Valerae Olive Lewis (1966-)

Lewis holding pelvic bone while speaking in front of anatomical diagrams
Valerae Olive Lewis, ca. 2020
Courtesy The University of Texas MD Anderson Center

Valerae Olive Lewis, a leader in Orthopedic Oncology, was born in 1966 in White Plains, New York, to Carl Norman Lewis, a physician from Harlem with roots in Antigua, and Dorothe Williams Lewis. Valerae had two sisters, Stephanie Lewis, and Carole Lewis.

Lewis received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychobiology from Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1989. Afterward, she enrolled in Harvard University Medical School and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1993. The following year in 1994, she completed her Internship at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City.

On December 10, 1994, Lewis, and Michael Scott O’Reilly, a physician-researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital from Winchester, Massachusetts, were married at St. James the Less Church in Scarsdale, New York. They are the parents of twins. In 1999, Lewis completed her orthopedic training at the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency Program in Boston and her fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Chicago.

In 2000, Lewis began working with The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center (UTMDACC) in orthopedic oncology. Within two years, in 2002, she was the director of the group’s Musculoskeletal Oncology Fellowship Program. And by 2008, she was serving as Section Chief. During this period, Lewis also served on the board of the American Orthopedic Association.

In 2011, Lewis began the Multidisciplinary Pelvic Sarcoma Program at UTMDACC, confronted the clinical needs of this unique group of patients, and worked to improve both the clinical and functional outcomes of patients with pelvic sarcoma. In 2012, she was the first African American woman awarded the MD Anderson Faculty Achievement Award in Patient Care. Two years later, in 2014, Lewis was named the inaugural chair of the UTMDACC’s Department of Orthopedic Oncology and continued. That same year, 2014, she was selected as Department Chair ad interim with the M.D. Anderson Center in Houston. Afterward, Lewis was president of the Western Orthopedic Association until 2015 and was named chair of the orthopedic oncology department, thus becoming the first woman to hold the principal position of an orthopedic department at a freestanding cancer center at any of the University of Texas institutions.

Dr. Valerae Olive Lewis’s research has appeared in many peer-reviewed journals in her area of interest, including the World Journal of Engineering and Technology, the Journal of Quantum Information Science, and Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology. In 2021, Lewis was the senior author of the research “Entangled Photon Pairs and Young’s Experiment” in the Journal of Quantum Information Science Vol.11 No.4, and the following year in 2022, “Gravitational Black-Body Radiation” that appeared in the Journal of High Energy Physics, Gravitation and Cosmology Vol.8 No.3.