Dr. Jessica Posada, Surgical Pathology Fellow, Article Published in Clinical Cancer Research (CCR)

Dr. Jessica Posada, surgical pathology fellow, and her colleagues recently published an article in Clinical Cancer Research (CCR) (impact factor 13.8) which investigated a new combination therapy for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC). Dr. Posada is a co-first author and her immunofluorescence image of resected pancreatic cancer from a treated patient with LAPC was selected for the journal cover (volume 29, issue 8).

The combination therapy—losartan+FFX+CRT—includes the blood pressure drug losartan plus a chemotherapy cocktail called FOLFIRINOX followed by chemoradiation. The team found that this treatment inhibited immunosuppression, reduced the expression of genes that promote the invasion of tumor cells, and induced changes in the blood levels of various molecules involved in blood vessel health. This study not only reveals how losartan may synergize with emerging cytotoxic regimens, but also provides valuable information for overcoming resistance to immunotherapy—such as immune checkpoint blockers—that can occur in pancreatic cancer. 

Addition of Losartan to FOLFIRINOX and Chemoradiation Reduces Immunosuppression-Associated Genes, Tregs, and FOXP3+ Cancer Cells in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer”.

Full Press Release





New insights into how blood pressure drug may benefit patients with loca...

Losartan may augment the benefits of other anti-cancer therapies by reducing tumor invasion and immunosuppression.



For Immediate Posting: H-1B Petition Filed with Dept. of Labor

H-1B Petition Filed with Dept. of Labor


Notice of the Filing of a Labor Condition Application with the Employment and Training Administration

1. An H‐1B non‐immigrant worker is being sought by Brown University through the filing of a Labor Condition Application with the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.
2. One such work is being sought.
3. The occupation classification for which the work is being sought is “Bioinformatics Scientists”.
4. An annual salary of sixty seven thousand seven hundred eighty seven dollars is being offered to this worker.
5. The period of employment for which this worker is sought is June 18, 2023 to June 30, 2025.
6. The employment will occur at Brown University, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 70 Ship Street, Providence, RI 02903.
7. The Labor Condition Application will be available for public inspection at Brown University, 69 Brown Street, Suite 420, Providence, RI 02912.

Complaints alleging misrepresentation of material facts in the Labor Condition Application (LCA) and/or failure to comply with the terms of the LCA may be filed with any office of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Peter Lee, PhD - Collaborates with NIH and NASA to Send Human Heart Tissue Into Space

News from Brown

Researchers launch heart tissue to the International Space Station to help cardiac patients on Earth.

International Space Station experiments co-led by Peter Lee, a Brown scholar, cardiothoracic surgeon and longtime space researcher, will help inform understanding and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — When Dr. Peter Lee leaves his Brown University lab and looks up into the night sky, he can sometimes catch a glimpse of his own research project.

A practicing cardiothoracic surgeon and a Brown assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine (research), Lee is a member of a multi-institution team that has collaborated with the National Institutes of Health and NASA to send human heart “tissue-on-a-chip” specimens into space. The tissue samples were launched into the stratosphere aboard a Cargo Dragon spacecraft as part of SpaceX CRS-27, a resupply mission to the International Space Station that blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center this spring.

The project, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, is designed to monitor the tissue for changes in the mitochondria of heart muscle cells, as well as their ability to contract in low-gravity conditions. Astronauts on board during the mission will also introduce three medicines to the samples in an effort to prevent heart cell changes known or suspected to occur in people undertaking long-duration spaceflights.

The low-gravity environment of the space station provides an ideal laboratory in which to study aging-like biological processes that otherwise take place over much longer periods of time on Earth, Lee explained.

“Researchers have found that the changes that happen to human tissues in space are similar to what happen during the course of normal aging — but over a few weeks or a month compared to many years,” Lee said. “Our experiment is using the space microgravity environment as a model of accelerated aging so that we can observe cellular changes in heart muscle that would normally take a long time to happen, and quickly translate them into experiments here on Earth.”

The results of the space experiments have far-reaching implications.

“What we learn from these experiments with heart tissue can inform how we treat age-related cardiac problems in patients,” Lee said. “The study will not only improve understanding of how the heart cells respond to drugs in space, but could also lead to innovations in drug development to help patients on Earth.”

Jessica Plavicki, PhD has received the Graduate School Faculty Award for Advising and Mentoring for 2023

In order to recognize the significant contributions of Brown University faculty members as advisors or mentors to graduate students, the Graduate School invites nominations on behalf of any Brown faculty member who has served as a graduate advisor, unofficial or official mentor, trainer, or dissertation chair for the Graduate School Faculty Award for Advising & Mentoring. The Graduate School will make up to four awards for mentoring and advising contributions within each of Brown University’s four disciplinary divisions: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Further information can be found on the Graduate School Website.

M. Ruhul Quddus, MD-Recognition by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Dr. M. Ruhul Quddus, has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute for his subject matter expertise and outstanding contribution to reviewing histologies of the Cervix, Endometrium, Fallopian Tube, Myometrium, Ovary, and Vagina. His insightful comments on tumor site-histology combinations provided a wealth of information that is being used to inform cancer surveillance data collection standards.

