Grantee: Andrew D. Ray, PT, PhD

Andrew D. Ray

Andrew D. Ray, PT, PhD

Physical Therapist and Exercise Physiology Scientist/Researcher
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute Corp

Dr. Ray's research is intended to help patients at any stage of their cancer treatment. The majority of his work focuses on respiratory muscle dysfunction in patients with cancer. His research passion is to study how respiratory muscle dysfunction is associated with cancer treatment-induced symptomology. More specifically, he incorporates respiratory muscle training to improve post-operative outcomes in patients electing curative intent resection for lung cancer. This project has significant clinical and quality of life implications. By improving "respiratory reserve" prior to treatment, Dr. Ray can effectively reduce postoperative length of stay and complications, such as pneumonia. And by incorporating a home-based program, Dr. Ray's work has the potential to reach a large number of patients that may otherwise not receive rehabilitation services.

Dr. Ray's passion for cancer research developed a few years ago following his sister's unfortunate death from lung cancer. As an exercise physiologist trained in respiratory mechanics while working in an environmental physiology laboratory, he was initially unsure how his skills would translate to patients diagnosed with lung cancer. As it turns out, his specialized training programs used for athletes in extreme environments can also have a positive effect on cancer patients before and after surgery.

I always knew there was something special about my work, but it wasn't until I presented my findings to a neighboring University I realized how strong my pilot data really was.”