Newswise — Paul E. Oberstein, MD, a nationally renowned clinician-scientist, will join NYU Langone Health and its Perlmutter Cancer Center on March 1 as director of Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology and assistant director of its recently established Pancreatic Cancer Center.

Prior to his new post at NYU Langone, Dr. Oberstein was a member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University, an assistant professor at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and an attending physician at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. 

Dr. Oberstein’s recruitment marks an exciting expansion in innovative and potentially practice-changing clinical trials research in GI cancers at Perlmutter Cancer Center. His research focuses on the design and implementation of translational studies that apply novel laboratory concepts to patients. His recent work includes biomarker research to understand the immune microenvironment of cancer cells, investigation of a new imaging method for detecting pancreatic tumors, and testing new combinations of chemotherapy and immunotherapy in advanced pancreas cancer patients.

Dr. Oberstein also will see patients and expedite the progression of laboratory studies and research on all types of GI cancers to clinical practice.

“In 2018, for the first time, GI cancers will cause more cancer deaths in the United States than any other organ system,” says Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of Perlmutter Cancer Center. “Dr. Oberstein’s experience in designing clinical trials for these cancers and his expertise in bringing basic research findings to the patient’s bedside strengthen our already formidable GI cancer research team.”

At Perlmutter Cancer Center, Dr. Oberstein will collaborate with many medical and surgical leaders in GI cancer. They include Diane M. Simeone, MD, the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Professor of Surgery, professor of Pathology, and director of its Pancreatic Cancer Center; George Miller, MD, the H. Leon Pachter, MD Professor of Surgery and professor of Cell Biology; H. Leon Pachter, MD, the George David Stewart Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery; Alec Kimmelman, MD, PhD, professor of Radiation Oncology and the Anita Steckler and Joseph Steckler Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology; Deirdre J. Cohen, MD, assistant professor of Medicine; Paresh C. Shah, MD, clinical professor of Surgery, chief of the Division of General Surgery and vice chair of Quality and Innovation in Surgery; Mark Pochapin, MD, the Sholtz/Leeds Professor of Gastroenterology and director of the Division of Gastroenterology; and Elliot Newman, MD, professor of Surgery and co-director of the GI Disease Management Group at the cancer center.

“Dr. Oberstein will play a major role in the Pancreatic Cancer Center’s efforts to develop highly innovative clinical trials for pancreatic cancer patients and to work with patients and patient advocacy groups to develop optimized support systems for patients,” Dr. Simeone says. “Dr Oberstein’s expertise fits well with our deep commitment to each and every patient.”

About Dr. Oberstein

Dr. Oberstein earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Temple University Health System. He joined Columbia University Medical Center as a fellow in hematology and oncology, where he also did a clinical research fellowship at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Oberstein also received a Master of Science degree (biostatistics) from Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award and a National Cancer Institute KL2 Career Development Award, and has collaborated on multi-investigator translational grants from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

“Research already under way at Perlmutter Cancer Center in GI cancers not only can be applied to patients immediately, but also furthers our understanding of these cancers, which will lead to future patient applications,” Dr. Oberstein says. “Its commitment to aligning research and clinical practice makes this, indeed, the perfect place for what I do — which is to try to bring these two areas of medicine together to make a difference for our patients now and in the future.”