Mrinal S. Patnaik, M.B.B.S.

Mrinal S. Patnaik, M.B.B.S., received a Center for Individualized Medicine Gerstner Family Career Development Award in 2017.
  • Consultant, Department of Hematology
  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  • Area of research: Myeloid malignancies

What sparked your interest in individualized medicine?

The main reason I was attracted to individualized medicine was because as a hematologist I wanted to challenge the therapeutic paradigm that one size fits all. I had seen and continue to see many patients being treated with chemotherapy and radiation, without necessarily individualizing therapies based on their unique disease biology and their unique constitutional makeups. I realized that the only way clinicians could improve therapeutic impact would be to individualize treatment approaches.

What is your focus as a Gerstner Family Career Development Award recipient?

My focus is to develop rationally informed, precision medicine-guided therapies for patients with myeloid malignancies — in particular, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. To achieve this, my colleagues and I have used genetic and epigenetic approaches to assign effective therapies. In the process, we have greatly contributed to the understanding of disease biology and the development of biomarkers.

How will your research improve patient care?

My research will improve patient care by helping achieve the following:

  • Introduction of rationally derived individualized therapies based on the tumor genotype and constitutive features unique to the patient
  • Development of biomarkers to help guide appropriate selection of drugs
  • Reduction of treatment-related side effects
  • Improvement of overall outcomes

How has the Gerstner Family Career Development Award helped advance your research?

This award has been instrumental in allowing me to have the time and the funds to further my research ideas. Without this support, none of this would have been possible. I remain deeply indebted.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to explore research?

Mayo Clinic sets the bar when it comes to excellence in patient care and patient-oriented research. It has a rich and nurturing environment that allows clinician-investigators to study diseases and implement necessary changes and solutions. The Center for Individualized Medicine has allowed Mayo to lead the way in terms of precision medicine and has left the clinic uniquely poised to change paradigms to positively impact patient lives.