Jeffrey N. Myers, M.D., Ph.D.
HPV-Related Cancers Moon Shot
About Dr. Myers
Dr. Jeffrey Myers is Professor and Chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and the Director of Translational Research for the Division of Surgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research focus is understanding the mechanisms of progression and metastasis of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck, oral cavity, and skin; developing a comprehensive genomic analysis and immunotherapy approaches for the treatment of these cancers; and translating these findings to the clinic. He has extensive experience in assembling and leading multidisciplinary research teams and advancing individual and multi-investigator research projects in an area of high relevance for patients with Head and Neck cancers.
Fighting Cancer: It's Personal
What’s your Moon Shots focus?
My role in the HPV Moon Shots is primarily an administrative one. Given my 24 years as a Surgeon-Scientist at MD Anderson, and my roles as Chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Leaders of the Head and Neck Multi-Disciplinary Research Program, I am in a position to help connect our Moon Shots team-members with other investigators and resources in the institution to help accomplish our multi-disciplinary research goals across several disease sites.
What makes the Moon Shots Program stand out?
The integrated multi-disciplinary teams, the financial support, administrative structure and Moon Shots platforms are what make the Moon Shots Program stand out.
What motivates and excites you?
I am most excited to work with outstanding colleagues doing HPV research in Head and Neck Cancers and the other disease sites afflicted by HPV cancers to adapt the many innovative technologies available across the Platforms.
What makes your fight against cancer personal?
Having been a frontline provider in caring for patients with HPV+ head and neck cancer, a disease with a high overall survival rate, I have seen the poor quality of life that can result after aggressive treatment. Performing major operations such as total laryngectomy for people without cancer with recurrent aspiration pneumonia after oropharyngeal cancer treatment is personally very discouraging. We need better treatments and better ways to select people for the right treatments for them. I am highly committed to this goal, and I believe that the HPV Moon Shot provides the resources needed to accomplish it.
What do you hope to accomplish?
Through our work in the HPV Moon Shot, we hope to help best match patients with HPV+ cancers from difference disease sites with therapies that will eliminate their cancers and provide the best functional and quality of life outcomes.
What else do you want people to know about you and your work?
I enjoy caring for cancer patients and helping them to maximize their chances for survival with a high quality of life. Though I have seen a lot of suffering as a result of head and neck cancer and its treatment, I remain highly optimistic, and never give up on the goal to improve cancer patients’ lives through direct patient care, research and education.