News Release for De Marzo Study on Tissue Storage for Molecular Analyses

A new study led by members of the De Marzo lab, and including collaborators from the Prostate Cancer Biorepository Network, reports on important considerations for storage of tissues that will later be used for RNA-based studies. Bottom line, storage of FFPE blocks at room temperature may lead to misleading results, at least for the strength of RNA in situ hybridization signals as assessed in this study. Freezing blocks preserves these signals, and freezing should be considered for samples that may later be used for RNA-based assays. Read the Hopkins Medicine news release here.



Congratulations Dr. Heidi Hempel Sulllivan!

Heidi speaking during her dissertation presentation.

Congratulations to Dr. Heidi Hempel Sullivan for successfully completing all dissertation requirements for the Pathobiology graduate program at Johns Hopkins!! Heidi’s thesis is entitled “The role of mast cells in prostate cancer initiation and recurrence”. Heidi will be moving on to a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Cancer Research at the NCI. Great work Heidi!

Dr. Janielle Maynard Receives 2017 John Willey Translational Research Award

Janielle Maynard, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Sfanos lab postdoctoral fellow Janielle Maynard, Ph.D. for receiving the 2017 John Willey Translational Research Award at the Johns Hopkins Department of Urology Prostate Cancer Research Day. Janielle presented her work entitled “The Inflammatory Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer Racial Disparities”. Great work Janielle!

New From Sfanos Lab: Profiling the Urinary Microbiome in Men with Positive versus Negative Biopsies for Prostate Cancer

Eva Shrestha, B.A. is a graduate student in the Sfanos lab.

Our new study, recently published in The Journal of Urology, examines differences in the urinary microbiome in men with and without prostate cancer.

We would like to thank the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation for their ongoing support of our urinary microbiome studies!

Dr. Janielle Maynard Receives FY16 PCRP Early Investigator Research Award

Dr. Maynard highlighted on the JHU SOM Pathology departmental website.

Dr. Janielle Maynard, a post-doctoral fellow in the Sfanos lab recently began work on an Early Investigator Research Award from the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program. The Early Investigator Research Award program supports prostate cancer-focused research opportunities for individuals in the early stages of their careers. Dr. Maynard will be investigating the role of purinergic signaling and inflammation in prostate cancer racial disparities. Congratulations Dr. Maynard!

2017 Johns Hopkins CARES Summer Symposium

Tamirat Ali presents at the Johns Hopkins CARES Symposium

Sfanos lab summer intern Tamirat Ali participated in the Johns Hopkins Career, Academic, and Research Experiences for Students (CARES) Summer Symposium today and presented his summer project “The Role of P2X4 Receptors in Prostate Cancer”. Tamirat conducted his summer research under the mentorship of Sfanos lab postdoctoral fellow Janielle Maynard, Ph.D. Great work Tamirat!

Summer in Sfanos Lab

This summer, the Sfanos lab welcomed Tamirat Ali from University of Minnesota, who is conducting a summer internship with us, Lauren Peiffer, D.V.M., who joins us as a graduate student in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program, and Borna Kassiri, a Johns Hopkins medical student who joins us as a Persky Fellow from the Department of Urology. Welcome Tamirat, Lauren, and Borna!!

#SfanosLab and colleagues, @ASGoldstein6 Highlighted in DoD CDMRP PCRP Research Highlight

The Department of Defense CDMRP Prostate Cancer Research Program recently highlighted the work of Dr. Angelo De Marzo, Dr. Elizabeth Platz, Dr. Andrew Goldstein, and Sfanos lab members in their 2017 Prostate Cancer Highlights. The article highlights work by Dr. De Marzo that, along with other pioneering studies from De Marzo’s group, implicated chronic prostatic inflammation as a risk factor for prostate cancer development, a recently published study led by Pathobiology graduate student Heidi Hempel that examined mast cells in relation to prostate cancer recurrence, and a recently published study by Dr. Goldstein that describes CD38 low progenitor cells in areas of prostatic inflammation. All of these studies were made possible with support from the CDMRP Prostate Cancer Research Program! The link to the research highlight can be found at


Several members of the Sfanos and De Marzo labs attended the Annual Department of Pathology Young Investigators’ Day today. The event features poster presentations from many of the Department’s graduate students, medical students, fellows, residents, and other young investigators. Congratulations to all who presented!


Dr. Janielle Maynard and Eva Shrestha

Eva Shrestha and Dr. Sfanos

Heidi Hempel and Onur Ertunc