David H. Lewis, MD

David H. Lewis, MD
Top Doctor icon

David H. Lewis, MD

  • Physician, Fred Hutch
  • Professor, Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Physician, UW Medicine


“What inspires me about the field of nuclear medicine is that it has so many applications — and the potential to help all kinds of people by extending their lives or giving them a higher quality of life.”

— Dr. Lewis

What is nuclear medicine and why do you practice this specialty?

Nuclear medicine is a branch of radiology where we use small amounts of radioactive particles to help diagnose — and sometimes treat — a variety of diseases, such as prostate cancer, heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease. For example, I once cared for a patient with a serious thyroid condition that landed her in the hospital. Her organs were failing and she was comatose. We were able to treat her with a radioactive iodine, and she fully recovered; it was a tremendous save. What inspires me about the field of nuclear medicine is that it has so many applications — and the potential to help all kinds of people by extending their lives or giving them a higher quality of life.

What personal experiences have informed your approach to care?

My father passed away from metastatic lung cancer when I was nine. That experience had a profound effect on my life, eventually propelling me into a career in medicine and shaping the way that I approach care. Whenever possible, I like to sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with the patients and families I work with. I’m sensitive to the fact that a cancer diagnosis can create upheaval in people’s lives. I take the time to explain how we might be able to use nuclear imaging to help you and answer any questions that you might have.

Provider Background

Specialty: Radiology

Imaging and therapy for cancer, other diseases

I am the director of nuclear medicine at Harborview Medical Center and the director of the Nuclear Medicine Residency program at the University of Washington School of Medicine. My area of expertise spans interpreting diagnostic images, overseeing stress tests and treating patients with radioactive therapeutics. I am a nationally recognized expert in functional brain imaging, studying the healthy workings of the brain and how diseases can make those processes go awry. Currently, my research is focused on using functional brain imaging to explore how virtual reality could be used to ease pain during difficult procedures.

At Fred Hutch, I specialize in the functional imaging of a variety of cancers, using radioactive tracers to examine how tumors, organs and tissues in the body are functioning. This technique can help determine how far a cancer has spread or whether a treatment is working. I also treat certain kinds of tumors using targeted therapies that cause minimal side effects.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
University of Virginia

Medical Degree
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

University of Washington, Internal Medicine; University of Washington, Nuclear Medicine

Board Certification
Internal Medicine, 1988, 2016, American Board of Internal Medicine; Nuclear Medicine, 1990, American Board of Nuclear Medicine


Seattle magazine's 2021 Top Doctors Award
Dr. Lewis has been recognized as a Top Doctor in this peer-nominated award.

Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Lewis received this award in 2019 for his achievements and leadership in the field of nuclear medicine.

Seattle Met's 2019 Top Doctors Award
Dr. Lewis was nominated by his peers for this award, because of his exceptional care.

Clinical Trials

We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.

View Clinical Trials


Many of our Fred Hutch doctors conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other doctors and selected for publication to the United States National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world. See scientific papers this Fred Hutch provider has written.

View Dr. Lewis's Publications

Your Care Team

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.


Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.

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 providers.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210