Jennifer Amengual, MD

Dr. Amengual is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Experimental Therapeutics, and is a member of the Center for Lymphoid Malignancies and Hebert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center here at Columbia University Medical Center.

Dr. Amengual obtained a degree in Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University where she graduated with honors. She attained her Medical Doctorate from New York Medical College, followed by a residency in Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Amengual then went on to complete her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, where she participated in the Physician-Scientist Training Program and graduated as a Dean’s Scholar.

Dr. Amengual is very focused on translating the latest scientific discoveries regarding cancer cell behavior into novel treatment platforms. As a physician-scientist, she aims to translate observations and concepts developed in the laboratory directly into patient care. Specifically, she is focused on targeting the Bcl-6: p53 pathway in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in order to shift the balance of oncogene and tumor suppressor function in a rational therapeutic fashion. Dr. Amengual is now using novel combinations of FDA approved drugs and vitamins like niacinamide to turn off cancer promoting genes (like Bcl-6), while simultaneously turning on cancer suppressor genes (like p53). She has defined a broad spectrum of biochemical and genetic effects associated with this shift in the balance of these two important classes of genes in lymphoma. She has clearly documented that this type of precise pharmacologic modulation of genes involved in lymphoma can be potently synergistic in preclinical models of lymphoma.

Even more interesting, Dr. Amengual has now established this proof of principle in patients, where those patients treated with vorinostat and niacinamide (the vitamin) can experience marked responses of their disease with clinically meaningful durations of response. The patients involved in this clinical trial are those who have not responded well to conventional chemotherapy. She continues to develop new pharmacologic strategies directed at altering these diseases at their genetic roots, now collaborating with investigators from Harvard University.