The Mesothelioma Center Team

The Mesothelioma Center at is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource. We have built a multidisciplinary team of authors with unique backgrounds and expertise to create a resource you can trust. Our authors have been featured in some of the nation’s most respected news outlets, including The New York Times, The Hill, Salon, Insider, Fox News, HuffPost, Southern Living and SHAPE.

Logos of publications is featured in

Medical, Scientific and Health Writers

The medical experts at The Mesothelioma Center at, the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource, have diverse medical, scientific and health backgrounds in oncology, nursing, clinical research, mental health counseling and nutrition. Their professional experiences provide unique insights into the work being done at the forefront of research and treatment.

  • Dr Daniel A. Landau
    Dr. Daniel A. Landau
    Oncologist and Hematologist
    Dr. Daniel Landau is the section chief of hematology and oncology at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. He is board certified in medical oncology, internal medicine and hematology. Landau’s work has been featured in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology and the New England Journal of Medicine. He contributes original content and medical reviews for
  • Karen Selby
    Karen Selby, RN
    Registered Nurse and Patient Advocate
    Karen Selby has experience assisting surgeons with lung resections, lung transplants, pneumonectomies, pleurectomy, wedge resections and lung oncology. She is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators. Selby has been a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center for more than 12 years and has been featured in The Hill, Oncology Nursing News and BestLife.
  • sean marchese
    Sean Marchese, MS, RN
    Oncology Medical Writer and Registered Nurse
    Sean Marchese is a member of SOCRA for Clinical Research Excellence, the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Writers Association, with Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certification. He has managed respiratory oncology clinical trials and treatments, and has been featured in The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Parade and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • michelle whitmer
    Michelle Whitmer
    Asbestos Expert and Writer
    Michelle Whitmer has covered science and medicine for for more than 12 years. She has been featured in multiplatform media, including The New York Times and KYW Newsradio. Whitmer is pursuing American Medical Writers Association certification, has completed OSHA Asbestos Standard for the Construction Industry training and is CDC certified in Health Literacy.
  • Headshot of Travis Rodgers
    Travis Rodgers
    Travis Rodgers is an Emmy-nominated journalist with more than two decades of experience in television news. He held many roles in broadcasting, but spent most of his time as a producer crafting live newscasts for multiple network affiliates. Travis now brings his many years of writing experience to The Mesothelioma Center.
  • Tim Povtak
    Tim Povtak
    Senior Content Writer
    Tim Povtak has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism covering sports for the Sports Xchange, AOL Sports and the Orlando Sentinel. He joined The Mesothelioma Center more than 10 years ago and has interviewed mesothelioma survivors, groundbreaking researchers and mesothelioma treatment specialists. Povtak covers breaking medical, asbestos litigation and regulatory news.
  • Daniel King
    Daniel King
    Asbestos Expert and Writer
    Daniel King is a member of the National Association for Science Writers and has earned CDC certification in Health Literacy. He has been featured in publications and broadcasts including WGBH, a PBS member station. King’s investigative writing includes coverage of asbestos in cosmetics, asbestos exposure risks for firefighters and asbestos found at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • Matt Mauney
    Matt Mauney
    Senior Editor
    Matt Mauney has more than 10 years’ experience as a journalist and editor. He has interviewed mesothelioma survivors and reported on the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news for The Mesothelioma Center. Mauney’s award-winning work has appeared on,, and He holds a CDC certificate in Health Writing.
  • Suzanne Dixon
    Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RDN
    Oncology Medical Writer
    Suzanne Dixon has master’s degrees in science nutrition and public health in epidemiology, and a bachelor’s in environmental engineering. She’s a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Dixon has been featured in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Today’s Dietitian, USA Today and NBC News.
  • Dana Nolan
    Dana Nolan, MS, LMHC
    Mental Health Counselor
    Dana Nolan, MS, LMHC, is a Supreme Court-certified family mediator and qualified parenting coordinator with mental health counseling and clinical research experience in the United States and Australia. Nolan specializes in working with patients with serious illnesses such as malignant cancer. She moderates the monthly support group for The Mesothelioma Center, a forum for mesothelioma survivors.
  • Tejal Parekh
    Tejal Parekh
    Registered and Licensed Dietitian
    Tejal Parekh is a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition. She taught cooking classes, created monthly presentations for staff and patients and hosted multidisciplinary conferences while working as an outpatient specialist in oncology nutrition at the Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. Parekh writes about the complex nutritional needs of mesothelioma patients.

Our Other Professional Contributors

Practicing specialists, researchers and other well-known leaders in the mesothelioma community regularly contribute content and peer-review pages to ensure medical accuracy.

Legal and VA-Accredited Writers

Our VA-accredited writers have hands-on experience filing claims for VA benefits for veterans with mesothelioma. Only a VA-accredited agent can legally represent a veteran or a surviving dependent to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This experience helps our writers share detailed information to guide our readers. Our on-site legal advisor informs readers about their rights and legal options.

