Program Information

Career Track Rotation

Research at Mount Sinai

The numerous research opportunities available at Mount Sinai are a cornerstone of the Fellowship Program. Icahn School of Medicine is one of the three most highly funded medical schools in New York State, as regards NIH funding, and is eighteenth nationwide. NIH-funded programs train postdoctoral fellows in cancer prevention, epidemiology, basic research, and clinical research.

Learning how to ask a question, how to test a hypothesis, and learning research methodology and ethics are essential to preparation for a stellar career. Fellows' understanding of these issues is developed and ascertained through research proposals, progress reports, and mentor evaluations.

Fellows are expected to develop one or more research projects during the Fellowship Program in either basic or clinical research. Initial guidance is provided by a research mentor whom fellows select after discussion with a program director. There are literally hundreds of faculty members at Mount Sinai available as research mentors in both basic and clinical research. Under the guidance of the research mentor during the early portion of the program, fellows are encouraged to meet with various investigators to select and prepare for potential projects. Fellows interview with at least three or four investigators and participate in lab meetings and other activities before selecting their project.

For clinical research, a clinical trials module is offered as part of the core curriculum, as is a clinical trials journal club which includes clinical researchers and a biostatician. The Department of Medicine also offers a course in clinical research technique for fellows and faculty. Clinical investigator training is provided through an NIH sponsored program under the direction of Dr. Janice Gabrilove.

A basic science curriculum, introducing the fundamental scientific concepts of hematology and oncology, is included in the Fellowship Program. Additionally, the Department of Medicine sponsors a research techniques seminar, directed by Dr. Jonathan Licht, to familiarize fellows with the tools of biomolecular investigation. 

Research projects may be pursued outside of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology. A partial list of researchers and respective projects is provided. However, the full extent of opportunities can be identified with the assistance of the research mentor. It is expected that fellows will present their research at the national level and hopefully publish in peer-reviewed journals. Fellows interested in academic careers are fully supported in their efforts to obtain research funding and to achieve proficiency in their field of choice.

Research Projects

  • Fellows are expected to execute a high quality, original research project during the course of the Fellowship Program. The full resources of the medical center are made available for this purpose.
  • It is inevitable that some research projects fail to produce results. This will not impact ones ability to graduate from the Program.
  • Fellows are expected to have chosen a research mentor by the beginning of the second year. This process is facilitated by exposure throughout the first year to many areas of ongoing research and by faculty members' help in identifying and contacting faculty-investigators. Potential mentors may be interviewed without obligation.
  • If additional training for a project is required, attendance at special courses (such as AACR clinical investigation courses, Cold Spring Harbor science courses, and so on) may be arranged at program directors' discretion.
  • After selecting a mentor and a project, a short, formal proposal is submitted by the middle of the second year of fellowship. The proposal is drafted by the fellow, with advice from the mentor; it must be reviewed and signed by both prior to submission.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals are no longer than two pages of single space, 10-point font text.

There should be:

  • one paragraph explaining background and significance
  • a well written hypothesis
  • no more than two specific aims
  • an explanation of methods to be used to test the hypothesis
  • a description of needed resources (i.e., for a clinical trial: identify patients and funding; for basic research: describe resources available at the lab for the proposed work)

Progress Report

A two-page progress report describing results obtained by the execution of stated methods is required prior to finishing the Fellowship Program.

Presentations

Fellows are expected to submit their research to appropriate forums, such as the annual ASCO, AACR, or ASH meetings as well as to the Mount Sinai Research Day, New York Society for the Study of Blood, and so on. The program fully supports fellows who wish to present their research at any appropriate forum.


