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We work to identify and validate new targets in oncology.
Our objective is to discover innovative and personalized cancer therapies.


Be at the CENTER of things!

Come and join us in New York City, arguably the most important global center for culture, finance, commerce, entertainment and innovation.

As the largest city in the United States NYC attracts talent from all over the world, who come here for the vibrant energy that the city boasts.

Diversity, coupled to world-class infrastructure and unparalleled resources is what make NYC a unique and prime location for scientific research and to live a fun and fulfilling experience.



The Center for Oncogenomics and Innovative Therapeutics is broadly focused on the characterization of the genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomics alterations that contribute to the initiation and progression of cancer. We use advanced genomic and transcriptomics sequencing technologies, coupled to phenotypic screenings and bioinformatics tools to identify innovative therapeutic opportunities in oncology.



Innovation is at the heart of scientific progress @COGIT. We are committed to adopt cutting edge technologies and to implement new ideas that push the boundaries of our current understanding of how tumors change their cell state to become resistant to treatment.


We are committed to develop innovative precision therapeutics in oncology. We will leverage our extended network of collaborators to identify lead small molecule compounds and degraders or harness the uncharted opportunities of RNA therapeutics.


what we do

Key interests:

Cancer Biology, Developmental Biology, RNA biology, Epigenetics, Post-Transcriptional Processing, Antisense Oligonucleotides, Methyltransferases.

Target identification and Validation

The Guccione lab has a long-standing interest in understanding basic mechanisms of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in order to identify therapeutic opportunities in oncology.


Currently, we are interested in the function in development and disease of Protein MethylTransferases (i.e. PRMTs and PRDMs) and in modulation of Alternative Splicing using Antisense Oligonucleotide (AON)-based approaches.


We use biochemistry, mouse models and next generation sequencing techniques to understand the molecular mechanisms of action of candidate PMTs or specific isoforms. The range of techniques and approaches used in the lab has allowed us to characterize the mechanism of action of specific PMTs (e.g. PRMT5 and PRMT6) or oncogenic isoforms (e.g. MDM4l/s), which are now of great interest for their clinical applications.



Ernesto Guccione

Professor of Oncological Sciences and Pharmacological Sciences

Director Mount Sinai Center for OncoGenomics and Innovative Therapeutics (COGIT)

Associate Director Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery

Co-Director Bioinformatics for Next Generation Sequencing (BiNGS) Shared Research Resource


B.S./M.S., Medical Biotechnology, University of Bologna, 2000

PhD., Molecular Genetics, SISSA/ICGEB, Trieste, 2004


EMBO short term Fellowship (Harvard)

Biography. Born and raised in Italy, I spent my first year abroad in New York as a high-school exchange student, where I got bitten by the Wunderlust bug. I got my Masters in Medical Biotechnology at the oldest University in the world, in Bologna, followed by a PhD studying the oncogenic properties of HPV, at ICGEB in Trieste. In 2004 I got a chance to work with a fantastic mentor (Bruno Amati) who pushed me to study basic mechanisms of transcription and epigenetic regulation in cancer. In 2008, I moved to Singapore to start my lab and since 2019 I am a Professor at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.

I have a long-standing interest in understanding basic mechanisms of transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in order to identify therapeutic opportunities in oncology.

In particular I focused my research on dissecting the role of oncogenic Protein Methyltransferases (PMTs), such as Protein Arginine Methyltransferases (i.e. PRMT6 and PRMT5), SET domain containing proteins (i.e. EZH2, G9a) and PRDMs (i.e. PRDM9, PRDM10 and PRDM15).

To date, I have published >100 peer-reviewed papers and I am currently the PI on grants from NIH-NCI (RO1s), NIH-NICHD (RO1s) and ALSF (among others) and collaborate with Pharma companies to advance knowledge on small molecule inhibitors of PMTs.

I am also an inventor of several patent applications and the scientific co-founder of two biotech startup companies (and looking forward to starting more!).

What fascinates me most in my research.

I like making unexpected connections and thrive in a rich and diverse environment. I like to tackle a problem with the eyes of a biochemist, a computational, developmental, and cancer biologist all at once.

What do I value in people. Grit.

Me on the DISC test. D-I

Me in one sentence. I am comfortable being uncomfortable.

Mission - COGIT: We want to provide a platform for precision oncology drug discovery, using innovative multi-omic approaches to understand basic mechanism of cell plasticity and identify innovative therapeutics. We will additionally foster academic and industry collaborations withing the broader ISMMS community interested in studying epigenetic mechanism of tumor cell plasticity.


