I am a surgeon who specializes in caring for women with gynecologic cancers, including uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and cancer of the vulva. I work as part of a team of experts from different areas to provide the highest standard of care for my patients.
I started on my path in medicine after getting my undergraduate degree in women’s studies. During college, I learned how important it is to empower women to access healthcare. I also developed a greater appreciation for how critical a role a healthy, productive woman plays in her family and in society. I realized I wanted to spend my career providing care and impacting my community in a positive way, so I went to medical school.
I was also inspired to pursue a career in oncology by my grandmother, who I lost to cancer. She taught me many of the truths I live by today: Be civic and community-minded, be loving and generous with your time and talent, and dedicate your life to a purpose greater than yourself. This personal experience has often served as a reminder for me to treat the whole person, and to remember how much trust and hope people place in you during a health crisis.
In my clinical practice, I specialize in surgery for endometrial cancer, specifically sentinel lymph node mapping using minimally invasive techniques. This allows me to remove fewer lymph nodes and reduce the risk of complications from surgery, such as lymphedema and infection. I received an award from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology for my demonstration of this technique.I also have expertise in debulking surgery for ovarian cancer.
My research interests include studying rare ovarian cancers and inherited endometrial cancers. I am also interested in molecular imaging techniques to find cancer in lymph nodes for women with endometrial cancer and cervical cancer.
At MSK, I studied small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type, and helped discover the critical gene that is mutated in this cancer. I collaborate internationally with academic groups to study mucinous ovarian cancers and with several US academic centers to study clear cell tumors of the ovary. I believe this cooperative research will result in knowledge that will help us better diagnose and care for women with these rare but aggressive tumors.
Women facing a cancer diagnosis are at an important crossroads in life. Aspects of health, quality of life, family, and community all converge. I gain so much professional and personal perspective, satisfaction, and value by partnering with my patients to help them make informed decisions about what to do when they are diagnosed with cancer.
- Clinical Expertise: Endometrial Cancer; Rare Ovarian Cancer
- Awards and Honors: Best Surgical Film Award, Society of Gynecology Oncology National Meeting (2014)
- Languages Spoken: English
- Education: MD, University of Vermont Medical School
- Residencies: Maine Medical Center (Portland, Maine)
- Fellowships: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Board Certifications: Gynecologic Oncology
Mueller JJ, Zhou QC, Iasonos A, O’Cearbhaill RE, Alvi FA, El Haraki A, Zahl Eriksson EG, Gardner GJ, Sonoda Y, Levine DA, Aghajanian C, Chi DS, Abu-Rustum NA, Zivanovic O. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy utilization and primary debulking surgery utilization for advanced-stage ovarian cancer at a comprehensive cancer center. Gynecologic Oncology 2016 Mar;140(3):436-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.01.008
Mueller JJ, Holzapfel M, Han C, Santos K, Gunderson C, Moore K, Erickson B, Leath, CA III, Diaz E, Walsh C, Wethington SL, Dejbaksh SZ, Barakat RB, Gardner GJ, Hyman DM, Soslow RA, Leitao MM Jr. Staging lymphadenectomy in patients with clear cell carcinoma of the ovary. Internation Journal of Gynecological Cancer 2016 jan;26(1):120-4. doi: 10.1097/IGC.0000000000000559
Jelinic P* and Mueller JJ*, Olvera N, Dao F, Scott SN, Shah R, Gao J, Schultz N, Gonen M, Soslow RA, Berger MF, Levine DA. Recurrent SMARCA4 mutations in small cell carcinoma of the ovary. Nature Genetics 2014 May;46(5):424-6. doi: 10.1038/ng.2922 (*co-first authors)
As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.Learn more
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