Department of Pathology News

2014 Incoming Residents

Friday, March 21, 2014

Robin Burger, MD
Robin Burger, MD

University at Buffalo State University of New York School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Other Awards/Accomplishments: Summa cum Laude, Yeshiva University, 2010; Mr. & Mrs. H.I. Feldman Award for Excellence in Biology, 2010; Dean’s List, Yeshiva University, Stern College for Women, 2006- 2010; Who’s Who Among Students in America Universities and Colleges, 2009;
Certificate of Achievement in In-Vitro Toxicology, Stern College for Women, 2008.
Hobbies & Interests: cooking, reading, writing poetry, and watching movies.
 Rosemarie DiDonato, MD
Rosemarie DiDonato, MD

New York Medical College
Other Awards/Accomplishments: Dean’s List, Temple University School of Pharmacy, Fall 2008; Graduated Magna cum Laude (3.81 GPA), U. of Scranton, 2008; Dean’s List, U. of Scranton, 2006-2008. Scholar-Athlete Award (GPA over 3.6), U. of Scranton, Spring 2008; Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll, U. of Scranton, Fall 2007; NSCAA (National College Soccer Coaches Association of America) Scholar All-East Team, U. of Scranton, 2006; Loyola Academic Scholarship, U. of Scranton, May 2005; Dean's List, NYU, Fall 2004. 
Hobbies & Interests: Since September 2011, I have participated in the New York Medical College Soccer Club. From the fall of 2005 until the fall of 2007 season I was a member of the women’s soccer team at the University of Scranton and played soccer at New York University in the 2004 season. I also participated in the NYMC international food fair. Besides playing soccer I also enjoy running, traveling, reading, art, film and going to concerts.
Ivo Francischetti, MD, PhD
Ivo Francischetti, MD, PhD

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Other Awards/Accomplishments: 2006 - Francischetti IMB, Valenzuela JG and Ribeiro JMC. Ixodes scapularis Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor. United States Patent Holder. In 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010-2012, received Staff Recognition Award, NIAID/NIH. Bethesda, MD, USA.. Reviewer for several Journals (Blood, PNAS, Nat Med, Plos Pathogens, Science), grants (Germany, UK, Sweden). Chair, Educational Subcommittee (Exogenous Factors) of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. 
Hobbies & Interests: Reading, sports, planes, traveling, music, museums. 
Ritu Gupta, MD
Rita Gupta, MD

University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Cornell University - Dean's List
Yale University, Internal Medicine
Hobbies & Interests: The arts have been a strong interest of mine for as far back as I can remember, from playing piano as a child to playing the drums and performing with other student musicians throughout medical school, holding concerts for patients and raising money for charities. I have also been involved with diverse styles of dance, including Indian and hip-hop, and choreography at various times since college. Other interests include running 5ks and reading popular neuroscience books and mystery novels.
Hugo Kaneku Nagahama, MD
Hugo Kaneku Nagahama, MD

Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
Other Awards/Accomplishments: Young Investigator Award, International Liver Transplantation Society Meeting, San Francisco 2012; Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Prof. Paul I. Terasaki, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
Hobbies & Interests: Running, soccer, baseball, electronic gadgets, music.

Sabrina Racine Brzostek, MD, PhD   Sabrina Racine Brzostek, MD, PhD

The School of Medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center

Other Awards/Accomplishments: Awarded the Cancer Biochemistry & Cell Biology Training Fellowship in both 2005 and 2006. This training grant is awarded by the National Cancer Institute to a graduate student in the Molecular Biology/Microbiology Dept at Stony Brook University. I was also awarded the Seymour & Vivian Milstein ISICR Travel Award, which allowed me to present my work in a poster session at the Conference of the International Cytokine Society & the International Society for IFN & Cytokine Research in Montreal in 2008. 

Photo Gallery

Recent News 

ZhuHalmos-microscope Teaming Up to Bring Life-Saving Immunotherapy to Cancer Patients Montefiore’s IHC Laboratory and Clinical Oncology Team Up to Bring PD-L1 Testing for Cancer Immunotherapy In-House

Fooksman Visualizing the Immune Response Einstein Researchers Uncover Early Events in Severe Malaria Via Real-Time Video


MayaJoining Forces to Validate a Novel Biomarker for Breast Cancer Metastasis. In December 2016, Joseph Sparano, MD, associate chair of medical oncology at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, presented an invited paper at the 39th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Sparano reported on a study he led to clinically validate MetaSite (MS), a novel biomarker for metastasis in breast cancer. Joining him were two of his coauthors, Joan Jones, MD, and Maja Oktay, MD,PhD—both members of the Montefiore/Einstein Department of Pathology and Einstein’s Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology.



Michael Prystowsky Michael Prystowsky, MD, PhD, “The People Have Spoken,” Archives of Pathology, February the full article 



Michael PrystowskyDr. Prystowsky is also featured “An Ocean Apart,” a Q & A with leading British and American leaders in the field, on the role of pathology and pathologists. The Pathologist, January the full article  


James PullmanJames Pullman, MD, PhD, and Jonathan Nylk, PhD, “Finely Tuned Microscopy,” The Pathologist, December 2016. read the full article 



louis-weissLouis Weiss, MD, MPH, was awarded a $2.1 million, five-year grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to continue his efforts to understand how microsporidia—a type of single-celled parasite--infects host cells via a unique invading structure called the polar tube. read more 
DavidFooksmanDavid Fooksman, PhD, and Gregoire Lauvau, PhD, received a two-year $250,000 R21 grant from the NIAID to continue their groundbreaking use of in vivo video to shed light on the type 1 interferon pathway, an inflammatory signal that appears to play a pivotal role in severe malaria. (For details, see in Published Research and Cross-Campus Collaborations.)