Basic Research Investigators (partial list)

  • Stuart Aaronson, M.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor genes
  • Juan J. Badimon, Ph.D., Department of Medicine
  • Margaret Baron, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Hematopoietic Development
  • Carter Bancroft, Ph.D., Department of Structural and Chemical Biology
    Pituitary transcriptional signal transduction; prostate cancer marker cloning.
  • James Bieker, Ph.D., Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology
    Transcriptional regulation of red cell-specific gene expression
  • David Burstein, M.D./Ph.D., Department of Pathology
    Cell differentiation
  • Andrew M.L. Chan, Ph.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Ras-related oncogenes in human cancer
  • Shu-Hsia Chen, Ph.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    Cancer immunology, immunosuppression of antitumoral immune response
  • David Colman, Ph.D., Department of Neurology
    Molecular biology of myelin formation
  • Randy Eisensmith, Ph.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    Virally-mediated gene therapy for neoplastic diseases
  • Manfred Frasch, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
    Gene expression during Drosophila embryogenesis
  • Deborah L. French, Ph.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Integrins, platelet physiology
  • Paul Frennette, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Selectins and Blood Cell Adhesion
  • Kurt Hirschhorn, M.D., Department of Pediatrics
    Cytogenetics
  • Steve Itzkowitz, M.D., Department of Medicine
    Inherited GI Cancer Syndromes, Colon cancer
  • Ravi Iyengar, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry
    Signal Transduction, G protein and effectors, protein-protein interactions and drug design
  • Paul Klotman, M.D., Department of Medicine
    Molecular basis for HIV pathogenesis
  • Edward M. Johnson, Ph.D., Department of Pathology
    DNA replication and chromosome structure; HIV-1/JCV interaction; environmental pathology
  • Robert S. Krauss, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
    Cancer, oncogene, cell cycle, cell differentiation
  • Gordon Keller, M.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    Molecular Developmental Hematopoiesis
  • Robert A. Lazzarini, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
    Molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression
  • Michael R. Linden, Ph.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    DNA integration into the human genome, gene therapy
  • James J. Manfredi, Ph.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Regulation of p53 tumor suppressor activity
  • John Martignetti, M.D., Department of Human Genetics
    Positional cloning of cancer genes
  • Rafael Mira-y-Lopez, M.D./Ph.D., Department of Medicine
    Aberrant vitamin A signaling in breast cancer
  • Lloyd Mayer, M.D., Department of Medicine
    B cell differentiation, cytokine regulation, T & B cell activation
  • Vesna Najfeld, Ph.D., Department of Pathology
    Molecular cytogenetics
  • Roman Osman, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
    DNA repair enzymes, G-protein coupled receptors
  • Liliana Ossowski, Ph.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Proteases in cancer metastasis, tumor dormancy, receptors, integrins
  • Toru Ouchi, Ph.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    The role of BRCA1 in breast cancer
  • Peter Palese, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology
    Replication of RNA viruses, influenza viruses, antivirals, vaccines
  • Zhen-Qiang Pan, Ph.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Cell Cycle controls
  • Beatriz Pogo, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Viral Oncogenesis
  • Bill Redd, M.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Cancer prevention and control
  • Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Stress kinases, UV response and melanoma development
  • Barry Rosenstein, Ph.D., Department of Pathology
    Radiation induced DNA damage and repair
  • David A. Sassoon, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
    Cell differentiation, cell death, development, skeletal muscle
  • Mihaela Skobe, M.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    VEGF, lymphangiogenesis and metastasis
  • Max Sung, M.D.
    Apoptosis and cancer
  • Yasunosuke Suzuki, M.D., Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
    Control of vascular smooth muscle gene expression
  • Reshma Taneja, Ph.D., Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
    Retinoic acid signaling pathways
  • Jay C Unkeless, Ph.D., Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology
    Fc receptors and signal transduction
  • Martin Walsh, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics
    Cell cycle regulation and transcriptional control of human cells
  • Lu-Hai Wang, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology
    Oncogenes, signal transduction and cell transformation
  • Samuel Waxman M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Differentiation Therapy
  • Savio L. C Woo, Ph.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    Gene therapy for metabolic disorders and cancer
  • Karen Zier, M.D., Department of Medicine
    Tumor Immunobiology
  • Ming Ming Zhou, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
    Protein NMR spectroscopy, bromodomains

