News Release

Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers present at AACR Annual Meeting symposia

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

March 26, 2014 – (BRONX, NY) – From uncovering the role nerve cells play in metastasis to identifying new cancer-causing genes, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University made notable advances in the understanding and potential treatment of cancer during the past year.

Several Einstein faculty members and students will present their recent research at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, taking place in San Diego April 5-9, 2014. Among the presentations are those during major and mini symposia:

  • Gene Regulation and Transcription Factors – Ujunwa Cynthia Okoye-Okafor, M.D./Ph.D. student

Ms. Okoye-Okafor, who will be receiving the AACR's 2014 AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award during the Annual Meeting, will present "Characterization of novel protein-coding gene named TIHL (Translocated in Hodgkin's Lymphoma)." Ms. Okoye-Okafor discovered this gene as a student in the lab of Ulrich Steidl, M.D., Ph.D., who focuses on transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of hematopoiesis and leukemia/. Dr. Steidl is associate professor of cell biology and of medicine at Einstein and associate chair, translational research in oncology at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.

Monday, April 7, 3:00-5:00 pm (3:20-3:35 pm), Room 33, San Diego Convention Center

Dr. Frenette will present at the major symposium titled "Complexity in the Tumor Microenvironment." He will discuss his research, including his recent Science paper that showed nerves play a key role in triggering prostate cancer and influencing its spread. Dr. Frenette is chair and director of Einstein's Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. Tuesday, April 8, 10:30 am-12:30 pm, Ballroom 20D, San Diego Convention Center

Dr. Di Cristofano will chair and present during the minisymposium. The central focus of his laboratory is the identification and characterization of the specific biological processes and signaling pathways that are controlled by the PI3K/PTEN/AKT cascade. His research is centered on tumors originating in the thyroid gland and he was recently honored by the American Thyroid Association for his work. Dr. Di Cristofano is professor of developmental & molecular biology at Einstein.

Tuesday, April 8, 3:00-5:00 pm, Room 6CF, San Diego Convention Center

Dr. Giricz will be presenting "Integrated epigenomic profiling reveals widespread demethylation in melanoma and reveals CSF-1 receptor as an aberrant regulator of malignant growth and invasion." She received an AACR Millennium Scholar in Training Award for this work. Dr. Giricz is an associate in the medicine department at Einstein and works in the lab of Amit Verma, M.B.B.S., whose research focuses on epigenomic profiling of tumors. Dr. Verma is associate professor of medicine and of developmental & molecular biology at Einstein and director of hematologic malignancies at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care,

Tuesday, April 8, 3:00-5:00 pm (3:35-3:50 pm), Room 6A, San Diego Convention Center

In addition to the symposium presentations, faculty members will lead two methods workshops and present 19 posters on a variety of topics, including imaging tumor cells, evaluating cancer subtypes in epidemiological studies, and identifying potential biomarkers and drug targets for breast, colon, thyroid, head and neck, and lung cancers.


About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation's premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Einstein is home to 734 M.D. students, 236 Ph.D. students, 106 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 353 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has more than 2,000 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2013, Einstein received more than $155 million in awards from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Through its extensive affiliation network involving Montefiore, Jacobi Medical Center -Einstein's founding hospital, and five other hospital systems in the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Brooklyn, Einstein runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States. For more information, please visit, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and view us on YouTube.

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