Mina Xu, MD, is a pathologist who specializes in diagnosing blood diseases and blood cancers—also called hematopathology. Two of the common diseases Dr. Xu looks for includes leukemia and lymphomas.
“Our role as pathologists includes running specialty tests on patient samples, such as protein analysis or molecular genetic testing, and most importantly, interpreting microscopic images,” Dr. Xu says, adding that she occasionally speaks directly to patients who are interested in learning more about their diseases. “Because we make such critical decisions that guide treatment, we should not be separated from patient care. When I look at an image through a microscope, to me, it’s almost like seeing a patient’s face.”
Dr. Xu believes a single biopsy can be thought of as a piece of a larger story. “When you see a tumor evolving from different biopsies, you can put that part of the story into a narrative and help patients understand how the disease is changing.”
At Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Xu is an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and director of hematopathology. For her research, she studies potential biomarkers in hematopoietic malignancies. “Our goal is to translate these findings into diagnostic and prognostic tools in our field,” Dr. Xu says.