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

Omar Abdel-Wahab

Professor
Omar Abdel-Wahab
The Abdel-Wahab lab focuses on understanding and targeting the somatic mutations driving hematologic malignancies. The Abdel-Wahab is especially focused on understanding the functional implication of mutations in spliceosomal proteins and epigenetic regulators in hematologic malignancies. 

Research

The Abdel-Wahab lab focuses on understanding and targeting the somatic mutations driving hematologic malignancies. Given the frequent identification of somatic mutations in genes encoding regulators of transcription in leukemia and lymphoma (Figure), the Abdel-Wahab is especially focused on understanding the functional implication of mutations in spliceosomal proteins and epigenetic regulators in hematologic malignancies. Several areas of current investigation in the lab include: 

  • How do alterations in RNA splicing drive cancer development? 
  • Can we therapeutically target RNA splicing as a novel form of cancer therapy? 
  • Does cancer-associated mis-splicing generate novel antigens for cancer immunotherapy?
  • What is the basis for drug resistance to approved therapies for blood cancers?

Figure 1

Mutation Histogram

Current Projects:

  • Understanding altered RNA splicing in cancer.  
  • Developing synthetic introns for regulated gene expression.  
  • Identifying RNA splicing derived antigens for cancer immunotherapy.  
  • Drug resistance in lymphoid and myeloid leukemias.  
  • Genomic studies of rare blood cancers.  

Bio

I am a physician-scientist focused on understanding genetic alterations driving blood cancers in hopes of developing new therapies. Motivated by the discovery of high frequency mutations in the splicing machinery in leukemias and certain solid tumors, my lab’s work has led to the development of several therapeutic approaches for these genetic subtypes of cancer which are currently in phase 1/2 clinical trials. In addition, my laboratory has performed a number of studies of molecular genetics and genomics of blood cancers more broadly and used this information to develop novel therapeutic approaches for myeloid and lymphoid hematologic cancers.  

Distinctions:

  • American Association of Physicians (AAP) Member 
  • American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Member 
  • Josie Robertson Investigator (2012-2017) 
  • Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research, American Society of Clinical Investigation 
  • Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research 
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Clinical Scholar Award 
  • Joanne Levy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement, American Society of Hematology 
  • Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award 

Current Areas of Focus

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