Cara Varley, M.D., M.P.H.

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
  • Faculty Lead, Infectious Disease Division Trainee Research Program


Dr. Varley is an infectious disease specialist and an epidemiologist in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. Before earning her medical degree from OHSU in 2015, Dr. Varley worked as an epidemiologist with a focus on the epidemiology of tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections (NTM) in Oregon, and the infectious risks of biologic therapy in patients with rheumatologic diseases. After earning her medical degree at OHSU, she completed her Internal Medicine residency at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She returned to Oregon to pursue her Infectious Diseases fellowship at OHSU and completed an additional year of training with a focus on management of mycobacterial and chronic chest infections. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases and sees patients in the Oregon Mycobacterial Clinic.

Dr. Varley’s primary research interest is the epidemiology of pulmonary NTM disease, specifically disease progression and development of outcome measures. In collaboration with Dr. Kevin Winthrop, Dr. Luke Strnad and the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health Center for Infectious Disease Studies, she serves as Primary investigator and Co-investigator on various NTM disease clinical trials. She also has an interest in expanding HIV screening and access to HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), incorporating structural determinants of health in medical education, and providing clinical and research mentorship to students, residents and fellows. She also teaches the HIV epidemiology course through the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.

In her spare time, Dr. Varley enjoys traveling, photography, eating her way through the Portland food scene and spending time with her partner and 2 dogs.

Education and training

    • B.S., 2004, University of Washington
    • M.P.H., 2009, Oregon Health & Science University
    • M.D., 2015, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Residency

    • Intern and Resident, Internal Medicine, Tulane University, 2018
  • Fellowship

    • Infectious Diseases, Oregon Health & Science University, 2020
  • Certifications

    • American Board of Internal Medicine Board Certification, 2018
    • American Board of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease Board Certification, 2020

Areas of interest

  • Non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment and prevention
  • Structural Determinants of Health
  • Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases