Nancy E. Davidson, MD

Nancy E. Davidson, MD

Nancy E. Davidson, MD

  • Physician, Fred Hutch
  • Executive Vice President, Clinical Affairs, Fred Hutch
  • Professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch
  • Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research, Fred Hutch

Medical Oncology

“My hope and goal in life is that no one has to suffer from a catastrophic illness.”

— Dr. Davidson

What do you want patients to know about working with you?

My office is a safe space where you can share your fears and concerns and ask as many questions as you need to gain peace of mind. I will explain your condition and the treatment options in a way that you can understand, so you can use the information to help you choose the path that’s right for you. Throughout my career, I’ve held a number of leadership roles and made several discoveries in the lab, yet one of the things I’m most proud of is the quality care I’ve given to patients with breast cancer.

Why did you become a physician-researcher?

Science runs through my veins. I’m the daughter of two geologists. As a young girl, I spent several summers camping with my father while he did his fieldwork. Years later during medical school, I got a summer job at the National Cancer Institute, and what I saw there set fire to my imagination. Researchers had grown new cell models of breast cancer in a petri dish with the goal of developing potential new treatments that they could then bring to patients. For the first time, I witnessed a bridge between what happens in the lab and the clinic, and I wanted to walk that bridge myself. I set out to be a physician-researcher so my work could have a direct, positive impact on people’s lives. That passion has never waned.

Provider Background

Area of Clinical Practice
Breast cancer

My life’s work has centered on advancing research, treatment and outcomes for patients with cancer. Early in my career, I served as the Breast Cancer Research Professor of Oncology and founding director of the Breast Cancer Program at Johns Hopkins University. In the lab, my research has focused on the role of epigenetics in breast cancer — how the expression of certain genes affects a person’s risk for developing the disease. I have been a lead investigator and co-investigator on several practice-changing breast cancer trials, including establishing a specific regimen of chemotherapy and hormone therapy for premenopausal women with the disease. Outside of patient care and research, I’ve also been active in leadership. Since 2016, I have served as Fred Hutch’s president and executive director. In this role, I coordinate cancer care, clinical research and education between Fred Hutch and its consortium partner, the University of Washington. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, I am also past president of both the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research.

Diseases Treated



Education, Experience and Certifications

Undergraduate Degree
Wellesley College

Medical Degree
Harvard Medical School

Johns Hopkins University

National Cancer Institute

Board Certification
Medical Oncology, 1985; Internal Medicine, 1982, American Board of Internal Medicine


The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award
Dr. Davidson was the 2018 recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award. This award recognizes a recipient who has drastically changed the oncology field or who has made significant contributions to advance the mission of ASCO, CancerLinQ LLC, or Conquer Cancer through the honoree’s ability to lead and inspire.

Elected to the 239th class of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Dr. Davidson was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in spring of 2019. One of the nation’s oldest learned societies, the Academy was founded in 1780 to honor accomplished individuals and “to engage them in advancing the public good.”

National Cancer Institute’s Rosalind E. Franklin Award
In 2010, the National Cancer Institute presented Dr. Davidson with the Rosalind E. Franklin Award. This prize honors the commitment of women in cancer research.


All news
Research into targeted treatments, better prediction models in breast cancer funded Breast Cancer Research Foundation continues support for research by Fred Hutch/UW/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium physicians and scientists November 16, 2023
International symposium focuses on lobular breast cancer Clinicians, researchers and patients from around the world gather in Pittsburgh to honor Seattle advocate, discuss understudied disease October 6, 2023
First Lady Jill Biden: ‘Your work will change and save lives’ MET-X research lab tour and Cancer Moonshot ‘listening session’ on survivorship and pediatric cancer highlight First Lady's visit to Fred Hutch September 25, 2023

Clinical Trials

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. 

Find a Clinical Trial Led by Dr. Davison


Many of our Fred Hutch physicians conduct ongoing research to improve standards of patient care. Their work is evaluated by other physicians 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 physician has written. 

View Dr. Davidson'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 physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like registered dietitians, 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 or call 206.667.2210