Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center

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Entrepreneurship in Action

Monday, February 9, 2015

Photo of Dr Samie JaffreyDr. Samie Jaffrey
Several Meyer Cancer Center members have been featured in the latest issue of Weill Cornell Medicine magazine.

  • Thomas Fahey, M.D. ’86, professor of surgery and the Frank Glenn Faculty Scholar in Surgery, and Olivier Elemento, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and biophysics, have worked together to develop a test, based on micro RNA profiling, to more efficiently and accurately characterize a thyroid nodule. 
  • Francis Barany, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, describes his approach to creating cell-permeable drugs to interfere with protein-protein interactions, by getting small molecules inside cells, where they assemble on the target to form a bigger drug. He starteed his own company, Coferon, to turn the idea into reality, and is working on another start-up for innovations in cancer diagnostics.
  • Shahin Rafii, M.D., director of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute, also founded his own company, Angiocrine Bioscience, to work on his potentially game-changing method of coaxing amniotic stem cells into becoming endothelial cells, the essential building blocks of the vascular system. 
  • Samie Jaffrey, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, has innovated new ways to visualize the behavior of RNA in living cells, by creating short tags that exhibit fluorescence, then attaching them to engineered cells that express disease-causing RNAs. One tag, which glows green, is called “Spinach." He cofounded Lucerna to market those visualization methods and develop therapeutics for diseases of RNA mislocalization. 
  • Jonathan Zippin, Ph.D. ’05, M.D. ’06, assistant professor of dermatology, the Ellen and Gary Davis–Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator, and the Clinique Clinical Scholar in Dermatology, describes how his graduate and postdoctoral training on a signaling protein named soluble adenylyl cyclase, or sAC, led to the development of a novel biomarker for cancers such as melanoma, and the foundation of a company, CEP Biotech.
  • David Lyden, M.D., Ph.D., the Stavros S. Niarchos Professor in Pediatric Cardiology is also highlighted as a recipient of an inaugural grant from the Daedalus Fund for Innovation. He is studying whether molecules isolated from the blood of melanoma, breast cancer and prostate cancer patients can provide accurate measures of treatment efficacy, and if they can also be predictors of future metastasis.