Cancer PathCHART is a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute, College of American Pathologists, American Joint Commission on Cancer, World Health Organization, and seven other national, North American, and global organizations that is aimed at aligning standards for public health cancer data with medical practice. This initiative is the first of its kind with physician and registrar review of these gold standards for tumor site-histology combinations reported by tumor registrars. While initially focused on implementation for 2024 in North America, Cancer PathCHART standards will be made freely available in accessible formats for implementation by cancer registries and cancer researchers across the globe. Your reviews are critical to our reaching our goals for Cancer PathCHART.

2023 Pilot Project Research Grant Awardees

Pilot Project Research Grant Award

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University is pleased to announce the 2023 Pilot Project Research Grant Awardees ($25,000 per project). The program objective is to foster translational research collaborations and provide funding support for junior clinical faculty in the Brown affiliated hospital systems.

Awardees:      Adina Badea, PhD & Daniel J. Spade, PhD

Project Title: A look into environmental reproductive toxicology: robust quantification of steroid hormones, cholesterol, and arachidonic acid levels in phthalate-exposed rat fetal testes

Awardees:      Shaolei Lu, MD, PhD & Yun-An Tseng, DO

Project Title: Characterization of basal-like pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Awardees:      Ece Uzun, PhD & Joyce Ou, MD, PhD

Project Title: Stratification of ovarian cancer subgroups using network biology approach

Panel Chairs

Liang Cheng, MD, Vice Chair for Translational Research

Geralyn M. Lambert-Messerlian, PhD, Vice Chair for Clinical Faculty Development

Panel Members:

Ivana Delalle, MD, PhD

Sean Lawler, PhD

M. Ruhul Quddus, MD

Robert W. Sobol, PhD

Li Juan Wang, MD, PhD

Chair of Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine:  Jonathan D. Kurtis, MD, PhD


2023 Brown Pathology Travel Award Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Brown Pathology Travel Award:

  • Yigit Baykara, MD (PGY 3) - Protein-Protein Interactions in Papillary and FollicularThyroid Carcinomas
  • Mohammed Omer, MD (PGY 2) – IPSS-M Improves the Risk Stratification of MDS Patients: A Single Institution Experience
  • Evi Abada, MD, MS (Stuart Lauchlan Fellow) – Low Level Expression of Human Epidermal Growth Factor-2 (HER2) in High-Grade Mullerian Tumors: Implications For Therapy Decision Making
  • Jessica Posada, MD, PhD (Surgical Pathology Fellow) – Characterizing the Genomic Landscape of Micropapillary Variant of Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder Harboring Activating Extra-Cellular Mutations of the ERBB2 Gene

We would like to thank our Brown Pathology Travel Award Selection Committee members for their efforts: Mariana Canepa, Shaza Ben Khadra, Katrine Hansen, Sean Lawler, Sara Maleki, Joyce Ou, Michael Punsoni, Mohammed Quddus, Kamaljeet Singh, Evgeny Yakirevich, Alisha Lima (Coordinator).
Diana O. Treaba, Director of Brown Pathology Residency Program
Jesse L. Hart, Associate Director of Brown Pathology Residency Program
Geralyn M. Lambert-Messerlian, Vice Chair for Clinical Faculty Development
Liang Cheng, Vice Chair for Translational Research

Dr. Anatoly Zhitkovich-Expert Evaluator at the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program Public Science Meeting on 1/11/23

Dr. Anatoly Zhitkovich served as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) selected expert to evaluate EPA's Plan to conduct Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)  Assessment of Inhalation Exposure to Cobalt and Cobalt Compounds. The EPA held a public meeting on this topic on 1-11-23 where Dr. Zhitkovich gave two presentations. The first presentation was on the "Association Between Lung and Adrenal Tumor Formation" and the second was on "Proposed MOA of Cobalt Carcinogenicity."

Cancer Drug Resistance Interview with Dr. Wafik El-Deiry

On December 1, 2022, the Editorial Office of Cancer Drug Resistance (CDR) was very honored to interview Journal Editorial Board member Prof. Wafik S. El-Deiry, who is Associate Dean for Oncologic Sciences at the Warren Alpert Medical School, Director of the Cancer Center at Brown University, and Director of the Joint Program in Cancer Biology at Brown University and Affiliated Hospitals, Providence, RI, USA.

In the interview, Prof. El-Deiry shared what motivated him to enter the field of oncology research, research advances, and challenges in the field. In addition, he shared that the original discovery of p21 is one of the most exciting things in his career. p21 was the first mammalian CDK inhibitor to be discovered, which eventually led to the discovery and development of a new class of now FDA approved CDK inhibitor drugs. Furthermore, he also gave some advice to young researchers. He stressed that young researchers should really consider pursuing oncology research when they do have some interest and skills on it. He said that they can really make a difference in the world. Finally, he talked about how cancer drug resistance is very important and has huge challenges, and hoped that we could continue making important progress.

View the complete interview at the link below:

CDR Interview with Dr. El-Deiry