Merry Jennifer Markham, M.D., FACP, FASCO, associate director for medical affairs at the UF Health Cancer Center and professor in the UF division of hematology and oncology, has been appointed as chief of the division of hematology and oncology in the UF College of Medicine.
“It was an honor to take the helm as interim chief in 2018 after the extraordinary leadership of my mentor and former division chief, Dr. Carmen Allegra,” Dr. Markham said. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to work alongside and lead the amazing people in the division.”
Dr. Markham is well known in the UF College of Medicine as a clinical investigator and educator in the division of hematology and oncology, specializing in gynecologic malignancies.
She graduated from medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2001 and completed three years of internal medicine residency — as well as one year as chief medical resident — at UF. She then went on to complete a combined fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at UF in 2008.
Dr. Markham has served as the associate director for medical affairs for the UF Health Cancer Center since 2017. She is research lead of the gynecologic cancers disease site group, and she serves as the program director of the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative for cancer center.
“Dr. Markham is an extraordinary leader who has overseen considerable growth in the clinical, educational and research missions of the division, while creating a culture of patient-centric and compassionate care, inclusion, collegiality, scholarship and integrity,” said Jonathan Licht, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center. “I am delighted to have her as a strong partner as we continue the development of the UF Health Cancer Center and its drive for NCI designation.”
Dr. Markham has been heavily involved with ASCO since 2014. She is currently serving her second term on the ASCO Communications Committee and the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) steering group. Dr. Markham was also one of the founding members of ASCO’s Social Media Working Group and is social media editor for the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She is also an associate editor for Cancer.net, ASCO’s patient education site. She was accepted to and completed the highly selective ASCO Leadership Development Program in 2018. More recently, she was awarded the prestigious Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO) and elected to the ASCO Nominating Committee in 2020.
“Dr. Markham has a wonderful vision for the future of the division. I know we will see great things under her expert and thoughtful leadership,” said Jamie Conti, M.D., FACC, chair of the department of medicine. “I look forward to working with her and the division to continue to transform cancer care at UF Health.”
Some of Dr. Markham’s accomplishments during her time as interim chief of the division of hematology and oncology include the overseeing the establishment of the CAR T cellular therapy program within the Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program, establishment of the adult sarcoma program, enhancement of the genitourinary cancers (GU) program through recruitment of two GU oncology specialists, recruitment of clinician investigators in the BMT Program and solid tumor oncology section, and enhanced access for care within the non-malignant hematology section through recruitment of faculty and clinical operational improvements.
“We’ve had important growth within the division in the last decade or so,” Dr. Markham said. “Helping to shape and grow key areas in hematology and oncology — in line with the needs of our patients, our health system and our community — is a challenge that I’ve enjoyed and look forward to continuing.”