PEMM Graduate Student Publishes Article in Cancer

On March 6, 2014 by Grad Forum

Asaf_thumbnailThe Forum would like to congratulate Asaf Wyszynski on his recent publication in the journal Cancer, which was released in February of 2014. Asaf is a sixth-year graduate student in the Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM), working in Professor Michael Cole’s lab where he studies the effects of lifestyle and genetic factors on cancer risk using molecular and computational models.

In his recently published study, Asaf collaborated with Professors Margaret Karagas and Angeline Andrew to examine the influence of lifestyle factors, such as obesity and smoking, on bladder cancer recurrence. They showed that overweight smokers were at a significantly increased risk of recurrent bladder tumors. Their work is the first US population-based study for recurrent bladder cancer with detailed follow-up data for up to 15 years. These findings are important because they identify an at-risk patient population and present modifiable risk factors for potential clinician-mediated therapeutic intervention.

Asaf has always had a penchant for the business world, eventually leveraging this, along with his background in molecular genetics, to launch Genextropy Inc., a local biotech start-up, which he co-founded with a former Myriad Genetics scientist. Genextropy currently has offices in both downtown Hanover, New Hampshire and Salt Lake City, Utah. This cutting edge molecular diagnostics company focuses on developing innovative non-invasive tools to assess overall risk and prognostic features based on profiling novel genomic variation for a variety of diseases and conditions. Asaf will be joining the company full-time upon the completion of his PhD and is excited to foster continuing collaborations within the Dartmouth community.

In addition to his scientific achievements, Asaf has maintained a deep involvement in the community as a volunteer firefighter. Beginning as a child, Asaf developed a passion for firefighting, eventually becoming an emergency medical technician and firefighter. Recently celebrating his 10-year anniversary in emergency services, Asaf is now captain of Ladder Co. # 1 with the Norwich Fire Department in Norwich, Vermont and looks forward to continuing his service.

Congratulations, Asaf! The Dartmouth community looks forward to your continued contributions!

by Alison Paquette

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