Cristina Antonescu, M.D. is a member of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's research team. She graduated from the Carol Davila Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. Dr. Antonescu's areas of clinical expertise include bone and soft tissue sarcoma pathology and electron microscopy. She has a strong interest in the field of adult and Pediatric GIST research. Her recent contributions included mechanisms of imatinib resistance and pathology of Pediatric GIST, as well as many other research projects. Dr. Anonescu is leading the Pediatric GIST Project which includes a tissue bank specifically for Pediatric tumors.

Dr. Antonescu is one of the world's leading authorities in GIST pathology, and her group has played a leadership role in characterizing the various genetic aberrations responsible for GIST. Her work is particularly focused on Pediatric GISTs, which are notoriously resistant to imatinib therapy. The important goals of this study - performed by gene expression array profiling - are to identify mechanisms by which KIT is activated in Pediatric GISTs, and to understand why these activation mechanisms are not subject to imatinib inhibition.