FernandoFernando Macian-Juan, MD, PhD, has received a five-year, $2 million grant from the NIAID to study how chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in T cells regulates the cells’ function. CMA is a degradation system that cells use to break down and recycle their more  


RachelRachel Hazan, PhD, has received a one-year, $300,000 grant renewal from the Avon Foundation to continue leading a study on the role of cell cycle inhibitor P21 in triple-negative breast cancer, with a focus on metastatic disease. Her project collaborators are Susan Fineberg, MD, and Joseph Sparano, MD.


Experimental pathology aims to define disease in terms of fundamental molecular and cellular processes. Research in our Department is focused on critical issues in multiple disease classes. Areas of focus include 

Research in each of these areas is highly interactive, and the Department strives for a collegial atmosphere in which collaborations can flourish. This effort is conducted through a variety of department-level activities, including regular meetings to discuss work in progress and a departmental retreat at which students, postdoctoral fellows, residents and faculty all have opportunity to present and discuss their research.

Research Funding Program

The Department of Pathology has established a research funding program to encourage residents and fellows to participate in clinical pilot research projects. Up to $2,000 will be awarded per research project, for projects of up to two years in duration.

Research Faculty

Amanda Beck, DVM 

Geoffrey Childs, PhD 

Joan W. Berman, PhD 

Mahalia Desruisseaux, MD, PhD 

Amy Fox, MD  

David Fooksman, PhD  

Rachel Hazan, PhD 

Lawrence Herbst, DVM, PhD 

Huan Huang, MD 

Sunhee C. Lee, MD  

Fernando Macian, MD, PhD 

Maja Oktay, MD, PhD 

Harry Ostrer, MD 

Thomas J. Ow, MD 

Michael B. Prystowsky, MD, PhD 

Moshe Sadofsky, MD, PhD 

Laura Santambrogio, MD, PhD 

Bridget Shafit-Zagardo, PhD 

Herbert Tanowitz, MD 

Louis Weiss, MD 



FernandoFernando Macian-Juan, MD, PhD, has been granted tenure in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Macian-Juan is a Professor of Pathology. The Macian-Juan laboratory studies the mechanisms that regulate the induction of T cell tolerance and exhaustion; reversal of tumor-induced T cell tolerance as an immunotherapeutic approach; autophagy and T cell function; and aging in the T cell compartment.



lauraLaura Santambrogio, MD, PhD, has been awarded tenure in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Santambrogio is a Professor of Pathology, of Microbiology & Immunology and of Orthopaedic Surgery. The Santambrogio laboratory investigates antigen processing and MHC class II presentation pathways; pathogenesis of autoimmune response to self antigens; analysis of the lymph formation and lymphatic transport.



mahaliaMahalia S. Desruisseaux, MD, has been named an Associate Professor of Pathology at Einstein. She also holds the title of Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases). Dr. Desruisseaux’s research focus is cerebral malaria: mechanisms of longterm cognitive dysfunction; regulation and activation of vasoactive mediators; and on modulators of blood-brain barrier impairment, and of neuronal and glial cell dysfunction.

Wendy Szymczak, PhD, has been appointed Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Montefiore. Dr. Szymczak formerly served as assistant to Laboratory Director Michael Levi, PhD. She also holds the title of Assistant Professor of Pathology at Einstein. Prior to joining Montefiore, Dr. Szymczak completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at Einstein in 2013. She earned her doctorate in molecular genetics, biochemistry & microbiology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 2010.

Emelia Cortez, Phlebotomy Laboratory manager, and her team, received a certificate of RESPECT in January for their outstanding efforts to ensure that patients in the Phlebotomy Unit at Montefiore’s Greene Medical Arts Pavilion received excellent care despite the challenges of a particularly stressful day. The honor, bestowed on the recommendation of grateful patients, recognizes service that “exemplifies the behaviors of the Montefiore Standards of Respect.”


Over the past year, research studies by Pathology Department faculty members have been published in prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals.

View a sampling of these articles here. 


  Gloria Ramos-Rivera, MD, chief resident of the Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Program at Montefiore, has been awarded the College of American Pathologists’s Ventana Fellowship. Funded by Ventana Medical Systems, the $5,000 grant will allow Dr. Ramos Rivera to participate in an advanced elective in translational diagnostics. She will travel to Tucson, AZ, in June, for the four-week training. Read more. 
 Decoding the Mysteries of a Lethal Parasite
Tatsuki Sugi, DVM, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Louis Weiss, is shedding light on the survival mechanism of Toxoplasma gondii. Read more. 
Exploring Low-Intensity Focused Ultrasound’s Potential as Cancer Immunotherapy
Karin Skalina, a predoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Chandan Guha, is investigating a new application of ultrasound as a non-invasive approach to cancer immunotherapy. Read more. 

Women’s March 2017: Montefiore Pathology Resident Stands Up for Social Justice
Elizabeth Richards, MD, describes her experience as a participant in the Women’s March in Washington, DC, and in a follow-up event in New York City. Read more. 


We welcome Fabiane Matos dos Santos, PhD, a Visiting Scientist from the Federal University of Espirito Santo (FUES) in Brazil, and Sangeetha Thangaswamy, PhD,  from the Satara Univerity School of Chemical and Biotechnology in India.

Read about Drs. Matos dos Santos and Thangaswamy, and see the roster of our new Pathology residents here. 

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