Research Team //
Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP
Director, Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson
Office Phone: 210-450-2508
Dr. Mesa is currently the Director of the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson. Dr. Mesa is a practicing physician and researcher focusing his time and efforts on hematological malignancies, but particularly the myeloproliferative neoplasm. Dr. Mesa has been a pioneer in the field of myeloproliferative neoplasm symptom assessment, pharmacologic treatment, and quality of life research. He is the organizer of the MPN Quality of Life Study Group and has worked to establish this collaboratory effort throughout his career.
Jennifer Huberty, PhD
Director of Science, Calm
Cell Phone: 402-301-1304
Dr. Huberty focuses her research on the use of complementary approaches (i.e., yoga and meditation) to improve myeloproliferative neoplasm patient symptom burden and QoL. In conjunction with Dr. Mesa and the MPN QoL Study Group collaborators, she has demonstrated the feasibility and preliminary effects of both yoga and meditation for myeloproliferative neoplasm patients. Most recently, she has completed an National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant-funded project that developed a cancer-specific version of the Calm meditation app, Calm for Cancer.
Robyn Scherber, MD, MPH
Senior Director, Hematologic Malignancies, Incyte Corporation
Office Phone: 612-481-7912
Dr. Scherber is a hematology/oncology physician who spent much of her early career working with Dr. Mesa. She focuses in the quantification of symptom burden as well as low-risk interventions to help alleviate symptom burden. She has particular interest in therapies which may alter inflammation related to disease. Her current clinical trials include the evaluation of dietary and supplement use.
Linda Larkey, PhD
Professor, Arizona State University
Office Phone: 602-496-0740
Linda Larkey is a professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation and Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Faculty with the Mayo Clinic. Her research interests include testing theory-based methods of communicating health messages to underserved/low-income populations, community-based participatory research practices and examining mind-body methods of alleviating symptoms in cancer survivors.
Leslie Padrnos, MD
Doctor of Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic
Leslie J. Padrnos, M.D., is a hematology oncologist, with special interest in nonmalignant hematology, specifically thrombosis and hemostasis conditions, and chronic hematologic malignancies. In addition to her clinical activities, Dr. Padrnos is active in research and medical education. Her research focus includes promoting clinical care and research opportunities that develop comprehensive utilization of medical knowledge, psychological management, healthy behaviors, and patient education to empower individuals to optimize their personal experience with regards to their hematologic and general health needs.
Holly Geyer, MD
Doctor of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Holly L. Geyer, M.D., is a Hospital Internal Medicine practitioner with additional specialty licensure in Addiction Medicine. In addition to her clinical activities, Dr. Geyer is active in research, patient advocacy and healthcare policy at an enterprise and state level. She is well published in high-impact scientific journals and book chapters, and maintains an active international lecture schedule. She additionally serves as a Physician Director of the Mayo Clinic Physician Assistant Fellowship program.
Krisstina Gowin, DO
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona
Office Phone: 520-626-3191
Dr. Gowin currently serves as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at University of Arizona. She also collaborates with Mayo Clinic in her research, of which her focus includes an interest in quality of life improvement along the continuum of cancer care, survivorship, integrative medicine, and myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Amylow Dueck, PhD
Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic Arizona
Office Phone: 480-301-6159
Dr. Dueck is a biostatistician with expertise in cancer clinical trial design, development/testing of patient-reported outcome tools, and statistical analysis of patient-reported outcomes. Dr. Dueck has been a key collaborator with Dr. Mesa and the MPN QoL Study Group team in the development/testing of the MPN-SAF total symptom score, and more recently the MFSAF v4 with Dr. Mesa and the Critical Path Institute.
Angela Fleischman, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California Irvine
Dr. Angela Fleischman is a physician-scientist investigating hematologic malignancies. She integrates her research with the clinical care of patients with these diseases. Fleischman's longstanding interest in blood cell development began during her PhD graduate studies at Stanford. After completing her MD and PhD at Stanford, in 2005 she moved to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) for her internal medicine residency and medical oncology fellowship. She joined the University of California, Irvine in July 2013 as an assistant professor to develop her independent laboratory group focusing on the pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms. Her overarching research goal is to identify what drives disease initiation in myeloproliferative neoplasms and to ultimately translate her scientific discoveries into therapeutic benefit for patients.
