12 New Members Join DF/HCC

March, 2018

Please welcome these 12 individuals from our member institutions who have recently joined DF/HCC.

We randomly selected several of them to make welcome/networking videos which can be seen below, and we hope these help you to connect to your new colleagues. If you'd like to make a video for your DF/HCC member profile, please contact us.

Click here to view the programmatic and institutional makeup of your newest DF/HCC colleagues.

  • Carolina Abuelo, MD, MSc,
    Carolina Abuelo, MD, MSc (Massachusetts General Hospital)
    Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Early Detection, Gynecologic Cancers

    My research interests revolve around Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cancer screening in general. I have carried out studies of cervical cancer screening with HPV self swabs as well as HPV vaccination interventions in Peru. I also have an interest in colposcopy which developed after my experience with HPV in HIV positive women. Thanks to a Kraft fellowship, I recently worked on patient navigation to increase uptake of colorectal cancer screening in populations with health care disparities in Charlestown. As a bilingual health care provider, I am now working to improve uptake of cervical cancer screening in Charlestown. I hope to study efforts to expand patient navigation and thereby reduce disparities in screening and linkage to care.

  • Judith Agudo, PhD,

    Cancer initiating cells have been described as tumor cells with the capacity to self-renew and grow a new full-fledged tumor mass. These cells, which can give rise to metastasis, often escape traditional therapies. In the Agudo lab, we are interested in studying how these cells are surveyed by the immune system and their mechanisms of immune evasion, so we can harness the power of the patient’s own immune system in order to find and attack these dangerous cells.

  • Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay, MBBS, PhD,
    Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay, MBBS, PhD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
    Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics, Neuro-Oncology

    Pediatric brain tumors are now the leading cause of cancer related death in children. Our group applies integrative genomic approaches to identify targetable drivers of pediatric brain tumors and to characterize resistance mechanisms.

  • David M. Dorfman, MD, PhD,

    My research focuses on the diagnosis and analysis of hematopoietic neoplasms, particularly those of the immune system, to understand the relationship of these neoplasms to their normal cellular counterparts, and to identify new biological markers and approaches for their diagnosis, subtyping, and treatment. This work has included studies of a number of important biomarkers for the characterization of B cell and T cell neoplasms and other hematopoietic neoplasms, a number of which are widely utilized in clinical practice, and include: immune checkpoint receptor Programmed Death-1 (PD-1), chemokine receptors, OX-2 membrane glycoprotein (CD200), T cell transcription factors in T cell and B cell neoplasms, EZH2 methytransferase, CD5 in B cell and T cell neoplasms, and thymic epithelial neoplasms.

  • Ingrid T. Katz, MD, MHS,

    I am an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, with a primary appointment in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a secondary appointment through Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health. As a physician-scientist, board-licensed in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, I have focused my research over the past decade on the social determinants of health-seeking behavior among people living in low-resource settings (in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa), with the goal of developing sustainable socio-behavioral interventions aimed at improving care for the most underserved. My research expertise is in mixed-methods research. In the area of HPV research, we have developed a conceptual model of vaccine adherence, that has been widely cited for guiding HPV vaccine scale-up. We have also performed multiple qualitative studies related to understanding barriers to HPV vaccine uptake. We have received funding (with co-PI, Dr. Shoba Ramandhan) to identify effective, scalable, and sustainable interventions to improve the uptake of the HPV vaccine in low-resourced settings within Massachusetts.

  • Allon M Klein, PhD,
    Allon M Klein, PhD (Harvard Medical School)
    Cancer Cell Biology, Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics

    I study how cells make fate choices in developing and adult tissues. I specialize in mapping proliferative hierarchies and mechanisms of fate control using quantitative approaches. I previously developed droplet microfluidics for high-throughput single-cell transcriptomics (inDrop), and theoretical/computational methods for analyzing single-cell data sets and for quantitative clonal analysis. I use the early embryo, the hematopoietic system, and epithelial tissues as model systems. I have a PhD in physics (Cambridge University), and a postdoc in experimental systems biology (Harvard Medical School, with Dr. Marc Kirschner). I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.

  • Laura MacConaill, PhD,

    I am the Scientific Director of the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery at DFCI, and the Scientific Director of the Personalized Cancer Medicine Partnership (Profile), a collaborative venture between BWH, DFCI, and BCH. I am an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School; my research activities and achievements are focused in the areas of cancer research, cancer precision medicine, technology development and application to genomic interrogation of cancers, and translation of discovery efforts into CLIA and clinical tests to improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options for adult and pediatric patients. I earned my B.Sc. and Ph.D. from the National University of Ireland (Cork).

  • Elizabeth Morgan, MD,

    I am a pathologist at BWH with expertise in hematopathology, including lymphoid and myeloid diseases. My clinical research focuses on improving diagnostics within the field of hematologic malignancies through biomarker validation and correlation of mutational data with morphologic and immunophenotypic characteristics. In addition, I am interested in global health collaborations to improve hematopathology diagnosis in countries which lack the extensive ancillary testing standard in resource-rich areas. This area of research focuses on designing tailored diagnostic algorithms and utilizing telepathology exchanges to render diagnoses amenable to available therapeutic interventions.

  • Kent W Mouw, MD, PhD,
    Kent W Mouw, MD, PhD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
    Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics, Prostate Cancer

    I am a radiation oncology physician-scientist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women’s Hospital. My laboratory uses a combination of genomic and functional techniques to study the role of DNA repair pathway alterations in tumor development, evolution, and therapy response. We aim to identify biomarkers that can guide the use of existing DNA damaging agents such as radiation and conventional chemotherapy, as well as novel targeted agents such as PARP inhibitors and immune checkpoint inhibitors.  Clinically, I provide radiation oncology care for patients with tumors of the genitourinary tract, including prostate, bladder, and testicular cancer.

  • Shailja Pathania, PhD,

    The research focus of my group is to determine early genetic events that drive predisposition to cancer in women with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. We are interested in getting a mechanistic understanding of the nature of early events (including defects in DNA damage repair) that contribute to breast and ovarian cancer in women with mutations in genes like BRCA1, BRCA2, Rad51C, PALB2, CHK2, and ATM. How a normal, presumably healthy cell in these mutation carriers transforms into a tumor cell is largely unknown. Our ongoing work aims to address this question and we hope that the mechanistic insights gained from these studies will allow us to design better preventive and therapeutic treatment strategies.

  • Jong Chul Park, MD,
    Jong Chul Park, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital)
    Developmental Therapeutics, Head and Neck Cancer

    I am a medical oncologist in the Center for Head and Neck Cancers and the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. I am a member of the DF/HCC Developmental Therapeutics Program. As a clinical investigator, my research activities are focused primarily on understanding the immune tumor microenvironment of various head and neck and skin cancers to identify predictive biomarkers, therapeutic targets for ‘personalized’ immunotherapy, rational design of clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents, and new combination clinical trials.

  • Kana Wu, MD, PhD,
    Kana Wu, MD, PhD (Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health)
    Cancer Epidemiology, Gastrointestinal Malignancies

    As a trained physician and chronic disease epidemiologist, I have studied the relationship between diet and lifestyle and risk of cancers, particularly prostate cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and colorectal adenoma. To gain more insight into the etiology and pathways underlying carcinogenesis, I am conducting multi-disciplinary studies to assess whether associations between risk factors and colorectal cancers differ by molecular subtypes or genetic susceptibility. Another focus of my current research is to examine the role of early-life exposures on colorectal neoplasia later in life.