Janis Abkowitz, MD

Dr. Janis Abkowitz MD
Faculty Member

Janis Abkowitz, MD

Section Head, Hematology
Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.543.3560
Mail Stop: UW 357710

Physician-scientist Dr. Janis Abkowitz, researches the molecular and cellular events that control the growth of red blood cells in the bone marrow and how this process goes awry to result in anemia. She is especially interested in the anemia that occurs in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) as a result of infective erythropoiesis, or the death of red cell precursors while they mature. As an oncologist/hematologist, she treats people with inappropriately low or high numbers of blood cells. These diseases include anemia, pancytopenia, MDS, thrombocytopenia, polycythemia vera and essential thrombocytosis.

Dr. Abkowitz is a past president of the American Society of Hematology and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Academy of Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine. A dedicated mentor with 35 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, she’s received many honors over the years, including being named the 2023 Danny Thomas lecturer at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the 2018 Helen Ranney lecturer at the University of California. Currently, she is studying MDS and ineffective erythropoiesis more broadly with the intent of understanding its physiology and deriving new therapies. 

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine

Adjunct Professor
Genome Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine

Clement A. Finch, MD Endowed Professorship in Hematology
UW Medicine


Harvard University, MD, 1977

Harvard University, AB Biochemical sciences, 1972

Research Interests

Bidirectional translation

Ineffective erythropoiesis

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) anemia

Erythroblastic islands 

Clinical Expertise

Anemias, other cytopenias, MDS, leukemia, and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs)

Current Studies

Studies of the pathophysiology of MDS anemia and of ineffective erythropoiesis more broadly

Find a Clinical Trial

Dr. Abkowitz in the News

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210