THE CBTP INCREASES ITS BRAIN POWER

The Children’s Brain Tumor Project saw an explosion of growth over the past year, and as we embark on new research initiatives we need to expand our team. Dr. Mark Souweidane and Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield are thrilled to welcome six more outstanding team members who are already working hard toward new discoveries.

POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

MYLENE BRANCHTEIN Mylene is new to Dr. Greenfield’s team after recently graduating from the University Libre of Brussels with a PhD in immunology. Mylene has been focused on regulatory T cells to understand their heterogeneity and their suppressive mechanisms in order to use them efficiently in therapy. In her new role at Weill Cornell Medicine, she is working with Dr. Greenfield on immunophenotyping of pediatric brain cancers and the effects of radiotherapy on these cancers with special focus on the immune cells in these cancers. Prior to completing her PhD, Mylene obtained her master’s degree at Francois Rabelais University in Tours and her bachelor’s degree in cellular biology at Diderot University.

BRICE MARTIN COUILLAUD Brice Martin is a new post-doc on Dr. Souweidane’s team, having just graduated from the University of Paris Descartes with a PhD in pharmacology. Throughout his studies, Brice developed nanoparticles (etoposide nanocrystal) as a new drug delivery system to treat carcinoma colon cancer in mouse models. Brice is now working on new strategies for delivering drugs to pediatric brain cancers with the goal of achieving a better therapeutic outcome than conventional therapies. Much of his focus will address the issues of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in order to improve the effectiveness of existing drug therapies. In addition to completing his PhD at Descartes University, Brice received his master’s degree at School Polytechnic at University of Pierre and Marie Curie, his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Diderot University, and he completed preparatory class at the Orsay University.

DAISY LIN Daisy Lin just recently joined the team as a designated Clinical Trials Program Manager. Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medicine, Daisy was an Assistant Professor/Principal Investigator at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, where she focused on the effects of anesthetic exposure on the developing brain. She is now working closely with Dr. Souweidane and Dr. Greenfield to design protocols for early phase clinical trials for children with central nervous system tumors. In addition, she will ensure the success and continuation of clinical trials by writing and applying for grants, serving as a liaison with cooperative groups, structuring agreements with industry, and interfacing with the internal review board (IRB). Before starting her research career at Downstate Medical Center, Daisy was trained as a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University Medical Center, where she investigated the role of epigenetic mechanism in neuropsychiatric disorders. Daisy obtained her Ph.D in molecular/cellular biology from SUNY Downstate.

OTHER NEW ADDITIONS TO THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TEAM

MAHABUB MARAJ ALAM Joining the team from upstate New York, Maraj Alam is a research technician working with the Dahmane and Greenfield research groups. Maraj received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, then spent two years working on brain injury models at Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. Now at Weill Cornell Medicine, Maraj is working to find the molecular binding partners of proteins that play a role in the development and progression of brain tumors. True to his upstate roots, Maraj enjoys winter sports and activities, and he isn’t a big fan of the subway.

TATYANA GONGORA Tatyana joined the Dahmane and Greenfield research teams in the summer of 2019. She is a technician focused on ensuring our lab has the best mouse models to work with. She manages the colony and handles surgeries/injections, watching tumor growth closely and making adjustments to her methods in order to create mouse models that closely mimick the behavior of human brain tumors. Tatyana is a recent graduate of Bucknell University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in biology.

ESTEBAN UCEDA Esteban is a new research technician working on Dr. Greenfield’s team. His role is to serve as a liaison between precision medicine initiatives and the research performed in the CBTP lab. Much of his focus is on developing patient-derived cultures and performing high-throughput drug screening to discover new drugs that can be used for treatment. Like Dr. Greenfield, Esteban is a graduate of Amherst College with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.