PHOTO CREDIT: Mayo Clinic

Biomedical Research News

  • MSK Announces The 2022 Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Physician Scholars

    Memorial Sloan Kettering announced their first cohort of the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Physician Scholars Program on Monday. In 2021, the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Physician Scholars Program was established at MSK to support the translational science initiatives of talented early-career physician-scientists across multiple specialties. Mr. Gerstner’s generosity and continued dedication to the education and training of future leaders in cancer care make this farsighted opportunity possible. Through this highly competitive program, top-tier physician-scientists will be provided with a level of support that is otherwise difficult to obtain this early in their careers. The scope of innovation and excellence achieved at MSK depends on the work of a diverse scientific and clinical community of investigators, including these four promising physician-scientists, who were carefully selected for the inaugural class of Gerstner Physician Scholars: Susan De Wolf, MD, Juan Osorio, MD, Samir Zaidi, MD, PhD and Morgan Freret, MD, PhD.

    Read more at mskcc.org
  • Four VP&S Physicians Named 2022 Gerstner Scholars

    Four physician-scientists were recently named 2022 Gerstner Scholars: Rebecca Muhle, MD, PhD; Jennifer Small-Saunders, MD, PhD; Neil Vasan, MD, PhD; and Peter Yim, MD. The program also awarded the Gerstner Merit Award to 2019 Scholar Amélie Collins, MD, PhD. The Gerstner Merit Award, created in 2014, provides an additional year of funding and recognizes an exceptional third-year Gerstner Scholar who conducts innovative research, has shown significant growth as an academic medicine investigator, and is ideally positioned to secure a significant principal investigator award.he Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholars Program provides exceptional physician-scientists at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) with vital funding. Each scholar receives a stipend of $75,000 per year for three years for salary or laboratory support. The support allows early-career scientists to conduct pioneering research and gather the pilot data necessary to apply for grants from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. The Gerstner Scholars Program, established in 2008 by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. and the Gerstner Family Foundation, helps make VP&S a major engine of medical innovation.

    Read more about the 2022 Scholars at columbia.edu
  • Gerstner Center for Cancer Diagnostics Researchers Develop New Approach called MAESTRO to advance Cancer Detection

    A team led by researchers at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School has developed a new method to identify thousands of DNA mutations accurately and efficiently in a patient's blood sample with minimal sequencing. The approach, called MAESTRO, could one day enable the detection of residual cancer in patients who have undergone treatment, alerting doctors to disease recurrence earlier and more cheaply than current techniques allow. MAESTRO works to identify Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) markers in the blood using less sequencing than more conventional approaches, enabling researchers to detect cancer mutations more quickly, efficiently and at a low cost. “This project has been a great reminder that new methods can make DNA sequencing even more powerful,” added Golub. “It will be exciting to see how MAESTRO can impact basic discovery and, in the future, clinical care.”

    Read more at broadinstitute.org
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Announces New Early-Career Physician Research Program in Cancer Science
    September 29, 2021

    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) today announced a $25 million gift from Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. to create the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Physician Scholars Program. Designed to support the innovative research of physician-scientists who are early in their career at MSK, the Gerstner Physician Scholars Program will advance promising scientific research and further the careers of outstanding junior faculty. “Recruiting and retaining the next generation of physician-scientists in cancer research is one of our most urgent priorities,” said Lisa M. DeAngelis, MD, MSK’s Physician-In-Chief. “We are grateful for Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.’s generous donation and continued commitment to education that will help MSK attract, support and champion talented early-career physician-scientists who will make discoveries and pursue the increasingly complex questions posed by cancer science.” Each year, a group of MSK physician-scientists will be named Gerstner Physician Scholars and receive the resources needed to validate their emerging research concepts and translate these concepts into clinical applications. The program will support early career lab-based physician-scientists, a subset of physicians who are uniquely positioned to blend clinical care with laboratory research. The chosen Scholars will be eligible to receive funding of up to $150,000 per year for three years to advance their work, recruit talented junior lab members and develop preliminary data in ambitious projects that can provide the basis for applications to other outside sources for further funding.

    Read more at mskcc.org
  • 2021 Gerstner Sloan Kettering Chairman’s Prize Honors Research That Paves Way for New Cell-Based Therapies to Treat Autoimmune Diseases and Inflammation
    September 23, 2021

    Zhongmin Wang, a fifth-year doctoral student in the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSK), has been awarded the 2021 Chairman’s Prize. The competitive award is presented annually and was established by GSK’s Board of Trustees Chair Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. for whom the school is named. This year’s Chairman’s Prize, in the amount of $2,000, shines a light on Mr. Wang’s winning submission, which was published last month in Nature Immunology. Mr. Wang and his coauthors specifically designed mouse models for the project, which demonstrated that regulatory T (Treg) cells are fully functional under conditions of established inflammation and are capable of reversing, in addition to preventing, fatal autoimmunity. The results pave the way for the development of Treg cell-based therapies for a broad spectrum of autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders that raise the risk of cancer. “I am honored that the prize committee recognized the outstanding quality and potential impact of this research,” says Mr. Wang, who is conducting his dissertation studies in the laboratory of his thesis mentor, Alexander Rudensky, Chair of the Immunology Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering and senior author of the study.

    Read more at mskcc.org