William C. Palmer, M.D., actively performs clinical research in iron overload disorders (hereditary hemochromatosis). He serves as medical director for the Hereditary Hemochromatosis Clinic at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida, which evaluates and treats patients from all over the world with iron overload disorders by employing a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary team of specialists and cutting-edge diagnostics. Dr. Palmer manages a large clinical iron overload database to conduct research. Dr. Palmer also participates in research focused on gastrointestinal endoscopy, patient-provider education and other chronic liver diseases.
- Advanced liver imaging in iron overload. Through collaboration with Mayo Clinic's Department of Radiology, Dr. Palmer investigates the role that advanced imaging and diagnostics can play in risk stratification, with the goal of minimizing the need for liver biopsies in genetic iron overload.
- Lifestyle education in iron overload. Dr. Palmer's research team uses survey-based research and large-data extraction to identify knowledge gaps and target improvements in iron overload patient lifestyle choices.
- Assessing the role of direct-to-consumer genetic testing in iron overload. A myriad of direct-to-consumer genetic tests have made access to personal and individualized genetic information more easily attainable. The role this plays in the diagnosis and treatment of genetic iron overload is unknown, and is currently a focus of Dr. Palmer's research efforts.
- Identifying risk factors for severe arthritis in iron overload. Through big data research of national U.S. database registries, Dr. Palmer's team studies the link between iron overload and the need for intervention for severe arthritis conditions, including those requiring large joint replacements (such as knee and shoulder) or spine surgery. The goal is to identify and treat patients with iron overload who are at risk of severe arthritis before they need surgery.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Palmer's research goals have direct impact on patient care. Improving patient health through education, limiting invasive and costly procedures, and more effectively identifying patients with preventable complications remain his aspirations. Genetic iron overload is a common disease in certain demographics, and focused research goals in this area are paramount to improving patient health.