Michael C. Montalto, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Pathology & Clinical Biomarker Laboratories
In his role at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mike Montalto is at the helm of genomics, genetics, flow cytometry, and pathology, leading a group of scientific leaders toward developing and applying methods to measure biomarkers for all of the clinical programs at the company. Mike’s team is a driving force behind the application of important molecular tests at Bristol-Myers Squibb, such as tumor mutational burden, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, gene expression profiling and other pathology-based tests. The power of this group is having the ability to combine different levels of information to get a composite picture of the biology happening in patients while drugs are being tested in clinical trials.
Prior to this role, Mike was a co-founder and executive of Omnyx, LLC, a joint venture of GE Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that commercialized diagnostic pathology imaging and software products. He has patented and published on novel pathology-based multiplexing technology (MultiOmyx™, Clarient/Neogenomics) for oncology biomarker discovery. He is president and serves on the board of directors of the Digital Pathology Association and is a member of several scientific advisory boards of digital pathology companies. He has also served as a member of NIH study sections for in vivo molecular imaging centers. Mike earned his Ph.D. in tumor biology from Albany Medical College and received his post-doctoral training in anti-inflammatory drug discovery and whole animal physiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Watch video: Translational Medicine: Exploring Pathology
Interests and Expertise
Although Mike has responsibility for many different technologies that yield a complete story of patient biology, his passion for pathology drives his interest in deconstructing the complexity of cell or tissue samples visually, examining the fine details and recognizing differing patterns. Trained in cancer biology, he became immersed in pathology during his first job in the laboratory of Dr. Lloyd J. Old at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York. Dr. Old is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of modern day immuno-oncology.
Mike learned a lot from the hundreds of tissue samples he cut while in Dr. Old's lab. Most notably, he saw how pathology – an ancient science written in hematoxylin, a histological stain derived from tree bark – had not been modernized on pace with technological innovations, and became fascinated with the idea of bringing pathology into the digital age. Over the course of his career, Mike has been instrumental in developing and commercializing general digital pathology technology for diagnostic use that allows pathologists to see more than ever thought possible. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, he is extending this work to drug development by applying digital pathology to the field of immuno-oncology. His personal hope is for Bristol-Myers Squibb to be the pioneer that makes a real-world impact with digital pathology technology by helping to speed the delivery of drugs to patients.
When he’s not working with his team to help revolutionize pathology, Mike enjoys surfing by his home on the New Jersey shore. He’s in the ocean most mornings before work. He says he appreciates the meditative quality of surfing, which forces one to mindfully focus on catching waves.