Slim Mzoughi

Assistant Professor of Oncological Sciences

Group leader - Cell State Targeting Unit @ COGIT


B.Sc. Higher Institute of Medical Biotechnology, University of Monastir, 2008

M.Sc. Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Monastir, 2010

PhD. Biomedical Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS), 2015


Singapore International Pre-Graduate Award (SIPGA)

Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA)

Biography. I am of Carthaginian descent, and in 2011, I relocated to Singapore in pursuit of knowledge. That is where I joined a Roman young investigator in the battle against a common enemy known as Cancer(ous).

During my PhD, I trained as a developmental/Stem Cell biologist in a lab that primarily studied cancer - Epigenetics was the common ground. Motivated by a profound desire to expand my knowledge and contribute to the fight against cancer, I decided to shift gears and pursue post-doctoral studies in the field of oncology. My multi-disciplinary expertise enables me to approach cancer research from a unique standpoint, that of the developmental biologist. I believe that the challenge of targeting cancer cells does not lie in their malignant nature as much as in their remarkable adaptability, also referred to as epigenetic plasticity - a game they have mastered.  I thrive on approaching established ideas with an open mind, constantly seeking innovative solutions and fresh insights. I am not content with mere acceptance of conventional wisdom.

What fascinates me most in my research.

I’m fascinated by how each cell in our body shares a profound appreciation for life, akin to our own as a collective entity. Those that display greater adaptability are destined to thrive and endure for longer periods. Cancer cells have mastered this intricate game of adaptation.

What do I value in people: Commitment.

Me on the DISC test: D-C 

Me in one sentence: The joy is in the climbing itself.

Mission - Cell State Targeting Unit: In our research unit, our primary focus is to elucidate the functional and epigenetic aspects of cancer's phenotypic evolution. We aim to uncover targetable vulnerabilities that extend beyond genetic alterations, ultimately contributing to improved patient outcomes. Working closely with the Multi-Omics Innovation Unit, we employ a multidisciplinary approach, integrating genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, and phenotypic reporters to gain comprehensive insights into cancer evolution. Given the limited success of traditional genetic-based therapies, we direct our efforts towards targeting epigenetic plasticity mechanisms. Our goal is to effectively reverse the transition from normal to neoplastic cellular states.


Kevin Mohammed

Instructor of Oncological Sciences

Group leader - Multi Omics Innovation Unit @ COGIT


B.Sc., Biology, Morehouse College, 2003

PhD., Virology, ADARC (The Rockefeller University), New York, 2010

Biography. I spent my formative years in my birthplace of Trinidad and Tobago before gaining a scholarship at the historical Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Thereafter, I was accepted at the Rockefeller University in New York to pursue my PhD training, where I joined the lab of Mark Muesing at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. The reductionist approaches I employed to tease apart the inner workings of HIV have served me well in many of my current research endeavours.

 After my PhD, I joined a startup biotech company focused on establishing specialized next generation sequencing (NGS) based protocols to address less conventional research questions (such as mitochondrial heteroplasmy), and to improve existing NGS library prep protocols. This experience exposed me to the intricacies of the NGS library preparation, and instilled in me a fascination for the types of questions that can be answered when this technique is harnessed correctly.

 As of 2019, I joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, helping to manage the sequencing core in the Oncological Sciences Department. I continue to be focused on developing protocols, including a low-cost approach that will facilitate large scale NGS based drug screening.  Additionally, I plan to onboard working protocols for assessing the epigenetic landscape of cells, which we hope will lead to identifying improved therapeutic modalities for cancer. 

What fascinates me most in my research. Witnessing the advent and rapid evolution of next generation sequencing, and the way this powerful technology has been cleverly leveraged in an ever-growing glossary of applications that not only facilitate a deeper understanding of the cell, but also has real world utility for human health.

What do I value in people. The ability to laugh at oneself.

Me on the DISC test. C-I

Me in one sentence. Mellow, but not really.

Mission - Multi Omics Innovation Unit: In our research unit, our primary focus is to develop low-cost and high-throughput NGS protocols to enable mechanistic studies as well as large drug screening projects.  We collaborate with other scientists at COGIT and closely with the “Cell state targeting unit” to import, optimize and/or develop a wide range of protocols for assessing the epigenetic changes allowing cancer cells to change cell state leading to intrinsic or therapy-induced resistance.


Lisa (Yi) Li

Lab Manager


PhD., Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing 2006

Biography. Having grown up and received my education in China, I completed my PhD at the Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, specializing in the study of the novel C-type Lectin protein LSECTin and its role in hepatitis. Currently, I manage the lab and oversee the progress of research projects. Additionally, I am actively involved in investigating the role of PRDM15 in neural development. My research focuses on utilizing CRISPR editing of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study the functions and mechanisms of PRDM15 in neural development processes and its implications in disease.

