Rona Weinberg, PhD

Title

Director, Cellular Therapy Laboratory
Associate Member, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute
Head, Myeloproliferative Disorders (MPD) Research Laboratory

Research Area

Cellular Therapy

The Cellular Therapy Laboratory has extensive experience providing state of the art laboratory services to bone marrow transplant programs for more than twenty years.  The Laboratory has processed and cryopreserved more than 18,000 hematopoietic progenitor cell products, representing more than 5,000 successful bone marrow transplants.  Complex cellular enrichment and depletion protocols have been developed in the lab and are provided to support clinical trials.  Currently the lab is developing gene therapy and immunotherapy products for the treatment of solid tumors.   The lab prepares/formulates and distributes “off the shelf” cellular therapy products for administration to patients enrolled in clinical trials.  Parathyroid tissue is cryopreserved for future implantation. The lab maintains New York State licensure, FDA registration, and FACT and AABB accreditation. 

Myeloproliferative Neoplasms 

The Myeloproliferative Disorders (MPD) Research Laboratory is a member of the MPD Research Consortium which is comprised of an international team of scientists and clinicians working together to investigate the etiology of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and to develop translational therapies for their treatment.

MPNs are chronic hematologic malignancies that develop from abnormal hematopoietic stem cells.  MPNs include polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF).  Each disorder involves excessive production of cells belonging predominantly to a different blood cell lineage.  For example, in PV patients have too many red blood cells; ET patients have too many platelets; and PMF patients have excessive fibrous tissue in the bone marrow preventing normal hematopoiesis. Translational research designed to develop treatment and cure is dependent on the availability of tissues from a sufficient number of accurately diagnosed patients to generate statistically significant data.  However, because MPNs are relatively uncommon and significant clinical overlap makes accurate diagnosis difficult, there has been a paucity of tissue, linked to clinical data, available to investigators. 

The MPD Research Laboratory fills this void by maintaining one of the world’s largest banks of cryopreserved tissues donated by MPN patients with an inventory of specimens from more than 1500 patients. Importantly, while all patient samples are de-identified, they are electronically linked to clinical and demographic data to ensure accurate diagnosis and interpretation of data.   The Tissue Bank has distributed tissues from more than 1000 patients to Consortium members and the scientific community at large.  The MPD Laboratory is an essential shared resource that enables translational research that will result in improved diagnosis and staging of MPNs and will ultimately lead to the development of molecularly targeted therapies.

Contact Information

Email: RWeinberg@nybc.org
Phone: +1 212 570-3488

Lab Personnel

  • Maxine Chance, Acting Supervisor, Technologist
  • Ysamar De La Cruz, Technologist
  • Yelena Galperin, MD, Laboratory Manager 
  • Chi Hua Sarah Lin, PhD, Research Scientist
  • Amanda Marchiando, PhD, Translational Research Scientist 
  • Kristina Mellman, Technologist
  • Xu Wu, Research Assistant

Funding Support

  • NIH P01 CA108671  Core B PI: Weinberg  7/2006 – 2/2023  "MPN Research Consortium"

Education and Training

Doctoral Training
City University of New York at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

Postdoctoral Training
New York University School of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS