20 Under 40: Emily Dunn. MD

Radiation Oncologist, Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center

Age: 37

“Dr. Dunn shepherds patients through what is often the most difficult and trying time in their lives. Her attention to detail, specialized training, breadth of knowledge, curiosity, commitment to innovation, and her giving nature are true assets to our cancer center and our community.”

Haidy L. Lee, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center


Dr. Emily Dunn is radiation oncologist and brachytherapy physician lead for Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center where she treats cancer and increases patient survival while leading important research and clinical trials. She cares about her patients, putting in time as the physician liaison for the patient advocacy group and WVCI’s Fight Like a Duck. A three-time Academic All-American track and field athlete, Dunn volunteered as a doctor at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and with FOOD for Lane County, Positive Community Kitchen, Soroptimist Club, American Cancer Society, and Oregon Cancer Foundation.

Get to know them

Q: How was your community involvement impacted your work and life?

My time in the community has led me to understand just how great some needs are within Eugene and the surrounding communities for access to health care, food security, drug, and alcohol recovery, and housing.


Q: What have you been most motivated by in your career?

I have been motivated mostly by my patients. I witness their courage, strength, fear, anger, sadness, joy and every emotion in between as they undergo cancer therapy. They motivate me to continue to learn, to push the boundaries of our treatments, and to continue to strive and provide the highest quality care locally.


Q: What do you hope to see for our community?

The hope I have for our community is more involvement. Most of the people I meet have an idea and hope for change for our community, but the ways in which to act upon that aren’t always clear or are very limited (time, financial, etc.).  I hope that our future community has more ways in which everyone can give back and support this place we live – regardless of your passion. More hands helping equals a better place to live.