Rohit Chandwani, M.D., Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

A surgeon-scientist, Rohit is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and of Cell & Developmental Biology at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is also a member of the Center for Advanced Digestive Care at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and of the Cancer Genetics & Epigenetics Program in the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Cornell.

He earned his Ph.D. from the The Rockefeller University in 2013 in the laboratory of Sasha Tarakhovsky, working on the role of chromatin modifiers in innate immune and inflammatory responses. Following completion of his clinical training, Rohit did his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Steven Leach in the David Rubinstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he applied his background in chromatin biology to pancreatic cancer. He recently moved to Weill Cornell and opened the laboratory in 2017. 


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Adrien Grimont, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

A native of France, Adrien moved to Belgium to join the laboratory of Prof. Patrick Jacquemin and Prof. Frederick Lemaigre at the de Duve Institute (University Catholique de Louvain) for his Ph.D. Adrien worked on the role of transcription factors in the initiation of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, completing his Ph.D. in December, 2013. He then pursued his postdoctoral research with Steven Leach at the David Rubinstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on the maintenance of PDAC. In January 2018,  Adrien joined the laboratory to continue his studies on the intersection of Ras mutations and effector pathways. 

Adrien is always down to discover new food and bar places. Between experiments, you can find him running in Central Park or playing basketball on the playground close to the lab.


Sharon Lawrence, M.D.

Research Fellow

Sharon is the Min Kao Research Fellow in Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is also a surgical resident at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Prior to residency, Sharon graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine following her undergraduate studies at MIT. She currently works on the role of endodermal dedifferentiation in the generation of premalignant pancreatic lesions. 



Alexa Osterhoudt, B.A.

Research Technician / Lab Manager

A New York native, Alexa holds a Bachelor's in Biology from NYU and quenched her interests in chemistry by doing a minor focus as well. Due to her background in stem cell biology and development, she is highly interested in autonomous and non-autonomous regulation of cell fate and behavior, as well as the underlying epigenetic mechanisms that make the former all the more fascinating. She currently is working on the generation of mouse models to evaluate master TFs in the coordination of neoplasia.

Eventually, she aims to continue to graduate school but for now, her time not spent in the lab is spent on the back of a horse, at various local music venues and chasing after her cat, Huxley.


David Falvo, B.A.

Graduate Student

David is a member of the Neuroscience program at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He was born and raised in Maryland, and decided to move to New York City after completing a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Since starting graduate school, David has become particularly interested in investigating the potential role of the peripheral nervous system in the context of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Despite previous reports suggesting a change in nerve density after the development of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, little is known regarding the interactions between peripheral nerve fibers and the tissue resident cells of the pancreas. David hopes to explore the functional significance of this change and its potential role in driving pancreatic cancer.