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Hilal joins CCRI hematology team

Published on Thursday, September 19, 2019

By: Cynthia Wall

Portrait of Dr. Talal Hilal

Dr. Talal Hilal has joined the UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute to work with patients with blood and lymphatic cancers.

At UMMC, he joins others in the CCRI’s Interdisciplinary Hematologic Malignancies Program who provide care to Mississippians with common and complex blood and lymphatic cancers and diseases. He is especially interested in lymphoproliferative disorders and the latest treatments for them.

He will focus on clinical trials in hematologic malignancies and be a part of the CCRI leadership team for the Alliance for Clinical Trials, one of the major clinical trial groups in the United States. 

Why hematology?

  • Hematology offers an always complex puzzle, he said. “In hematology you may have a lot of treatments for one disease. You try to pick the one that works best for that patient.”
  • Doctors develop long-term relationships with their patients. “The relationship is usually strong because this is a bad disease and you’re going to be working together a long time.”
  • Unraveling the unknown beckons. “There’s a lot we don’t understand that makes this intellectually stimulating.”

He has an observation unique to those moving to Mississippi.

“I don’t mind the heat and humidity that much personally,” he said. “It’s not as bad as home.”

Home? A native of Syria, he grew up in Bahrain.

Weather had little to do with the hematologist’s move to the American South. After completing medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical University of Bahrain, a residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and a fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., the lure of the job brought him to the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Outside work, Hilal and his wife are exploring metro area neighborhoods and watching a few movies when time allows.