PI: Ken Olive, Ph.D.
Ken began his doctoral studies in 1998 in the laboratory of Tyler Jacks at the MIT Center for Cancer Research, investigating the neomorphic effects of mutant p53 in a mouse model of Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. While at MIT, he also helped develop a conditional mutant model of advanced lung adenocarcinoma. After graduating in 2005, Ken began a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of David Tuveson at the University of Pennsylvania, later moving with the lab to the University of Cambridge in England. There he built a translational research facility for studying novel anticancer therapeutics in genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer. Ken joined the faculty of the Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center in January of 2010, where he is continuing his investigations into the response of pancreatic tumors to therapeutic interventions. He also founded and directs the Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource (SAISR) within the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Carlo Maurer, M.D.
Carlo started an experimental MD thesis at the Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie in Freiburg (Germany) in 2007 when he was still a medical student. Under the supervision of Matthias Müller he studied mechanistic aspects that underlie the translocation of folded proteins across the inner membrane of E. coli. After receiving his MD degree in 2011, he pursued clinical training in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Klinikum rechts der Isar (TU München) in Munich (Germany). Besides his clinical training, he characterized the effects of IL-8 signaling and telomere attrition in a GEMM of Barrett’s esophagus in the laboratory of Michael Quante. During his care for patients with GI cancers, his attention was drawn towards the giant clinical problem that is pancreatic cancer. This led him to join the Olive laboratory where he currently studies differential gene expression in pancreatic cancer and is supported by a Mildred-Scheel Postdoctoral Fellowship (Deutsche Krebshilfe).
Luis Arnes, Ph.D.
Luis Arnes received his PhD from the Department of Genetics and Cell Biology at the school of Biological Science at the Autonomous University in Spain in 2009. After graduation, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Lori Sussel in the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University to study the gene regulatory network that regulates pancreas development and maintenance of terminally differentiated endocrine lineages. He received extensive training in molecular biology and mouse genetics. His current research integrates genome wide data and experimental validation to identify novel regulators of tumor progression with emphasis in signaling pathways required in development and aberrantly reactivated in tumorigenesis.
Irina received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Russian Academy of Sciences in 2006 for her work on melanoma cells escaping immune response. After graduating, she joined Dr. Peggy Crow’s lab at the Hospital for Special Surgery where she was looking for triggers of autoimmune diseases. Her current research at Columbia University is focused on the role of long non-coding RNAs in pancreatic cancer development.
As an undergraduate at Harvard, Mike carried out his thesis work in the Scadden Lab at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. His research focused on the quantitative analysis of the hematopoietic stem cell niche and studying leukemic stem cells. After graduating in 2008 with a degree in Biochemistry, he continued his research training as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the NIH in the Nash Lab, exploring the effects of volatile anesthetics on learning and memory in fruit flies. In August 2017, Mike successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on the topic of cysteine import and metabolism and its importance in maintaining pancreatic tumors, and is looking to continue his work on pancreatic cancer metabolism.
Roshan received her B.A. in the Biological Sciences and the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine from the University of Chicago in 2008. Soon after graduation she started research in Dr. Joanna Burdette's laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago on p53 and Smad signaling in ovarian cancer. This experience sparked her interest in basic science and after two years in the Burdette laboratory, Roshan joined the Pharmacology and Molecular Signaling PhD program at Columbia University. To continue her work on cancer biology and gain experience in translational research, Roshan began work in the Olive lab in 2012. Roshan’s research focuses on targeting pancreatic cancer metabolism, in particular understanding the contribution of de novo fatty acid synthesis and scavenging to tumor growth and maintenance.
Jaime received her BS in Neuroscience from SUNY Binghamton in 2010. During this time she completed her honors thesis in the Deak Lab, where she studied the neuroimmunological consequences of chronic social stress in rats using a social defeat paradigm. Following her graduation, she pursued additional research training at the National Cancer Institute in the Pastan Lab, where she helped identify and eliminate T cell epitopes in a recombinant immunotoxin to improve its utility as a cancer therapeutic. In 2012, Jaime began her PhD studies at Columbia University. Her interest in translational research led her to join the Olive Lab, where she is currently using the KPC mouse model of pancreatic cancer to study the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease.
Steve received his B.Sc in Pathology/Immunology from the University of Melbourne, Australia. While working in the university's Department of Medicine at the Austin Hospital under Prof. George Jerums, he combined clinical diagnostics, small animal surgery and research projects in the areas of diabetes, reproductive endocrinology and osteoporosis. As a technical scientist, he has worked with and developed diagnostic and research techniques for a number of medical disciplines including Endocrinology, Liver & Kidney Transplant, Neuroscience, Laboratory Pathology and commercial biotechnology. Steve joined the Olive Laboratory to apply his diverse experience to managing the Mouse Hospital.
Carmine started his scientific career in the Olive Laboratory as an intern in the summer of 2011 and subsequently was hired as a technician. He graduated from Stony Brook with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. Carmine works closely with Steve Sastra, putting in extensive hours in the mouse hospital. His work primarily involves taking and quantifying ultrasound images as a tool for diagnostics and research of cancer biology. He also considers the welfare of animals at great length when planning experiments. In 2014, Carmine was promoted to senior technician in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the lab.
Christopher is the Senior Staff Officer / Imaging Scientist / Manager of the Columbia University Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Chris received his Bachelor’s from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2001 and started working at the Garden State Cancer Center and the Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology the following fall. Chris moved to ImClone Systems and then Eli Lilly and company focusing of preclinical experimental therapeutics in their monoclonal antibody platforms and advanced through the company for over a decade. Chris is very proud to have been part of the teams that has brought a number of breakthrough drugs to market, specifically Erbitux (Cetuximab) and Cyramza (Ramucirumab). Chris loves his position here at Columbia University where he gets to teach the next generations of research scientists throughout the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center the benefits of noninvasive imaging like MRI, CT, Ultrasound and Optical for their ongoing longitudinal studies. Born and raised in New Jersey, Chris is a diehard Yankees fan, and enjoys being very bad at golf when he gets to play, when he is not playing Ingress on his phone.
Gulam Manji, M.D., Ph.D.
Gulam received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His thesis research focused on virus-induction and inhibition of apoptosis with an emphasis on studying the mechanism by which Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein’s (IAPs) exert their function. He then performed a post-doctoral fellowship at Millennium Pharmaceuticals where he identified a gene family that contained the Pyrin domain, a novel death domain. Amongst these genes, Pypaf1/NLRP3 was the first reported to be involved in activation of IL-1b and was later shown to activate the inflammasome. Gulam later pursued proteomics studies on Alzheimer’s disease and biomarker identification for colorectal cancer at Elan Pharmaceutical’s and MDS Proteomics before pursuing his clinical training. He pursued his medical degree at Ross University and Internal Medicine Residency training at Albany Medical Center. He is currently a second year Clinical Fellow within the Department of Hematology and Oncology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University and is interested in translational studies to target GI malignancies, in particular pancreas cancer.