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Oliver W. Press, MD, PhD

Dr. Press is a medical oncologist who specializes in treating patients with lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma.

Patient Care Philosophy:

To provide the highest quality of innovative cancer care in an academic setting.

Dr. Press's Resume


  • Member, Clinical Research Division, Chair, Lymphoma Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Professor, Medical Oncology Division, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Associate Director, Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Washington School of Medicine

Clinical Expertise

Hematologic malignancies including

  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma
  • Burkitts lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Low-grade lymphoma
  • Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Marginal zone lymphoma
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Education And Training

  • University of Washington, Medical Scientist Training Program, 1973-1979
  • University of Washington, Biological Structure, 1973-1977
  • Internship and Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital, Internal Medicine
  • Fellowship: University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Oncology

More Information

  • Dr. Press was recognized as a 2013 and 2014 "Top Doctor" in Seattle Met magazine's annual survey.
  • Read about Dr. Press's Research Lab's work.

Clinical Trials

Dr. Press is the SCCA lead investigator for the following clinical trials:

Dr. Press's Story

Actively Searching for Hematologic Cancer Cures

When he was a kid, Oliver Press, MD, PhD, probably drove his mother crazy. One of his favorite pastimes was catching fish, frogs, snakes, and lizards. “I wanted to be a marine biologist while growing up,” he says.

Today, Dr. Press is a full professor at the University of Washington, a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the director of clinical research for hematology and hematologic malignancies, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia, at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. But he does have a small tank of freshwater fish in his office.

Of his years in research and patient care, he says, “This has been an extremely exciting decade for leukemia and lymphoma research, largely due to the emergence of antibody therapies which have afforded safer, less toxic treatments. Added with chemotherapy, they’ve also improved cure rates. But there is still room for improvement.”

And so his research of late involves radio-labeled antibodies in front line with chemotherapy as well as genetic modification of “killer” T cells. “In the gene therapy lab, we’re adding a gene to T-lymphocytes to enhance their ability to recognize and kill lymphoma cells. In time, we’ll infuse patients. It’s too early yet to assess efficacy, but it is a promising new approach,” he says.

Although nearly 70 percent of his time is dedicated to research and teaching, Dr. Press is energized to bring his findings to patients in the form of high-quality, innovative care.

“We start out by engineering improved antibodies, then test them on lymphoma cells in tissue culture, mice, and then patients,” he says. “I enjoy going from cell to mice to man. I’m using my education and getting mileage out of both sides of my training.”

In 2006, Dr. Press became the chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Lymphoma Research Foundation, a seat he held for two years.

Though he professes to spend a lot of time working, which his two sons will quickly verify, Dr. Press enjoys escaping to his cabin in the San Juan Islands for a little fishing and relaxation.