What do I value in people. Trustworthiness

Me on the DISC test. C-D

Me in one sentence. A blend of conservative and curious.


Habiba Zorgati

Post Doc


B.S., Medical Biotechnology, University of Monastir, 2008 

M.S., Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Monastir, 2011

PhD., Biomedical Sciences, National University of Singapore, 2017 


Singapore International Pre-Graduate Award (SIPGA)

Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA)

Biography. After completing my master's degree, my fascination with the intricate folding of proteins into 3D structures led me to delve deeper into the field of structural biology. This led me to purse a PhD in the laboratory of Robert Robinson at A*STAR in Singapore. During my time there, I focused on characterizing the effects of mutations in the gelsolin protein. Specifically, I investigated how these mutations disrupt domain-to-domain interactions, favoring its cleavage and ultimately leading to deposition of amyloid fibrils and the onset of amyloidosis.

Motivated by my previous accomplishments and armed with a strong expertise in biochemistry and structural biology, I have joined the Guccione lab in 2021. In this new chapter, my primary objective is to leverage my skills to identify and characterize novel therapeutic targets for cancer, with a particular focus on Protein Methyltransferases.

Me on the DISC test. S-C-D

What fascinates me most in my research. The ability to obtain the 3D structure of a protein from a crystal fascinates me. It allows us to explore the intricate architecture of proteins at an atomic level and opens up avenues for the development of targeted therapies for a wide range of diseases.
What do I value in people. Ethics
Me in one sentence. Kindness is my compass.


Alex Rialdi

Post Doc

BA, Architecture, NYU 2010; MPH, Molecular Epidemiology, MSSM 2013; PhD, Microbiology, MSSM 2017


National Cancer Institute K99/R00 – The Pathway to Independence Award (PI: Post Doc Fellow) 2022-2024

National Cancer Institute F32 - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (PI: Post Doc Fellow) 2020-2022

Biography. I completed my doctoral studies in Dr. Ivan Marazzi's laboratory, where I studied (I) the transcriptional regulation of antiviral gene networks, and (II) influenza's interactions with the host chromatin environment. In Dr. Guccione's group I focus on understanding the genetic determinants of hepatocellular carcinoma and novel ways to best target them. Outside of research, I enjoy cooking, wine, collecting records and high-fidelity audio. 

What fascinates me most in my research. 

That there is plenty of opportunity to discover something highly translational. 

What do I value in people. Loyalty, Patience, Curiosity 

Me on the DISC test. I

Me in one sentence. He lived and laughed and loved and left.


Megan Schwarz

PhD Student

Education.B.S., Barnard College, 2015


Trainee Innovation Idea Award (Icahn School of Medicine, 2021)

Biography. I was born in Switzerland and raised there by a Swiss dad and American mom. I went to an international school in Zurich up until college, when I relocated to New York to attend Barnard. I graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 2015; during my final year, I completed a senior research thesis at Mount Sinai in the lab of Dr. Matthew Evans in the Microbiology Department. After graduation I stayed on as their lab manager, and studied host factor requirements for hepatitis C virus cell entry and was one of the first to create a genetically modifiable clone of Zika virus. I met Dr. Rialdi while working in the Microbiology Department and collaborated with him briefly before he graduated and moved to the Department of Oncological Sciences in Dr. Ernesto Guccione’s lab. The lab was transitioning to New York from Singapore and looking for technicians to help jumpstart research in the US. I gladly accepted an offer to join as a lab technician in 2018.

During my time as a lab tech, I participated in multiple projects and was given fantastic opportunities to learn new techniques, collaborate with various labs, and expand my knowledge on protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs), cancer biology (specifically, liver cancer), and drug discovery. While working as a tech, I applied to graduate schools and matriculated at Mount Sinai in 2019. It was an easy decision for me to stay on in Dr. Guccione’s lab, which is bursting with innovation and amazing chances for me to learn and grow. Over the past 4 years, my research has focused on studying the role of a putative oncogene, PRDM15, in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as well as developing an assay to quantify cellular immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (a project born during the pandemic).

What fascinates me most in my research. I am most excited by my research when it has commercial potential. I love working on translatable projects that could soon be relevant to non-scientists.

What do I value in people. Compassion.

Me on the DISC test. D-I-s-c

Me in one sentence. Wealthy 80-year-old crazy cat lady trapped in the body of a PhD student.


