Joaquin J. Garcia, M.D., is chair of the Division of Anatomic Pathology and possesses expertise in head and neck, frozen section, and molecular pathology. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and authored several book chapters and books. Dr. Garcia is primarily interested in utilizing fusion transcripts that characterize salivary gland malignancies to improve diagnostic accuracy and patient management.
Dr. Garcia is also the medical director of Mayo Clinic's Digital Pathology Program, an enterprisewide effort to revolutionize the practice of pathology by supplanting glass slides with digital images and deploying artificial intelligence at scale.
- Identify genetic signatures of salivary gland malignancies. Dr. Garcia leads a multidisciplinary team of pathologists, clinicians and basic scientists in the discovery of genetic signatures in salivary gland malignancies and development of laboratory tests to improve diagnostic accuracy and patient management.
- Characterize biological features of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) tumor cells and microenvironment. Dr. Garcia and his colleagues are studying the molecular profile of OPSCC and its microenvironment, including stromal and inflammatory cells, to provide better prognosticative tools.
- Deploy artificial intelligence (AI) in anatomic pathology. Dr. Garcia's team evaluates, generates and deploys AI to revolutionize the practice of pathology and dramatically improve patient care.
Significance to patient care
Salivary gland malignancies are known for posing significant diagnostic challenges to clinicians and pathologists. Identifying disease-defining genetic signatures in salivary gland tumors allows pathologists to leverage novel technologies to improve diagnostic accuracy and overall patient care.
Understanding the structure and function of the oropharynx is paramount for providing excellent patient care in the setting of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Additionally, OPSCC is a heterogenous disease, and appropriate patient management requires molecular insights of both the tumor and its microenvironment.
The Digital Pathology Program at Mayo Clinic has transformed the practice of pathology in many ways, including the establishment of high-value digital assets that span over 100 years of surgical pathology cases. Using these and other assets, the work group is developing and co-developing AI tools for pathologists, clinicians and investigators that aspire to provide better patient care.