Luis Diaz

Head of the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

My research focuses on applied cancer genetics. The more we learn about a tumor's makeup, the more precise targets and diagnostics we can create against it — including immunotherapy treatments, which harness the body's immune system to fight cancer. I am also very interested in how we can use cancer genetics to screen for, detect, diagnose, and monitor cancer by looking at DNA in tumor tissue and by using liquid biopsies.

With my colleagues, I am working to develop a "molecular pap smear" that is able to diagnose early-stage ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer based on these genetic markers — a crucial advance that would mean we could catch more instances of these cancers and begin treating them as quickly as possible. The test is currently in clinical trials. My hope is that we will start seeing this as part of the standard of care within the next few years.

As part of my role as Head of Solid Tumor Oncology, I am also working to improve mentorship for our young scientists and communication between researchers and departments across MSK. I am also involved in projects to improve our patients' experience as well as their access to our unmatched cancer care.

I strive to support my patients at every step of the way throughout their treatment. The patients I see are often facing a lethal diagnosis. It's important that they feel as though, along with the rest of their treatment team, we're all in this together.