Researcher Profile: Viswam Nair

Dr. Viswam Nair

Viswam S. Nair, MS, MD, Instructor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Stanford University, was awarded a LUNGevity Career Development Award in 2012. Though he is still forging his career as a scientist, Dr. Nair has spearheaded an effort to build a large database of pre-surgical lung cancer imaging scans with associated blood samples that are already being used by multiple research teams at Stanford. In addition to being an excellent physician, Dr. Nair has demonstrated his ability to harness his energy, creativity and scientific acumen to make progress in the field of lung cancer.

This award will support his continued progress in lung cancer research and his continued development as a strong scientist focused on solutions for lung cancer. In addition to the financial investment, the award requires Dr. Nair to participate in a structured mentoring program at his institution and become an ex officio member of LUNGevity’s Scientific Advisory Board for the duration of his award.

This LUNGevity grant allows Dr. Nair to work on developing a blood test to help physicians determine if a pulmonary nodule seen on an imaging scan is cancerous. When developing a treatment plan for patients with a pulmonary nodule, many physicians will request a PET-scan to study the metabolism of the lung nodule and help determine if the nodule is malignant. However, even after a PET-scan the diagnosis is not always accurate. To alleviate the cost and risks associated with improper diagnosis, Dr. Nair is developing a blood test to be used in conjunction with PET-scans to accurately diagnose patients with pulmonary nodules.

By conducting this work, Dr. Nair is taking steps toward his goal of making a difference in the lives of people with lung cancer. By wielding new technologies and integrating existing technologies, he aims to improve the quality of care for lung cancer patients.