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Dr. Teresa Sanchez Featured on North American Vascular Biology Organization Website

Teresa Sanchez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was featured twice on the website of the influential North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO) during the month of November, 2020. 

Teresa Sanchez, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

The Members' Labs page of the website highlighted her primary research, which investigates the molecular mechanisms governing endothelial dysfunction in various pathological conditions such as cerebrovascular diseases (e.g., ischemic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage) and sepsis. 
The NAVBO Education Committee also asked select junior faculty members from leading academic organizations to share their experiences during the transition from trainee to first independent post. The 'Lessons Learned' column highlights the challenges confronted, dilemmas dissected, and lessons learned to help smooth the career paths of junior faculty. You can view the Lessons Learned by Dr. Sanchez here

A Conversation with Dr. Wei Song

We are pleased to introduce you to Wei Song, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Song is the new Director of the Molecular Pathology Division, Director of the Clinical Genomics Laboratory, and an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is also Assistant Attending Pathologist at NewYork-Presbyterian.

We hope you enjoy learning more about him and his research interests, and how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected him.

Wei Song, BM, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Question: Congratulations on your promotion to Director of the Molecular Pathology Division. Can you tell us what your broad goals are?

“Thanks. I would like to contribute to revolutionizing the conventional pathology diagnosis in a brand-new era, i.e. applying molecular profiling as a novel diagnostic tool for patient care in the new era of precision diagnosis.”

How will the new position affect your work within the other departments? You'll have a lot on your plate!

“It will be challenging. Fortunately, we already have a strong team and faculty leadership within the Clinical Genomics Laboratory. The already existing framework and departmental support, will allow me to focus on the supervision of quality management and new assay development which are two areas critical for future growth.”

Where do you see the Molecular Division five years from now?

“I’d like to help lead our division to become recognized as a top five comprehensive molecular pathology program covering multiple medical areas including oncology, infectious disease, genetics. We also would like to expand our service to other regional hospitals in New York City.”

How would you describe Molecular Pathology to a person who may have no idea what this department does?

“We are able to make a diagnosis by using each patient’s specific genetic molecular coding, such as DNA or RNA. Such precise diagnosis enables treatment in a much more targeted, accurate and efficient way.”

Finding May Lead to New Treatments for Neurofibromatosis

Common symptoms of the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), including skeletal fragility and the loss of bone mass, may be treatable with an existing anti-cancer drug, according to a study from researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine. The findings reveal the potential for an expanding array of therapeutic options for patients who have this difficult-to-treat condition.

Matthew B. Greenblatt, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

The study, published Nov. 11 in Nature Communications, uncovered a signaling pathway in bone-making cells that helps drive the skeletal manifestations of NF1, and showed that a drug called ponatinib, which is already in use against certain forms of leukemia, can largely prevent these skeletal manifestations in mice with the disorder.

NF1 currently has almost no drug treatment options, and although doctors are beginning to use drugs called MEK inhibitors to treat the disease, the findings suggest that ponatinib or future novel drugs targeting the newly uncovered pathway may be able to treat NF1 more effectively and safely.

“Ponatinib may have some clinical value here, and we also can start screening for potential new drugs that work even better than ponatinib against this newly discovered pathway,” said senior author Dr. Matthew Greenblatt, an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and a pathologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

NF1 afflicts about 1 in every 3,500 people, or roughly 100,000 people in the United States. Signs and symptoms, apart from skeletal manifestations, include tumors—mostly benign—on peripheral nerves, called neurofibromas, and learning difficulties in childhood.

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