Chief, Division of Hematology
Chief, Oncology Service Line, UHealth Tower
Professor of Medicine
BiographyMikkael Sekeres is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He earned a medical degree and a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr Sekeres completed his postgraduate training at Harvard University, finishing an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He is chair of the medical advisory board of the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) International Foundation, and formerly chaired the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the F.D.A, the MDS Research Fund of the Dresner Foundation, and the Cleveland Clinic Enterprise Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee, where he was also Vice-chair for Clinical Research of the cancer center.
An invited speaker at numerous meetings, grand rounds, and conferences, Dr Sekeres is a member of the American Society of Hematology, where he serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Committee on Communications, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Southwest Oncology Group—Leukemia Committee. His research focuses on patients with MDS and older adults with acute myeloid leukemia, and he has been the national and international primary study investigator on dozens of phase I/II/III trials. He is the author or co-author of over 450 manuscripts and 650 abstracts published in leading journals such as NEJM, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PLoS One, and Leukemia. He was the inaugural editor-in-chief of the ASH Clinical News magazine; he is on the editorial board of several journals; has written 60 essays for The New York Times; and has authored 8 books, including When Blood Breaks Down: Life Lessons from Leukemia (The MIT Press 2020) and Drugs and the FDA: Safety, Efficacy, and the Public’s Trust (The MIT Press 2022).
Education & Training
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Teaching InterestsI have had the privilege of teaching the principles and practice of hematology, with a focus on myeloid malignancies, at the medical student, resident/fellow, and post-graduate continuing medical education levels for the past 18 years while on faculty at Cleveland Clinic. In addition, given some of my other experiences working at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and as a clinical trialist, and as an essayist for the scientific and lay press, I have given talks at all of these levels on regulatory issues surrounding hematology/oncology drug approval, and on narrative medicine.
The education I have provided also runs the gamut of styles and formats, from one-on-one teaching and mentoring in clinic, at the bedside in the hospital, or on specific research projects; to leading of interactive seminars, both in person and using a Zoom/webinar format; all the way to lectures for 2000 people. I have been both a participant and on organizer of teaching conferences on the local, national, and international level, the largest being co-chair of the 2018 Education Program at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, which involved over 100 lectures for about 30,000 people.
Research InterestsMy academic focus over the past 20 years has been on patients with myeloid malignancies, specifically myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older adults. I took the approach of asking research questions about each step in the course of a patient’s disease, from diagnosis to cure or death, to better understand it, predict outcomes, and improve patient experience and survival.These questions include investigating the epidemiologic factors that led to a patient’s diagnosis and examining what contributes to treatment decision-making; identifying prognostic factors for treatment response and survival at diagnosis and dynamically, over time; exploring novel therapies and therapeutic combinations; improving clinical trial design in the context of clinically meaningful regulatory endpoints; and identifying appropriate translational correlates, from bedside to bench and back, again dynamically and with a focus on the genetics of myeloid neoplasia, to illuminate the underlying pathobiology and to make biologically relevant clinical associations.
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