Dr. Mesa is the executive director (since 2017) of the NCI-designated Mays Cancer Center (formerly CTRC) at UT Health San Antonio, where he is the Mays Family Foundation Distinguished University Presidential Chair.
Dr. Mesa oversees all aspects of cancer research at UT Health San Antonio, from prevention through survivorship (including successful renewal of the center’s NCI core grant renewal in 2019), and all cancer-related training and education. He also leads the university-wide cancer service line that operates in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson. Dr. Mesa had previously served as the chair of Hematology & Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic, Arizona, and deputy director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Mesa is a clinician scientist in hematology and focuses on the development of new therapies for myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). Dr. Mesa has authored over 400 peer-reviewed publications and led or co-led over 100 therapeutic clinical trials for MPNs and related disorders, including leadership of successful FDA approvals of ruxolitinib and fedratinib and several current agents in advanced staged of development. Dr. Mesa and his team also developed the globally utilized suite of patient reported outcome forms (MPN symptom assessment form) which have become both the basis for MPN drug approvals as well as base for significant outcomes-based research. Dr. Mesa was the inaugural panel chair for the NCCN guidelines for MPNs and has co-led the clinical trial consortium of the NCI-funded PO1 MPN Research Consortium.
Dr. Mesa was elected to the executive committee of the national board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, is vice president of the MPN Education Foundation, and has had many leadership roles with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Dr. Mesa is deeply committed to improving cancer health equity; he served for eight years on the ASH Committee for Promoting Diversity and participates in parallel efforts at AACR and in national groups with Genentech, Janssen, and Bristol Myers Squibb for advancing inclusive research. Dr. Mesa has been an active member with AACI for many years, both during his time at Mayo Clinic and now with Mays Cancer Center. He has served as an active member on the AACI Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative steering committee and the nomination committee.
“Cancer centers play an extremely important role in decreasing the burden of cancer across the United States and beyond by their coordinated efforts in advancing cancer research, training the next generation of cancer scientists and health care providers, and by advancing cancer care through clinical trials across their communities,” said Dr. Mesa. “AACI plays an incredibly important role as the premier organization for cancer centers and institutes to be able to come together to share best practices, advocate for the advancement of cancer health equity, and liaise with crucial stakeholders in cancer such as Capitol Hill, the NCI, pharma, and beyond. If selected I would enthusiastically bring my skills and experience to the mission of AACI to decrease the burden of cancer by the successful, informed, and coordinated efforts of AACI member centers and institutes.”