Gokce Askan
Research Associate

She is a pathologist trained in surgical pathology. She joined MSK as a research fellow in January 2015. Her main interest is pancreaticobiliary and gastrointestinal diseases, and her current research interest includes pancreatic neoplasms. She works alongside surgeons, medical oncologists from the Rubenstein Pancreatic Cancer Center. Her goals are to investigate the pancreatic neoplasms from clinical, morphologic, and molecular perspectives such as exploring the behavior and pathogenesis of them.

Vicky Baudin
Senior Research Project Coordinator

She is an experienced clinical researcher with a strong interest in health disparities and community based participatory research. She obtained her MPH in Social and Behavioral Science from Boston University School of Public Health. She believes in using sound research to implement and influence health policy. She joined the David Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research in March, 2017. She is responsible for expanding the robust pancreas patients’ database to include patients that are not candidates for surgical resection. She also helps coordinate the biospecimen workflow and am responsible for protocol development within Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Robin Brenner
Clinical Research Nurse

She is an Oncology Certified Nurse with a lifelong career focus in oncology.  Over the years she has purposefully matched avenues of her practice to mirror the cancer patient’s continuum of care.  She experience in the following settings: In-patient, Ambulatory Infusion Center, physician office, home infusion and clinical research. Her experience has allowed her to participate in the education of clinical staff, patients and their family, nationally and internationally. She has published and presented on the nursing care of the oncology patient. Her 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, she cannot think of a better place to practice nursing.

Cristian Cruz
Senior Research Technician

He has worked in various biomedical groups focusing on Immunology, Stem cell biology and Cancer. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from New York University.  His research is focused on culturing and characterizing Circulating Tumor cells isolated from peripheral circulation.

Jacklynn Egger
Biospecimen Coordinator

Prior to joining the Center for Pancreas Research, her studies were largely focused on inhibiting the Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) to reduce invasiveness by upregulating phosphatase activity towards the Retinoblastoma Protein, an often mutated tumor-suppressor in highly invasive cancers. As the Biospecimen Coordinator for the Pancreas Center, it is her responsibility to manage an MSKCC patient derived biorepository which involves collections, preservation, storage, and distribution of biological materials. Her future goals include pursuing a doctorate degree in Pathobiology with a focus in the development of neoplasia.

Erica Kauffman
Clinical Trial Nurse Practitioner

She serves as a pancreatic cancer research nurse practitioner at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a position she’s held since 2016.  She initially obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Molloy College, and initiated working at MSK in 2008 on a neuro oncology, neurosurgery, orthopedics and pain and palliative care in-patient unit.  She came to the out-patient setting in 2011 and worked in solid tumor GI as the office practice nurse for Dr. Eileen O’Reilly, and after obtaining her Master’s of Science in Nursing at Molloy College, became the pancreatic research NP.  Her current duties include identifying and evaluating patients for their ability to enroll in both bio-specimen and therapeutic clinical research trials, assesses, diagnoses, and treats both protocol and non-protocol patients, organizes and manages intricate treatment schedules for clinical trial enrollees, and participates in clinical trial pre-launch meetings and site initiation visits in order to facilitate smooth transitions from sponsor to clinical practice.  

Nicolas Lecomte
Senior Research Scientist

He obtained his Engineering diploma at UTC (University of Technology of Compiegne) and completed a PhD in Biology and Biotechnology at Paris-Diderot-Paris VII University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Leach he has developed a large repository of in vitro models of Pancreatic cancer using newly established human organoid culture system from tumor resection or biopsies offering the unprecedented opportunity to concurrently perform multidimensional characterization of patients tumors (NGS, proteomic and metabolomic studies) and to explore and evaluate their sensitivity to current treatment options and promising new therapies. His research includes the investigation of the full spectrum of molecular alterations contributing to the BRCAness phenotype in Pancreatic cancer with the goal to broaden the scope of patients that most likely may benefit from Platinum and PARP inhibition therapy. As a senior research scientist in the Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, he is using this unique living bio-bank as a drug discovery platform for precision medicine aiming to unveil and test therapeutic vulnerabilities in Pancreatic cancer. By mobilizing resources and expertise within the Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research and across MSK departments, this ambitious project realistically aim to fuel and accelerate preclinical evaluation of promising therapeutics.

Jerry Melchor
Lab Manager

He is the Research Lab Manager for the Iacobuzio-Donahue lab and the Pancreas Center. His main responsibility is managing the day-to-day laboratory operations of the Pancreas Center. Additionally he helps with the educational efforts within HOPP for the summer high school and SEP students. Prior to MSK, he was at Merck Research Labs and Schering-Plough Research Institute. He obtained his PhD in biochemistry from SUNY Stony Brook and was a research associate at the Rockefeller University where he worked on Alzheimer’s disease.