NYU PHYSICIAN

America's Neuro-Oncologist

When Senator Edward M. Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2008, he and his family consulted Howard Fine, MD, then chief of the neuro-oncology branch of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Fine is world-renowned as a pioneering neuro-oncologist and cancer researcher, and Senator Kennedy, like so many other patients facing the specter of brain cancer, was eager to tap his expertise.

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A Strategy to Drive Leukemia Out of Hiding

Iannis Aifantis, PhD, had been studying leukemia for years when, in 2007, he hit upon a discovery that would take his research in an unexpected direction. At the time, Dr. Aifantis, professor of pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center and an Early Career Scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, had been teasing out the molecular workings of a type of pediatric cancer known as T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. T-ALL, as it's called, afflicts about 1,000 children in the United States each year, causing the overproduction of immature white blood cells. Many sufferers lose the ability to fight off infections and bleed too easily. In about 25 percent of cases, patients die due to irreparable damange to vital organs and the central nervous system.

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