Elaine S. Jaffe, M.D.

Elaine S. Jaffe, M.D.
NIH Distinguished Investigator
Head, Hematopathology Section

Dr. Jaffe has conducted pioneering studies related to the classification of malignant lymphomas and has led an international effort for consensus among clinicians and pathologists. Her work focuses on lymphomas as tumors of the immune system. Using a combination of immunophenotypic, genomic and genetic approaches, her group is examining the pathogenesis of lymphomas, mechanisms of transformation, and signaling pathways involved in control of cellular proliferation and differentiation. These studies delineate new disease entities and provide a basis for therapy. Her work has established a new paradigm for the classification of lymphoid neoplasms.

Areas of Expertise

1) lymphoma diagnosis, 2) immunophenotypic studies, 3) Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 4) Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 5) Epstein Barr virus, 6) lymphoproliferative disease

Contact Info

Elaine S. Jaffe, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 3S235
Bethesda, MD 20892-1500
Ph: 301-480-8040 (office)
301-480-8461 (direct)
Fax: 301-480-8089

Lymphoma Disease Discovery and Definition

Disease discovery and disease definition are critical first steps in elucidating pathogenetic mechanisms of cancer. Most insights into the molecular pathogenesis of lymphomas have followed on the heels of a precise elucidation of the disease entity based on clinical, pathological, or immunophenotypic grounds. Our work focuses on the definition of malignant lymphomas as tumors of the immune system, delineation of new disease entities, studies related to the pathophysiology of malignant lymphomas, and clinical correlations including prognosis and response to treatment. These studies in our laboratory and others were instrumental in the development of the WHO Classification of Tumours of the Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues was published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, published in 2001 and revised in 2008.

Our recent work has involved studies of the biological and pathological heterogeneity of follicular lymphomas, and an investigation of apoptotic pathways in these tumors. We have explored the interrelationship between Hodgkin lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, focusing in particular on grey zone lymphomas that appear to represent the missing link between classical Hodgkin lymphoma and other B-cell malignancies. Ongoing studies are directed at trying to understand the genetic or epigenetic mechanisms that cause a B-cell to become a Hodgkin cell,and understanding the role of the microenvironment in these lymphomas. We also are studying early events in lymphomagenesis and in particular, in follicular lymphomas we are exploring the genetic changes that distinguish follicular lymphoma in situ from follicular lymphoma.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Clinical Research, Genetics and Genomics, Immunology
  1. Jaffe ES, Ashar BS, Clemens MW, Feldman AL, Gaulard P, Miranda RN, Sohani AR, Stenzel T, Yoon SW.
    J Clin Oncol. 38(10): 1102-11, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Cheng J, Jaffe ES.
    Blood. 134(24): 2226, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Xiao W, Gupta GK, Yao J, Jang YJ, Xi L, Baik J, Sigler A, Kumar A, Moskowitz AJ, Arcila ME, Raffeld M, Pittaluga S, Dogan A, Jaffe ES.
    Blood. 134(12): 986-91, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Chen J, Zhang Y, Petrus MN, Xiao W, Nicolae A, Raffeld M, Pittaluga S, Bamford RN, Nakagawa M, Ouyang ST, Epstein AL, Kadin ME, Del Mistro A, Woessner R, Jaffe ES, Waldmann TA.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(15): 3975-80, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Jaffe ES
    Mod Pathol. 33(Suppl 1): 96-106, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Jaffe completed her medical education at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania, receiving an M.D. from the latter in 1969. After an internship at Georgetown University, she joined the NCI as a resident in anatomic pathology, and has been a senior investigator since 1974, focusing on the classification and definition of lymphoid neoplasms. She has served on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Pathology, The American Journal of Surgical Pathology, Blood, Cancer Research, and Modern Pathology, among others. She has been president of both the Society for Hematopathology as well as the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and was elected to the advisory board of the American Society of Hematology. In 1993, she was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2005 was Chair of the Medical Sciences Section of AAAS. She was among the 10 most highly cited researchers in clinical medicine for the field of oncology between 1981 and 1998. Among her awards are the Fred W. Stewart Award from Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Mostofi Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and the Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award from the NIH Fellows Committee. In 2007 she was the second Anita Roberts Lecturer, recognizing women in science at the NIH. She was awarded the Honoris Causa from the University of Barcelona in 2008, and received the Chugai Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Scholarship from the American Society of Investigative Pathology. In 2008 she was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dr. Jaffe was awarded the Henry M. Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology in 2013.

Name Position
Theresa M. Davies-Hill Medical Technologist
Jeremiah Karrs D.O. Clinical Fellow
Ifeyinwa Obiorah M.D. Clinical Fellow
Stefania Pittaluga, M.D., Ph.D. Senior Research Physician
Annapurna Saksena M.D. Clinical Fellow
Grace Smith Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Laura Trilling Accession Technician (Contr.)
Anjana Venkatesan Patient Care Coordinator (Contr.)
Ting Zhou M.D., Ph.D. Clinical Fellow