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Lab News

December 2023

Very productive month for the lab!

Collaborative work on brain metastasis published in NPJ Precision Oncology: 

Perspective on how to go from human tissues to mechanisms published in Genes & Immunity (Johannes, Tricia and Meri)

Collaborative work on new spatial transcriptomics method with Raul Rabadan's group published in Genome Biology (Yiping)

Co-led study on peripheral immune correlates and response to immunotherapy in lung cancer (co-first author Zach)

Ben delivered a Grand Rounds lecture at Thomas Jefferson University presenting work led by our incredible MD/PhD students Tricia, Lindsay and Zach, with support from our outstanding post-docs Johannes, Meri and Somnath.


Ben represented the lab at the first AI meets Cancer Research (AIMCR) meeting in Barcelona, Spain. An outstanding conference that was followed by another symposium at the University of Barcelona. Hope to come back next year and bring more lab members! 

October 2023

Patricia (Tricia) Ho, the Izar lab's first MD/PhD student has successfully defended her PhD thesis. She delivered an amazing presentation and passed with flying colors! In celebration of Tricia, we had a wonderful dinner at Pisticci's. A bittersweet moment for the lab, but we couldn't think of a  better first graduate from the lab.

In more good news, Harsha has secured an outstanding position at BioNTech. They are lucky to have him and we wish Harsha all the best in his new endeavor. 

September 2023

Casey's paper on temporal immune profiling to study cancer immune evasion and reseponse/resistance to immunotherapies was published in JITC.

Ben received official notice that he was named the inaugural Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Assistant  Professor of Medicine. These endowed professorships are the highest honor a University can bestow on its faculty, and we are extremely grateful for the exceptional support received by Columbia University, and we are especially thankful to Dean Katrina Armstrong, Dr. Ali Gharavi (interim Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Dr. Anne Taylor (Vice Dean of Academic Affairs) for sharing these wonderful news.

August 2023

Our lab is growing! Hsiang-Hsi, PhD student, and Harsha Gurrapu, post-doctoral fellow, have joined the lab. 

Ben received the Young Investigator Award of the Society for Melanoma Research. A tremendous honor to be selected by our peers of the largest society for melanoma research. We are looking forward to SMR 2023 in Philadelphia. 

July 2023

Our lab is growing! Luke Cai and Edridge D'Souza, both MD/PhD students at Columbia University, have joined the lab.

June 2023

Tricia's paper on CD58 and its role in cancer immune evasion was published in Cancer Cell!

Ben received the Gerstner Merit Award, providing the lab with an additional year of funding for our high-risk work in cancer immune evasion. Thank you to the Gerstner Family for a fourth year of support!

May 2023

Lindsay Caprio is now an NIH/NCI-funded MD/PhD student!!! She received the notice of award for her F30

And more good news for our outstanding and growing group of MD/PhD students: Michael Mu and Zach Walsh both passed their quals with flying colors. 

Ben and close collaborator Ashley Laughney from Weill Cornell received the notice of award for a multi-PI R01 grant from the NIH/NCI - this marks the third funded R01 for the Izar lab.

Ben was selected as winner of the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research - check out the video (that was super fun to shoot in the lab) 

April 2023

Great showing of the lab at AACR in Orlando, FL.

Meri Rogava delivered an oral presentation on her work on liver-metastatic ogranotropism!


Som Tagore gave an oral presentation on his evolving work on brain-metastatic organotropism.

Jana Biermann presented a poster on her single-cell work on immunotherapy experienced melanoma.


Lindsay Caprio presented a poster on the mechanisms linking chromosomal instability with brain metastasis.


Ben chaired a session on tumor ecosystems and presented a cross-section of work from the lab spanning technology development and dissecting metastatic niches using single-cell and spatial genomics.

Johannes received the Emerging Generation Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Ben was inducted as full member to the American Society for Clinical Investigation! Huge honors - thank you to the ASCI. 


February 2023

Casey Ager, PhD started his own lab as tenure track assistant professor at Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ 

January 2023

Our collaborative paper with Elham Azizi's lab was published in Nature Genetics. Congrats to co-first authors Yiping, Joy and Johannes on this great team project. One of many to come with the amazing Azizi lab!

July 2022

Our big single-cell paper on melanoma brain metastasis was published in Cell! Huge day for the lab. Congrats to co-first authors Jana and Johannes!

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