Mariam Nawas

UChicago Faculty Physicians

Mariam Nawas, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

My name is Dr. Mariam Nawas. I'm a hematologist/oncologist here at the University of Chicago. And I specialize in allogeneic stem cell transplant for all types of blood cancers. And I also treat patients with leukemias and myelodysplastic syndrome. I chose the field of oncology specifically because of my family's experience with cancer.

So when I was younger, my brother was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And the diagnosis really changed the course of our family. It's the reason we actually came to the United States. And it was obviously a very difficult time. And even till now, three decades later, my parents still think really fondly of my brother's oncologist. And not just the care that he provided, but also the way that he helped them navigate a really difficult time. And so I've always known that that was the type of impact I wanted to have as a physician and the type of role I wanted to play.

Specifically for stem cell transplant, I really love the complexity of the field. It's very interesting. Every patient case is different. The decision making is very complex, which I find really satisfying. And it's an opportunity to offer patients a cure from a lethal disease, which is a really great thing to be able to offer people. So I really fell in love with that. I think what distinguishes the University of Chicago are our faculty and our staff. I am very inspired by my colleagues here, the way that they excel both in patient care and in research, and doing very innovative and impactful research. And so it's very inspiring to me. And it keeps me motivated to make sure that I'm doing the best that I can for my patients also.

And the nature of stem cell transplant is that we work in a team. And so it was very important to me that I felt like every member of the team was as focused and as dedicated as I was to making sure that we have great patient outcomes. And I have found that to really be true here. I tell my patients that the decision to undertake a stem cell transplant is probably the biggest decision that they'll ever make in their lives. And so I view my role as basically someone there to guide them.

And I think, as a physician, it's important that I both know the data and have a good command of the field, but also that I understand my patients well and understand their priorities and their value systems to help them make the right decision for them. And so that's really what I strive to do. I am particularly interested in stem cell transplant in older patients.

The diseases that we treat with stem cell transplant are diseases of older adults, patients in their 60s and 70s. But a lot of places will restrict transplant based on a chronological age, meaning that they will not offer it to people if they're at 65 or 70, even though these are the patients who are most in need. And so we really distinguish ourselves in trying to figure out a patient's physiologic age and their ability to tolerate a treatment and not just rely on a number to determine whether or not someone should get transplanted.
Mariam Nawas, MD, specializes in hematology and oncology with a primary focus on bone marrow transplantation (hematopoietic cell transplantation) for patients suffering from leukemias and other bone marrow cancers and disorders. Dr. Nawas is an expert in treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) myelodyplastic syndromes (MDS) and clonal cytopenias. She is particularly interested in improving outcomes of transplantation and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy in older patients.

Dr. Nawas is passionate about using research to improve care and quality of life for her patients. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, such as Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, Journal of Geriatric Oncology and more.

Board Certifications

  • Hematology
  • Medical Oncology
  • Internal Medicine

Memberships & Medical Societies

  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Society of Transplantation and Cellular Therapy

Practicing Since

  • 2014

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Arabic

Medical Education

  • University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine


  • UCSF Medical Center


  • University of California San Francisco Medical Center


  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

News & Research

View Published Papers
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  • Cigna POS
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  • Multiplan PPO
  • United Choice Plus POS/PPO
  • United Options (PPO)
  • United Select (HMO & EPO) (specialists only)
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  • Humana Medicare Advantage Choice PPO
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Choice PFFS
  • Humana Medicare Advantage Gold Plus HMO
  • United Choice HMO (specialists only)
  • University of Chicago Health Plan (UCHP)

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