Valerae O. Lewis, MD, FAAOS


Published 4/26/2024

Valerae O. Lewis, MD, Named Chair of AAOS Membership Council

Texas orthopaedic oncology surgeon Valerae O. Lewis, MD, FAAOS, was appointed chair of the AAOS Membership Council. She assumed the position following the AAOS 2024 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Lewis’ career has been marked by many “firsts.” She was the first African American woman to receive the MD Anderson Faculty Achievement Award in Patient Care. She was named the inaugural chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after a national search in 2014, making her the first woman to chair an orthopaedic department at a freestanding cancer center, the first woman to chair an orthopaedic department in the University of Texas system, and the first African American woman to chair an orthopaedic surgery department. She maintains the position today.

Dr. Lewis’ new role exemplifies her continued commitment to AAOS. Previously, she served as a member of the AAOS Board of Directors, Diversity Advisory Board, Resolutions Committee, and Committee on Ethics and Outside Interests. She also chaired the AAOS Tumor Instructional Course Committee and the Musculoskeletal Oncology Content Committee for the AAOS Education Council. Dr. Lewis is also an active member of numerous professional societies, including the American Orthopaedic Association, Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, International Society for Limb Salvage, and Western Orthopaedic Association.

Her expertise is treating pediatric and adult patients with bone and soft-tissue sarcomas of the pelvis and extremities. In 2011, Dr. Lewis started the Multidisciplinary Pelvic Sarcoma Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, which addresses patients’ clinical needs and outcomes. Her research focuses on the gene functions tied to osteosarcoma and the development of treatments that may interrupt this process. She is a reviewer on eight top-tier journals and has mentored and directed more than 250 medical students and fellows during her career.

Dr. Lewis attended Yale University and graduated with a degree in psychobiology. She then matriculated at Harvard Medical School, graduating with honors. She completed her orthopaedic training at the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program in Boston and her fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Chicago.