Researcher Spotlight: Andrew Ip, MD

Winship Cancer Institute

For many lymphoma subtypes, a bone marrow transplant is the recommended treatment strategy following relapse. Previous research has also suggested that lymphoma patients who engage in physical activity during their treatment have better outcomes. However, no one has yet studied whether physical activity during the period of a bone marrow transplant improves outcomes for lymphoma patients. Dr. Ip’s LCRMP project will look at this question, asking patients to agree to a certain level of physical activity (including walking) during their transplant and providing smart watches to monitor and verify this activity. “This study will strive to show a cause and effect between physical activity, quality of life, and outcomes such as less time in the hospital, less complications after treatment, and improved immune system recovery,” Dr. Ip says.

Dr. Ip received his MD from Jefferson Medical College in Pennsylvania before moving to Emory University for his residency. Currently a hematology/oncology fellow at Emory, Dr. Ip expects to complete an MSc in Clinical Research in May 2019. Inspired to a scientific career by his parents, who work in the pharmaceutical industry, he became interested in lymphoma research during residency, when assigned to a rotation with Drs. Chris Flowers (an LRF Scientific Advisory Board member) and Jonathon Cohen (a past LCRMP participant himself). He credits Dr. Flowers with inspiring his current project, saying, “I specifically remember Dr. Flowers telling me that he always had an interest in investigating the effect of exercise on lymphoma patients’ outcomes, but never had time. As a junior investigator, I took that as an opportunity to seize!”

Dr. Ip adds that his participation in the LCRMP “has been a fantastic foundation to help jumpstart my career as a young lymphoma investigator. The connections I have made and the assistance in my project development has have been invaluable for my research progress. I believe this will set me up for future success in my career as most of cancer research is collaborative across institutions and in team science.”