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Molecular and Human Genetics

Houston, Texas

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
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Donald W. (Will) Parsons, M.D., Ph.D.

Donald W. Parsons, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics

Other Positions

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology

Education

Ph.D., Department of Pathology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, 1999
M.D., Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2001
Resident, Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University, 2004
Clinical Fellow, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Johns Hopkins University & National Cancer Institute, 2007
Clinical Fellow, Neuro-Oncology, Johns Hopkins University, 2008

Research Interests

Dr. Parsons' primary research interest is the development of large-scale (genomic) methods to identify and evaluate cancer-causing mutations in human tumors, with a goal of rapidly identifying genetic alterations which may serve as targets for new diagnostic tests and treatments.

His work has resulted in the identification of numerous mutated genes and genetic pathways that contribute to tumor initiation and progression, providing a novel view of the genetic landscape of human cancers. For example, an analysis of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most lethal brain tumor of both adults and children, for the first time identified mutation of the isocitrate dehydrogenase genes (IDH1 and IDH2) as a common and critical event in the development of gliomas. This discovery has opened a novel and potentially clinically-useful area of brain tumor research: further work evaluating the functional relation of these mutations to glioma development and the applicability of this finding for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes is ongoing.

Dr. Parsons is currently engaged in similar genomic analyses of several other pediatric solid tumors, with a focus on pediatric central nervous system cancers, his area of clinical interest.

Selected Publications

  1. Parsons DW, Li M, Zhang X, Jones S, Leary RJ, Lin JC, Boca SM, Carter H, Samayoa J, Bettegowda C, Gallia GL, Jallo GI, Binder ZA, Nikolsky Y, Hartigan J, Smith DR, Gerhard DS, Fults DW, VandenBerg S, Berger MS, Marie SK, Shinjo SM, Clara C, Phillips PC, Minturn JE, Biegel JA, Judkins AR, Resnick AC, Storm PB, Curran T, He Y, Rasheed BA, Friedman HS, Keir ST, McLendon R, Northcott PA, Taylor MD, Burger PC, Riggins GJ, Karchin R, Parmigiani G, Bigner DD, Yan H, Papadopoulos N, Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, Velculescu VE (2011). The genetic landscape of the childhood cancer medulloblastoma. Science 331(6016): 435-9. PubMed PMID: 21163964
  2. Jones S, Hruban RH, Kamiyama M, Borges M, Zhang X, Parsons DW, Lin JC, Palmisano E, Brune K, Jaffee EM, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Maitra A, Parmigiani G, Kern SE, Velculescu VE, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Eshleman JR, Goggins M, Klein AP (2009). Exomic Sequencing Identifies PALB2 as a Pancreatic Cancer Susceptibility Gene. Science 324(5924): 217. PubMed PMID: 19264984
  3. Yan H, Parsons DW, Jin G, McLendon R, Rasheed BA, Yuan W, Kos I, Batinic-Haberle I, Jones S, Riggins GJ, Friedman H, Friedman A, Reardon D, Herndon J, Kinzler KW, Velculescu VE, Vogelstein B, Bigner DD (2009). IDH1 and IDH2 mutations in gliomas. New. Eng. J. Med. 360(8): 765-73. PubMed PMID: 19228619
  4. Parsons DW, Jones S, Zhang X, Lin JC, Leary RJ, Angenendt P, Mankoo P, Carter H, Siu IM, Gallia GL, Olivi A, McLendon R, Rasheed BA, Keir S, Nikolskaya T, Nikolsky Y, Busam DA, Tekleab H, Diaz LA Jr, Hartigan J, Smith DR, Strausberg RL, Marie SK, Shinjo SM, Yan H, Riggins GJ, Bigner DD, Karchin R, Papadopoulos N, Parmigiani G, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE, Kinzler KW (2008). An integrated genomic analysis of human glioblastoma multiforme. Science 321(5897): 1807-12. PubMed PMID: 18772396
  5. Jones S, Zhang X, Parsons DW, Lin JC, Leary RJ, Angenendt P, Mankoo P, Carter H, Kamiyama H, Jimeno A, Hong SM, Fu B, Lin MT, Calhoun ES, Kamiyama M, Walter K, Nikolskaya T, Nikolsky Y, Hartigan J, Smith DR, Hidalgo M, Leach SD, Klein AP, Jaffee EM, Goggins M, Maitra A, Iacobuzio-Donahue C, Eshleman JR, Kern SE, Hruban RH, Karchin R, Papadopoulos N, Parmigiani G, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE, Kinzler KW (2008). Core signaling pathways in human pancreatic cancers revealed by global genomic analyses. Science 321(5897): 1801-6. PubMed PMID: 18772397
  6. Segal NH, Parsons DW, Peggs KS, Velculescu V, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Allison JP (2008). Epitope landscape in breast and colorectal cancer. Cancer Res. 68: 889-92. PubMed PMID: 18245491
  7. Wood LD, Parsons DW, Jones S, Lin J, Sjöblom T, Leary RJ, Shen D, Boca SM, Barber T, Ptak J, Silliman N, Szabo S, Dezso Z, Ustyanksky V, Nikolskaya T, Nikolsky Y, Karchin R, Wilson PA,Kaminker JS, Zhang Z, Croshaw R, Willis J, Dawson D, Shipitsin M, Willson JK, Sukumar S, Polyak K, Park BH, Pethiyagoda CL, Pant PV, Ballinger DG, Sparks AB, Hartigan J, Smith DR, Suh E, Papadopoulos N, Buckhaults P, Markowitz SD, Parmigiani G, Kinzler KW, Velculescu VE, Vogelstein B (2007). The genomic landscapes of human breast and colorectal cancers. Science 318: 1108-13. PubMed PMID: 17932254
  8. Sjöblom T, Jones S, Wood LD, Parsons DW, Lin J, Barber TD, Mandelker D, Leary RJ, Ptak J, Silliman N, Szabo S, Buckhaults P, Farrell C, Meeh P, Markowitz SD, Willis J, Dawson D, Willson JK, Gazdar AF, Hartigan J, Wu L, Liu C, Parmigiani G, Park BH, Bachman KE, Papadopoulos N, Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, Velculescu VE (2006). The consensus coding sequences of human breast and colorectal cancers. Science 314: 268-74. PubMed PMID: 16959974
  9. Parsons DW, Wang TL, Samuels Y, Bardelli A, Cummins JM, DeLong L, Silliman N, Ptak J, Szabo S, Willson JK, Markowitz S, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Lengauer C, Velculescu VE (2005). Colorectal cancer: mutations in a signaling pathway. Nature 436: 792. PubMed PMID: 16094359
  10. Wang Z, Shen D, Parsons DW, Bardelli A, Sager J, Szabo S, Ptak J, Silliman N, Peters BA, van der Heijden MS, Parmigiani G, Yan H, Wang TL, Riggins G, Powell SM, Willson JK, Markowitz S, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE (2004). Mutational analysis of the tyrosine phosphatome in colorectal cancers. Science 304: 1164-6. PubMed PMID: 15155950
  11. Bardelli A, Parsons DW, Silliman N, Ptak J, Szabo S, Saha S, Markowitz S, Willson JK, Parmigiani G, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE (2003). Mutational analysis of the tyrosine kinome in colorectal cancers. Science 300: 949. PubMed PMID: 12738854

Contact Information

Donald W. (Will) Parsons, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology
Baylor College of Medicine
6621 Fannin Street, MC 3-3320
Houston, TX, 77030, U.S.A.

Phone: 713-798-4467
Fax: 713-798-5741
E-mail:
Texas Children's Cancer Center web page

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