September 3, 2007
After a national search, the Einstein Department of Medicine has recruited Simon Spivack, M.D., M.P.H., as the new Chief of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine. Spivack is a physician-scientist in the Human Toxicology & Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory at the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center in Albany, and an Associate Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care in the Department of Medicine and of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at SUNY Albany.
Dr. Spivack's NIH funding and research expertise centers around the nexus of lung cancer, human genetics, early detection, and epidemiology. His present projects use analysis of DNA recovered from cells in exhaled breath, a technique he pioneered in the hopes that his group can potentially detect cancer at an early stage, when treatment may be most successful.
In particular, Spivack's lab has looked to see if the DNA they captured had been methylated. Spivack and colleagues have analyzed the detailed methylation patterns of a number of tumor suppressor gene promotors. They believe that categorizing patients according to these methylation patterns can potentially evaluate a patient's predisposition to lung cancer. Indeed, a recent study by his group showed statistically apparent differences between never-smokers, former and current smokers, and those with lung cancer.
Dr. Spivack will be in the Bronx several days a week this fall to become acquainted with the Division. He will relocate his research laboratory to Einstein in early 2008.
Having led the Division for the past decade, Spivack's predecessor, Dr. Thomas Aldrich, has decided to pursue other interests at Montefiore, including research and teaching.