Clinical Assistant Professor
Anatomic Pathology; Clinical Pathology
I am a board-certified pathologist. I‘m serving the Kaleida Health laboratories primarily in the fields of hematology/hematopathology and transfusion medicine.
My research experiences includes both basic immunology and translational research involving antibody engineering, lymphoma and solid tumor immunotherapy, lymphoma characterization, leukemic bone marrow microenvironment studies, as well as general clinical pathology research.
My previous research was focused on using different antibody-based strategies to generate novel reagents for cancer immunotherapy. For example, based on the observation that the induction of apoptosis in lymphoma cells requires proper presentation of anti-CD20, we have generated a novel Rituximab Polymer that induces apoptosis in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells. Bio-distribution study has shown that this polymer targeted Burritt’s lymphoma cells in mouse xenograft model. Immunotherapeutic study has demonstrated that systemic delivery of this polymer successfully induced tumor regression in vivo. Moreover, we found that some anti-HLA-DR monoclonal antibody and its humanized form are also potent apoptosis inducers on lymphoma cells. We also showed that tumor targeting antibodies fused with T-cell co-stimulators presented increased tumor uptake. Systemic administration of this combination induced tumor regression significantly and prolonged the survival of treated mice.
Currently, my research focuses on the characterization of follicular lymphoma with marginal zone differentiation. Follicular lymphoma (FL) with marginal zone differentiation is a relatively rare morphologic variant of FL. We tried to characterize the clinicopathologic features as well as survival studies. We found that this morphology correlates with complex cytogenetic abnormalities and associated with worse clinical outcome compared with follicular lymphoma without marginal zone differentiation. Recognizing this variant is important in patient treatment and prognosis.
Another focus of my currently ongoing studies is about the bone marrow microenvironment in leukemic and aleukemic acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Aleukemic AML differs from leukemic AML in that the peripheral blood show high blast counts. Little is understood why in certain AML, the bone marrow releases high number of blasts into the peripheral blood. Our hypothesis is that there is a bone marrow-sinusoids gate that controls the release of hematopoietic cells into peripheral blood, including the immature precursor cells. This gate can be affected by the changes in bone marrow microenvironment including aberrant expression of certain adhesion molecules and a variety of depositions in the stroma by AML. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that in many previous studies, only high blast counts in the peripheral blood correlates with worse prognosis in AML. I believe further exploration along this direction will gain us more valuable information about AML pathophysiology.
I have also been actively involved in undergraduate student, medical student, and junior resident teaching and training during all these years of my career development. I enjoyed sharing my thoughts and experiences with them and often times, I learn a lot from these interactions.