A Message From MSK’s President and CEO, Dr. Selwyn Vickers

Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS

Dr. Selwyn Vickers joined MSK as President and CEO in September 2022.

Dear MSK Community,

In cancer care, firsts make a difference:

  • The first tests that diagnosis the disease.
  • The first choices about where to be treated.
  • The first decisions about how to treat it.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), we are constantly improving how we help people with those important firsts — to offer them peace of mind early in their journey, when they are feeling overwhelmed, frightened, and unsure of the next steps.

In this issue of MSK News, we explore how MSK has developed new ways to deliver a diagnosis faster, so treatment can begin more quickly. We explain how MSK is transforming cancer treatment with an arsenal of tests to diagnose cancer right down to its molecular structure. Our test MSK-IMPACT® was the first of its kind to be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, and it has unlocked the secrets of more than 100,000 cancer samples. It has revealed new targets for therapies that have helped our patients and people with cancer around the world. None of these advances would have been possible without a generous and visionary donation from The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation, which established the Center for Molecular Oncology nearly a decade ago. This kind of swing-for-the-fences cancer science depends on philanthropy. And all of this discovery starts with basic research to understand the fundamental behavior of cells.

You will also read about our new world-class disease detective Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, who is leading our pathologists — the doctors who diagnose abnormal cells. Dr. Elenitoba-Johnson has helped transform pathology, from peering down a microscope to dissecting the origin of cancer at the level of genes and molecules.

This issue of MSK News also delves into how MSK is using molecular insights about cancer to help more people, including a look at fascinating new research that may explain why colorectal cancer takes a greater toll in the Black community. These findings reinforce the need to continue to increase diversity in research studies.

We will bring you up to date on how we have been using artificial intelligence to speed up the process of scientific discovery. And you will learn about a diet that may help prevent multiple myeloma.

Concluding this issue is the inspiring story of Jillian Allegretti, who went from being a patient with breast cancer to Employee of the Month at MSK Monmouth, working side by side with the same people who cared for her. It is a situation she never could have imagined five years ago when she was first diagnosed, and we are proud to introduce you to her.

We hope you enjoy reading about just some of the latest developments at MSK. It is encouraging evidence that we are making progress in our mission of ending cancer for life.


Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS

President and Chief Executive Officer