Geneticist to lead Vanderbilt cancer center’s health disparities program
Tuya Pal, MD, has been appointed associate director of cancer health disparities at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Pal, a clinical geneticist, also will serve as associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center School of Medicine and Ingram associate professor of cancer research.
In her role as a faculty member within Vanderbilt’s hereditary cancer clinic, she will strive to ensure all patients have access to the newest cancer treatments and tests, as well as genetic tests that can assess cancer risk.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Pal, who brings tremendous expertise to our Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center team,” Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, executive vice president for research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of the cancer center, said in a press release. “We conducted a national search for this post and selected Tuya because of her extensive experience in clinical genetics, as well as her research program in cancer disparities.”
Pal previously served as associate member at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Florida, as well as associate professor of medicine at University of South Florida.
While at Moffitt, Pal secured external funding to launch a registry for people with inherited cancer risk. The ICARE registry will continue to operate at Vanderbilt.
“I always loved genetics and, even as far back as high school, that’s what I wanted to do. I just found it fascinating how traits get inherited across generations,” Pal said in the release. “[Advances in genomics] have great potential to prevent disease and positively impact health. However, existing disparities in gene-based care among minority and underserved populations will continue to widen if we don’t address these head on so all segments of the population may benefit from them.”