Emmanuel M. Gabriel, M.D., Ph.D.

Why did you choose to study clinical and translational research?

Emmanuel M. Gabriel, M.D., Ph.D., is a scholar in the CCaTS KL2 Mentored Career Development Program at Mayo Clinic.

Family is the most important thing in my life. My parents have had multiple illnesses, but the first was when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. I was a college freshman at the time, with plans to major in political science. That all then changed to medicine.

I was fortunate to have excellent mentors in college, including Dr. William Campbell, 2015 Nobel laureate. Dr. Edmund C. Lattime mentored me in immunology during graduate school, and Dr. Joseph Skitzki continued my training during my postdoc, with particular focus in clinical and translational research. Dr. Skitzki sponsored my participation in the 2015 American Association for Cancer Research-American Society of Clinical Oncology Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop, forming the basis of my current investigator-initiated trials.

Collectively, my family experiences and my fortunate and often serendipitous encounters with these mentors led me to pursue a career in clinical and translational research. As an aspiring surgeon-scientist, it is my hope and goal to help people like my mom and families like my own through multidisciplinary cancer care and the discovery and improvement of cancer therapies.

What type of research are you doing?

Under the guidance of my mentors, I am investigating novel, preclinical methods to influence tumor-associated vasculature to augment delivery of systemic therapies. These include conventional chemotherapies, targeted therapies and immune effector cells. The strategy involves alterations in intravascular volume, use of vasoactive agents or a combination of both. I track drug or effector cell delivery in real time using an imaging technique known as intravital microscopy.

Simultaneously, I am using this technology in humans through two active clinical trials, NCT03823144: Intravital Microscopy in Human Solid Tumors and NCT03517852: Intravital Microscopy in Patients With Peritoneal Carcinomatosis. These will establish the feasibility for translating the animal studies to human subjects.

Why Mayo Clinic?

The opportunities and support at Mayo Clinic are unmatched. As I begin my third year in the Department of Surgery at Mayo's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, I recognize and appreciate all of the resources available at Mayo Clinic to fulfill my career and life goals.

Intellectually, my primary and secondary mentors are outstanding. In addition, there are several collaborating consultants across the enterprise who have also provided expertise in developing my research.

Logistically, there have been many opportunities for seed funding, including the Florida campus Focused Research Teams, the Research Accelerator for Clinicians Engaged in Research (RACER), and the Eagles Fifth District Cancer Fund, which have all provided support to start my projects. Moreover, the leadership in the Department of Surgery enthusiastically facilitates my career goals, having provided initial protected time for research.

What are you looking forward to as a KL2 scholar?

These next three years will be critical in obtaining the skills and data to transition into an independent R01-level funded surgeon-scientist. I am looking forward to doing the work, completing the clinical trials and developing the next phases of clinical research, strengthening my professional relationships with my mentors and collaborators, and successfully translating this research to patient care.

Review Dr. Gabriel's publications on PubMed.