Oana Paun, MD, 1979–2020

The following is a joint message from E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, Chair and DEO of Internal Medicine, and Steven Lentz, MD, PhD, Chief, Section of Hematology.


It is with deep sadness that we relay news of the passing of Oana Valeria Paun, MD, on Friday, surrounded by loved ones. A clinical assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation, Dr. Paun joined us in 2016 after completing fellowships at Case Western Reserve University and University of California San Francisco. Originally from Romania, Dr. Paun earned her medical degree in Bucharest before completing her residency at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Paun initially was interested in computer systems, and it was only after developing software for a program in neurophysiology that she became interested in biology and medicine. Eventually that understanding of systems and an interest in research grew into a passion for patient care. She approached her work with an enterprising spirit and a sensitivity for people of all ages, valuing the privilege of getting to know both the patient and their family, seeing the individual as a person and not just a disease. Dr. Paun was always in search of that moment where she could provide someone with a moment of hope, sometimes for the first time. A true citizen of the world, she maintained a fluency in many languages, both spoken and digital, always finding the words that the person in front of her needed to hear. Her voice, her wit, and her insight will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing and working with her.

Dr. Paun faced the illness that cut her life short way too early with courage, determination, and at times, humor. We were inspired by her strength and positive attitude during a difficult time. Supporting charity and research was important to Dr. Paun. Her family has requested that donations in her memory be made toward brain cancer research. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Please make checks payable to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, earmarked in memory of Dr. Oana Paun. In the memo line of the check, please indicate #30506135 for Brain Tumor Research.

Mail Checks To:
University of Iowa Center for Advancement
P.O. Box 4550
Iowa City, IA 52244-4550

Online donations can also be made at the following link: Brain Tumor Research.

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