MSK Awards & Appointments


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announces the following awards and appointments:

Sergio Giralt, MD
Sergio Giralt Is Named Deputy Division Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies

Sergio Giralt, MD, Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service (BMT) and Melvin Berlin Family Chair in Multiple Myeloma, was appointed Deputy Division Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies. Since 2010, Dr. Giralt has made significant contributions to the field of BMT, such as developing the use of reduced-intensity conditioning regimens for older or debilitated patients with blood cancer. In his new role, Dr. Giralt will oversee and coordinate the activities of transplant and cellular therapy in MSK’s Department of Medicine and other departments, foster collaborations between members of the division, and develop a joint research program for stem cell transplant and cellular therapies.

Miguel-Angel Perales, MD
Miguel-Angel Perales Is Named Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service

Miguel-Angel Perales, MD, Deputy Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Service and Director of the Adult BMT Fellowship Program, was appointed Chief of the Adult BMT Service. At MSK, Dr. Perales has been responsible for directing studies and monitoring the immune systems of people undergoing stem cell transplantation. In his new role, Dr. Perales will help with ongoing efforts to expand the development of the Adult BMT Service and its clinical, research, and educational programs.

Charles Sawyers, MD
Charles Sawyers Receives the National Cancer Institute’s Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics and Stat’s Inaugural Biomedical Innovation Award

Charles Sawyers, MD, Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair, will be receiving the 2020 Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics, presented by the National Cancer Institute at its annual scientific retreat in March. In October 2020, he will be speaking at the Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

In 2019, Dr. Sawyers was awarded Stat’s inaugural Biomedical Innovation Award. This award recognizes a top researcher in biology or medicine whose work has helped define their field and, in turn, help patients.

Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD
Michel Sadelain Is Awarded INSERM’s International Prize

Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Cell Engineering and Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair, received the 2019 International Prize from INSERM. He received the award for his development of a highly promising immunotherapy strategy that combines gene and cell therapies to provide people with cancer with tailor-made treatment. Together with Isabelle Rivière, PhD, Director of the Cell Therapy and Cell Engineering Facility, he developed chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy. 

Francesca Gany and Tim Ahles Are Awarded a $15 Million Grant from the National Cancer Institute

Francesca Gany, MD, MS, Chief of the Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service at MSK, and Tim Ahles, PhD, Director of the Neurocognitive Research Laboratory at MSK, along with Gilda Barabino, PhD, and Karen Hubbard, PhD, of the City College of New York (CCNY), were awarded grant funding from the National Cancer Institute as part of the CCNY-MSK partnership. They will receive almost $15 million over the next five years in support of the partnership’s goal to reduce cancer disparities through research, training, and community outreach.

Adrienne Boire, Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, and Dana Pe’er Are Awarded a $1 Million Grant
from the W. M. Keck Foundation

Adrienne Boire, MD, PhD; Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, MD, PhD; and Dana Pe’er, PhD, received a $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation for their study on choroid plexus as a premetastatic niche for leptomeningeal metastasis. In their study, they will determine the mechanisms by which cancer cells become able to survive and grow within the spinal fluid environment. 

Dr. Boire is an Assistant Attending in the Department of Neurology and member of MSK’s Brain Tumor Center, Dr. Iacobuzio-Donahue is the David M. Rubenstein Center Chair for Pancreatic Cancer Research and Director of the Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, and Dr. Pe’er is Chair of the Sloan Kettering Institute’s Computational and Systems Biology Program and Scientific Director of the Alan and Sandra Gerry Metastasis and Tumor Ecosystems Center.

Rebecca Twersky, MD, MPH
Rebecca Twersky Receives the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists’ Distinguished Service Award

Rebecca Twersky, MD, MPH, Chief of Anesthesia at the Josie Robertson Surgery Center, was named the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists, in recognition of her contributions to the field of anesthesiology as well as her efforts to advance education and research in the specialty.

Alexander Rudensky, PhD
Alexander Rudensky Receives the American Association of Immunologists–Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award

The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) named Alexander Rudensky, PhD, the recipient of the 2020 AAI–Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award. Dr. Rudensky is Chair of the Immunology Program at the Sloan Kettering Institute, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and Director of the Ludwig Center at MSK. Dr. Rudensky received the award for his outstanding research and contributions to the field of immunology.

Elli Papaemmanuil, PhD
Elli Papaemmanouil Receives a Damon Runyon–Rachleff Innovation Award

Elli Papaemmanouil, PhD, Assistant Attending in Epidemiology-Biostatistics, received a 2020 Damon Runyon–Rachleff Innovation Award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. She is one of 12 early-career scientists to receive the award; winners will split up to $3.8 million in grant funding over the course of two years, with the potential of receiving two additional years of funding.

Dr. Papaemmanouil will use the funding to pursue further studies to screen patients and understand the mechanisms of therapy-related blood cancers, which could inform the clinical strategies for early detection and targeted intervention.

Stephen Solomon, MD
Stephen Solomon and Jan Grimm Receive the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research’s Distinguished Investigator Award

Stephen Solomon, MD, Chief of the Interventional Radiology Service, and Jan Grimm, MD, PhD, a radiologist at MSK, received the 2019 Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research. They received the award for their accomplishments in the field of radiology and medical imaging.

Debra Schaller-Demers
Debra Schaller-Demers Is Elected President of the Society of Research Administrators International

Debra Schaller-Demers, Vice President of Research Outreach and Compliance, was inducted as the president-elect of the Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI). She will begin her two-year term as president of the SRAI in October 2020.

Sydney Lu, MD, PhD
Sydney Lu Is Named a Parker Bridge Fellow

Sydney Lu, MD, PhD, a hematologist and medical oncologist at MSK, was named a 2020 Parker Bridge Fellow by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He and five other early-career scientists were awarded a total of $2.75 million in research funding.

Dr. Lu uses checkpoint inhibitor therapies to tackle hard-to-treat cancers, such as lung, bladder, and kidney cancers. He plans to continue his work to make cancer cells more recognizable to the immune system.