Hearn Jay Cho, MD, PhD, joined the MMRF as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Cho is responsible for developing the MMRF’s clinical research strategy and accelerating drug development programs, as well as for leading the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), a group of 25 leading research centers dedicated to researching and advancing treatment options for multiple myeloma patients.
Hearn Jay Cho is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and an Attending Physician with the Multiple Myeloma Service at the Mt. Sinai Tisch Cancer Institute. Dr. Cho’s laboratory is investigating novel therapies for multiple myeloma in two areas.
First, they are investigating immunologic therapies with a focus on using cutting edge genomic and immunologic assays to map the interaction between myeloma and the immune system in the tumor microenvironment. These projects illuminate the mechanisms of action of novel immune therapies in both laboratory models and clinical trials and will inform the design of rational combinations. This program has a special focus on immunologic therapy in the setting of autologous stem cell transplantation for myeloma.
Second, Dr. Cho’s group discovered that two of the type I Melanoma Antigen Genes (MAGE), MAGE-A3 and MAGE-C1, are commonly expressed in multiple myeloma and are correlated with progression of disease and proliferation. They demonstrated that type I MAGE plays a critical role in conferring resistance to chemotherapy and inhibition of apoptosis in myeloma cells through regulation of Bcl-2 family proteins and the tumor suppressor p53. Dr. Cho’s group is conducting biochemical and structural studies to identify novel pharmacologic strategies for inhibition of type I MAGE activity in myeloma.