Mustian Selected as Fellow by Elite National Leadership Program

Dec. 7, 2017
Karen Mustian, Ph.D., M.S., MPH
Karen Mustian, Ph.D., M.S., MPH

Karen Mustian, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H., has been named a Fellow in the 2017-18 class for the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program at Drexel University College of Medicine.  Mustian was nominated for the honor by Mark B. Taubman, M.D., UR Medicine CEO and dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Linda Chaudron, M.D., M.S., URMC Senior Associate Dean for Inclusion and Culture Development.

Mustian, a tenured professor of Surgery, Public Health Sciences, Radiation Oncology and Oncology, was recommended for the fellowship by Wilmot’s director, Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc., and co-director for clinical operations, David Linehan, M.D., also chair of Surgery.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to be nominated for this fellowship and to be accepted as an ELAM Fellow along with some extraordinary leaders in academic medicine from across the country,” Mustian says. “I feel exceptionally fortunate to have this opportunity and especially grateful to Dr. Gary Morrow for his mentorship over the years that has prepared me for the next steps in my career.” 

Mustian is co-director of the Cancer Control and Survivorship Research Program at Wilmot Cancer Institute.  Mustian is also co-director of the University of Rochester NCI-Funded Community Oncology Research Program Research Base, which serves as the scientific coordinating center for large phase II and phase III cancer control clinical trials conducted in partnership with 444 community oncology practices across the United States.  As a founder of the field of exercise oncology, Mustian also founded and directs the PEAK Human Performance Clinical Research Lab, which supports investigators conducting multidisciplinary and translational research related to all forms of human movement within the University of Rochester Medical Center and across the United States.  

Mustian’s research focuses on developing novel treatments using exercise and integrative therapies to manage the toxicities and side effects stemming from surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments to manage cancer in patients and survivors. 

ELAM is among the most prestigious and competitive executive leadership programs in the country.  Mustian is one of only 45 Fellows selected from the top medical schools in country for the 23rd incoming ELAM class. ELAM is designed to identify and train the most promising emerging executive leaders in academic medicine in the country, and it is the only program in the U.S. dedicated to preparing senior women faculty for executive, C-suite positions of leadership at academic medical centers. The program is designed to help participants foster a culture within their organizations that is more inclusive of different perspectives and responsive to societal needs and expectations. ELAM is designed to prepare Fellows to become outstanding effective modern leaders with the capacity to lead their institutions through cutting-edge growth, empower employees to perform at their highest potential, and position their institutions for success in the modern era. 

"We are committed to advancing women into senior leadership, and we look forward to Karen’s contributions as our organization addresses new questions and challenges in the future,” says Mark B. Taubman, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. 

As part of the program, Mustian will complete an Institutional Action Project, developed in collaboration with Taubman, to address an institutional priority. Mustian’s project will focus on defining and advancing the Medical Center’s research mission around cancer, a strategic priority. 

“Karen is a very strong mentor and has fantastic potential to excel in an administrative capacity around research,” Friedberg says. “Her ELAM project is in line with our Wilmot strategic plan, and will accelerate research program development as we look toward NCI designation. I look forward to working with her, and supporting her career through this ELAM project.”

“By experience, background, temperament and accomplishment, Karen is the ideal person to translate the senior leadership opportunities through the ELAM program into further advances in the cancer research mission,” says Gary Morrow. Ph.D., Mustian’s mentor and co-director of the Cancer Control and Survivorship Program. “Ultimately, patients will be the direct beneficiaries of her ELAM senior leadership activities.”

“As a researcher, I see, first-hand, how the lives of patients and their loved ones are positively influenced when they are provided with opportunities to enroll in research studies and when our clinical and supportive care practices are guided by scientific evidence,” Mustian says “We have incredible opportunities to grow and enhance our cancer research at the University, and I look forward to working with Drs. Taubman and Friedberg and other colleagues in this area as part of ELAM,”  Mustian says.

Mustian, who earned her doctorate in exercise physiology and psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, joined the University of Rochester in 2003. In addition to her work at the University of Rochester, Mustian serves as co-chair of the National Cancer Institute Symptom Management and Quality of Life Steering Committee. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology panel to develop the inaugural Oncology Treatment Guidelines for Older Vulnerable and Frail Cancer Patients in the United States. Recently, Mustian was appointed by her peers in the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer to serve as chair of a multidisciplinary team of oncology experts from around the world to develop the first set of International Treatment Guidelines for Cancer-Related Fatigue.