Josie Robertson Investigators in the News

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New Type of Genetic Testing Aims to Benefit Children and Young Adults with Cancer

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Elli Papaemmanuil, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2015 to 2020, is a co-leader in important new research that could help make whole genome sequencing the standard diagnostic test to profile tumors.


Hands, Feet, and Fins: The Connection That Explains Acral Melanoma

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Richard White, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2012 to 2017, is exploring the evolutionary similarities between the genes that determine how humans develop fingers and the ones that determine how fish get fins. The findings have broad implications for how scientists understand cancer development, and even how individual patients with certain forms of melanoma should be treated.


SKI Scientists Determine Structure of a DNA Damage ‘First Responder’

Monday, March 21, 2022
Josie Robertson Investigator Richard Hite used cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to illuminate a crucial process in DNA repair, correcting a model that had persisted for two decades and opening doors to new research that could lead to better, more effective treatments.


What Causes Resistance to Leukemia Drug Pirtobrutinib? MSK Researchers Investigate

Thursday, February 24, 2022
Omar Abdel-Wahab, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2012 to 2017, played a key role in the research that determined how and why patients develop resistance to an important new experimental drug called Pirtobrutinib. Dr. Abdel-Wahab is Director of MSK’s Center for Hematologic Malignancies.


Pivotal Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Study Provides Insights into the Genomic Basis of Cancer Metastasis

February 3, 2022
Nikolaus Schultz, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2013 to 2018, worked with colleagues in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics to analyze the genomic data compiled from more than 50,000 patients. The results uncovered important new insights about metastasis, which causes 90 percent of cancer deaths today. Dr. Schultz is the Head of Knowledge Systems in the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology.


How Does COVID-19 Affect People with Blood Cancer? MSK Researchers Investigate

Tuesday, December 21, 2021
As New York City became an early epicenter in the COVID-19 pandemic, Josie Robertson Investigator Santosha Vardhana played a key role in the research that established worldwide standards of care for cancer patients infected with the virus.


Discovery of a Stem-like T Cell in Type 1 Diabetes Holds Potential for Improving Cancer Immunotherapy, Sloan Kettering Institute Scientists Say

November 30, 2021
Researchers led by immunologist Andrea Schietinger, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2014 to 2019, have discovered a stem-like T cell in Type 1 diabetes, an important advance that holds potential for improving cancer immunotherapy.


MSK Researchers Are Learning Why Some Patients Develop Resistance to ‘Landmark’ Lung Cancer Drug

November 11, 2021
Josie Robertson Investigator Piro Lito, a member of MSK’s Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, is co-leader of a study that shows how resistance to sotorasib—the landmark lung cancer drug approved by the FDA last year—can be caused by several molecular changes, which has important implications for developing new drugs to counteract the resistance.


A Milestone for Precision Oncology: FDA Gives Green Light to MSK’s Genetic Database

Thursday, November 4, 2021
Nikolaus Schultz, the head of Knowledge Systems at the MSK Center for Molecular Oncology and a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2013 to 2018, was one of a small team who developed the pioneering OncoKM, the genetic variant database recently sanctioned by the FDA as a scientifically valid tool to interpret the usefulness of tumor mutations for predicting drug responses.


Researchers Uncover New Findings about KRAS, an Important Protein in Cancer

Friday, October 8, 2021
Josie Robertson Investigator Piro Lito has led new research that may lead to the development of cancer drugs even more effective than sotorasib, one of the most exciting advances in cancer treatment over the past few years.


New Grant Awarded to MSK for Efforts in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Research

Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Omar Abdel-Wahab, Director of the MSK Center for Hematologic Malignancies and a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2012 to 2017, is co-principal investigator for a research initiative that has received a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Why Are Only Some Cells ‘Competent’ to Form Cancer? MSK Scientists Say Context Is Key

Friday, September 3, 2021
Richard White, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2012 to 2017, teamed up with developmental biologist Lorenz Studer to investigate how cancer genetics and developmental biology cooperate to achieve “oncogenic competence” in cancer formation.


Research Suggests How Boosting Neoantigens Can Make Immunotherapy More Effective

June 24, 2021
Omar Abdel-Wahab, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2012 to 2017, led a study that developed new ways to prompt cancer cells to generate more of the neoantigens that could make them vulnerable to immunotherapy treatments involving checkpoint inhibitors.


How Four Decades of Research Led to a Breakthrough Treatment for Lung Cancer

Monday, May 24, 2021
Josie Robertson Investigator Piro Lito played an important role in early research that paved the way for a dramatic breakthrough in a targeted therapy for lung cancer.