Adolfo Enrique Diaz, MD MSc
Assistant Professor, Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio at MD Anderson
Office Phone: 210-450-1820
Dr. Diaz is a Faculty member in the Division of Hematology-Oncology. He completed his medical training with honors at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) and his Internal Medicine residency at New York University. He completed his Fellowship in Hematology-Oncology and also received a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation and Translational Science degree, both from University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. His research and clinical interests focus on improving outcomes in patients with lymphomas and also on health care disparities. He currently serves as Ambassador for the American Society of Hematology.
Jeanne Palmer, MD
Hematologist/Oncologist, Department of Hematology, Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Mayo Clinic Arizona
Dr. Jeanne Palmer is a Hematologist/Oncologist in the Department of Hematology Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Mayo Clinic located in Phoenix, Arizona. She works work bone marrow transplant patients and survivors and has broad interests in her professional career ranging from graft versus host disease to cancer survivorship. Dr. Palmer received her medical training from New York Medical College and achieved her MD in 2001. Afterwards, she went on to serve her Residency at the Department of Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University.
Darpan Patel, PhD
Associate Professor/Research of Nursing, Graduates School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson
The long-term objective of Dr. Patel's research is to investigate 1) how exercise and natural products modulate growth of tumors, 2) the signal transduction of by which exercise and natural products attenuate muscle loss associated with cachexia, and 3) how discoveries made in the lab translate to the clinical population to improve patient outcomes. He uses molecular and biochemical techniques on prostate tissue, blood and saliva to test various theories on the benefits of exercise and natural products on inhibiting the onset and progression of prostate cancer. Dr. Patel's lab employs pre-clinical studies using transgenic, knockout and orthotopic animal models. He studies the translational potential for these outcomes in clinical studies to determine the molecular transducers that underlie adaptations associated with physical activity and natural product supplementation.
Dimpy Shah, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson
Dr. Shah is a clinical epidemiologist with a focus on cancer epidemiology, survivorship, and outcomes research. She earned her doctoral degree in Epidemiology from University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, completed her postdoctoral fellowship focusing on infectious diseases in immunocompromised cancer patients from MD Anderson Cancer Center, and is formally trained in microbiome and metabolomic research as part of career development grant from American Cancer Society. She has extensive experience in designing and conducting creative epidemiological studies to identify etiology and examine host-microbe-environment interactions in the development of infections and long-term outcomes in cancer survivors. She chairs a multinational partnership (Respiratory Viral Consortium in SCT recipients) with a common goal of developing evidence-based infection management guidelines for stem cell transplant survivors. The consortium consists of 15 cancer sites working together to describe the epidemiology and outcomes associated with post-transplant complications (e.g. viral infection, pneumonia, bronchiolitis obliterans, mortality) through the largest ever study in this population. They aim is to leverage this framework for collaborative studies in hematologic malignancy and hematopoietic transplant survivors. Dr. Shah also leads the microbiome working group at UTHSA to facilitate microbiome research and education. Her cancer epidemiology research program at UTHSA focuses on applying precision medicine and precision public health approaches to change clinical management and improve survival in cancer patients through multi-institutional collaborations for utilization of electronic health records and existing databases and biorepositories, development of outcome prediction algorithms and BIG DATA analyses. She also serve as an Advisory Council Member for Texas Cancer Registry.
Mihnea-Alexandru Gaman, MD
Resident Physician, Center of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Fundeni Clinical Institute
Mihnea-Alexandru Găman is enrolled in the Haematology residency programme at Center of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania. He holds an M.D. degree from the “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania. Mihnea conducts research in Haematology (with a particular interest in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms) and Internal Medicine.
Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS
Research Coordinator, Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson
Ryan Eckert is the Research Coordinator for Dr. Mesa at the Mays Cancer Center. Ryan has worked with Dr. Mesa and Dr. Huberty since 2015 on their collaborative work involving the use of complementary health approaches to improve the symptom burden and quality of life in myeloproliferative neoplasm patients. Ryan continues to work on these research projects and also assists Dr. Mesa in managing the MPN QoL Study Group. Ryan is the main point of contact for all inquiries regarding the MPN QoL Study Group.