The myeloma group at the Mayo Clinic Arizona is led by Dr. Rafael Fonseca, Chair of Innovation at Mayo Clinic Arizona, and Dr. Leif Bergsagel, Principal Investigator of the Mayo Clinic SPORE in Multiple Myeloma and co-Director of the Hematologic Malignancy Program in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. Together with Dr. Marta Chesi and Dr. Esteban Braggio, the group which includes basic, translational, and clinical investigators, focuses on molecular pathogenesis, drug resistance and immunotherapy. The team has pioneered genomics studies identifying chromosomal rearrangements and copy number abnormalities that cause disease initiation and progression and defined their clinical implications. These studies, in collaboration with Mayo colleagues in Rochester and Jacksonville, were instrumental in developing the mSMART risk stratification widely used today. Dr. Bergsagel and Dr. Chesi have also developed a myeloma mouse model, shared with multiple investigators around the world, used to study myeloma biology and mechanisms of response and resistance to conventional and immune therapies.
When not working on myeloma, the group enjoys bringing their families together for barbeques, pool parties, hiking and biking in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.