Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute

Monica Guzman

Associate Professor
Dr. Guzman
We aim to (1) identify vulnerabilities in malignant stem/progenitor cells (2) measure residual disease (3) assess the tumor microenvironment; with the purpose of identifying therapeutic approaches to eliminate malignant cells without harming their normal counterparts.


Leukemia can initiate from early oncogenic events in hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, such events lead to the accumulation of pre-leukemia hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells that eventually can acquire subsequent mutations resulting in transformed malignant stem/progenitor cells that can give rise to leukemia.  Acute myeloid leukemia is a disease with still very poor outcomes, despite that most patients can achive complete remission, the majority will relapse and eventually die of disease.  

Figure 1

Dr.Guzman Transformation Figure 1

Such poor outcomes are attributed to the inability to eliminate malignant stem/progenitor cells.  Thus, the laboratory focuses on (1) implementing methodologies that allow for the detection of residual disease using flow cytometry or next generation sequencing.   (2) implementing methodologies that mimic the microenvironment of malignant hematopoietic cells to assess stem/progenitor biological features or sensitivity to drug treatment ex vivo. (3) Testing novel therapeutic approaches to target such malignant population of cells; such approaches include chimeric antigen receptor T cells, epichaperome inhibitors and other targeted therapies using in vitro and in vivo models (4) Implementing microfluidic devices to understand the impact of early oncogenic events in hematopoietic cells. 

Figure 2



Current Projects:

  • 3D systems to mimic the tumor microenvironment 
  • Improving CAR T cells responses using combinatorial approaches 
  • Epichaperome inhibitors as a therapeutic approach for leukemia and myeloma 
  • Clonal hematopoiesis 
  • Measurable residual disease 


Monica L. Guzman, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology in Medicine, in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical CollegeDr. Guzman did her undergraduate studies at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, completed her Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of Kentucky. She was an Instructor in Medicine at the University of Rochester. She joined WCM in 2009.


  • NIH Director’s Innovator Award (DP2) 2010 
  • V-Foundation Scholar 2010 
  • Irma T. Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Investigator Award 2015 
  • Evans MDS Foundation 2019 
  • Listed in 100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America 2020 
  • Included in Hispanic Role Models in Science: Advice for future scientists (Hispanics in Medicine and Science) by Paola Mina- Osorio. ISBN-13:9781735172873 
  • Included in “Ciencia y Vida” a compilation of 36 Outstanding Mexican Scientists by Hector Mayani. Editorial Paralelo 21. 2023 

Current Areas of Focus

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