As a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic, I focus on treatment of patients with cancers that originate within the digestive system (esophagus, gastroesophageal junction, stomach, colorectal, anus, pancreatic-biliary, small bowel) or cancers of unknown origin.
My clinical and research interests are focused on helping these cancer patients live longer with the highest quality-of-life possible.
My overall research approach is developing new and effective therapies; and helping physicians match patients more precisely with the most effective therapy.
Areas of interest include the body's natural immune system in its ability to fight tumors; and cellular receptors involved in tumor growth and tumor-related blood supply.
I am the principal investigator of a national clinical trial in which patients with advanced esophageal or stomach cancer have the opportunity to receive a novel drug (ramucirumab), in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Ramucirumab is a therapeutic antibody that targets VEGFR2 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2), the most important receptor involved in tumor-related blood vessel formation. Tumors are unable to grow unless they can continue to coax blood vessels to supply them with nutrition, and the objective of ramucirumab is to deprive tumors of this blood supply.
In addition, I participate in the National Cancer Institute Gastrointestinal Intergroup-Esophago-Gastric Task Force, have been asked to serve on national drug advisory boards and review research articles for multiple scientific journals.
I received the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award, the Charles F. and Marcia L. Forcey Career Development Award in Esophageal Cancer Research, and the Paul Calabresi Scholar Award (Mayo Clinic Cancer Center K-12). I collaborate with numerous cancer investigators and physicians nationally and internationally.