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Novel Translational Research for

Metastatic NET Patients at the NCI

Friday, Jan 27, 2023

Join LACNETS for this special educational event. What if you could both undergo surgery for your metastatic disease and also donate your liver tumor to find a cure for NET? Learn how you can contribute to NET research. The NET team at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will give us a behind-the-scenes look at their innovative NET research. Be inspired by their hard work and dedication to the NET community.




Assistant Research Physician, Endocrinologist, Oncologist

National Cancer Institute 

Dr. Del Rivero earned her medical degree from the University of Veracruz in Veracruz, Mexico and completed her internal medicine residency at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center/NYU-Langone Medical Center. 

Dr. Del Rivero completed a fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The Inter-Institute Endocrinology Training Program (IETP) at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) where she was part of a research team developing clinical trials for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. She then joined as Assistant Professor at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) where she specialized in endocrine oncology involving thyroid cancer, parathyroid and adrenal tumors, and clinical research for gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

She subsequently completed a second fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with a research focus on endocrine malignancies.  Dr. Del Rivero is board certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Medical Oncology.

Dr. Del Rivero is a Physician Scientist in the Developmental Therapeutics Branch. She is the Principal Investigator of the Natural History Study for Neuroendocrine Neoplasm and Adrenocortical Cancer to provide the basis of further development of therapeutic interventions, prevention/screening guidelines, endpoints for future clinical trials, and patient reported outcome measures. Dr. Del Rivero’s current efforts is the development of novel treatment approaches and targeted therapies for endocrine malignancies such as advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, adrenocortical cancer and pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma.



Tenure Track Investigator, Associate Professor of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology Section

National Cancer Institute

Dr. Jonathan Hernandez is a surgical oncologist/HPB surgeon, chief of the surgical oncology section (Surgical Oncology Program/NCI/NIH), and an Associate Professor of Surgery (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences).

Dr. Hernandez specializes in the treatment of metastatic and primary tumors of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas, as well as in the surgical management of complex abdominal tumors. Dr. Hernandez’s research efforts focus on implementation of ex-vivo human tumor systems that allow his lab to fully characterize tumors from the operating room and evaluate new therapies in an unfettered platform. The Hernandez lab utilizes these human tumor systems to 1) develop combination therapies for recalcitrant tumors, 2) delineate and target uncharacterized signaling axes for therapeutic gain in patients with cholangiocarcinoma, and 3) elucidate the mechanisms through which tumor cells coopt the microenvironment of distant organs to form life-threatening metastases.



Director, MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine

Professor of Science and Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, Director of Clinical Outreach, Research Senior Associate Member, David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Michael B. Yaffe is the David H. Koch Professor of Science and Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at MIT, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2000. He is also an attending surgeon and intensivist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he specializes in injury and surgical oncology. 

He has been the Director of the MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine since its inception. Yaffe earned his MD-PhD degree from Case Western Reserve University. He then completed a residency in General Surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland and New England Deaconess Hospital, and a fellowship in Surgical Critical Care, Trauma and Burns at Harvard Medical School's Harvard-Longwood Critical Care Program. He was a post-doctoral fellow with Lewis Cantley in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School where he was supported by a Physician-Scientist Fellowship from the HHMI, and a Physician-Scientist Award from the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund. Yaffe is the Scientific Editor-in-Chief of Science Signaling and a member of the Editorial Boards of Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and Cell Cycle. In 2021, Professor Yaffe was elected to the Association of American Physicians and was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow. He is a decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan and retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps in 2021. Yaffe is a co-founder of Consensus Pharmaceuticals, the DNA Repair Company, On-Q-ity, and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. He is also a co-founder and a member of the scientific advisory board of Applied Biomath and Thrombo-Therapeutics, and a clinical advisor to Cardiff Oncology.



Principal Investigator, Director of Laboratory for Bio-Micro-Devices, Associate Professor, Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Faculty, Department of Radiology, Brigham & Women's Hospital

Faculty, Joint Center for Cancer Precision Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Associate Member, The Broad Institute

Dr. Jonas is the Director of the Laboratory for Bio-Micro-Devices and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, with appointments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute.

His laboratory focuses on engineering approaches to precision medicine in cancer and other diseases. He develops novel technologies that enable the interrogation of disease in a more rapid, local and precise manner. In addition to seeking clinical impact, he also aims to apply the technologies to generate fundamental new insights into biology, with a particular focus on drug resistance, an area in which he published several original articles.

Dr. Jonas developed the first generation of the microdevice technology for high-throughput in vivo drug sensitivity testing from an initial idea through all phases of preclinical testing and validation, and into a first clinical pilot study in triple-negative breast cancer which commenced in 2016. His research spanned ideation, concept-to-prototype development, in-vivo testing including extensive animal work and cutting-edge microscopy and optics. Throughout this process, he has interacted extensively with basic scientists and physicians to advance the translational impact of the microdevice technology. His recent projects have integrated the microdevice work with various optical imaging modalities and other analytical methods to combine local perturbations within native tissue with metabolomic, transcriptomic and genomic analysis. His group has extensive experience working with various animal models and we have published several microdevice studies in this area.

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Surgical Oncology Research Fellow

NCI/NIH Surgical Oncology Program

Tracey Pu, M.D., is a General Surgery resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a current Surgical Oncology Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health where she works under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Hernandez. 

Dr. Pu’s main research interests are utilizing ex-vivo tissue models to interrogate temporospatial relationships of the biophysical properties and tumor immune microenvironment by employing advanced imaging techniques, such as 4-D live tumor imaging and atomic force microscopy. Dr. Pu completed a double major in Studio Art and Biology with Honors at Wake Forest University. With experience as a professional photographer and graphic designer, Dr. Pu’s interest in using art within patient advocacy and education inspired her to pursue medical education at Wake Forest School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Pu found her passion serving in health policy where she worked as Executive Co-Director of Delivering Equal Access to Care (D.E.A.C.) Clinic, a free student-run clinic providing comprehensive healthcare services to the community. Her work led to the establishment of more than $100,000 of both primary and specialty healthcare services annually to local residents in Winston-Salem, NC. She continues pursuing these passions during general surgery residency and her academic development years while serving on multiple national committees including the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT)’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, and SSAT’s Communications Committee. Dr. Pu has authored several peer-reviewed publications, and she has received national research awards for her research work. Dr. Pu plans to apply for a surgical oncology fellowship in the future and hopes to continue working for health equity for oncology patients.

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Surgical Oncology Research Fellow

NCI/NIH Surgical Oncology Program

Jacob Lambdin, MD, is a General Surgery resident at George Washington University and a Surgical Oncology Research Fellow at National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. His interest in leveraging his technical training to facilitate translational research led him to the “Ex-Vivo” branch of Dr. Jonathan Hernandez’ lab.

His research is focused on the development of a new tumor model to benefit patients with solid organ cancers. Under the guidance of Dr. Hernandez, Dr. Lambdin and his team have developed a machine capable of maintaining ex-vivo viability of tumor-bearing organs for up to a week. The tumor bearing organ machine (TBOM) makes it possible to perform in-depth analyses of human tumors over time, without posing any risk to patients.  Dr. Lambdin completed his medical education at George Washington University where he graduated with distinction. He is a member of the AOA medical honor society. His research has resulted in peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, national presentations, and institutional research awards in both clinical and basic science. After residency, he plans to apply for surgical oncology fellowship training and to continue making efforts to improve the lives of his patients through research and clinical practice.


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