During my years at Harvard University, I had diverse interests, from history to different areas of science. I was brought up to be a specialist in a lot of different things, but it was really immunology (the study of how the immune system functions) that grabbed on to my imagination. After working with transplant physicians and researchers, I realized that to do the work I wanted to do, I needed to become a doctor. I went to medical school so I could learn to perform transplants and implement research about how to use immunology to cure cancer.
I consider myself very lucky because I love what I do, and that joy is evident in how I care for my patients. I think they appreciate my empathy, compassion and sincerity. When you come in for a visit, I focus on explaining your diagnosis and presenting you with your treatment options so that you can think through how to move forward. There is no right or wrong answer; only you can decide how you want to live your life, and there are no guarantees that any particular therapy will work for you. My role is to give you choices and then support you in whatever path you decide to take.
Area of Clinical Practice
Adult blood and marrow transplantation, cellular immunotherapy
As a board-certified medical oncologist, I specialize in providing bone marrow transplantations to people with blood cancers. My expertise extends to immunotherapy and transplantation immunology. I divide my time between caring for patients — about five months out of the year — and conducting clinical trials, up to four or five at a time. I find trials to be fun and intellectually satisfying: If I’m correct in my speculation, and luck is with me, it’s very rewarding. My research focuses on ways to augment the immune system after an autologous transplant (where a patient’s own blood-forming cells are harvested) to prevent relapse of disease and prolong survival. In 2001, I received the first Dr. Ali Al-Johani Award, presented by Fred Hutch, which honors excellence in clinical patient care. I am also a member of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research and the SWOG Cancer Research Network.
University of Miami
University of Washington
University of Washington
Medical Oncology, 1991, 2016, American Board of Internal Medicine
Internship, University of Rochester
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch physicians. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your physician can decide if a study is right for you.
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.