Research Shows How Common Feature of Blood Cancers Can Be Targeted

February 5, 2021
Alex Kentsis, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2013 to 2018 and now the director of the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology, is the senior author of a study that shows how a protein called MYB can be targeted, suggesting a new approach for drugs that could treat a range of cancers, especially myeloid leukemias, in both children and adults.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Establishes Tow Center for Developmental Oncology to Better Understand and Treat Cancers that Affect Children and Young Adults

January 25, 2021
Cancer biologist and pediatric oncologist Alex Kentsis, a Josie Robertson Investigator from 2013 to 2018, is Director of the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology.


Discovery About How Cancer Cells Evade Immune Defenses Inspires New Treatment Approach

December 28, 2020
New findings from the lab of Josie Robertson Investigator Samuel Bakhoum help explain why some tumors do not respond to immunotherapy—suggesting new ways to sensitize them to immunotherapy.


Year in Review: Five Important Clinical Advances in Cancer in 2020

December 21, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Piro Lito contributed to new research showing that a drug called sotorasib (AMG 510) slowed or stopped cancer growth in many people with advanced cancer containing a version of the mutant KRAS protein called KRAS-G12C.


Year in Review: Top 10 MSK Cancer Science Breakthroughs of 2020

December 21, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigators Elli Papaemmanuil, Karuna Ganesh, and Tuomas Tammela played key roles in some of the most consequential breakthroughs of the year.


Why Do Certain Chemotherapies Increase the Likelihood of Blood Cancer?

October 26, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Elli Papaemmanuil is studying clonal hematopoiesis, an age-related blood condition that increases the risk of blood cancer.


Computational Biologist Thomas Norman Honored with NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

October 6, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Thomas Norman has received a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, which supports highly innovative research from early-stage investigators whose creativity and research has the potential to produce a major impact.


Promising Results from the First-Ever Trial of a Drug that Blocks Cancer Gene KRAS

September 20, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Piro Lito is a senior author of the landmark research paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.


International Study Pinpoints Impact of TP53 Gene Mutations on Blood Cancer Severity

August 3, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Elli Papaemmanuil was the lead scientist on a study that has immediate clinical relevance for risk assessment and treatment of people with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia.


A Never-Before-Seen Cell State May Explain Cancer’s Ability to Resist Drugs

July 23, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Tuomas Tammela and his colleagues have identified an unusual cell state that emerges early in tumor evolution and supports a cancer’s ability to outwit chemotherapy.


Science Spotlight Lecture: Yael David (Video)

June 29, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Yael David delivers her MSK Science Spotlight lecture on June 29, 2020.


Researchers Find Many Cancers Carry Two Mutations in the Same Gene

May 27, 2020
A study led by Josie Robertson Investigator Barry Taylor and fellow computational oncologist Ed Reznik showed that nearly a quarter of all tumors have two different mutations in the same gene that contribute to the formation of an individual cancer.  


Science Spotlight Lecture: Andrea Schietinger (Video)

May 4, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Andrea Schietinger delivers the Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award for Basic Research award lecture as part of MSK Science Spotlight.


Harnessing the Power of Data for Patient Care

MSK News, Spring 2020
A study led by Josie Robertson Investigator Barry Taylor and cancer geneticist Michael Berger led to an algorithm that helps determine where in the body a tumor originated.


What Does Cancer Metastasis Have to Do with Wound Healing? More than You Might Think

January 13, 2020
Josie Robertson Investigator Karuna Ganesh was the first author on a paper presenting evidence that the ability of cancers to metastasize to other organs is dependent upon their ability to coopt natural wound-healing pathways.

 

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FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Cobimetinib

October 2, 2019
A phase II trial led by Eli Diamond, David Hyman, and Josie Robertson Investigator Omar Abdel-Wahab led to a breakthrough treatment for adults with histiocytic disorders.


How an Altered Gatekeeping Protein Can Cause Cancer

September 16, 2019
Josie Robertson Investigator Omar Abdel-Wahab and his colleagues in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) analyzed data from MSK-IMPACTTM to show how the alteration of the XPO1 protein could cause cancer.


At Work with Developmental Biologist Thomas Vierbuchen

April 2019
Josie Robertson Investigator Thomas Vierbuchen’s experience as a cancer patient reinforced his conviction that basic research is fundamental to the fight against cancer.


Scientists Discover Keys to Immune Response against Anthrax

April 18, 2019
The laboratory of Josie Robertson Investigator Daniel Bachovchin is working toward a better understanding of pyroptosis, which could pave the way for new therapies for infectious disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.  


Cellular “Garbage Collectors” Are Key to Cancer’s Growth

March 20, 2019
Josie Robertson Investigator Yael David and her colleagues in the Sloan Kettering Institute have linked a type of protein damage called glycation to cancer and other diseases.


