Marina R. Walther-Antonio, Ph.D.

Why did you choose to study clinical and translational research?

I am interested in developing research that will impact patient care. I try to orient my research efforts in a problem-solving direction that is not bound to particular fields of expertise, methodologies or technologies. If the solution to a medical problem does not neatly fit into a particular expertise, then it is time to bring in interdisciplinary thinking. If methodologies or technologies needed to assess a crucial disease feature do not exist, then it is time to develop them.

What type of research are you doing?

My research is mostly centered around the microbiome's effects on health and disease, especially in reproductive and sexual health and cancer. Most of my research projects fall within the gynecologic and obstetric spheres, with particular focus on gynecologic cancers — endometrial and ovarian cancer primarily. Part of my lab works on methodology and technology development for single-cell and microfluidics applications.

Why Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic's core mission and principles are closely aligned with my own. The needs of people impacted by a disease should be the problem that needs to be solved. The team-based decision-making processes in research settings — involving the engagement of surgeons, pathologists, clinicians, nurses, supporting and technical staff, and importantly patient advocates — guarantee that the research being done is relevant to patients' needs.

What are you looking forward to as a KL2 scholar?

I am excited to continue to delve into the translational avenues and see where my team's findings take us.

Review Dr. Walther-Antonio's publications on PubMed.