
Initiated in 2002, the Fellows Research Award is presented annually to fellows within the Department of Medicine who have presented outstanding research. This year's winners were announced at Medicine Grand Rounds May 29 and marked the 10-year anniversary for the award.
Dr. Selin Somersan-Karakaya
The 2012 Rogers Award
Established in 1995, the David E. Rogers Memorial Research Award encourages medical residents to continue their investigative research in internal medicine. Each year, senior medical residents submit research abstracts, and four finalists are chosen to present their work during medical grand rounds. The award was founded and is chaired by Dr. Holly S. Andersen, director of education and outreach at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute and associate professor of clinical medicine. The grant, received by all four finalists, was made possible through an endowment by the education division of Marion Merril Dow in honor of David E. Rogers, a scholar dedicated to the education and training of young physicians for nearly 50 years.
Dr. Aaron Viny, "MICA Polymorphism Identified by Whole Genome Array Associated with NKG2D-Mediated Cytotoxicity in T-Cell Large Granular Lymphocyte Leukemia"
Visit the Department of Medicine's Awards and Honors page for a full list of honorees.
Additional awards and honors:
Dr. Phyllis August, the Ralph A. Baer Professor of Medical Research, professor of medicine, professor of public health and professor of medicine in obstetrics and gynecology, gave the first Norton Luger Professor of Obstetric Medicine endowed lecture for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell in April. Dr. August was also a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Treatment of Hypertension in Pregnancy Task Force, whose findings will be incorporated into future guidance on best practices for the management of preclampsia and chronic hypertension. In addition, she was an invited speaker at American Society of Hypertension annual meeting in May about the treatment of preeclampsia . The Society is the largest organization of hypertension researchers and health care providers in the United States committed to preventing and treating hypertension and its consequences.
Dr. Brian Bosworth, the Anne and Ken Estabrook Clinical Scholar in Gastroenterology and assistant professor of medicine, became a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, which provides more than 12,000 physicians from 82 countries with the most accurate and up-to-date scientific information on digestive health and the etiology, symptomatology and treatment for GI disorders. Additionally, Dr. Bosworth was admitted to American Gastroenterological Association's Academy of Educators. The Association includes 17,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology.
Dr. Brenna Farmer, assistant professor of medicine, was accepted into the American Hospital Association-National Patient Safety Foundation Comprehensive Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship program. The program, now entering its 11th year, is a transformative learning experience dedicated to preparing the next generation of patient safety, quality, and performance improvement leaders. The Fellowship consists of four in-person learning sessions, periodic teleconferences, various self and organizational assessments and individual coaching. The year-long program culminates with the completion of an Action Learning Project demonstrating the Fellow's ability to apply the concepts learned.
Dr. Yariv Houvras, assistant professor of medicine in surgery, assistant professor of cell and developmental biology and assistant professor of medicine, was elected to the International Thyroid Oncology Group's Board of Directors. The nonprofit organization engages leading researchers on five continents in the first interdisciplinary consortium focused on developing clinical trials for thyroid cancer.
Dr. Teresa Milner, professor of neuroscience, was awarded the "Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award" at the Weill Cornell Graduate School Convocation in May.
Dr. Allyson Ocean, the Anne Moore M.D. Clinical Scholar in Hematology-Oncology and assistant professor of clinical medicine, was elected as chairperson of the medical advisory board and board of directors for Michael's Mission, Inc., a non-profit foundation that she co-founded focused on improving the quality of life and treatment options for those suffering from colorectal cancer through education, research and patient support. In addition, Dr. Ocean was elected to the Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation's Medical Advisory Board and the Pancreatic Cancer National Advisory Board in June. The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation sends cancer-affected families on vacations to help take their minds off their troubles and create lasting family memories.
Dr. Pallavi Patri and Dr. John Lee, fellows, received the New York Society of Nephrology Fellow Research Award in May.
Dr. Kane O. Pryor, assistant professor of clinical anesthesiology and assistant professor of anesthesiology in clinical psychiatry, gave an invited lecture titled "Anesthetic Amnesia" at the International Science Symposium at the annual meeting of the International Anesthesia Research Society hosted in Boston in May.
Dr. Joseph Scandura, assistant professor of clinical medicine, was an invited speaker at the Special Hematology Grand Rounds at Cork University Hospital in Cork, Ireland. In addition, he participated in the Visiting Scholar Seminar at the Cork Cancer Center.
Dr. Ellen Scherl, the Jill Roberts Associate Professor of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and associate professor of clinical medicine, received the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America Woman of Distinction Award in Medicine in May. Additionally, Dr. Scherl now serves on the advisory boards for Janssen Services LLC North American Round Table Advisory Board; Hospira Biosimilars Advisory Board; Salix Research and Development Crohn's Advisory Board; Janssen Biotech Inc. Post DDW 2012 Eastern Regional Virtual Advisory Board; NPS Pharmaceuticals Advisory Board; and Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc. Advisory Board. Lastly, Dr. Scherl gave the keynote address at the "First Intestinal Immune Based Inflammatory Diseases Symposium," hosted at the Jill Roberts IBD Center at Weill Cornell Medical College and Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.
Dr. Dikoma Shungu, professor of physics in radiology, was appointed chair of the American Society of Neuroradiology Research Scientist Committee for the 2013-2015 term. The American Society of Neuroradiology is a professional membership society comprised of 3,000 physicians specializing in the field of neuroradiology. In addition, Dr. Shungu is also a chartered member of the National Institutes of Health's Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Additions and Sleep Disorders Study Section for 2012-2015. The Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders Study Section addresses the neurobiological bases and treatment of psychotic, behavioral, cognitive, emotional, addictive, sleep and eating disorders.
Dr. Manikkam Suthanthiran, the Stanton Griffis Distinguished Professor of Medicine, professor of medicine in surgery, professor of biochemistry and chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, was invited to speak at the State-of-the-Art Symposia of the 24th International Congress of The Transplantation Society hosted last month in Berlin, Germany. Lastly, he was invited to chair the American Society of Nephrology Program Committee for the 2012 Annual Meeting.
Submit your awards and honors to WCMCAwards@med.cornell.edu.
August 9, 2012