I am a thoracic surgeon with expertise in the management of cancers in the chest including primary (lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymoma, esophageal cancer) and metastatic tumors.
My laboratory research focuses on tumor immunology, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell-mediated immunotherapy for thoracic cancers. Over the years, we have developed clinically-relevant mouse models and modeled novel biological therapies in these models. This research has yielded mechanistic data that has been translated and is now in CAR T-cell clinical trials for patients with lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma, and breast cancer. Our ongoing research focuses on combination immunotherapy with CAR T cells and checkpoint blockade agents and is being translated into clinical trials. As Head of solid tumor cell therapy in the Cellular Therapeutics Center at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center, I conduct and coordinate T-cell therapy clinical trials for solid tumor patients.
My clinical investigations revealed the poor prognostic impact of histological subtypes in lung adenocarcinoma. We have demonstrated the influence of micropapillary and solid histological subtypes on surgical procedure dependant outcomes, and discovered the impact of Spread of Tumor Through Air Spaces (STAS) on clinical outcomes. These observations signified the role of surgical procedure (lobectomy versus limited wedge resection) in influencing the outcomes for small lung cancers. These findings provided the rationale for prospective clinical studies to reduce the recurrence and improve outcomes in early-stage non small cell lung cancer patients. As Deputy Chief of Clinical and Translational research in Thoracic Surgery at MSK, I lead the research programs in thoracic cancers.