Janis L. Abkowitz, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Cytopenia, bone marrow failure or dysregulation, leukemia
What do you want patients to know about you?
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I’ve been caring for people with a wide spectrum of blood cancers and other blood-related problems since 1983. In that time, there have been major developments in our ability to both diagnose and treat blood disorders. For example, there have been huge advances in how we molecularly characterize a disease, or how we detect chromosomal and DNA abnormalities associated with the disease. This has translated into more effective targeted therapies in general, and more appropriate therapies for individual patients, because we understand more about their particular disease. SCCA is on the leading edge of these advances with both our laboratory research and our clinical trials.
My specialty is working with people who have cytopenias, or low blood counts, and bone marrow failure or dysregulation, which can cause too few or too many blood cells. These diseases include myelodysplastic syndromes (bone marrow problems leading to low levels of blood cells in your bloodstream) and myeloproliferative diseases (bone marrow problems leading to high levels of blood cells in your bloodstream), particularly polycythemia vera and essential thrombocytosis. My laboratory research focuses on the molecular and cellular events that control red blood cell differentiation (the process where cells become specialized in order to perform different functions), especially how these cells grow and how their differentiation fails in aplastic anemia and myelodysplasia.
What is your approach to caring for a patient?
Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Hospital, Internal Medicine
University of Washington, Hematology
Medical Oncology, 1983; Hematology, 1982; Internal Medicine, 1980, American Board of Internal Medicine
Member, Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2017–2021; Elected to the National Academy of Medicine, 2013; President, American Society of Hematology, 2013; Internship, Beth Israel Medical Center