MSK Awards & Appointments November 2021


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

Piro Lito Receives the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) 4th Annual Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists

Piro Lito

Piro Lito, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, Thoracic Oncology Service, is a recipient of the 4th Annual Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).

This award is presented to early career clinician-scientists whose research has the potential to or has led to innovations in patient care. Dr. Lito was recognized for his outstanding research in creating breakthroughs in the understanding of oncoprotein signaling and the development of novel therapeutic approaches for cancers driven by the mutant KRAS protein. His fundamental research directly translates to patients and he served as one of the principal investigators of the first-in-human clinical trial testing the effect of KRAS G12C inhibitors, work that helped establish the first FDA-approved KRAS-directed therapy for lung cancer patients.

Mike Czumak Named to Crain’s Notable Veterans Executives List

Mike Czumak

Mike Czumak, Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer, has been named to the Crain’s New York Business 2021 Notable Veterans Executive List. The list celebrates remarkable leaders in New York City who have brought the best of their military experience and training to their work.

As MSK’s first information security officer, Mr. Czumak came up with a comprehensive enterprise security strategy to manage risk. His team led pandemic-response efforts to provide quick and secure remote access to 12,000 employees, and together with human resources introduced the center’s first remote new-employee onboarding process. In addition, he is an executive sponsor of MSK’s Veteran Employee Resource Group and participates as a keynote speaker at numerous veteran events.

Hedvig Hricak Recipient of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) Lifetime Award Grant

Hedvig Hricak

Hedvig Hricak, MD, PhD, Radiologist and Chair, Department of Radiology, received the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) Lifetime Award Grant, announced at this year’s BCRF virtual symposium and awards luncheon. Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, BCRF is the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world.

C. Jillian Tsai Receives Steven A. Leibel Memorial Award

C. Jillian Tsai

C. Jillian Tsai, MD, PhD, Radiation Oncologist and Director, Metastatic Disease Radiation Oncology Research, received the Steven A. Leibel Memorial Award, sponsored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Board of Radiology (ABR) Foundation.

ASTRO, in partnership with the ABR Foundation, created this award given to Principal Investigators who are ABR board certified, or board-eligible individual and has completed training in radiation oncology or medial physics no more than 10 years prior.

Two MSK Leaders Receive the American Medical Women’s Association 2022 Exceptional Mentor Award

Deborah Korenstein and Laura Liberman

Deborah Korenstein, MD, Chief, General Internal Medicine Service, and Laura Liberman, MD, Office of the Deputy Physician-in-Chief, Education and Faculty Affairs, Director, Summer Clinical Oncology Research Experience (SCORE) Program and Attending Radiologist, Breast Imaging Service, received the American Medical Women’s Association 2022 Exceptional Mentor Award.

This award celebrates those who have made an impact on the lives of students in medicine. An “Exceptional Mentor” goes above and beyond what is required and actively reaches out to those around them to help guide those individuals in their career path.

Klaus Busam Named President-Elect of The American Society of Dermatopathology

Klaus J. Busam

Klaus J. Busam, MD, Pathologist, Director, Dermatopathology Service and Director, Dermatopathology Fellowship Program, was elected as the next President of The American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP).

The ASDP was founded in 1962 to improve the quality of dermatopathology and the treatment of skin diseases. Their mission is to improve patient care, support member needs and advance the field of Dermatopathology through education, advocacy, and innovation.

Raymond J. Muller Receives the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) 24th Annual Cheers Award

Raymond J. Muller

Raymond J. Muller, MS, RPh, FASHP, Director, Pharmacy Quality, Safety, and Training Programs and Director, Medication-Use Safety & Policy Pharmacy Residency Program, was awarded the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) 24th Annual Cheers Award, for his decades of altruistic service to ISMP and guidance in addressing dozens of potentially harmful issues and safety concerns.

The ISMP Cheers Awards honor individuals, organizations, and companies that have set a standard of excellence for others to follow in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.

Zeda Zhang Receives Glenn Foundation for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in Aging Research

Zeda Zhang

Zeda Zhang, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, is the recipient of the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Aging Research from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research. The Fellowship supports postdoctoral fellows who research basic mechanisms of aging and/or translational findings that have potential to directly benefit human health.

Dr. Zhang’s research aims to identify novel therapeutic targets on the senescence cell. With newly identified cell surface targets, he will develop next generation chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and bi-specific antibodies and evaluate their impact in treating age-related diseases. Success with this approach may have a transformative impact on treating many life-threatening diseases like cancer, fibrosis and atherosclerosis.

Several MSK Faculty Members Receive the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF) Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program (DCTCDP) Grant

Yolanda Bryce, Fiorella Iglesias Cardenas, Sarah J. Noor, and Beatriz Wills-Sanin

Yolanda Bryce, MD, Radiologist, Director, Interventional Radiology Training Program, Fiorella Iglesias Cardenas, MD, MS, Pediatric Oncologist, Sarah J. Noor, MD, Dermatologist, and Beatriz Wills-Sanin, MD, Medical Oncology/Hematology Fellow, are recipients of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF) Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program (DCTCDP) Grant.

The BMSF, together with the National Medical Fellowships (NMF) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), selected 52 physicians. Participants will be trained with additional knowledge, skills and competencies in effective community outreach and engagement. This new generation of physician investigators will have the potential to transform the clinical research landscape by conducting clinical trials designed with the goal of increasing the diversity of their participants.