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Jonathan L. Wright, MD, MS, FACS

Dr. Wright specializes in urologic oncology, treating bladder, prostate, kidney, penile, and testicular cancers.

Patient Care Philosophy:

My goal is to provide the highest level of medical and surgical care in a compassionate environment where the patient is an active member of the team.

Dr. Wright's Resume


Title

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Affiliate Researcher, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Director, Robotic prostatectomy program, Seattle Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Hospital

Clinical Expertise

Bladder Cancer Techniques:

  • Radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder), robotically and traditional open surgery.
  • Bladder reconstruction: orthotopic neobladders, continent cutaneous reservoirs (CURs), and ileal conduits.

Prostate Cancer Techniques:

  • Robotic prostatectomy

Experience

In addition to teaching surgical skills, Dr. Wright teaches residents the importance of interpersonal skills at the bedside. From a research perspective, he teaches epidemiologic and data analytic techniques to help residents develop independent research skills.

Education And Training

  • Bachelor of Arts: Economics with honors, Boston College, 1996 magna cum laude
  • Medical Degree: with honors, University of Washington, 2001
  • Internship: General Surgery, University of Washington, 2001- 2002
  • Residency: Urology, University of Washington, 2002 – 2006
  • Chief Resident: Urology, University of Washington, 2006 – 2007
  • Fellowship: Urologic Oncology, University of Washington Dept. of Urology, 2007 – 2009
  • Master Public Health: University of Washington School of Public Health, 2005

More Information

  • Dr. Wright was recognized as a 2012 and 2014 "Top Doctor" in Seattle Met magazine's annual survey.
  • Dr. Wright was recognized as a "Top Doctor" in Seattle magazine's 2014 annual survey.
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
  • Member of the following medical organizations:
    • American College of Surgeons
    • Society of Urologic Oncology
    • American Society of Clinical Oncology
    • American Urological AssociationWestern Section of the American
    • Urological Association
    • Northwest Urological Association
    • Washington State Urological Association
    • Seattle Surgical Society

Dr. Wright's Story


Dr. Jonathan Wright became a doctor because he wanted to help people who were sick.  "I became a urologist because I realized that urology provided a field which included both the medical and surgical aspects of patient care. I focused on the cancer side of urology because it allows me to be the complete physician for these patients," he says.

As a urologist with SCCA, he screens for tumors, biopsies tumors, counsels regarding the treatment options, and performs the surgical removal, follow-up, and cancer surveillance. "Urologic oncology gives me the opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with my patients," he says.

Dr. Wright specializes in the care of genitourinary cancers, including treating bladder, prostate, kidney, penis, and testicular cancers. He performs minimally invasive robotic surgeries, including robotic prostatectomies, robotic cystectomies, robotic partial nephrectomies, and robotic inguinal lymph node dissections.

A Washington native, Dr. Wright grew up in Yakima. He attended Boston College where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Economics (with honors). He was elected into Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Epsilon Delta (Premedical Honor Society), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics Honor Society), the Order of the Cross and Crown and the Golden Key National Honor Society. He received his medical degree with honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine where he was elected into Alpha Omega Alpha, the Medical Honor Society.

After his surgical and urological residency training at the University of Washington, Dr. Wright completed a two-year fellowship in Urologic Oncology at the University of Washington.

Research Interests

"I am interested in the consistent relationship between obesity and adverse prostate cancer outcomes," says Dr. Wright. "Diabetes commonly co-exists with obesity.  I am studying the mechanisms by which weight loss and/or diabetes treatments (e.g., metformin) may influence prostate cancer progression." 

He is also involved in research understanding the role that an individual’s genetic make-up and how variants (known as single nucleotide polymorphisms) can influence their cancer risk and outcomes.  "Similarly, I am interested in the genetic changes that occur in prostate tumor tissue and how that can affect treatment and outcomes," he says.
 
As for his work with bladder cancer research, Dr. Wright is interested in the management of patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer.  "I am working to determine which patients are most likely to respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to cystectomy.  I am also involved in urine biomarkers and bladder cancer evaluation and surveillance," he says.

One of the big challenges urologists face with cancer is who should receive what specific treatment or even treatment at all. "In prostate cancer, it is figuring out who needs active treatment and who can be monitored with active surveillance," Wright says. "In bladder cancer, it is determining which patient with T1 disease need cystectomy or which patient with muscle invasive bladder cancer will benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy," he says. "With kidney cancer, it is knowing which small renal masses can be followed and which need surgery or if patient with locally advanced tumors should receive neoadjuvant targeted therapy. Someday, I hope we will have an individualized approach that incorporates an individual’s genetic make-up, clinical phenotype, and tumor molecular factors to define what treatment they need." 

Outside of work, Dr. Wright's biggest joy is spending time with his wife and children and working out regularly. "My wife and I met on the Boston College Tennis Team and we both enjoy playing tennis together and now with our kids.  Family is very important to us and we are lucky to each have one surviving parent in the area and many cousins in Yakima where I grew up.  We are also active in our church. I am a big Seattle sports fan."