Dr. Graff was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended University of Arizona and graduated with a BS in Applied Mathematics with honors in 1998. She then went to medical school at George Washington University where she received her MD with distinction in 2003. She moved to Portland, OR, and completed residency and fellowship at the Oregon Health & Science University in 2009. Since that time, she has been on the faculty at the Knight Cancer Institute OHSU and on the staff at VA Portland Health Care System, where she has been the chief of hematology/oncology since 2018.
Dr. Graff focuses on helping patients with cancer live well. She sees patients with genitourinary cancers, such as prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancers, but her research is on prostate cancer. She has designed and implemented many clinical trials that have resulted in some dramatic results. She became internationally recognized for her work in immunotherapy in prostate cancer (link). This work has spun off into multiple trials. In 2018, she earned a prestigious $1M Movember Challenge Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation to study the effect of manipulation of the gut microbiota on responses to immunotherapy in Veterans with advanced prostate cancer. The correlative work for this first-in-field research is led by co-principal investigators Dr. Amy Moran (immunologist) and Dr. Karen Sfanos (molecular pathologist). The critical work of understanding the genetic underpinnings of the biopsied tumors is led by Reid Thompson, MD, PhD. Together they hope to enhance prostate cancer responses to immunotherapy.
Dr. Graff is passionate about education and mentors multiple learners, ranging from pre-medical students to assistant professors. She is the recipient of resident and fellowship teaching awards. She is also very interested in diversity of leadership and is heading an effort to help female junior faculty in hematology/oncology. Also, she is incredibly passionate about giving Veterans the best cancer care in Oregon and beyond.
Outside of work, Dr. Graff spends time with her two children and partner. They keep her grounded and grateful for all she has.