Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD

Kojo S.J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD



Chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; James Ewing Alumni Chair of Pathology

Clinical Expertise

Hematopathology; Diagnostic Molecular Pathology


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About Me


MBBS, College of Medicine, University of Lagos and Lagos Teaching Hospital


Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Brown University


Hematopathology, Lab of Pathology, National Cancer Institute – National Institutes of Health

Board Certifications

Combined Anatomic and Clinical Pathology; Hematology and Molecular Genetic Pathology

I was inspired to pursue a career as a pathologist during my lectures as a medical student when I learned how foundational accurate diagnosis is to the practice of medicine at all levels and, in particular, in oncology. I have practiced pathology for more than 30 years and have spent a significant part of my career practicing as a molecular pathologist with a concentration in hematopoietic neoplasms, particularly lymphoma.

In addition to serving as Chief of the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), I am a member of its Diagnostic Molecular Pathology Service. Our service frequently utilizes next-generation sequencing and techniques that interrogate structural alterations that drive lymphomagenesis (the growth and development of lymphoma) and disease progression.

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As a pathologist, I am not directly patient-facing most of the time. However, on occasions when I’ve had the opportunity to meet with patients, they’ve been most interested in understanding the biology of their disease, as well as what the environmental or hereditary implications might be. I endeavor to address any questions unique to an individual patient, who may often come with concerns specific to their own circumstances. It is important to me that patients feel well-informed about their condition and secure in the knowledge that they are free to return with any questions that may emerge later. 

My research is devoted to understanding the molecular events that underlie the pathogenesis (the origination and development) of lymphoma and identifying specific biomarkers and therapeutic targets specific to lymphoma subtypes. 

Outside of my work at MSK, I enjoy reading history, listening to live music — particularly jazz concerts — going to the theater, and playing racquet sports.

Awards and Honors

  • James Ewing Alumni Chair, Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2022)
  • President, Association for Molecular Pathology (2017-2018)
  • Inaugural Peter C. Nowell, MD, Chair, Founding Director, Center for Personalized Diagnostics, University of Pennsylvania (2015)
  • Outstanding Investigator Award, American Society of Investigative Pathology (former Warner-Lambert/AMGEN, 2012)
  • Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation (2011)
  • Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator US Canadian Academy of Pathology Award (2006)


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Research and Publications

Elenitoba-Johnson KS, Bohling SD, Wittwer CT, King TC. Multiplex PCR by multicolor fluorimetry and fluorescence melting curve analysis. Nat Med. 2001 Feb;7(2):249-53. doi: 10.1038/84708. PMID: 11175859.

Elenitoba-Johnson KS, Jenson SD, Abbott RT, Palais RA, Bohling SD, Lin Z, Tripp S, Shami PJ, Wang LY, Coupland RW, Buckstein R, Perez-Ordonez B, Perkins SL, Dube ID, Lim MS. Involvement of multiple signaling pathways in follicular lymphoma transformation: p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase as a target for therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Jun 10;100(12):7259-64. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1137463100. Epub 2003 May 19. PMID: 12756297; PMCID: PMC165863.

Elenitoba-Johnson KS, Crockett DK, Schumacher JA, Jenson SD, Coffin CM, Rockwood AL, Lim MS. Proteomic identification of oncogenic chromosomal translocation partners encoding chimeric anaplastic lymphoma kinase fusion proteins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 May 9;103(19):7402-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0506514103. Epub 2006 May 1. PMID: 16651537; PMCID: PMC1464352.

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Lim MS, Carlson ML, Crockett DK, Fillmore GC, Abbott DR, Elenitoba-Johnson OF, Tripp SR, Rassidakis GZ, Medeiros LJ, Szankasi P, Elenitoba-Johnson KS. The proteomic signature of NPM/ALK reveals deregulation of multiple cellular pathways. Blood. 2009 Aug 20;114(8):1585-95. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-02-204735. Epub 2009 Jun 16. PMID: 19531656.

Velusamy T, Kiel MJ, Sahasrabuddhe AA, Rolland D, Dixon CA, Bailey NG, Betz BL, Brown NA, Hristov AC, Wilcox RA, Miranda RN, Medeiros LJ, Jeon YK, Inamdar KV, Lim MS, Elenitoba-Johnson KS. A novel recurrent NPM1-TYK2 gene fusion in cutaneous CD30-positive lymphoproliferative disorders. Blood. 2014 Dec 11;124(25):3768-71. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-07-588434. Epub 2014 Oct 27. PMID: 25349176.

Kiel MJ, Velusamy T, Betz BL, Zhao L, Weigelin HG, Chiang MY, Huebner-Chan DR, Bailey NG, Yang DT, Bhagat G, Miranda RN, Bahler DW, Medeiros LJ, Lim MS, Elenitoba-Johnson KS. Whole-genome sequencing identifies recurrent somatic NOTCH2 mutations in splenic marginal zone lymphoma. J Exp Med. 2012 Aug 27;209(9):1553-65. doi: 10.1084/jem.20120910. Epub 2012 Aug 13. PMID: 22891276; PMCID: PMC3428949.

Velusamy T, Palanisamy N, Kalyana-Sundaram S, Sahasrabuddhe AA, Maher CA, Robinson DR, Bahler DW, Cornell TT, Wilson TE, Lim MS, Chinnaiyan AM, Elenitoba-Johnson KS. Recurrent reciprocal RNA chimera involving YPEL5 and PPP1CB in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 19;110(8):3035-40. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1214326110. Epub 2013 Feb 4. PMID: 23382248; PMCID: PMC3581970.

Kiel MJ, Velusamy T, Rolland D, Sahasrabuddhe AA, Chung F, Bailey NG, Schrader A, Li B, Li JZ, Ozel AB, Betz BL, Miranda RN, Medeiros LJ, Zhao L, Herling M, Lim MS, Elenitoba-Johnson KS. Integrated genomic sequencing reveals mutational landscape of T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia. Blood. 2014 Aug 28;124(9):1460-72. doi: 10.1182/blood-2014-03-559542. Epub 2014 May 13. PMID: 24825865; PMCID: PMC4148768.

Nie Z, Du MQ, McAllister-Lucas LM, Lucas PC, Bailey NG, Hogaboam CM, Lim MS, Elenitoba-Johnson KS. Conversion of the LIMA1 tumour suppressor into an oncogenic LMO-like protein by API2-MALT1 in MALT lymphoma. Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 8;6:5908. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6908. PMID: 25569716.

Kiel MJ, Sahasrabuddhe AA, Rolland DCM, Velusamy T, Chung F, Schaller M, Bailey NG, Betz BL, Miranda RN, Porcu P, Byrd JC, Medeiros LJ, Kunkel SL, Bahler DW, Lim MS, Elenitoba-Johnson KSJ. Genomic analyses reveal recurrent mutations in epigenetic modifiers and the JAK-STAT pathway in Sézary syndrome. Nat Commun. 2015 Sep 29;6:8470. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9470. PMID: 26415585; PMCID: PMC4598843.

Sande CM, Wu R, Yang G, Sussman RT, Bigdeli A, Rushton C, Chitturi A, Patel J, Szankasi P, Morrissette JJD, Lim MS, Elenitoba-Johnson KSJ. Rapid and Automated Semiconductor-Based Next-Generation Sequencing for Simultaneous Detection of Somatic DNA and RNA Aberrations in Myeloid Neoplasms. J Mol Diagn. 2023 Feb;25(2):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2022.11.005. Epub 2022 Dec 8. PMID: 36503148.

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Elenitoba-Johnson’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

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