Administrative Core

Simon N. Powell, MD, PhD (core director)

The administrative core serves as the operational hub of the SPORE, arranging all SPORE related functions in scientific review, intra- and inter-SPORE collaborations, financial management of budgeting and monitoring expenses, editorial services as needed and grant administration. We also regard the SPORE as a forum for education and mentoring, above and beyond what is directly assisted in the developmental programs, by creating an environment in which new ideas for projects can be discussed with supportive SPORE key personnel.

We are organizing a SPORE retreat, open to breast cancer researchers (and beyond) in which we will review existing projects, consider alternative project options (which could be added or substituted) and also consider unsolved mysteries or provocative questions that have not received significant attention in this area of research. In concert with the retreat, we will coordinate the functions of the internal and external advisory boards. In addition, we will liaise with the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) breast cancer disease management team over identification and monitoring of the cancer patient populations required for this SPORE and communicate with our patient advocates about our ongoing results, trials and future planning.

Biostatistics and Computational Genomics Core 

Sohrab Shah, PhD (core director)

Ronglai Shen, PhD (co-core director)

The Biostatistics and Computational Genomics Core and its team of dedicated personnel with extensive experience and strong track record of developing innovative methods will provide support in statistical and computational analysis of breast cancer sequencing data to assist the design and analysis of the SPORE research projects.  The team will support and maintain sequencing pipelines and provide analytical and statistical support for the analysis of genomic instability in breast cancer. They will expand current tools to detect, quantify, and track genomic signatures of specific DNA repair defects and/or genetic instability at the tumor bulk and single cell levels, as well as probe these signatures’ effect on the microenvironment. The Core will also provide centralized support for data collection, processing, quality assessment, and normalization procedures to facilitate data integration and downstream analysis and visualization, accessible to scientists with little computational background. In addition, the Core will synergize with the current infrastructure available at MSK to provide the SPORE investigators not only with the state-of-the-art computational biology methods, but also with novel computational tools to address specific analytical challenges germane to the success of the SPORE Research Projects.

Biospecimen Repository and Pathology Core

George Plitas, MD (core director)

The Biospecimen Repository and Pathology Core will provide support for all translational research efforts of the Genomic Instability in Breast Cancer SPORE. The specific aims of the core include 1) to maintain and expand the systematic collection, annotation, and storage of bio-specimens for translational research of breast cancers with specific patterns of DNA repair defects and/or genomic instability, 2) to perform expert pathologic evaluation of all human breast cancer and animal models of breast cancer samples with specific patterns of DNA repair defects and/or genomic instability and preparation of appropriate material for use by SPORE investigators, and 3) to perform immunophenotypic characterization of human and animal models of breast cancers with specific patterns of DNA repair defects and/or genomic instability. By centralizing and standardizing the pathology review, from both clinical and research settings, and by working in conjunction with other Cores within MSK on the processing and curation of the biospecimen materials and digital images obtained from the samples included, the Biospecimen Repository and Pathology Core will help mitigate the impact of common confounders in translational research studies, as well as it will assist in the integration and prioritization of a variety of institutional pathology systems-related development efforts.