Honors, Grants, Publications, & Media

Honors and Awards

Congratulations to our colleagues on the following recognitions

Dr. Kara Margolis Named Director of the NYU Pain Research Center, Effective May 1, 2024.

At NYU since June of 2022, Dr. Margolis has served as the NYU Pain Research Center’s Associate Director of Clinical and Translational Research and the Director of Gut-Brain Science. In her new leadership role at the NYU Pain Research Center, Dr. Margolis will utilize her expertise as a physician-scientist and administrator to build national and international translational research networks and training programs. “Dr. Kara Margolis’s demonstrated leadership and robust portfolio of clinical, translational, and basic science research make her ideally suited to lead the NYU Pain Research Center at this time,” said Dr. Charles N. Bertolami, Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU Dentistry. “Having Dr. Margolis, a physician-scientist, at the helm of this important initiative bodes well for the future of pain research and treatment – and for ultimately improving the lives of dental and medical patients suffering from pain.”

Dr. Nicola Partridge Features by ASBMR for women’s history month

Dr. Nicola Partridge was featured for Women’s History Month by ASBMR as the organizer and First Chair of the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee from 2005-2008. The society credits her as instrumental in the foundation of the committee. You can read more about her contributions to the society here.

Dr. Alex Thomsen invited to serve on NIH Study Section

Dr. Alex Thomsen invited to serve as a Member of the Cellular Signaling and Regulatory Systems Study Section (CSRS), Cell Biology Integrated Review Group (CB), CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW (CSR), for a term beginning 07/01/2024 and ending 06/30/2030. Membership on an Initial/Integrated Review Group (IRG) represents a major commitment of professional time and energy as well as a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort. IRGs review applications submitted to NIH, make recommendations on the applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of science.

Dr. Cristian Stefan Invited as Keynote Speaker

In 2023, Cristian Stefan, MD, Clinical Professor in the Department of Molecular Pathobiology, was a Keynote / Invited Speaker at the Portuguese Anatomical Society Annual Meeting in Porto, Portugal and the XXV Congreso de Anatomía del Cono Sur in Pucon, Chile. He was also Co-Chair for the “Neuroanatomy: From Mice to Humans” SfN-sponsored event at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

NYU Dentistry Receives NIH Grant to Study Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease

Laboratory studies may provide new therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Kara Margolis invited as a Session Speaker for the National Academy of sciences 34th annual Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium

This symposium series is the Academy’s premiere activity for distinguished young scientists where symposia are designed to provide an overview of advances and opportunities in a wide-ranging set of disciplines and to provide an opportunity for the future leaders of science to build a network with their colleagues.


Congratulations to our colleagues on receiving the following grants.

Anna Di Gregorio
Award: 1R01GM149841-01A1
Total Budget: $1,288,000
Title: Control of precisely timed gene expression during notochord development by Brachyury
Period: 07/05/2024 – 05/31/2028

Amedee des Georges
Award: 2R35GM133598-07
Total Budget: $2,052,750
Title: Understanding membrane proteins’ allosteric modulation with cryo-EM
Period: 08/01/2019 – 6/30/2029

Nicola Partridge
Award: TAC Award
Total Budget: $50,000
Title: Novel SIK Activators to Treat Bone Diseases
Period: 03/1/2024 – 2/28/2025

Anna Di Gregorio
Award: Department of Molecular Pathobiology Accelerator Award (B01) 2024
Period: 05/07/2024 – 05/07/2025

Dong Meng
Award: Department of Molecular Pathobiology Accelerator Award (B02) 2024
Period: 05/07/2024 – 05/07/2025

Juhee Jeong
Award: 1R03HD114829-01
Total Award: $161,000
Title: Characterization of calvarial defects in Marfan syndrome models
Period: 05/01/2024 – 04/30/2026

Lukasz Witek
Award: A24-0567-001
Title: Advanced Nerve Guide Conduits for Long Nerve Gap Injuries
Period: 3/1/2024 – 2/28/2025
PI: Dr. Vijay Sanjairaj (NYU Abu Dhabi)
Co-PIs: Lukasz Witek (Dentistry) and Jacques Hacquebord (NYU Grossman School of Medicine)

Farnaz Shamsi
Award: R01DK136724
Total Award: $2,462,473
Title: Mechanisms of slits3 signaling in thermogenic adipose tissue
Period: 04/05/2024 – 03/31/2029


Congratulations to our colleagues on the following publications

Dr. Anna Di Gregorio published in Nature Communications

Dr. Anna Di Gregorio and her lab have published a Nature Communications paper entitled “Cis-regulatory interfaces reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying the notochord gene regulatory network of Ciona”. This paper used the granular analysis of individual notochord enhancers for ten transcription factors to reconstruct the notochord gene regulatory network in Ciona and was funded in part by the Molecular Pathobiology Accelerator Award B01.

Dr. Saxena’s Manuscript “Revisiting the Intrinsic Mycobiome in Pancreatic Cancer” published in Nature on August 3rd 2023.

Fangxi Xu is first author on this paper and was responsible for all bioinformatics analysis.


• Dr. Deepak Saxena and Saxena Lab featured in April 2024 National Geographic

Dr. Deepak Saxena and the Saxena Lab have been featured in the April 2024 edition of National Geographic for their 2019 research into the identification of Malassezia fungi in pancreatic cancer cells. In 2019, Deepak Saxena of the NYU College of Dentistry and George Miller of the NYU School of Medicine supervised research and published a manuscript showing that the fungal mycobiome can promote oncogenesis in pancreatic cancer through the complement cascade by the activation of mannose-binding lectin. Smruti Pushalkar, then a researcher in the Saxena lab, was a lead coauthor on the work. The team demonstrated that, like their discoveries with the pancreatic microbiome, there is a significant increase in the abundance of intrapancreatic fungi during pancreatic cancer and that these microorganisms can translocate from the gut into the pancreas. They discovered that the pancreas mycobiome was distinct between patients with pancreatic cancer and healthy individuals, and that the genus Malassezia was more prevalent in tumor tissues of both mice and humans. Further experiments in mice showed that specific fungi and components of their cell walls activate the host complement cascade through a mannose-binding lectin-C3 axis and promote tumor growth.

Dr. Rodrigo Lacruz and Dr. Ga-Yeon Son Published in Science Signaling

Dr. Rodrigo Lacruz and Dr. Ga-Yeon Son’s research, entitled "Gates of Heaven" Calcium Channel Could Provide Therapy Target for Oral Cancers", has been published in Science Signaling and also covered in Technology Networks, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Bite Magazine, and Oral Health Group. "Results show that the ORAI1 channel fuels the growth of oral cancer tumors and produces an abundance of molecules that, once secreted, interact with neurons resulting in an increased sensitivity to pain," said Ga-Yeon.