David Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is Director of the UCLA Pancreas Tissue Bank.
Since 2005, the UCLA Pancreas Tissue Bank has collected frozen tissue samples from nearly one thousand pancreatic resections and utilized archival clinical materials to construct several large tissue microarrays of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, and periampullary, duodenal and bile duct cancers. The repository is available to researchers for the purpose of facilitating basic and translational research in pancreas diseases. These tissue resources have allowed investigators to confirm promising laboratory results in patient tissue samples and have been invaluable tools in the discovery and validation of diagnostic, prognostic or predictive clinical biomarkers. Dr. Dawson provides pathology and biobanking consultative services to colleagues at UCLA and throughout the UC Pancreatic Cancer Consortium, as well as collaborating pancreatic researchers nationally and internationally. The Pancreas Tissue Bank is an invaluable resources helping to advance numerous research endeavors exploring various facets of pancreatic disease treatment.
Dr. Dawson also runs a basic and translational research laboratory focused on pancreatic cancer. The laboratory’s primary goals are to better understand and treat this lethal disease by:
- Identifying novel genetic and epigenetic alterations responsible for the development and progression of pancreatic cancer
- Understanding the role of cell signaling pathways in promoting or inhibiting the development of pancreatic cancer and the inflammatory microenvironment within pancreatic tumors
- Exploring genetic and environmental factors that promote KRAS-initiated dysplastic progression to pancreatic cancer to better inform screening and chemoprevention strategies in at-risk populations
- Identifying and validating clinically useful biomarkers with the ultimate goals of early detection and personalized therapy for pancreatic cancer
Current Research Projects
- Mechanisms and therapeutic implications of pro-oncogenic Wnt signaling in pancreatic cancer
- Identification of clinically relevant biomarkers for pancreatic cancer diagnosis and management
- Interplay of pancreatic cancer cell metabolism and signal transduction in shaping tumor microenvironment
David Dawson, M.D. Ph.D.
- Professor of Clinical Pathology, Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
- Co-Director, UCLA Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program
- Member, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Director, UCLA Pancreas Tissue Bank
- Primary Investigator, Pathology and Biobanking for the UC Pancreatic Cancer Consortium