In early May 2020, we’ve contacted those who had ‘passed through the lab’ since 2000 as part- or full-time Research Technicians volunteers, High School students, student interns from the New York Bioscience & Biotechnology Technician Program at Hunter College, and NCI Summer Medical Student Fellows.
46 ‘alumni’ (22 technicians, 13 Hunter College interns, 5 NCI fellows, 5 volunteers, 1 pre-doctoral fellow) were successfully reached. The majority of the past full time Lab Members (research technicians, research assistants, fellows, students, or trainees), have obtained graduate and doctoral degrees in medicine (38.50%), biotechnology (30.80%), engineering (7.70%), and business (7.70%).
Currently, 52% hold positions in research (including hospital and not-for-profit), 16% in healthcare, 16% in academia and education, and 8% in biotechnology.
At present, 38.40% are pursuing a Master’s degree; and 19.1% are pursuing a PhD, DDS, MD, DSc, or a MD-PhD.
Emily joined us in the ticket of the pandemic. It didn’t take long for her to become central to Jun Mao’s Studies “Effect and Mechanism of Acupuncture for Cancer-related Cognitive Impairment and Genetic Susceptibility to Cancer-Related Cognitive Dysfunction in Women Undergoing Treatment for Breast Cancer Studies”, and the “MSK Pancreatic Family Registry” led by Margaret Du. She also assisted with the GEM “Lethal Melanoma Identification of lethal melanomas at the time of diagnosis” study and “WECARE”. She liaised impeccably with research project associates and managers, clinical research supervisors, members of the regional research teams, and others. She has also represented us with an invited ‘flash scientific presentation’ at the 2022 New York Epidemiology Forum.
Emily transitioned to Britta Weigelt’s Gynecology DMT Research Laboratory earlier this year. We look forward being neighbors when we move back to Main Campus.
We thank her for her dedication to our Research Program, for her wonderful hands-on skills, communication skills, coordination as well as management of incoming time sensitive biospecimens and related data and …lets not forget her hilarious come backs!
After 4.5 years, Keimya transitioned out of the Lab in late March. Luckily, she will continue being part of the MSK Family, as a Data Engineer in Dr. Marcel van den Brink’s team.
Keimya helped complete preliminary data on circulating levels of BDNF, which helped secure an R01 resubmission (R01 CA240417, Mao PI), and a peer reviewed publication (Liu et al 2021). Among others, Keimya contributed to the ‘DETER’ (Petruzella et al 2021; Furberg PI) study, work designed to determine associations between biochemically verified post-diagnosis smoking exposure and nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer recurrence risk. For the ‘Allostatic load’ (Ahles PI), she measured biomarkers that might be associated with ageing in patients treated with chemotherapy. Until her transition she was integrally involved in the large multicenter melanoma Program Project ‘InterMEL’, ‘Leverage (Root/Ahles PIs), as well as the MSK Familial Pancreatic Cancer Registry (Du PI).
We thank Keimya for her dedication and hard work, in particular (to name a few) for her outstanding contribution to our Research Program through data management, biospecimens coordination and processing, set up of datasets/databases in RedCap, and the hands-on work, analyses and editorial help during preparation of the InterMEL Methods paper, which was recently submitted for peer review (Orlow, Sadeghi, et al.). Personally, her joyous spirit and great humor are truly missed.
Isidora ‘Isi’ Autuori’s last day at MSK was June 3rd, 2022. Isi accepted a position at the Institute of Nanotechnology CNR-Nanotec at Lecce (Italy). As a junior post-doc, she will join existing efforts to develop 2D/3D cell cultures for the study of ALS pathogenesis. Her work will also involve the validation of nano-materials and testing platforms (‘Lab on a chip’) to study immune response in vitro.
Upon arrival to our Department & Lab in September ‘18, Isidora fine-tuned the extraction and testing of nucleic acids obtained from micro-punch skin biopsies (Jain, Autuori, et al., 2021; Halpern PI, Dermatology Service). She has tested specimens for the clinical trial Cutaneous Melanoma Risk Stratification of Individuals with a High-Risk Nevus Phenotype (PI: Michael Marchetti), and until her departure was integrally involved in the ‘Lethal Melanoma Identification of lethal melanomas at the time of diagnosis’ study [R01 CA233524, Begg, Thomas (UNC), Berwick (UNM), PIs], for which she genotyped germline DNA. Further collaborations with Dermatology include her participation in CHANCE, a study designed to evaluate genetic determinants of chemotherapy-induced persistent alopecia in women with primary breast cancer (Lacouture PI). In addition to her refined hands-on technique, Isidora selected markers, designed assays, and synthesized key information that led to an additional peer reviewed publication (Liou et al 2021; PI: Jun Mao, Integrative Medicine), and the successful resubmission of a grant application (R01 CA240417, Mao PI). She has also analyzed in silico & in vitro data with the goal of evaluating the biological effect of polymorphisms for various ongoing projects.
We congratulate Isi on her professional growth and wish her much success in her native Italy. Personally, we’ll miss the language practices, and are saving for our next vacation abroad.