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MOBILE, Ala. (09/07/17) -- This has been a big year for Dr. Nathaniel “Nate” Jones. Originally from Nashville, Tenn., he returns to the Southeast to join USA Mitchell Cancer Institute as a gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology. He and his wife, Ali, are also expecting their first child, due in January 2018.
Jones recently completed his fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital in a combined program between Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College. At MCI, he joins a team of three other gynecologic oncologists, including Director Dr. Michael A. Finan, GYN Oncology Chief Dr. Rodney Rocconi and GYN oncologist Dr. Jennifer Scalici.
Jones explains his role in treating women with gynecologic cancer as “multi-faceted, with both surgical and chemotherapeutic options.” Uniquely, rather than patients seeing one doctor for surgery and another for chemotherapy, a patient seeking care at MCI receives both treatments from the same doctor.
This approach offers a distinct advantage in making treatment recommendations and decisions, says Jones, as he is able to consider variables related to the combination of care. “It puts things in a different light,” he says.
Jones also has an interest in cancer from a molecular and genetic point of view, with a specific focus on targeted therapeutics. He is particularly interested in evolving ideologies and approaches to research and patient care. “Gone are the days of treating all ovarian cancers as the same disease,” Jones says. “We are beginning to understand that ovarian cancers resulting from inherited mutations behave very differently from cancers that arise spontaneously.”
Not only do genetic-based ovarian tumors respond differently to chemotherapy, but they often carry receptors that can be treated with specific molecular therapies. “This is the era of personalized medicine, and it could not be more exciting for both providers and patients facing life-changing diagnoses,” he says.
Jones says his position at the academic cancer center will also allow him to pursue passion for teaching, in particular mentoring medical residents. He recognizes the importance of working closely with future leaders in oncologic research, medical innovation, and patient care. “If (medical residents) have a good mentorship, it can inspire the direction for their careers,” he said. “I hope to share (my passion) with them.”
Jones says he was interested in returning to the Southeast. He earned his M.D. at East Tennessee State University, and his wife is originally from the New Orleans area. He adds, “MCI was my first interview, and it set the bar high. No other institution compared to what was going on at MCI.”
About MCI: USA Mitchell Cancer Institute is the only academic cancer research and treatment facility on the upper Gulf Coast corridor, with offices in Mobile, Fairhope and Monroeville.
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