M. Wasif Saif, M.D., is the Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Director of the GI Oncology Section of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC), at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Medical Director of the Pancreas Center at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Saif specializes in caring for patients with GI malignancies, in particular pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer. His expertise lies in research focused on the biochemical and molecular pharmacology of antimetabolites and investigational anticancer agents in an effort to develop therapeutic strategies for patients with cancers arising in the gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Saif graduated from King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan. Following an internal medicine residency at the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine, Farmington, CT; a medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD and the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD; and a hematology fellowship at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), NIH, Bethesda. After the clinical fellowship, he became a junior investigator in the Investigational Drug Branch, NCI where he worked in the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Section. Prior to joining Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Herbert Irving Cancer Center and the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Saif worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven as an Associate professor of Medicine, Director of GI Cancers Program and Senior Investigator in the Department of Developmental Therapeutics.
Dr. Saif's translational research efforts are aimed: to characterize the cellular pharmacology and determinants of sensitivity to new antineoplastic agents, and the interaction of these agents with established drugs in an effort to develop new therapies for patients with carcinomas arising in the gastrointestinal tract; to develop new analytical methods that will facilitate implementation of laboratory-based clinical studies that incorporate pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and intracellular pharmacodynamic endpoints; to utilize rational clinical pharmacology principles to assist the clinical development of investigational new drugs; to characterize the clinical pharmacokinetic profile of chemotherapeutic agents and determine if any pharmacodynamic relationships exist with efficacy or toxicity; to study the relationship between biochemical and molecular targets with response to therapy; and to develop therapeutic strategies that selectively target cancer cells with unique biochemical and/or molecular phenotypes. His major contributions include the development of many novel agents, DPD testing and development of capecitabine (Xeloda) as a radiosensitizing agent in pancreatic cancer.
He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Southern Medical Association, and many others. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles about cancer treatment and research and over 60 abstracts, and 16 book chapters, beginning in 1997 and continuing to present. He serves on the editorial board of over 12 peer reviewed cancer journals. Recently, Dr. Saif was chosen by his peers as one of the America's top Oncologist as well as the Leading physician of the World and Top internist in New Haven.
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