Dizman’s Global Pursuit to Cancer Research and Understanding


In this episode of Emerging Experts, Nazli Dizman, MD, shares the intricacies of her journey towards becoming an oncologist in the United States.

In the latest episode of Emerging Experts, Nazli Dizman, MD, hematology/oncology fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center, shares the intricacies of her journey towards becoming an oncologist in the US.

Episode Highlights

0:06 | Introduction

0:28 | Years in Medical School

2:15 | Career Challenges

4:00 | Practicing Medicine in the US

5:08 | Early Accomplishments

6:20 | Mentor Guidance

8:05 | Work/Life Balance

9:20 | Research Areas of Passion

11:47 | Novel Approaches and Emerging Technologies

12:50 | Impacts on Patient Care

13:32 | Collaboration in Research

14:45 | Moving Forward in GU Research

15:45 | Advice to Other Early Researchers

Dizman was born and raised in Türkiye. It was here where her training began and where she embarked on her residency training. Following the completion of her residency, she made her way to the US to delve deeper into the realm of cancer research.

“After completing my residency, I came to the United States to do research. I was planning to go back to my home country and do a heme/onc fellowship there, but I really fell in love with cancer research and being able to bring it as early as possible to the patient. So I decided to stay,” Dizman explains in an interview with Targeted OncologyTM, reflecting on a pivotal moment that altered the trajectory of her career.

Through her mentors in Türkiye, Dizman was introduced to Sumanta K. Pal, MD, FASCO, medical oncologist and researcher at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in California. Since 2016, she has worked under Pal's guidance, immersing herself in the cutting-edge advancements and collaborative atmosphere of cancer research and patient care.

Although a myriad of areas of research captivate Dizman, 1 stands out above the rest: microbiome research.

The gut microbiome impacts one's immune system in many ways, including metabolites going to circulation, stemming circulation, changing immune responses, modulating immune-risk cancers, and more. With limited yet impressive data on this topic, Dizman is a firm believer that understanding of gut microbiome diversities is necessary to discover how they can be associated with better outcomes for patients, particularly for those with renal cell carcinoma.

Dizman’s passion in understanding the immune system and the microbiome as a factor in shaping one's benefit from treatment is something many of her research projects focus on.

“My research right now focuses on understanding the microbiome as a modulator of what comes out, plus, learning technologies to investigate tumor resistant bacteria and ways to modulate them. As a first-year fellow, those are my plans for the next few years,” added Dizman, outlining her goals for the future.

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