The brain is the most fascinating organ in the body. I love studying the brain and learning about how differences in neurology can affect us. Part of the reason I chose to focus on neuro-oncology as a specialty is that there is a great opportunity for improvement in how we treat patients; not that long ago, there were zero therapies to offer for malignant brain tumors, but progress has been made — developments in neuro-imaging and new drugs, for example. Neuro-oncology is an area of really active research, so from that perspective it’s an extraordinary field to be part of. Plus, the patients I get to meet are incredible — lovely people who are in a really tough spot. It’s both humbling and rewarding to be able to focus my energy on helping them.
During my residency, my father had a serious stroke, and it gave me an up-close appreciation of how hard it is for patients to live with disabilities. My dad had to learn how to walk again. He had to adjust to a new life where he needed help doing many of the things he once did for himself. Watching him go through this experience gave me a deep understanding of some of the less obvious challenges people can face when dealing with a disease or illness — things that may be embarrassing or difficult to admit that you can’t do independently. I focus on creating a safe space for patients to disclose those problems so that we can work together on a solution.
Area of clinical practice
Brain and Spine, Neurologic Complications
Brain and spinal cord tumors, neurologic complications from cancer and treatment
As a neuro-oncologist, I specialize in caring for patients with brain tumors or cancers that have spread to the brain or spinal cord from other parts of the body. My expertise includes treating patients who are experiencing neurologic problems from cancer or cancer treatment, such as neuropathy or changes in thinking. I see patients at UW Medical Center’s Alvord Brain Tumor Center.
My research focuses on two main areas. The first is developing new treatments to improve survival for patients with primary brain tumors. The second is searching for better ways to protect the brain while patients receive treatments such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy. I lead clinical trials in both of these areas.
UC San Diego School of Medicine
Stanford Medical Center, Neurology
Stanford Medical Center, Neuro-Oncology
Neurology, 2017, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology; Neuro-Oncology, 2019, United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties
PhD, UC San Diego School of Medicine; Internship, Naval Medical Center - San Diego
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.