What's Behind a Cure?
The Research Leads to Cures Initiative
Dr. Ari Melnick, associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell, and his research group tackle big questions every day: What makes a tumor tick? How do you stop cancer at the nuts-and-bolts level? Why do some drugs make some patients better, but others don't?
"To be able to figure out how to treat cancers, we first have to understand in great detail how the small molecular 'machines' inside of our cells work, how their millions of gears fit together," says Dr. Melnick. "We know that these gears might be slightly different in each person — which is why it's so important to develop personalized treatments."
|Dr. Ari Melnick|
Dr. Melnick and his research group in the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences at Weill Cornell Medical College study the genetic and epigenetic differences that determine how tumors form, grow and respond to treatment, and how they can affect each patient differently. Their work has recently led to important advances in cancer research and personalized medicine, including a treatment that shuts down acute lymphoblastic leukemia (a cancer of white blood cells that affects young children as well as older adults) and a class of drugs that interfere with the most common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"These small-molecule drugs shut down the cancer cell but are fairly innocuous to normal cells," says Dr. Melnick. "As a result, we can treat the cancer and achieve very powerful anti-tumor effects with almost no damage to normal tissues."
Learn more about Dr. Melnick's research — in his own words — here.
Dr. Melnick and other Weill Cornell researchers are consistently making great advances in understanding, treating and preventing cancer and a host of other debilitating diseases. These researchers are the heart of the Research Leads to Cures initiative — a new and critical phase of the Discoveries that Make a Difference campaign.
Learn more about the people leading this revolution in translational research and patient care, and find out how you can help fulfill the promise of the many medical discoveries that are under way here at Weill Cornell.