Molecular Biology Program

The Agnel Sfeir Lab

Research

Agnel Sfeir
Agnel Sfeir, PhD
PaineWebber Chair in Cancer Genetics

Chromosomes are the fundamental structural units of our genome. The Sfeir lab seeks to understand basic chromosome biology and how their mismanagement manifests in disease. Our research is focused on three major areas: telomere maintenance, nuclear DNA repair, and mitochondrial DNA replication and repair. A number of projects in the lab address fundamental questions related to telomere maintenance and how telomere dysfunction impacts cancer. In addition, we study an ancient yet error-prone DNA repair pathway, termed micro-homology mediated end-joining, and focus on polymerase theta, a key enzyme underlying mutagenic repair. Lastly, we investigate replication and repair of mitochondrial genomes and explore mitochondrial-nuclear crosstalk in response to mitochondrial DNA stress.

www.sfeirlab.com

Research Projects

Publications Highlights

Brambati A#, Sacco O#, Porcells A#, Heyza J, Kareh M, Schmidt JC, Sfeir A. RHINO directs MMEJ to repair DNA breaks in mitosis Science. 2023 Jul 13:eadh3694. doi: 10.1126/science.adh3694. PMID: 37440612

Tigano M, Tremblay-Belzile S, Vargas DC, Fu Y, Sfeir A* Nuclear sensing of mitochondrial DNA breaks enhances immune surveillance Nature. 2021 Feb 4:  doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03269-w

Mateos-Gomez PA, Gong F, Nair N, Miller KM, Lazzerini-Denchi E, Sfeir A*. (2015) Mammalian Polymerase Theta Promotes Alternative-NHEJ and Suppresses Recombination. Nature. Feb 12;518(7538):254-7. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14157

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People

Agnel Sfeir

Agnel Sfeir, PhD

PaineWebber Chair in Cancer Genetics

  • The Sfeir Lab investigates pathways that ensure genome fidelity and plasticity.
  • PhD, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Texas (2006)
  • Post-Doc, The Rockefeller University, New York (2011)

Members

Mike Al Kareh
Mike Al Kareh

Research Assistant

Ron Baik
Ron Baik

BCMB Student

David Billing

Radiation Oncology Fellow

Alessandra Brambati
Alessandra Brambati

Post-Doc

Elim Choi

Research Technician

Emily DeBitetto

BCMB Student

Bill Diplas
Bill Diplas

Radiation Oncology Fellow

Tamar Kavlashvili

Research Fellow

Megan E. Kelley

Research Fellow

Toby Lieber
Toby Lieber

Senior Research Scientist

Cara Monaco

SKI Lead Admin

Madison Rex

Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Student

Monica Selvaraj

BCMB Student

Hina Shah

BCMB Student

Mingxuan (Anthony) Wei

Visiting Master's Student

Lab Alumni
Raymond Barry
Raymond Barry

MSTP Student

Jessica Das

Student

Alejandro Friedman
Alejandro Friedman

Research Assistant

Yi Fu
Yi Fu

Research Fellow

Neelang Parghi
Neelang Parghi

Research Technician

Sarina Porcella
Sarina Porcella

Post-Doc

Olivia Sacco
Olivia Sacco

Research Technician

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

Post-Doc

Marco Tigano
Marco Tigano

Visiting Investigator

Samuel Tremblay-Belzile
Samuel Tremblay-Belzile

Post-Doc

Julius Wu

Intern

Lab Affiliations

Achievements

  • Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator Award
  • Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Award
  • V-Foundation Scholar
  • Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research
  • NIH Director’s New Innovator Award
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  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Award
  • Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators
  • Mallinckrodt Scholar Award

Lab News & Events

Upcoming event

Mitochondrial Metabolism in Defense Against Microbes

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Rockefeller Research Laboratories
430 East 67th Street
RRL-120 (Auditorium)
New York, NY 10065

Open Positions

To learn more about available postdoctoral opportunities, please visit our Career Center

To learn more about compensation and benefits for postdoctoral researchers at MSK, please visit Resources for Postdocs

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.

Agnel Sfeir discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

  • Repare Therapeutics
    Equity; Intellectual Property Rights; Professional Services and Activities

The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.


This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2022 through disclosure submission in spring 2023). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.

Learn more about MSK’s COI policies here. For questions regarding MSK’s COI-related policies and procedures, email MSK’s Compliance Office at [email protected].


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