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Sydney Lu, MD, PhD

Parker Bridge Fellow


Sydney Lu is a hematologist and medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center studying novel therapeutics for challenging cancers, with the goal of improving cancer immunotherapy. Lu’s research career started with graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Marcel van den Brink at MSK (PICI Center Co-Director) studying the biology of pathologic donor T-cells during graft-versus-host-disease after allogeneic bone marrow transplant and the role of the thymus in regenerating healthy and protective donor-derived T-cells post-transplant. The direct relevance of these cellular therapies and their immediate translational applicability to patients inspired me to attend medical school, followed by residency and fellowship training at MSK. As a fellow and now junior faculty member, he has been studying disordered RNA splicing in cancer in the laboratory of Dr. Omar Abdel-Wahab, with the goal of developing novel drugs targeting RNA splicing. This work has led to observations that targeted degradation of the RNA binding protein RBM39 may be a feasible therapeutic for the treatment of myeloid cancers bearing RNA splicing factor mutations. 

For Lu’s project as a Parker Bridge Fellow, he is being additionally co-mentored by Dr. Jedd Wolchok (PICI Center Director). They are exploring the combination of checkpoint immunotherapy with drugs that modulate RNA splicing, with the hypothesis that therapeutic modulation of RNA biology can render tumor cells more immunogenic, thus enhancing checkpoint immunotherapy. They have exciting data in several preclinical model systems that anti-PD1 blockade is synergistic with multiple drugs which target RNA metabolism at varying points.

Education & Training

  • 2003: Dartmouth College, Hanover NH, BA, Biology and Chemistry
  • 2009: Weill Cornell Graduate school of Medical Sciences, New York, NY, PhD, Immunology
  • 2013: Stanford University School of Medicine, MD, Medicine
  • 2015: New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Campus, Clinical Residency, Internal Medicine
  • 2019: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, Clinical Fellowship, Hematology & Medical Oncology

Awards & Honors

  • 2020-2025: NIH/NCI K08 Award
  • 2020-2023: Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Bridge Scholar
  • 2019: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Portlock Challenge – Robert Hirschhorn Endowment Award
  • 2019: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Physician-Scientist Fellowship (awarded; declined due to conflicting award)
  • 2019: ASH Research Training Award for Fellows (awarded; declined due to conflicting award)
  • 2019-2020: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fellow Career Development Award
  • 2018-2020: AACR-AstraZeneca Lymphoma Research Fellowship
  • 2018-2020: Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Research Award
  • 2017: NIH Loan Repayment Program
  • 2018: Conquer Cancer Foundation/ASCO Young Investigator Award
  • 2018: ASH Abstract Achievement Award
  • 2009: ASH Abstract Achievement Award
  • 2009: ASBMT Travel Scholarship