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Get to Know … Julie Vose, MD, MBA

By Melissa Badamo, Julie Vose, MD, MBA- Last Updated: April 16, 2024

Dr. Vose, Chief of the Division of Oncology and Hematology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, discusses how she followed in her family’s footsteps to become a hematologist, why it’s important to choose a compatible mentor, and how she nurtures her artistic side outside of work. 

Where did you grow up, and when did you know you wanted to be a hematologist? 

I grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota, which is a small town. My father was a pathologist, and I worked in his lab during the summers while I was in high school and college. I worked with blood smears and pathology specimens and decided I wanted to go into medicine by doing that. When I went to medical school, I became interested in cancer and decided to go into hematology-oncology. I started doing research, and here I am today! 

Are there any specific mentors who shaped your career path?

I had some very good mentors early on who shaped my career. I started doing research with lymphoma expert James Armitage, MD, when I was in medical school, and that’s how I became interested in taking care of patients and doing research in lymphoma. I started doing some retrospective chart reviews way back when I was a medical student. Later, I went into hematology-oncology and specialized in clinical research in lymphoma, as well as transplantation. 

Can you speak about your current research?

Over the years, I’ve mostly done research on new drugs, therapies, antibodies for lymphoma, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell transplantation, and monoclonal antibodies for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Things have evolved and changed over the years, and we have a lot of treatments now that we didn’t have just a few years ago. Clinical trials are great because they always feature new and exciting areas of research, and, of course, the result is to help our patients. 

What do you hope to see in the field over the next 10 years? 

As lymphoma research advances, we’re understanding that it’s many different types of diseases, many more subtypes than we ever knew was possible. All of them need to be treated differently. We’re learning more about therapies that are less toxic for the patient and more directed at the lymphoma itself, minimizing impact on normal tissues and organs, and therefore have fewer side effects. We’re also combining different regimens and therapies to try to improve patient outcomes. The desired result is to have less toxic therapy, and less therapy overall that patients have to go through, yet a higher cure rate. That’s our ultimate goal. 

What advice would you give to younger physicians or trainees in the field? 

Try to get involved with a mentor very early. Try to choose some projects to work on. It’s hard when you’re first starting out because you don’t really know what you’re interested in. As early as possible, choose someone to work with who can give you some good direction and advice. Someone who’s accessible and with whom you can relate. Someone who will give you tips along the way in your short- and long-term career. 

Are there any moments in your career that stand out to you?

In oncology, unfortunately, a lot of our patients pass away over time. But, as I’ve been practicing several years now, I am still seeing patients who I took care of way back when I was a fellow. A lot of those patients are thriving, surviving, and have families of their own. That’s really nice to see. 

I think it’s important to remember that we’re here to help patients, make discoveries, and pass things on to the next generation. It’s important that we continue to teach in a positive direction, and to make sure that the doctors of tomorrow are there to help us when we need it. 

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy in your free time?

I am an artist; I like to paint watercolors or acrylic paintings. I’m more of an impressionistic artist, so I mostly paint landscapes. I also like to work out. I like running, lifting weights, and playing pickleball. It’s so important to stay active and do things that you like outside of work.

Original Source:  Get to Know … Julie Vose, MD, MBA

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