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Enzyme Blocks Metabolic Processes that Spur Rapid Growth and Spread of Liver Cancer

Jorge Moscat, PhD
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


An enzyme has been discovered to play a critical role in blocking the metabolic processes that contribute to the rapid growth and spread of liver cancer, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine researchers, a finding that could spur development of new therapies for a condition that has been historically difficult to treat.

The study, published June 25 in Cancer Celldemonstrates that low levels of the enzyme protein kinase C (PKC) λ/i in mice and human liver tumors are associated with the aggressive form of cancer, and that the protein acts as a tumor suppressor. The researchers also describe the metabolic pathways that PKC λ/i directly blocks to inhibit tumors.

“Treatments for liver cancer are not particularly effective as compared with other types of cancer,” said lead study author Dr. Jorge Moscat, a professor of pathology and laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. “It’s a devastating disease.”

About 27,000 people in the United States die from liver cancer each year.The cancer is associated with nonalcoholic fatty livery disease (NAFLD), a condition in which too much fat is stored in the liver. NAFLD, which is on the rise in the U.S., is in turn linked to more common diseases such as obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Alain Borczuk Receives the M. Desmond Burke Teaching Award

Dr. Alain Borczuk

Dr. Alain Borczuk
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Congratulations to Alain Borczuk, MD, on receiving the M. Desmond Burke Teaching Award for the second time! Alain was virtually presented with this award during our "Pathology class of 2021 zoom event” held on June 18, 2020.

The awardee of this meaningful Teaching Award  is  a  faculty  member  who  has  served  as  an  outstanding  role  model,  mentor  and  educator  for  the  residents  in  the  past  year  as  evidenced  by  their participation with the residents in various venues including case sign out, research projects and local and national conferences. 

The award is named after Dr. M Desmond Burke,  who served as Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine  for ten years (1995-2005).  During that time period, he served with great distinction as Vice Chair for Laboratory Medicine and Director of the Clinical Laboratories.  Dr. Burke served as President of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, received the Joe T. Evans Award of the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists for “outstanding leadership and/or service to the Society,” and the Ward Burdick Award from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists for “distinguished service to clinical pathology.”  Dr. Burke  became a Trustee of the American Board of Pathology and was appointed President of the American Board of Pathology in 2005. Dr. Burke passed away in June 2017.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Borczuk.

Dr. Theresa Scognamiglio Appointed Chief of Surgical Pathology

Theresa Scognamiglio, MD
Chief of Surgical Pathology


I am pleased to announce that Theresa Scognamiglio, MD will serve as the new Chief of Surgical Pathology effective July 1, 2020. 

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Scognamiglio in her new role!

Thank you,
Massimo Loda, MD

Weill Cornell Medicine Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6464 Fax: (212) 746-8192