- About CURE
David Dawson, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Dawson is interested in molecular alterations responsible for the development and progression of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. He is examining the role of epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, in mediating pancreatic cancer progression. In addition, he is also exploring the importance of specific growth and developmental signaling pathways, including Wnt/b-catenin in pancreatic development and cancer. These studies are of importance for understanding the intersecting roles of epigenetics and growth signaling pathways in the evolution and maintenance of pancreatic cancer stem cells, as accumulating data support the concept that cancer stem cells may be critical determinants of chemoresistance, metastasis and disease recurrence in pancreatic cancer. As Director of the UCLA Pancreas Tissue Bank, Dr Dawson has spearheaded the accrual of over 450 snap frozen pancreatic tissue specimens and the construction of pancreatic tumor tissue arrays with over 350 patients linked to survival outcomes. These valuable clinical and translational resources have already stimulated multiple productive research collaborations in pancreatic development, cancer, epigenetics and Wnt signaling. He has been supported in the past by a Pilot and Feasibility Study grant from the CURE: DDRCC.