Faculty Profile

Dr. Michael B. Prystowsky, M.D.,  Ph.D.

Michael B. Prystowsky, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Pathology

Chair, Department of Pathology

Areas of Research: Developing diagnostics to optimize treatment selection at initial diagnosis for patients with head and neck cancer. A multidisciplinary group is developing biomarkers to better predict clinical outcome.

Professional Interests

Dr. Prystowsky has extensive leadership, research, education, program development and administrative experience. 

Pathology Services: As Chairman of the unified Department of Pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center (~700 FTE; budget ~$110M), Dr. Prystowsky has substantial experience in developing and managing service, research and educational programs. Montefiore has been delivering value based care for years and is the best performing Pioneer ACO in the USA. Our pathology service line delivers 24/7 service producing greater than 10 million test results per year for Montefiore patients. Dr. Prystowsky has engaged in many College of American Pathologists (CAP) programs as a governor of the college including both domestic and international laboratory inspections. In addition, the Montefiore women's healthcare team recently carried out a very successful See, Test & Treat program in May 2015 bringing much needed healthcare to women in the Bronx.

Education Activities:  Dr. Prystowsky has had a unique opportunity during the past two years to connect pathologists from all practice environments through educational efforts. This is possible because he chairs both the Undergraduate Medical Education Committee of Association of Pathology Chairs (APC) and the Council on Education (COE) for CAP. For undergraduate medical education, pathologists from many practice settings have contributed to developing national standards for teaching pathology to all medical students (www.apcprods.org/UME/Competencies). Pathologists teaching diagnostic medicine to all medical students will solidify our role as experts for all practice settings – this long-term educational approach fits well with the CAP goal to "Make Pathologists Known." Another educational effort bridges the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Committee of APC with the COE and Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA); members developed a test utilization course for residents that teaches both common problems in test selection and how to interact with ordering physicians. Over one third of CAP members are required to participate in maintenance of certification (MOC). A third major effort of the COE is to develop programs and processes that will facilitate learning opportunities and record keeping for our members to comply with MOC. Dr. Prystowsky has first hand experience with the educational programs and their impact on the trainees (20 residents and 10 fellows) and faculty (greater than 50) whom he oversees and mentors.

Research Focus: In 1999 Dr. Prystowsky organized a multidisciplinary group including surgery, oncology, pathology, molecular biology, protein chemistry, computational biology and biostatistics to study Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC). Initial studies on molecular classification of HNSCC using microarray technology demonstrated that patient segregation by gene expression profiling is a better predictor of outcome than established clinicopathological variables. The Head and Neck Program includes multiple laboratories with research exploring basic mechanisms of tumor behavior, developing biomarkers and identifying molecular classifiers that define distinct subsets of patients. The questions arise from the tumor board, from taking care of patients, with the primary goal to develop new diagnostics that will optimize treatment selection at initial diagnosis.



Selected Publications

 Childs G, Fazzari M, Kung G, Kawachi N,Brandwein-Gensler M, McLemore M, Chen Q, Burk RD, Smith RV, Prystowsky MB, Belbin TJ. Schlecht NF (2009) Low level expression of microRNA's let7-d and miR-205 are prognostic markers of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Amer J Pathol 174(3):736-745.

 Prystowsky MB, Adomako A, Smith RV, Kawachi N, McKimpson W, Atadja P, Chen Q, Schlecht NF, Parish JL, Childs G, Belbin TJ (2009) The histone deacetylase inhibitor LBH589 inhibits expression of mitotic genes causing G2/M arrest and cell death in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. Journal of Pathology, 218:467-477.

 Schlecht NF, Brandwein-Gensler M, Nuovo GJ, Li M, Dunne A, Kawachi N, Smith RV, Burk RD, Prystowsky MB (2011) A comparison of clinically utilized human papillomavirus detection methods in head and neck cancer. Modern Pathology 24:1295-1305.

 Harris T, Jimenez L, Kawachi N, Fan J-B, Chen J, Belbin T, Ramnauth A, Loudig O, Keller CE, Smith R, Prystowsky MB, Schlecht NF, Segall JE, Childs G (2012) Low-Level expression of miR-375 Correlates with Poor Outcome and Metastasis While Altering the Invasive Properties of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas Am J Pathol, 180:917-928.

 Schlecht N, Brandwein-Gensler M, Smith RV, Kawarchi N, Broughel D, Lin J, Keller CE, Reynolds PA, Gunn-Moore FJ, Harris T, Childs, G, Belbin TJ, Prystowsky MB (2012) Cytoplasmic ezrin and moesin correlate with poor survival in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Head and Neck Pathology 6:232-243. 

 Lleras RA, Smith RV, Adrien LR, Schlecht NF, Burk RD, Harris TM, Childs G, Prystowsky MB, Belbin TJ (2013) Unique DNA Methylation Loci Distinguish Anatomic Site and HPV Status in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 19:5444-5455. PMCID: PMC3892374

 Prystowsky M, Feeney K, Kawachi N, Montagna C, Willmott M, Wasson C, Antkowiak M, Loudig O, Parish J (2013) Inhibition of Plk1 and Cyclin B1 Expression Results in Panobinostat-Induced G2 Delay and Mitotic Defects. Sci Rep 3:2640.

 Naritoku WY, Ljiljana Vasovic V, Steinberg JJ, Prystowsky MB, Powell S, (2014) Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Boot Camps: Filling Pathology Specific Gaps in Undergraduate Medical Education. Archives of Pathol & Lab Medicine 138:316–321.  PMID:  24576025

 Sadofsky M, Knollmann-Ritschel B, Conran R, Prystowsky MB (2014) National Standards in Pathology Education: Developing Competencies for Integrated Medical School Curricula. Archives of Pathol & Lab Medicine 138:328–332 .

 Hebert T, Maleki S, Vasovic L, Arnold J, Steinberg J, Prystowsky MB (2014) A Team-Based Approach to Autopsy Education: Integrating Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the Rotation Level. Archives of Pathol & Lab Medicine 138:322–327. PMID: 24576026

 Schlecht NF, Ben-Dayan M, Anayannis N, Lleras RA, Thomas C, Wang Y, Smith RV, Burk RD, Harris TM, Childs C, Ow TJ, Prystowsky, MB, Belbin TJ (2015) Epigenetic changes in the CDKN2A locus are associated with differential expression of P16INK4A and P14ARF in HPV positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Medicine DOI: 10.1002/cam4.374


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Department of Pathology - Prystowsky

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Belfer Building, Room 713
Bronx, NY 10461

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