While providing exceptional clinical care is a priority, the faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care engages in basic and clinical research to improve the quality of care to cancer patients. Our faculty collaborate with other clinical departments at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and other institutions to develop innovative research to improve cancer care.
Joshua Mincer, MD
Joshua Mincer is an anesthesiologist and a physician-scientist engaged clinically in the practice of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine with research interests centered on the longer-term effects of anesthetic and analgesic drugs in cancer patients. He completed his medical and graduate studies (Biophysics) through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He was a Research Scientist at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. He completed residency training in Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he was an Eliasberg Research Scholar as well as a Visiting Fellow at Rockefeller University in the Laboratory of Cellular Biophysics. Following residency, he was a faculty member at Mount Sinai as well as the James J. Peters VA Medical Center.
His research centers on perioperative precision medicine with specific focus on onco-anesthesia, i.e. how anesthetic and analgesic drugs can impact longer-term clinical trajectories and outcomes in cancer patients. On a theoretical level, he aims to understand the how anesthetic/analgesic agents may impact cancer progression at the molecular level and how patient-specific tumour genomics and transcriptomics may modulate this relationship. Through these studies, he also hopes to identify biomarkers that enable risk stratification and personalization of anesthetic and pain management techniques to optimize outcomes in cancer patients. His research to date has identified tumor-genomic factors that may influence an individual’s risk of cancer recurrence and survival in response to analgesic drugs given in the perioperative period (i.e. opioids, NSAIDs, and anesthetic adjuncts). His research has also fostered the first data in humans demonstrating that the analgesic and psychotropic drug ketamine may improve recurrence in various cancer types, suggesting a role for NMDA receptor antagonists as onco-protective agents that may be useful more generally in cancer patients.
Patrick McCormick, MD
Dr. McCormick is the Vice Chair of Informatics in the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is also an Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine. Before embarking on a medical career, Dr. McCormick worked in California building telephony software. He earned his master’s degree in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his medical degree at Columbia University, and completed anesthesiology residency and neuroanesthesia fellowship at the Mount Sinai Hospital.
Dr. McCormick’s research focuses on linking perioperative actions to postoperative outcomes, especially mortality. He has conducted prospective and retrospective trials of electronic alerts and their effect on patient outcomes. As a result of Dr. McCormick’s multiple roles with the Anesthesia Quality Institute, he is pursuing nationwide epidemiological studies investigating how anesthesia care is performed throughout the US. Dr. McCormick serves as the site primary investigator for the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group, a coalition of anesthesiologists who pool data to perform large retrospective observational studies.
Anoushka Afonso, MD
Dr. Afonso is an anesthesiologist with dual training in both Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine. Her focus at Memorial Sloan Kettering is to enhance the perioperative outcomes of oncology patients. She interacts closely with surgical and other multi-disciplinary teams to establish enhanced recovery programs (ERP) in the hospital, improving clinical workflow and efficiency. In this role, she has helped transform the perioperative experience of patients undergoing cancer surgery. She is the lead anesthesiologist for high-volume services of gynecologic and colorectal surgical anesthesia team. Working collaboratively with Team Ovary and Colorectal, she makes recommendations on best practices for efficient workflow, analgesia, and perioperative care management. Her research focuses on how to optimize the contribution of the anesthesiologist in the perioperative care of the cancer patient.
Additionally, her new role as Faculty Director for Office of Health Equity Pipeline Programs (Medical School/High School) will allow for recruitment of deserving students who are black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), lower socioeconomic classes or from underserved communities an even more substantive opportunity to be mentored and participate in research projects. Additionally, this role will address and improve the underrepresentation of women and racial and ethnic minorities in academic research at MSK.
Stephen Pastores, MD
Dr. Pastores is the Program Director of Critical Care Medicine and Vice-Chair of Education in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. He is a Professor of Medicine in Anesthesiology and Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. He was trained and Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, and Critical Care Medicine.
He is a Master of the American College of Physicians, Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine, and American College of Chest Physicians, and the past Chancellor, Board of Regents of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. He is the co-chair of the Academic Leaders in Critical Care Medicine Task Force of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). He was the recipient of the 2013 and 2021 Distinguished Service Award and 2016 Safar Global Partner Award from SCCM.
Dr. Pastores’ research interests include clinical studies of sepsis, pneumonia and acute respiratory failure in immunocompromised patients, use and costs of critical care medicine in the US, role of corticosteroids in critical illness, and outcomes of cancer patients requiring admission to the ICU after receiving chemotherapy and novel immunotherapy agents.
He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He is currently the principal investigator for 2 clinical trials of novel immunotherapeutic agents in cancer patients with COVID-19 pneumonia funded by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research, and a Phase 4 clinical trial of biomarker-guided delivery of kidney sparing care measures in sepsis patients at risk of developing acute kidney injury.
Amit Gulati, MD
Amitabh Gulati is an anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician currently practicing in New York City. He is an associate professor and Director of Chronic Pain, specializing in interventional cancer pain management, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, completed his anesthesiology residency at Emory University School of Medicine, and obtained his pain management fellowship diploma from Weill Cornell School of Medicine in 2007. Furthermore, Dr. Gulati completed his acupuncture certification at the Helms Medical Institute in 2007, and is licensed to practice in the state of New York.
He is currently the program director of the Weill Cornell pain management fellowship in New York City. He regularly gives lectures and teaches at workshops on topics involving ultrasound guided pain procedures, interventional procedures in cancer pain management, and neuromodulation techniques for oncologic pain. His current research involves the use of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) for the treatment of neuropathic pain and the study of interventional paradigms for cancer pain medicine. He is involved in multiple educational societies as teaching faculty or board member in the field of pain medicine. He is currently the President of the World Academy of Pain Medicine United (WAPMU).
Takeshie Irie, MD
Takeshi Irie is a practicing anesthesiologist with a research interest in improving the understanding of how anesthetics and analgesics can be applied to the care of cancer patients. He received this MD and PhD from UCSF, and completed anesthesia residency at Colubmia University. His current research focus is the preclinical study of the opioid system, employing mouse models to improve our understanding of how the opioid system modulates hematopoietic cells and how opioids can modulate cancer. He is also involved in collaborations at the intersection of medical devices and anesthesia/analgesia. He works closely with members of the laboratories of Michael Kharas and Daniel Heller in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology in the Sloan Kettering Institute.