Dr. Woolfrey is a pediatric oncologist practicing at Seattle Children's. She specializes in pediatric blood disorders and bone-marrow transplants.
Bone-Marrow Transplantation, Hematology, Immunology, Oncology, Pediatric, Autoimmune Diseases
- Pediatric Hematology Oncology Specialist, Seattle Children's
- Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine
- University of Minnesota, 1984
For more information about Dr. Ann E. Woolfrey's clinical and research expertise, click here.
Working to improve treatments for kids with cancer
Growing up in Minnesota, Dr. Ann Woolfrey may not have realized that she was being groomed for a career in medicine. Her mother was a nurse, her father a pathologist. In fact, even her brother holds a medical degree and a Ph.D.
Woolfrey graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. “I always wanted to work in hematology and immunology,” she says. “It was the most interesting part of medical school.”
Woolfrey came to Seattle for fellowship training. She is now a pediatric oncologist and associate professor at the University of Washington and specializes in caring for patients with severe immune deficiency, sickle cell anemia, and congenital bone marrow problems, all of which are very rare. Her husband, also a physician, runs the HIV clinic at Harborview Medical Center.
“I have a couple of patients with severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and we’re studying whether the disease can be treated using bone marrow transplants,” she says. “This is very exciting, as is most of the research going on with bone marrow transplantation. It’s what keeps us going – it’s the personal connection to improving outcomes and working with patients.”
Since 1989 there have been enormous advances in supportive care she says, because of the research that has occurred. “Many diseases are now treatable and no longer fatal,” she says.
Quiet and organized, Woolfrey confesses that she’s not a “warm and cuddly doctor,” but she’s definitely a patient advocate.
“The reason I do my job is that I don’t think any child should die from cancer,” she says. In addition to providing patient care and clinical research, Woolfrey also directs the unrelated donor program at SCCA.
Outside of work, Woolfrey says her life generally involves her four children, who are all involved in athletics in school. As a family, you can find them skiing in the winter or vacationing in the summer with family in Wisconsin or Cape Cod.