Memorial Hospital Research Laboratories

The J. Joshua Smith Lab

Research

J. Joshua Smith
J. Joshua Smith, MD, PhD, FACS
Surgical Oncologist

The J. Joshua Smith Laboratory focuses on making better models of rectal cancer (RC). My laboratory group developed the first patient-derived rectal cancer organoids. These rectal cancer organoids recapitulate the clinical and molecular features of patients with rectal cancer and uniquely reflect the clinical responses to therapy of the patients from which they were derived. I obtained an R37 grant from the National Institutes of Health to further develop and expand this rectal cancer model, and my work as a clinician and clinical trialist completely overlaps with my basic and translational work.  Our focus is on improving response to neoadjuvant therapies for patients with rectal cancer by developing better disease models. I have a strong collaborative relationship with surgeon Julio Garcia-Aguilar, Chief of the Colorectal Service; radiation oncologist Paul Romesser; and surgeon Philip Paty, and through this unique collaborative initiative, we have been able to identify novel radiosensitizers to take forward into phase 1 clinical trials with parallel co-clinical trials in patient-derived organoids. Further, we have improved our initial in vivo endoluminal rectal cancer model by translating it to the immunocompetent setting to better understand the biology contributing to chemoresistance and radioresistance in rectal cancer.

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Research Projects

Publications

Kim JK, Wu C, Del Latto M. Gao Y, Choi S, Kierstead M, Sauve C, First C, Chaves Perez A, Sillanpaa J, Chen C, Lawrence K, Paty P, Barriga F, Shia J, Sawyers C, Lowe S, Garcia-Aguilar J, Romesser PB, * J. Joshua Smith.* A new immunocompetent rectal cancer model to study radiation therapy. bioRxiv 479335 [Preprint]. February 10, 2022. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.02.07.479335

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People

J. Joshua Smith

J. Joshua Smith, MD, PhD, FACS

Surgical Oncologist

  • The Smith Lab studies rectal cancer, and we developed the first patient-derived rectal cancer organoids. These rectal cancer organoids recapitulate the clinical and molecular features of patients with rectal cancer and uniquely reflect the clinical responses to therapy of the patients from which they were derived.
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Email Address

Members

Janet Alvarez
Janet Alvarez

Research Scholar

Paulina Bleu
Paulina Bleu

Senior Technician

Yajing Gao
Yajing Gao

Postdoctoral Fellow

Byung Kwan Park
Byung Kwan Park

Non-stipend Visiting Investigator

Chao Wu
Chao Wu

Senior Research Scientist

Lab Alumni
Charles Sauve
Charles Sauve

Residency at University of Pittsburgh for Urology

James Strong

Undergraduate student at Harvard University

Bryan Szeglin
Bryan Szeglin

Residency at Johns Hopkins for General Surgery

Isaac Wasserman

Head and Neck Residency in the Northeastern US

Lab Affiliations

Achievements

  • R37 NCI MERIT Award for Early-Stage Investigators - National Cancer Institute (March 2020 to present))
  • R37: Expansion of Tumoroid Models for Precise Treatment of Rectal Cancer Patient - National Cancer Institute (March 2020-present)
  • Leveraging Radiation Induced Senescence (RIS) to Potentiate Anti-Tumor Immunity - Geoffrey Beene Cancer Center (2021-2022)
  • Translational Platform for the Development, Characterization, and Clinical Assessment of Radiation Sensitizers in Rectal Cancer - Imaging and Radiation Sciences Program Seed Grant–MSK (2019-2021)
  • 27th Franklin Martin, MD, FACS Faculty Research Fellowship - American College of Surgeons (2017-2019)
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  • ASCRS Career Development Award - American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (2017-2019)
  • 2016 Joel J. Roslyn Faculty Research Award - Association of Academic Surgery (February 2016)
  • Michael E. Burt, MD, PhD, Award for Clinical Excellence - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Surgery (June 2015)

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Disclosures

Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.

J. Joshua Smith discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

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