Nicholas Chiorazzi, MD

Professor, Karches Center for Oncology Research,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Head, Karches Center for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research,
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Professor, Medicine and Molecular Medicine,
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Phone: (516) 562-1090

About the Investigator
Dr. Nicholas Chiorazzi received his medical degree from Georgetown University. He completed internal medicine training and rheumatology and allergy-clinical immunology training in the Cornell Cooperating Hospitals. He was also an immunology research fellow at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Baruj Benacerraf and at The Rockefeller University in the laboratory of Henry G. Kunkel.

In 1987, Dr. Chiorazzi was appointed chief of the then-new Division of Rheumatology & Allergy-Clinical Immunology of North Shore University Hospital. In 2000, he was appointed the first director and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. He is currently a professor of medicine and molecular medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine.

He has been elected to American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and was the recipient of the Binet-Rai Medal for Excellence in CLL Research.

Research Focus
Dr. Chiorazzi’s laboratory studies the activation and maturation of B-lymphocytes in health and disease, in particular chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).  Dr. Chiorazzi and his colleagues have demonstrated the following; CLL cells are responsive to signals from the internal microenvironment, in particular those delivered by the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR), leading to leukemic cell proliferation and maturation or death; BCR-induced signals are likely delivered by common self antigens and are mediated through sets of BCRs of remarkably similar amino acid structure; patients with CLL segregate into two subgroups based on BCR structure that differ dramatically in clinical outcome; CLL cells proliferate and die in vivo at rates higher than originally appreciated.

These findings have led to the view that (auto)antigen drive is a promoting factor in the development and evolution of CLL and have been a pivotal in refining patient prognosis.

Lab Members

Dr. Chiorazzi lab photo


Andrea Mazzarello, PhD
Postdoctoral Trainee

Gerardo Ferrer, PhD
Postdoctoral Trainee

Florencia Palacios, PhD
Postdoctoral Trainee

Erin Boyle
Research Assistant

Rahena Chowdhury
Research Assistant

Sophia Yancopoulos
Science Writer

Annette Geiss
Administrative Director

Joy Yan, MD, PhD
Research Assistant Investigator
Research: Gene Expression in CLL B Cells.

Shih-Shih Chen, PhD
Institute Scientist
Research: Human and murine models of CLL.

Steven Ham
Research Assistant

Lu Zhang
Research Assistant

Ragendra Damie, PhD
Research Associate Investigator
Research: Cell Biology of CLL.

Kanti Rai, MD
Research: Prognosis and Treatment of CLL.

Nancy Driscoll
Physician Assistant

Alison Bender
Physician Assistant

Alexis Marks
Supervisor, Res Coord

Shreyans Sanghvi
Assistant Res Coord

Manmeen Kaur
Assistant Res Coord

Jaewon Chung
Assistant Res Coord

Maya Patel
Lab Technologist

Marie Ilagan
Administrative Manager

Toni Allwood
Medical Secretary

Holy Cross College
Degree: AB
Field of Study: Pre-Medical

Georgetown University
Degree: MD
Field of Study: Medical

Harvard Medical School
Degree: PostDoc
Field of Study: Cellular Immunology

The Rockefeller University
Degree: Postdoc
Field of Study: Cellular Immunology

Awards & Honors

2003 Recipient, Binet-Rai Medal for “Excellence in CLL Research” from the International Workshops on CLL

  1. Chiorazzi N, Ferrarini M. “B Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Lessons learned from studies of the B cell antigen receptor.” Annu Rev Immunol 2003; 21: 841-894 View PDF
  2. Seiler T, Woelfle M, Yancopoulos Y, Catera R, Li W, Hatzi K, Moreno C, Torres M, Paul S, Dohner H, Stilgenbauer S, Kaufman MS, Kolitz JE, Allen SL, Rai KR, Chu CC, Chiorazzi N. “Characterization of structurally-defined epitopes recognized by monoclonal antibodies produced by chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells.” Blood 2009; 114: 3615-3624 [Aug 18, 2009, Epub ahead of print] PMCID: PMC2858644
  3. Calissano C, Damle RN, Hayes G, Murphy EJ, Hellerstein MK, Sison C, Kaufman MS, Kolitz JE, Allen SL, Rai KR, Chiorazzi N. “In vivo intraclonal and interclonal kinetic heterogeneity in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.” Blood 2009; 114: 4832-4942
  4. Chu CC, Catera R, Zhang L, Didier S, Agagnina BM, Damle RN, Kaufman MS, Kolitz JE, Allen SL, Rai KR, Chiorazzi N. “Many chronic lymphocytic leukemia antibodies recognize apoptotic cells with exposed non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA: Implications for patient outcome and cell of origin.” Blood 2010; 115: 3907-3915
  5. Chiorazzi N, Ferrarini M. “Cellular origin(s) of chronic lymphocytic leukemia: cautionary notes and additional considerations and possibilities.” Blood 2011; 117: 1781-1791
  6. Bagnara D, Kaufman M, Calissano C, Marsilio S, Patten P, Chum P, Yan X-J, Allen SL, Lee A, Gregersen PK, Rai KR, Chiorazzi N. “A novel adoptive transfer model of chronic lymphocytic leukemia suggests a key role for T lymphocytes in the disease.” Blood 2011; 117: 5463-547
  7. Ghiotto F, Marcatili P, Tenca C, Calevo MG, Yan XJ, Albesiano E, Bagnara D, Colombo M, Cutrona G, Chu CC, Morabito F, Bruno S, Ferrarini M, Tramontano A, Fais F, Chiorazzi N. “Mutation pattern of paired heavy and light chain variable domains in chronic lynmphocytic leukemia B cells.” Mol Med 2011; 17: 1188-1195
  8. Malavasi F, Deaglio S, Damle R, Cutrona G, Ferrarini M, Chiorazzi N. “CD38 and chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a decade later.” Blood 2011; 118: 3470-3478 [Jul 15, 2011 Epub ahead of print]
  9. Yan X-J, Dozmorov I, Li W, Yancopoulos S, Sison C, Centola M, Jain P, Allen SL, Kolitz JE, Rai KR, Chiorazzi N, Sherry B. “Identification of outcome-correlated cytokine clusters in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.” Blood 2011; 118: 5201-5210
  10. Calissano C, Damle RN, Marsilio S, Yan X-J, Yancopoulos S, Hayes G, Emson C, Murphy EJ, Hellerstein MK, Sison C, Kaufman MS, Kolitz JE, Allen SL, Rai KR, Ivanovic I, Dozmorov IM, Roa S, Scharff MD, Li W, Chiorazzi N. “Intra-clonal complexity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: fractions enriched in recently born/divided and older/quiescent cells.” Mol Med 2011; 17: 1374-1382
  11. Hwang K-K, Chen X, Kozink DM, Gustilo M, Marshall DJ, Whitesides J, Liao H-X, Catera R, Chu CC, Yan X-J, Luftig MA, Haynes BF, Chiorazzi N. “Enhanced outgrowth of EBV-transformed chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells mediated by co-culture with macrophage feeder cells.” Blood 2012; 119: e35-44

View more at PubMed