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John Iafrate, PhD, MD, is an Alumnus of Stony
Brook School of Medicine
John Iafrate, PhD, MD is a pathologist who specializes in molecular diagnostics. He directs a clinical laboratory at Mass General Hospital and oversees the translational research laboratory.
He has helped discover a novel source of human genetic diversity, known as “copy number variation” (CNV). He then established a cancer diagnostics lab focusing on genetic fingerprints that help guide novel, targeted therapies.
Early Life and Education
The early years are a critical period in which a child’s brain grows and develops. Healthy development during this time is crucial to a child’s future learning capacity, social and emotional health, and economic productivity.
Early childhood education (ECE) is a set of educational programs designed to promote children’s cognitive and social development before they enter kindergarten. These programs are usually federal, state or privately funded.
These programs provide a wide range of activities that promote a child’s social, emotional and physical development. They focus on fostering important life skills such as self-confidence, self-regulation of emotions, positive self-belief, and the ability to express their ideas and needs.
John Iafrate is a pathologist who specializes in the diagnosis of disease and the treatment of patients with cancer. He works at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
He earned his medical degree from Stony Brook University and completed a PhD in molecular microbiology. His favorite memory of his time at Stony Brook was taking anatomy class.
As a postdoctoral researcher, he was involved in the discovery of a novel source of human genetic diversity called “copy number variation.” He later developed FISH probes that utilize this new method for transplantation chimerism analysis. He has also developed the next-generation sequencing-based Anchored Multiplex PCR technique to detect gene fusion events from clinical specimens. He currently leads a clinical laboratory for molecular diagnostics at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Achievements and Honors
John Iafrate has been instrumental in the development of novel molecular diagnostics to support personalized cancer therapy. He has a PhD and MD degree from Stony Brook University and was trained in anatomic and molecular genetic pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
He has been a superb educator and supportive mentor for countless pathology trainees, as well as an engaging speaker and creative investigator. His commitment to personalized medicine embodies a key principle of modern-day medicine: looking at disease through the genetic lens.
He has led numerous lab efforts, including studies of tumor genetic heterogeneity in glioblastoma and the development of small molecule kinase inhibitors for lung tumors with ALK and ROS1 tyrosine kinase rearrangements. He is also the inventor of the next-generation sequencing-based Anchored Multiplex PCR method, which detects gene fusion events from clinical specimens.
For over two decades, West Virginia songwriter Michael John Iafrate has honed his craft as a performer alongside his work as a member of some of the state’s most creative independent music acts such as The Minus Tide and Killed At Camp.
Whether solo or fleshed out by kindred musician-spirits as M Iafrate & The Priesthood, Iafrate’s soft-spoken contemplative song-explorations are often enriched by his training as a theologian. His songs commingle the worlds of flesh and spirit, ask more questions than provide answers, and hold received images and traditions up to the light in respect, playfulness, and negation.
He has also dedicated his life to studying cancer, specifically, ALK and ROS1-positive lung cancers. He studies these diseases in conjunction with his research on internal medicine and pathology.
Stony Brook University’s alumni board student representatives introduce john iafrate for this month’s “Alumni Spotlight.” As an alum, he brings with him a wealth of experience. He is a highly-skilled physician scientist, and we are proud to have him in the Stony Brook School of Medicine community. He has also benefited from the generosity of the Stony Brook Foundation, as well as from his family’s backing during his early career.
In 1969, Angelo Iafrate established the Angelo Iafrate Construction Company (“AICC”), a road-building construction company serving metro-Detroit. AICC issued shares to Angelo Sr., and his three sons, Dominic Iafrate, Angelo E. Iafrate, and John Iafrate, all of whom had worked for the business at various times. Around the year 2000, they all moved to Florida.