Denis Torre

PhD Student

Education.B.S., Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Trieste, 2015

Fellowships/Awards.2020 Mount Sinai Trainee Innovation Idea Award

Biography. I was born and grew up in Italy, and obtained my bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Trieste. During my studies, I developed a passion for programming and decided to pursue a career in computational biology. After graduating, I moved to New York to work at Columbia University (Andrea Califano lab), followed by Mount Sinai (Avi Ma'ayan lab), where I worked as a bioinformatician and focused on projects ranging from cancer genomics to software development for multi-omics data analysis. I joined the PhD program in Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai in 2019, where I am co-mentored by Ernesto Guccione and Robert Sebra. My research focuses on studying transcription in early mammalian development.

What fascinates me most in my research. Using interdisciplinary approaches to uncover novel concepts in biology

What do I value in people. Creativity

Me on the DISC test. CS

Me in one sentence. Excited to tackle problems with diverse points of view


Elisa Arceci

PhD Student


B.S. Biotechnology, University of Urbino, 2016

M.A. Biotechnology, Columbia University, 2018

Fellowships/Awards.T32 training grant.

Biography. My journey in biomedical sciences research began in my hometown (Fano, Italy), where I conducted my undergraduate studies on the impact of electronegative lipoproteins in promoting atherosclerotic plaque formation. Continuing my studies at Columbia University, I pursued a master's degree in biotechnology, focusing on stem cell research and investigating the physiological functions of trinucleotide repeats in the huntingtin and DMPK genes leveraging CRISPR technologies. Following a brief period at Weill Cornell Medicine where I explored the role of androgen receptor variants in castration resistant prostate cancer using ChIP-seq and RNA-seq, I decided to pursue a PhD in biomedical sciences at Mount Sinai. Currently, my thesis project is focused on studying how PRMT5, an arginine methyltransferase, regulates telomerase trafficking and function in hepatocellular carcinoma.

What fascinates me most in my research. The ability to tackle biology by connecting fundamental biological principles to cutting-edge clinical technologies.

What do I value in people. Honesty.

Me on the DISC test. CS (critical thinking, careful, committed to quality, helpful)

Me in one sentence. A joyful scientist with an insatiable love for desserts.


Nesteene Param

PhD Student

Education.B.S 2016 University of Minnesota Twin Cities – Genetics, Cell Biology and Development

M.S 2019 Georgetown University – Physiology and Biophysics


Biography. I grew up in the Philippines and moved to Minnesota in 2004. I had a great childhood and loved Minnesota and decided to stay close to home while I went to college. I was fortunate to meet a great PI, Anindya Bagchi who introduced me to the world of cancer research. I learned so much during my undergraduate research experience and fell quick in love. However, I needed a break from the Midwest. A day after my graduation, I moved to New York to be a research technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The change was jarring, but I quickly shed my “Minnesota Nice” exterior and became an “HEY I’m walking here” New Yorker. With a twist of fate, my lab and PI moved to University of Pennsylvania, and I tagged along. Dr. DeMatteo taught me to follow the science and showed me that I don’t have limit myself to one avenue. Then, I moved to Washington DC to get my masters. Snaked back up to Philly to work at Gene Therapy Program in Philadelphia, and ultimately found my way back to NY. I joined Dr. Guccione’s (Ernesto)’s lab because of the wide breadth of research in his lab. I was excited to work in a lab that had no limits and studied what is interesting and beneficial. I am currently working on two different projects, one on cholangiocarcinoma and one on the hematopoietic system. When not in the lab, I can be found in a coffee shop or cocktail bar, listening to show tunes and sad girl music. 

What fascinates me most in my research. The thing that fascinates me about my research or research in general, is that it can be extremely surprising. No matter how great your hypothesis may be, the results can turn out to be completely different and I think my research is allowing me to become an expert on more than one thing.

What do I value in people. Conviviality.

Me on the DISC test. I-D-C

Me in one sentence. I’m too exciting to encapsulate in one sentence and extremely humble too.


Frank Fonseca

PhD Student

Education.B.S., Forensic Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2020

Fellowships/Awards.PREP Scholar (Icahn School of Medicine)

Biography. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where I completed my B.S. in Forensic Science and tracked in Toxicology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. During my time there, I started an internship at the NYPD Crime Laboratory, where I focused on purification and analytical analysis of materials through use of fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. This experience inspired me to pursue research as a career and later became a college laboratory technician at John Jay. I taught students instrumental analysis and organic chemistry as well as tested possible future experiments for students. In 2021, I was accepted into the PREP program at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which acts as a bridge program to graduate school. I joined Dr. Arvin Dar’s lab in late 2021 and worked on mechanistic and immune related studies on compounds of interest to the lab in the context of hepatocellular carcinoma. Upon my acceptance to the PhD program at Mount Sinai in 2022, I joined the Guccione lab where I continue to study hepatocellular carcinoma with our lead compound.