The Convergence: Scientists Move toward a New Understanding of Metastatic Cancer

February 27, 2019
Josie Robertson Investigator Karuna Ganesh has brought a passion for seeking answers to fundamental scientific questions to her focus on understanding metastasis.


What Organoid Models Can Teach Us About Metastasis (Video)

A look inside the lab of Josie Robertson Investigator and Medical Oncologist Karuna Ganesh.


At Work: Radiation Oncologist and Breast Cancer Specialist Samuel Bakhoum

February 2019
The lab of Josie Robertson Investigator Samuel Bakhoum conducts research on chromosomal instability and its role in how cancer forms, spreads, and resists drugs.


What Was MSK’s Role in TCGA, the Groundbreaking Cancer Genomic Study?

January 4, 2019
The Cancer Genome Atlas has profoundly increased our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer. Josie Robertson Investigator Nikolaus Schultz was involved with the project from the beginning.


At Work: Cancer Biologist Tuomas Tammela

December 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Tuomas Tammela discusses his path to becoming a cancer researcher and how it led to the focus of his lab: to develop ways to reduce heterogeneity in tumors.


Inside My Lab: Tuomas Tammela (Video)

A look inside the lab of Josie Robertson Investigator and Cancer Biologist Tuomas Tammela.


Samuel Bakhoum Awarded 2018 NIH Early Independence Award

October 4, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Samuel Bakhoum has received the 2018 National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award, which is given to exceptional scientists who have contributed significant work in biomedical research.


At Work: Chemical Biologist Daniel Bachovchin

August 2018
Chemical biologist Daniel Bachovchin studies the cellular signals that control immune responses. He says his guiding principle is that “the truth is always the most interesting possible result.”


Inside My Lab: Daniel Bachovchin (Video)

Inside the lab of Josie Robertson Investigator and Chemical Biologist Daniel Bachovchin.


At Work: Immunologist Andrea Schietinger

September 2018
Tumor immunologist and Josie Robertson Investigator Andrea Schietinger studies why immune cells sometimes fail to fight cancer—and what can be done about it.


Putting the STING in Immunotherapy: Research Focuses on Ways to Improve Cancer Treatments

September 19, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Samuel Bakhoum and his colleagues are looking for ways to make checkpoint inhibitor drugs more effective. One tactic is by making cancer cells more visible to the immune system.


Large Study Pinpoints Genetic Changes Underlying Drug Resistance in the Most Common Type of Breast Cancer

September 10, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Barry Taylor and Physician-scientist David Solit, Director of the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology (CMO), were key collaborators on a study of hormone-resistant breast cancer tumors.


Gene-Sequencing Test Uncovers New Clues about a Defect Seen in Many Tumors

July 18, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Barry Taylor led a collaborative team of researchers who found that a genetic state called whole-genome doubling is more common than expected and is associated with worse outcomes in people with cancer.


Splicing May Be an Effective Target in the Fight against Cancer

July 18, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Omar Abdel-Wahab studies the process called splicing in an effort to develop a new treatment for blood cancers.


Don’t Scratch That Mole? Scientists Are Learning More about Inflammation and Cancer

June 26, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Richard White, an expert in melanocytes and melanoma, studies zebrafish to determine whether the area surrounding a cancer cell can influence its fate.


What Is Epigenetics, and Why Is Everyone Talking about It?

June 19, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Omar Abdel-Wahab, a physician-scientist in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, studies the role of epigenetics in blood cancers.


Cancer Cells Eat Fat to Grow and Spread

June 14, 2018
Richard White, a physician-scientist in the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at SKI, discovered that melanomas preferentially grow near adipose (fat) tissue and eagerly eat up the abundant fats, also called lipids, found there.


At Work: Chemical Biologist Yael David

April 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Yael David focuses her research on epigenetics—the study of how proteins, small molecules, and other factors lying above the genome can influence which genes in a cell are expressed.


Inside My Lab: Yael David

A look inside the lab of Josie Robertson Investigator and Chemical Biologist Yael David.


Escape Artists: Cancer Cells Mimic Immune Cell Activity to Spread

January 17, 2018
Josie Robertson Investigator Samuel Bakhoum was the lead author of a study that could guide treatment strategies to lock cancer from spreading.


Cancer Immunologist Andrea Schietinger of Sloan Kettering Institute Honored with Prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

October 2017
Josie Robertson Investigator Andrea Schietinger was awarded for her groundbreaking work in immune responses to cancer, molecular mechanisms underlying tumor-induced T cell dysfunction, and new approaches for cancer immunotherapy.


Giving Drugs Together — Rather than in Sequence — May Be Key to Halting Tumor Resistance

July 2017
Working with xenografts in mice, Josie Robertson Investigator Piro Lito and his colleagues found that a combination of three targeted drugs was effective at preventing drug resistance in certain cancer cells.