Dr. Valdez received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A in Communication from The University of New Mexico. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 2011. During Medical School she was a prestigious Howard Hughes Research Fellow at the NIH where her research focused on aplastic anemia and immunocompromised hosts. Following her medical degree, she attended pediatric residency at Stanford University at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford, California. She then completed Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was selected to be Chief Fellow and participated in fellowship medical education. Her research at St. Jude focused on Pediatric Cancer Predisposition syndromes and surveillance protocols. She additionally earned Masters in Public Health from George Washington University in 2017. She joined the University of New Mexico Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Division in May 2018 and now serves as medical director for the Pediatric Infusion Unit and Institutional Primary Investigator for the Children's Oncology Group.

Personal Statement

I am a pediatric hematologist-oncologist that cares for patients with pediatric cancers and hematological diseases. Within my division, I play an active role in the clinical care of patients with a particular focus on pediatric cancer predisposition, histiocytic diseases, and solid tumor malignancies. I am the current institutional PI for the children's oncology research group and am actively involved in research. My particular research interests include pediatric cancer predisposition, pediatric cancer epidemiology, pediatric oncology adolescent young adult research, and patient-practitioner communication. I have experience and training in quantitative and qualitative research. I am also active in resident and medical student education and serve as rotation director. I am currently collaborating with the UNM division of epidemiology to characterize pediatric cancer in New Mexico and further investigate diagnosis and treatment of our unique population. One of my long-term goals is to create a Pediatric Cancer Predisposition clinic to provide ongoing cancer surveillance, genetic counseling, and testing for patients and when appropriate, their parents and siblings. I want to help ensure that pediatric oncology patients in New Mexico have access to the most up-to-date protocols for cancer surveillance and prevention.

Areas of Specialty

Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Pediatric Cancer Predisposition
Histiocytic Diseases - LCH and HLH
Clinical Research in Pediatric Oncology
Medical Education

Achievements & Awards

Medical Director for Camp Enchantment- Summer Camp for Children diagnosed with Cancer

Medical Director and board member for Make-A-Wish New Mexico

Research and Scholarship

Valdez JM, Scheinberg P, Nunez O, Wu CO, Young NS, Walsh TJ. Decreased infection-related mortality and improved survival in severe aplastic anemia in the past two decades. Clin Infect Dis 52(6):726-735, 2011 Mar. PMID: 21367725.

Valdez JM, Scheinberg P, Young NS, Walsh TJ. Infections in patients with aplastic anemia. Seminars in Hematology 46(3):269-276, 2009 July. PMID: 19549579.

Valdez JM, Nichols KE, Kesserwan C. Li-Fraumeni syndrome: a paradigm for the understanding of hereditary cancer predisposition. British Journal of Hematology. 2016 Dec. PMID: 27984644

Valdez JM, Mandrell B, Gattuso J, Ogg S, Walker B, Zelley K, Alderfer M, Nichols KE. Parent -Child Communication about Genetic Testing for Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: Living Under the Cloud of Cancer. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 2018. April. PMID: 30009566

Johnson LM, Valdez JM, Quinn E, Sykes A, McGee R, Nuccio R, Hines-Dowell S, Baker JN, Kesserwan C, Nichols K, Mandrell B. Integrating Next Generation Sequencing into Pediatric Oncology Practice: An Assessment of Provider Confidence and Understanding of Clinical Genomics. Cancer. 2017 Feb. PMID: 28192596