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In Memoriam: C.Richard Minick, MD

Dr. C. Richard Minick (1936-2021), Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, died on Long Island, New York on November 5, 2021 at the age of 85. Dr. Minick will be remembered for his extraordinary contributions to the role of cell injury and inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. His innovative work helped to focus scientific research on the role of immunological and viral injury in the development of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Minick published 42 substantive research papers and 19 book chapters in the field of atherosclerosis research.

C. Richard Minick, MD
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Dr. Minick was a native of Sheraton, Wyoming where he received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming in 1956. He matriculated at Cornell University Medical College that year, and received his M.D. degree at this medical college in 1960. He was an intern, resident and chief resident in Pathology at The New York Hospital until he completed such training in 1965. In the 1960s and 70s, he rose through the academic ranks and was promoted to Professor of Pathology in 1976. For his meritorious service to the medical college, he was elected Professor Emeritus of Pathology in 2001, but continued teaching at the medical center until 2009. He truly excelled in medical school teaching, and students appreciated his erudition. He won many teaching awards at Cornell.

A boarded pathologist, Dr. Minick served on many medical college committees and became an integral part of the fabric of this institution. He was a member of the general faculty council, the executive faculty council, the Committee of Review, and several search and compliance committees. Moreover, he also was successful in obtaining grant support from the NIH and the American Heart Association in the 1960’s- 1980’s.

AACR Names Dr. Massimo Loda Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Molecular Cancer Research

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) today announced the appointment of Massimo Loda, MD, as the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cancer Research, one of the nine highly esteemed journals published by the AACR. Loda officially began his term on August 1.

Massimo Loda, MD
Chairman of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Molecular Cancer Research publishes articles describing novel basic cancer research discoveries of broad interest to the field. The journal prioritizes analyses performed at the molecular and cellular level that reveal novel mechanistic insights into pathways and processes linked to cancer risk, development, and/or progression.

“The AACR is delighted to welcome Dr. Loda as Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cancer Research,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR. “Given Dr. Loda’s extensive experience in molecular pathology, coupled with his significant accomplishments in the past as a deputy editor of the journal, he is particularly well suited for this position. Under his extraordinary leadership, Molecular Cancer Research will continue to attract high-quality manuscripts that contribute to our understanding of and progress against cancer.”

Loda is currently the David D. Thompson Professor of Pathology, Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Deputy Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine; Pathologist-in-Chief at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center; and Professor of Pathology, Emeritus at Harvard Medical School. Loda’s research efforts have focused on metabolic alterations in prostate tumorigenesis, specifically on lipid metabolism and its regulation. Loda is a highly respected molecular pathologist, having been at the forefront in the invention and application of novel molecular pathology techniques such as ex vivo organotypic cultures and multiparametric imaging or metabolic profiling in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue.

Enhancing Immune System Discovery of Tumors Might Combat Colorectal Cancer

Turning off a defense mechanism that protects colorectal cancer tumors from being discovered by immune cells could be a possible strategy for treating the disease, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. Because immunotherapy reactivates immune cells near a tumor, but fails when those cells aren’t present in significant numbers, the new approach could potentially complement this type of treatment or work on its own.

Jorge Moscat, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

The study, published Sept. 23 in Molecular Cell, found that turning off a gene that encodes an enzyme called protein kinase C iota (PKCi) allows the immune system to recognize tumors, recruit immune cells into the area, and ramp up the anti-tumor response to kill colorectal cancer cells in mice, shrinking their tumors. The team also found that people with colorectal cancer who have lower levels of PKCi have better outcomes.

“We found that the role of PKCi in colorectal cancer cells is to keep the immune system at bay,” said co-senior author Dr. Jorge Moscat, vice-chair for experimental pathology and the Homer T. Hirst III Professor of Oncology in Pathology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Now, that we know what is happening we can try to reactivate the immune system to kill the tumor.”

Normally, the immune system should be able to find and kill cancerous cells, preventing tumors from ever forming, but some cancer cells have found ways to evade these defenses. Immunotherapy, particularly immune checkpoint blockade therapy, is based on the idea that the immune cells in tumors are either exhausted or that their activity is being suppressed and that these cells can be reactivated to kill cancer cells.

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