Clinical Research Investigators (partial list)

  • Louis Aledort, MD, Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Hemophilia, Thrombocytpoenia, Coagulopathies
  • Jonine Bernstein, Ph.D., Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
    Breast cancer
  • Dana Bovbjerg, Ph.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Breast Cancer Prevention
  • Mark Chassin, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.P., Department of Health Policy
    Use of interventions in patients with early stage breast cancer
  • Shu-Hsia Chen, Ph.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    Cancer immunology, suppression of anti-tumoral immune response
  • Janet Cuttner, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Hematologic Malignancies
  • Robert Desnick, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Human Genetics
    Genetics of inherited hematologic and storage disease
  • Janice Gabrilove, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    HGF and inhibitors; Novel inhibitors of specific molecular targets
  • Simon Hall, M.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    Gene therapy in prostate cancer
  • Luis Isola, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Bone Marrow Transplant Modalities
  • Lewis Lipsey, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Hematologic Malignancies
  • Lloyd Mayer, M.D., Department of Medicine
    Cyokine regulation, mucosal immunity
  • Diane Meier, M.D., Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development
    Palliative care and medical ethics
  • Takao Ohnuma, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Sarcomas / Hammerhead Ribozyme Therapy
  • Alberto Paciucci, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Immunotherapy, Melanoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • William Redd, Ph.D., Department of Oncological Sciences
    Biobehavioral factors in cancer prevention
  • Eileen Scigliano, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Bone Marrow Transplant Modalities
  • Jonathan D. Schwartz, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Hepatocellular and GI Cancer
  • Lewis Silverman, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Myelodysplasia
  • Albert Siu, M.D., Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development
    Functional disability and aging
  • Max Sung, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Gene Therapy
  • Samuel Waxman, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Differentiation Therapy
  • Carolyn Whitsett, M.D., Department of Medicine/Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Stem cells and bone marrow transplantation
  • Mary Wolff, Ph.D., Department of Community and Preventive Medicine
    Application of biological markers to determine human exposure to chemicals
  • Savio Woo, Ph.D., Department of Gene and Cell Medicine
    Gene Therapy
  • Karen Zier, Ph.D., Department of Medicine
    Tumor immunology and gene therapy

Conferences

An important introduction to the fields of Hematology and Oncology is had by attending major national meetings. In this venue it is possible to learn state of the art of medical care and science, and to gain a sense of the breadth and direction of ongoing research. Therefore, attendance is actively supported under the following guidelines:

All fellows may attend one of the major national meetings per year (i.e.: ASCO, ASH, AACR).

Occasionally, the Fellowship Program has the opportunity to send fellows to sponsored conferences. When such opportunities arise, they are made available on a case-by-case basis.

Senior fellows are welcome to explore educational opportunities of importance to their research careers, such as Cold Spring Harbor Meetings, ASCO, and AACR clinical investigator training courses. It is the fellow's responsibility to identify such opportunities with his/her mentor and justify the importance of the activity to the program. When possible and appropriate, such activities are supported by the program.

Permission to attend ANY conference is dependent on each fellow having:

  • Arranged coverage of her/his clinical, outpatient, and on-call duties.
  • Approval by the program directors.

Please note that over the course of the year, the number of conferences and meetings may vary from fellow to fellow. Thus some may have more opportunities than others based on their career development needs, their ability to generate and present data, and the effort made to find important forums for training purposes.

A travel request form must be completed and submitted to Ms. Celica Feliberty prior to traveling for reimbursement of expenses. Since program funding sources are finite and attempts are made to support all fellows equally, only reasonable expenses are covered.

Financial support is provided for national meetings. For other venues, reimbursement will depend on the status of the educational fund that supports fellows' travel. To maximize the chance of being supported for travel to meetings, fellows should aggressively pursue funding mechanisms and awards. The program will support and assist in these efforts.