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Leon Bernal-Mizrachi, MD

Assistant Professor
Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi began his research career at the Miller School of Medicine/University of Miami with Dr. Yeon Ahn. Under his supervision, Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi published several first author papers and innumerable abstracts focusing on the development of endothelial microparticles as surrogates of vascular diseases and inflammation. During his Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi continued on his search to define the role of inflammation and cancer. Under Dr. Lee Ratner’s mentorship, he identified a novel prosurvival mechanism of each NF-kB pathway, an inflammatory signal. These findings ignited his interest in these signals and their role in B cell development and cancer development. To take advantage of new technologies and explore new avenues in these pathways, Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi trained at Cold Spring Harbor in integrative statistical analysis of genome-scale data. This knowledge set the foundation for the current work in his laboratory at Emory.

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Research Interests

The Bernal-Mizrachi laboratory is specialized in studying cancers of the immune system such as lymphomas or myelomas. It was estimated that 80,710 new lymphomas and myelomas would be diagnosed in 2010. Unfortunately, in spite of the advances in therapies, the National Cancer Institute expects that 36% of these cancer patients will die from these terrible diseases. Based on the premise that the cancer of each patient has unique characteristics, Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi’s lab is focused on creating new technologies that allow matching each patient’s unique cancer growth signals with specific therapies that can block their cancer signal growth effect. Their studies have provided new genetic indicators that could guide doctors to select the best combination of therapies. In this regard, Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi’s team has focused on the NF-kB signals, an important signal for lymphoma/myeloma development. In these signals, they have discovered novel genetic alterations, biological functions, and biomarkers that can guide the selection of proper therapies and support the design of new therapies. Ultimately, Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi’s passion is to improve the outcome and reduce the toxicity of the therapies used to treat lymphomas/myelomas.

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