Staff & Research Members


Robin Brenner
Clinical Research Nurse
I am an Oncology Certified Nurse with a lifelong career focus in oncology.  Over the years I have purposefully matched avenues of my practice to mirror the cancer patient’s continuum of care.  I have experience in the following settings: In-patient, Ambulatory Infusion Center, physician office, home infusion and clinical research. My experience has allowed me to participate in the education of clinical staff, patients and their family, nationally and internationally. I have published and presented on the nursing care of the oncology patient. My experience, specific to oncology clinical research, has been as a nursing supervisor for clinical trials, participating in CALGB , NIH and GITSG audits, coordinating clinical trials for investigator initiated, local consortium and pharmaceutical sponsored trials. MSK and the Rubenstein Pancreatic Cancer Center is committed to tangibly finding real means to providing comfort, extending and saving lives of persons with pancreatic cancer, I cannot think of a better place to practice nursing.

Brian Herbst
Biospecimen Coordinator
Prior to joining the David Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research I worked on a wide variety of research projects including: environmental impact analysis, experimental agriculture, protein biophysics and BSL2 bacterial immunology. I am currently responsible for coordinating biospecimen collections and creating the biorepository for the CPCR. My goal is to craft a richly annotated, real-time database to facilitate access to pancreatic cancer samples from an array of sources.  I plan to pursue a doctorate in immunology in 2016.

Gokce Askan
Research Associate
I am a pathologist trained in surgical pathology. I joined MSK as a research fellow in January 2015. My main interest is pancreaticobiliary and gastrointestinal diseases, and my current research interest includes pancreatic neoplasms. I work alongside surgeons, medical oncologists from the Rubenstein Pancreatic Cancer Center. My goals are to investigate the pancreatic neoplasms from clinical, morphologic, and molecular perspectives such as exploring the behavior and pathogenesis of them.

Tanisha Leach
Research Project Coordinator
I am an experienced clinical researcher with a strong interest in health policy. I believe in using sound research to implement and influence hospital policy. I joined the David Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research in December, 2014. I am responsible for expanding the robust pancreas patients’ database to include patients that are not candidates for surgical resection. I also help coordinate the biospecimen workflow and am responsible for protocol development within CPCR. 

Clinical Members

Vladimir Ponomarev
Assistant Attending, Radiology

Neeta Pandit-Taskar
Associate Attending, Radiology

Lorna Thomas
Clinical Nurse

Govindarajan Srimathveeravalli
Assistant Attending, Radiology

Joseph O’Donoghue
Associate Attending, Medical Physics

Govindaswami Ragupathi
Attending, Medicine

Ruimin Huang
Senior Research Scientist, Radiology

Daneng Li
Fellow, Medical Oncology

Nicole Ostrowsky-Fabisch
Clinical Research Manager, Medicine

Vinod Balachandran
Fellow, Surgery

Vikas Dudeja

Jonathan Hernandez
Fellow, Surgery

Evis Sala
Chief Attending, Radiology

William Breitbart
Acting Chairman, Psychiatry

Kinh Gian (Richard) Do
Assistant Attending, Radiology

Leonard Saltz
Chief Attending, Medicine

Carla Hajj
Resident, Radiation Oncology

Sabrina Purewal
Clinical Research Manager, Surgery

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa
Associate Attending, Gastrointestinal Oncology

Research Members

Michael Berger
Assistant Attending, Pathology

Yasin Senbabaoglu
Research Scholar, Cancer Biology

Edaise Da Silva
Research Fellow, Pathology

Stefan Harmsen
Research Fellow, Radiology

Rajasekhar Vinagolu
Senior Research Scientist, Sloan Kettering Institute

Jeffrey Rothman
Visiting Scientist, Sloan Kettering Institute

Xinzhu Deng
Senior Research Scientist, Sloan Kettering Institute

Robert Sheridan
Software Engineer, Cancer Biology

Chuck David
Research Scholar, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Jie Su
Research Scholar, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Wenping Lyu
Visiting Investigator, Surgery

Yiyu Dong
Research Associate, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program

Zheng Zha
Bioinfomatics Engineer, Pathology

John Morris
Research Scholar, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Sylvie Deborde
Senior Research Scientist, Surgery

Xian Zhang
Research Scholar, Cell Biology

Umeshkumar Bhanot
Senior Research Scientist, Pathology

Direna Alonso Curbelo
Research Scholar, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Geulah Livshits
Research Fellow, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Kelly Lafaro
Research Fellow, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program

Jerry Melchor
Research Laboratory Manager, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program

Zhen Zhao
Research Associate, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Grant Robinson
Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate Student

Srinivas Malladi
Research Associate, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Rajesh Soni
Research Associate, Proteomics

Joseph Sondey
Research Assistant, Proteomics

Martin Miller
Research Associate, Cancer Biology

Eusebio Manchado Robles
Research Fellow, Cancer Biology and Genetics

Mona Khalaj
Graduate Student, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program

Adrian Seifert
Research Fellow, Surgery

Richard Kolesnick
Member, Pharmacology