Kiwanis Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Program President, John Brookens, attended the graduation celebration of the “Class of 2020, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Pediatric Fellowship Programs” and filed this report:
Our Hematology/Oncology Fellows were outstanding! KDCCP Fellow Kellee Parker was awarded the Robert C. Neerhout Award for most outstanding Fellow of all Pediatric Fellows at OHSU/Doernbecher. KDCCP Fellow Matt Dietz was awarded this last year. Three of the four finalists in the Outstanding Research by a Pediatric Fellow were Kiwanis Fellows, Matt Dietz, Kellee Parker and Adam Duvall, with Matt Dietz being honored with the award. This outstanding representation by our fellows proves to me the quality of the leadership and inspiration Dr. Linda Stork and Dr Evan Shereck display every day in their roles as mentors and educators. We should use this gift of association to match their passion and our Fellows’ passion to end cancer in children.
Congratulations to this incredible class of Kiwanis Doernbecher Fellows!
Kellee Nicole Parker, DO, MCR Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Education and Background: Dr. Parker received her bachelor’s degree in general science from University of Oregon. She attended Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine for her medical degree. She completed her residency in pediatrics at OSHU and decided to stay to complete her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship. In the course of her fellowship training, Dr. Parker also completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research through the Human Investigators Program at OHSU.
Research Accomplishments and Interests: Having done clinical research within the pediatric oncology department during her residency, Dr. Parker knew she wanted to continue to do clinical research during her fellowship. She has spent the past 2 years doing research about the family experience of surviving childhood cancer and about clinical trial decision making within pediatric oncology under the mentorship of Dr. Erika Cottrell and Dr. Sue Lindemulder. Dr. Parker has had two main projects during her fellowship. The first project was working with Dr. Cottrell and a group of sociologists out of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) to interview families of childhood cancer survivors and learn about which parts of the experience were most important to them. Using data from this study, Dr. Parker decided to pursue a secondary project to learn more about clinical trial decision-making within pediatric oncology in order to improve this process for future families and oncology physicians. To support her research Dr. Parker received the Oregon Students Learn and Experience Research (OSLER) TL1 training grant. Dr. Parker has presented her research at multiple pediatric oncology conferences throughout her fellowship.
Next Steps: Dr. Parker is excited to continue pursuing her clinical and research interests as she phases into the next steps of her career as a pediatric leukemia/lymphoma and survivorship physician at the University of Utah. While they are very sad to leave Portland and are going to dearly miss OHSU and the PHO department, Dr. Parker, her husband Alex and their two golden retrievers (Howie and Lola) are excited about their upcoming outdoor adventures in Utah and are extra excited to be welcoming a baby boy to the family in July. They are all also very excited that Dr. Parker’s co-fellow, Matthew Dietz, his wife and their pets, will be moving to Utah as well so that they can continue their adventures all together!
Adam Spence DuVall, MD, MPH Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Education and Background: Dr. DuVall studied at the University of Notre Dame, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Pre-professional studies with a major in German and a minor in theology. He then dedicated a year as the Thomas Dooley
Scholarship recipient in South Bend, IN, helping to manage a free clinic, the Sr. Maura Brannick Health Center. He then attended Case Western Reserve University for his medical degree. He studied an additional year earning a Masters of Public Health and performing research in polyparasitism in coastal Kenya. He completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Michigan before coming west to OHSU for his dual fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology and adult medical oncology.
Research Accomplishments and Interests: Dr. DuVall has spent the past 2 years doing research investigating how inflammation can cause someone with a leukemia predisposition syndrome called familial platelet disorder to transform into acute leukemia. This disease causes leukemia in a young population who have a worse outcome after they transform to leukemia. Under the mentorship of Dr. Anupriya Agwaral, Dr. DuVall examined how patient derived cells respond to inflammatory stress and how they interact with their environment. Through his work with many others in the lab, they have a better understanding how leukemia may happen in this population and have some potential treatments to prevent transformation and/or improve outcomes that will go on for further testing. Through his work, he was able to secure independent funding and is involved in finalizing content for multiple manuscripts. Additionally during his fellowship training, Dr. DuVall has published in textbooks about the importance of oncofertility in the cancer population. He has also presented internationally on adolescent young adult oncology and the value of unique combined training programs like he was able to do at OHSU.
Next Steps: Dr. DuVall is a loving husband to Kelly and father to Teddy and Maddy who are 4 and 6 years old. He loves spending time with his family and their dog Macy. He even started an Instagram account for Macy during the quarantine if you want to see the cutest dog in the world. He will be relocating to the University of Chicago where he will work as faculty in the adult and pediatric hospitals seeing adolescent young adult patients with high risk leukemia.
Matthew Steven Dietz, DO, MSEd Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Dr. Dietz received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. He attended medical school at the University of New England as well as completed a Master’s of Science in Education. Seven years ago, Dr. Dietz came to Oregon for his pediatric residency at OHSU, and he has remained with us! After his pediatric residency he served as a chief resident and then began his pediatric hematology and oncology fellowship.Education and Background:
Research Accomplishments and Interests: Even before starting his fellowship, Dr. Dietz knew that translational research, while helping patient care, would also realize bench side discovery. While still a pediatric resident, Dr. Dietz worked in Dr. Evan Lind’s laboratory investigating the immune microenvironment in hematologic malignancies and was even awarded a seed grant by the American Medical Association to support his project. His interest in the potential therapeutic opportunities of the pathologic microenvironment was piqued. As a clinical fellow, Matt cared for patients in all phases of clinical trials, which opened his eyes to the challenges faced by patients with recurrent and advanced stage solid tumors. Limitations in the efficacy of cytotoxic and conventional chemotherapies drove him to pursue mentored research training under Dr. Melissa Wong whose laboratory is interested in mechanisms underlying tumor progression and treatment resistance.
In the Wong laboratory, Dr. Dietz has worked in two main projects: (1) Investigating disseminated tumor cell populations in pediatric patients with brain tumors and other solid tumors (2) Developing techniques to deeply profile these cells and their primary tumor to elucidate mechanisms of metastatic spread. He secured intra and extramural funding, including an NIH TL1 training grant, from the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) to support these projects. Dr Dietz also received a travel award from the American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (ASPHO) to share preliminary findings of a novel tumor cell population, circulating hybrid cells, that are detectable in pediatric patients with glioma at their annual meeting in 2019. These observations are now part of his first author primary manuscript, “Cancer in myriad organ sites disseminate circulating hybrid cells with tumor initiating properties.”
Next Steps: Somehow after 7 years in Portland, OR, Dr. Dietz is managing to escape the Pacific Northwest. Though, he is leaving a changed man, for sure. While in Portland, he has accumulated a wife, 3 pets, and a moustache. We know though, that he, his wife, Bri, the 3 pets, and the moustache will all be very happy as he embarks on the next stage of his career at the University of Utah, where he will be an assistant professor specializing in solid tumors and early phase clinical trials. We think just so he doesn’t have to miss fellowship too much, he will be starting on faculty at University of Utah with his co-fellow, Kellee Parker. We look forward to hearing about what amazing things Dr. Dietz accomplishes in what is sure to be an illustrious career.