When I was growing up, two of my grandparents had metastatic cancer. Seeing what this disease put them through — emotionally, cognitively and physically — was what initially got me interested in this field. I felt like there was a lot that could be done to improve the lives of people with breast cancer, and I wanted to contribute to that goal. Since then, there’s been significant progress in breast cancer treatment, particularly in the last 10–15 years. A lot of new targeted therapies are available now that don’t have the grueling side effects of general chemotherapy. One of the aspects of my profession that I really enjoy is bringing new clinical trials to patients and witnessing how the therapies being tested often change their lives for the better.
There was a patient I treated who loved to garden and cook. Whenever she came to the clinic, we’d talk about what she was growing and what recipes she’d tried recently. I always knew things weren’t going well if she told me that she hadn’t been in the garden lately or hadn’t set foot in the kitchen to prepare a meal. It was a signal that we needed to adjust what we were doing so that she could get back to her beloved activities. I invest a lot of time in learning about patients and their families so that I can support them throughout treatment and we can make decisions that align with their goals.
Area of clinical practice
I am a board-certified medical oncologist who treats patients with all stages and types of breast cancer. In addition to providing care, I am a principal investigator with UW Medicine’s Cancer Vaccine Institute. My research focuses on the development of immune system-based therapies, such as vaccines or checkpoint inhibitors, for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. I oversee clinical trials and manage the care of patients who participate in them.
University of Alabama School of Medicine
University of Washington
Duke University Medical Center
Medical Oncology, 2014; Hematology, 2013; Internal Medicine, 2009, American Board of Internal Medicine
Senior Fellowship, Duke University Medical Center
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.