  • Joe Lahav
    Joe Lahav, Esquire
    Lawyer and On-Site Legal Advisor
    Joe Lahav is a member of both the D.C. Bar and the Florida Bar. He serves as the on-site legal advisor at The Mesothelioma Center and provides legal guidance for our readers, explaining possible options for available compensation for asbestos-related illness. Lahav oversees our Patient Advocate team, which offers free personalized support to mesothelioma patients and their families.
  • Aron Munz
    Aaron Munz
    Director of Veterans Department
    Aaron Munz at The Mesothelioma Center is a former U.S. Army captain, Bronze Star recipient, VA-accredited claims agent and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. His personal military experience and years assisting patients as a Patient Advocate help Munz create content that answers readers’ questions about VA benefits.
  • Danielle DiPietro, VA-Accredited Claims Agent and Patient Advocate
    Danielle DiPietro
    VA-Accredited Claims Agent
    Danielle DiPietro has served as a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center for 10 years. In her role in our Veterans Outreach Program, she helps veterans file paperwork and explore options that could benefit them. DiPietro also visits veteran service officers across the country and shares insights about the medical and financial impact of mesothelioma on veterans.

Survivor and Caregiver Writers

Survivors and caregivers share their individual stories of perseverance and determination with our readers, helping patients and their families see that while every cancer journey is unique, there is a strong mesothelioma community here that understands their experience. Through their stories of treatment, advocacy efforts, family life and hope, they work to raise awareness about this rare cancer.

  • tamron little
    Tamron Little
    Mesothelioma Survivor and Writer
    Tamron Little is an ordained minister, mother of four, advocate and peritoneal mesothelioma survivor. In addition to her work with The Mesothelioma Center, her leadership was recognized with several WEGO Health Award nominations. Little has been featured in The Washington Informer, Thrive Global and Cancer Wellness. She was recently invited to the White House for a Cancer Moonshot Goals Forum.
  • emily ward
    Emily Ward
    Cancer Advocate & Long-Time Mesothelioma Survivor
    Emily Ward was a registered nurse for 43 years, and lived with pleural mesothelioma for 10 years. Her medical background and experience as a mesothelioma patient helped her to connect with fellow survivors. She shared personal experiences and distinct insights writing for The Mesothelioma Center that helped patients and their families in their cancer journeys. She wrote about treatment, coping with recurrences and what she believed helped her become a long-term survivor. She died in May 2022.
  • lorraine kember
    Lorraine Kember
    Lorraine Kember became a full-time caregiver when her husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma. After his death, she shared what she’d learned about palliative care and a terminal illness’ impact on families in her first book, “Lean on Me: Cancer Through a Carer’s Eyes.” Kember has published two additional books, become a motivational speaker and shared her story in an ABC Radio National documentary.
  • Melanie Ball
    Melanie Ball
    Melanie Ball is a licensed professional clinical counselor serving families in Kentucky. She holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and a bachelor’s in psychology. Her family’s own cancer journey after her father’s mesothelioma diagnosis inspired Ball to become an advocate for asbestos and mesothelioma awareness and share her personal stories with The Mesothelioma Center.
  • Mesothelioma survivor Michael Cole
    Michael Cole
    Cancer Advocate & Long-Time Mesothelioma Survivor
    Michael Cole is a seven-year pleural mesothelioma survivor. He was diagnosed at age 46 with this rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He strives to raise awareness about mesothelioma and comfort those affected by the disease.

Developing Content and Community

For more than 15 years The Mesothelioma Center has grown and nurtured a community of leaders in medicine, counseling, nutrition, science, advocacy and journalism, sharing breaking news, firsthand stories of advances in treatment, personal mesothelioma journeys and hope. Our core purpose of advocacy, awareness and connecting people to the best resources drives our approach to content development.

Meet the Editors

Our editors fact-check all content for accuracy, following journalistic standards and editorial guidelines. Reporting is sourced from from peer-reviewed medical journals and interviews with renowned mesothelioma specialists and researchers. Medical, scientific and health experts review our content. Each page includes the sources used for full transparency.

  • Amy Edel
    Amy Edel
    Senior Editor and Content Strategist
    Senior Editor and Content Strategist Amy Edel has more than 25 years’ experience in journalism, higher education and communications. She has covered medical, business, environmental and political news for and Long Island Community Newspapers. Edel has been featured in publications such as Adweek and CMSWire. She holds CDC certificates in Health Literacy and Effective Communication.
  • Fran Mannino
    Fran Mannino
    Writer and Editor
    Writer and Editor Fran Mannino has more than 20 years’ experience as managing editor for St. Louis’ West End Word newspaper and as an award-winning journalist. She has covered breaking news, business and politics. At, Mannino has interviewed mesothelioma survivors and spotlighted key advocacy initiatives. She holds CDC certifications in Health Literacy and Environmental Health Writing.
  • Walter Pacheco
    Walter Pacheco
    Managing Editor
    Managing Editor Walter Pacheco has nearly 20 years’ experience in journalism covering politics, development, criminal trials, technology and social media for the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel and El Sentinel. He’s been featured in Sentinel & Enterprise and Fox News. At, Pacheco has covered breaking news, including stories on cancer research funding and asbestos-contaminated talc.

The Mesothelioma Center Pressroom

Our authors and editors work with local, regional and national journalists and other news media to provide accurate, on-the-record information about mesothelioma, asbestos-related diseases, cancer topics, asbestos exposure and other medical, environmental and health topics.