What fascinates me most in my research Working on a multidisciplinary project (Pharmacology, Immunology, and Oncology) to help push an innovative drug to the clinic.

What do I value in people Consistency

Me on the DISC test. C-S

Me in one sentence. Believe in the you that believes in yourself.


Kensey Portman

PhD Student


Education. B.S in Biotechnology, SUNY ESF 2017


Biography. I was born as the youngest of 3 on Long Island. I attended SUNY Environmental School of Science and Forestry from 2013-2017 with a focus in Biotechnology and a minor in Microscopy. After college, I worked at the Binghamton School of Pharmacy studying Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy and at Columbia University studying DNA Damage Repair cancer. As of 2019 to the present day, I work at the Tisch Cancer Institute. I am currently a Master's student studying PRDM15 in the context of CRC and HCC under Dr. Guccione. In my free time, I play soccer around Manhattan and love reading fiction books.  

What fascinates me most in my research. I love learning new techniques that I can carry forward in my career.

What do I value in people.  Honesty, communication, and a sense of humor

Me on the DISC test. TBD

Me in one sentence. Kind and caring dog loving girl who wants to change the world


Angie Ramirez

Master Student


B.S. Biology with Minor in Computer Science, Pace University, 2019


Biology Department Service Award (Pace University) 


Raised in Union City, NJ, I moved to NYC to pursue my undergraduate studies at Pace University, where I majored in Biology and minored in Computer Science. One of my most transformative experiences was joining my professor on a research trip to the Costa Rican Rainforest. We collected soil samples and extracted DNA for Next Generation DNA sequencing (NGS) analysis to study soil nutrient characteristics and bacterial/fungal communities. The trip made it clear to me how essential bioinformatics is in the modern scientific landscape, providing a robust toolkit for managing and interpreting large-scale data in ways that traditional biological methods alone can't.

Post-graduation, I worked as an Associate Researcher in neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine, focusing on neurodegenerative disorders. Here, I learned skills in a wide array of experiments and data analysis techniques such as bulk RNA-seq and foot-printing analysis. Working alongside seasoned postdocs, I delved deeper into the bioinformatic side of our projects, an experience that further reinforced my decision to specialize in this field. Currently, I am a Master's student in the Biomedical Data Science program at the Icahn School of Medicine. I aspire to contribute to the advancement of precision medicine and use biomedical data science to discover insights that could one day prevent or detect diseases early on.

What fascinates me most in my research. The opportunity to draw connections between seemingly disparate elements and challeging pre-existing notions. 

What do I value in people. Openness. 

Me on the DISC test. I-S 

Me in one sentence. Curiosity fuels my quest for knowledge, understanding, and adventure.


Deonte Theard

High School Student

Fellowships/Awards. CEYE Sherman Scholar Student Research Placement 2023

Biography. Born in Florida then moved to New York and found a passion in Biology and Data Science.

What fascinates me most in my research. The chance to learn new things or add to existing knowledge that will benefit people in the future.

What do I value in people. Dedication and Kindness

Me on the DISC test. D-S-C

Me in one sentence. My curiosity lies in the fields of bioinformatics and RNA biology, where African-American men, such as myself, are frequently underrepresented.


Tommaso Tabaglio

Co-Founder ImmuNOA


B.S. Medical Biotechnology, University of Padua, 2009

M.S., Medical Biotechnology, University of Milan, 2011 

PhD., Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 2018


SINGA Phd Scholarship Award

Biography. I was born in the Prosecco land, later moved to the Prosciutto land, now in the Pandan cake land, hence fulfilling the legendary “3P” culinary path. After graduating in the Universities of Padua with a thesis on prion proteins under the supervision of Prof. Parolin, I moved to the University of Milan where -during my master thesis project- I’ve started touching this endless world of possibilities called splicing (of PRKCA). Singapore has been my home afterwards, where I got the chance to get my hands on a PhD project focused on modulating the splicing of MDM4 and MBNL1 with antisense oligonucleotides. I’ve been playing with splicing modulators ever since, moving from cancer to cancer-immunotherapy, and finally to genetic diseases and molecular models for antisense delivery.

What fascinates me most in my research. I get to play with nucleic acids, creating what has never done before. My job allows me to be curious and to answer many questions, all starting with: ?

What do I value in people. Hardworking laziness. 

Me on the DISC test. D-I 

Me in one sentence. Joker of all trades, master of two or three.


Hess CSM Building Floor 6th Room 108 1470 Madison Ave New York, NY 10029

Phone: +1 (212) 824-9352

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