The Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is a translational research hub, which opened under the direction of renowned pathologist and prostate cancer expert Dr. Mark Rubin in 2013. The IPM team includes clinicians, basic scientists, pathologists, molecular biologists, and computational biologists. These physician-scientists are directing their collective expertise and wealth of knowledge to pinpoint the molecular underpinnings of disease and spur the discovery of novel therapies.
The Institute’s three main resources, next-generation genomics, biobanking, and computational biology, enable the IPM team to most efficiently match new, biologically-targeted therapies to the cancer patients who will benefit most.
The IPM has already sequenced the genomes of more than 100 patients, and is building a comprehensive biobank of tissue samples. The biobank also includes more than 2,000 prostate samples collected from patients treated at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Over the coming months and years as IPM scientists sequence additional patients’ genomes and add samples to the biobank, IPM researchers will gain insight into specific genetic alterations that recur from patient to patient, and that may be targetable with existing or new drugs.
Members of the institute work collaboratively with physician-scientists nationally and internationally; this team science approach is critical to advancing treatment and speeding the handoff from discovery to clinical implementation. By linking cutting-edge research and next-generation sequencing in the laboratory to the patient’s bedside the IPM hopes to revolutionize the way we treat disease.
The Meyer Cancer Center is a collaborative, multidisciplinary research enterprise located at Weill Cornell Medical College, in affiliation with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies, nearly 250 basic, translational and clinical researchers from Weill Cornell and Cornell University’s Ithaca campus work together with colleagues at other institutions – including Memorial Sloan Kettering, Columbia University, Rockefeller University and New York Methodist Hospital – to take fundamental discoveries from bench to bedside, and back again. The Center’s mission is to ensure that patients can have immediate access to emerging new therapies in a supportive and caring environment, while training future researchers and recruiting leaders in cancer research and clinical care.
Dr. Rubin is one of the PIs of the SU2C/PCF Prostate Cancer study using precision medicine across 5 clinical sites to inform optimal patient care. Working closely with Drs. Charles Sawyers, Arul Chinnaiyan, Peter Nelson, Philip Kantoff, and Johann De Bono, Dr. Rubin plays an active role coordinating the interface between pathology and Next Generation Sequencing results. His group facilitated the development of Standard Operating Procedures for taking metastatic bone and soft tissue biopsies and the creation of an integrated bioinformatics approach leveraging prior collaborations with the Broad Institute and MSKCC. His SU2C/PCF site has also developed a clinical trial in Neuroendocrine prostate cancer that is now included in the overall SU2C/PCF study.
The long standing support of the Prostate Cancer Foundation has strengthened the Rubin lab collaborative efforts to include experts Scott Tomlins, Himisha Beltran, Karen Knudsen, Christopher Barbieri and David Rickman on multiple studies such as SPOP mutant Prostate Cancer, N-Myc driven Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer, Precision Medicine Sequencing and the Genomics of Prostate Cancer Progression.
The coordinated efforts of the Rubin lab and the Institute for Precision Medicine have produced a novel platform for organoid development that is endorsed by the Starr Cancer Consortium.
As a co-PI with Arul M. Chinnaiyan (Michigan), their team has built a robust Early Detection Research Network Discovery Biomarker Laboratory grant using a systems biology approach to develop prostate cancer biomarkers. At the core of this activity has been the discovery, validation, and now commercial development of the common ETS rearrangements in prostate cancer. This work exemplifies a true team science effort and represents a model for current discovery work in the area of precision medicine and genomics.