The Yukako Yagi Lab: Research Overview

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Dr. Yagi’s digital pathology laboratory at the Josie Robertson Surgical Center will provide an incubator to explore and evaluate new technology to advance digital pathology in a clinical setting and actively engage vendors to help improve the technology and develop clinical applicability. Collaborations with clinical departments (e.g., Surgery), Radiology, Medical Physics, and Informatics groups will enhance the assessment and create opportunities for multidisciplinary applications.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Department of Pathology is dedicated to cancer diagnosis and research. It is one of the largest pathology laboratories in the world, with a massive archive of glass slides and pathology information dating back more than 40 years. The department’s faculty consists of world-renowned subspecialized pathologists, molecular diagnosticians, and researchers with expertise in a range of disease-specific solid tumor types and hematopathology. Newer technologies and precision medicine have enabled improved diagnostic accuracy that can further classify cancers and identify specific genetic and epigenetic alterations that drive tumor growth. Precise histologic and cytologic classification and testing for clinically useful mutations in patients’ tumors allow for the matching of individual patients to the targeted therapies that are mostly likely to benefit them.

The Warren Alpert Center for Digital and Computational Pathology was established in 2017 as an innovation center to facilitate novel research and development in digital pathology and algorithmic computational pathology for clinical cancer care and research. It also serves as a hub for existing digital pathology efforts. The ultimate goal is establishing a fully digital workflow in MSK’s Department of Pathology.

It will further enrich our knowledge of disease by integrating computational pathology data with other specimen-related data (genomics, proteomics, radiographic imaging, etc.). This will bring an unprecedented breadth and depth of information to each individual case and yield a comprehensive, multidimensional analysis that would otherwise be impossible.