University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jennifer R. Grandis, MD

Jennifer R. Grandis, MD

American Cancer Society Professor
Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical and Translational Research
Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Professor, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Experimental Therapeutics

Research Summary

I am Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research at UCSF, where I also direct the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). My own research efforts are focused on elucidating and targeting key signaling pathways in head and neck cancer. I directed the head and neck cancer program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute from 1998-2014 and in this capacity facilitated collaborations between clinicians and investigators with an emphasis of developing a robust research infrastructure to support translational cancer studies. I served as PI of the SPORE in Head and Neck Cancer at the University of Pittsburgh from 2002-2014 and now serve as Co-PI of that SPORE in a multi-PI structure. I am a member of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the HDFCCC and facilitate interactions between the cancer center and the CTSI.


  • Swarthmore College, BA, Biology, 1982
  • Swarthmore College, BA, Art History, 1982
  • University of Pittsburgh, M.D., School of Medicine, 1987
  • University of Pittsburgh, Residency, School of Medicine, Surgery, 1988
  • University of Pittsburgh, Research Fellowship, School of Medicine, Infections Disease, 1992
  • University of Pittsburgh, Residency, School of Medicine, Otolaryngology, 1993

Professional Experience

  • 1987-1988
    Surgical Intern, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Surgery
  • 1988-1993
    Resident, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Otolaryngology
  • 1991-1992
    Research Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Medicine
  • 1993-1998
    Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Departments of Otolaryngology & Pharmacology (Secondary Appointment)
  • 1999-2004
    Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh (with tenure)
  • 1998-2015
    Program Leader, Head & Neck Cancer Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)
  • 2004-2015
    Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Departments of Otolaryngology & Pharmacology (Secondary Appointment)
  • 2005-2015
    Vice Chair for Research, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh,
  • 2005-2015
    UPMC Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Surgical Research
  • 2010-2015
    Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Program Integration in the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh,
  • 2012-2015
    Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2015- present
    Professor, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, UCSF
  • 2015- present
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical and Translational Research Institute, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 1987
    University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Kenneth H. Hinderer Award in Otolaryngology
  • 1987
    University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Leo H. Criep, Award in Medicine,
  • 1986 University of Pittsburgh, Alpha Omega Alpha
  • 1982
    Swarthmore College, Oak Leaf Award
  • 2002
    American Society for Clinical Investigation, Elected Member
  • 2003
    University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Scientific Leadership Award
  • 2005 -
    Pittsburgh Magazine, Top Doctor
  • 2008 -
    presAmerican Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship
  • 2009
    University of Pittsburgh, Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award
  • 2009
    MD Anderson Cancer Center, Waun Ki Hong Visiting Professorship
  • 2010
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Philip Hench Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • 2010
    Association of American Physicians, Elected Member
  • 2011
    University of Pittsburgh, Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring
  • 2012
    The Ochsner Clinic Foundation, Alton Oschner Award Relating Smoking and Disease
  • 2012
    Institute of Medicine (IOM) of The National Academies, Elected Member
  • 2012
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology
  • 2014
    University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, William E. Brown Outstanding MSTP Mentor Award, Medical Scientist Training Program
  • 2015
    Peggy Wheelock Award for Excellence in Research, Mentoring, and Promotion of Women in Science

Selected Publications

  1. Lee DS, O'Keefe RA, Ha PK, Grandis JR, Johnson DE. Biochemical Properties of a Decoy Oligodeoxynucleotide Inhibitor of STAT3 Transcription Factor. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 May 30; 19(6).
    View on PubMed
  2. Leonard B, Brand TM, O'Keefe RA, Lee E, Zang Y, Kemmer JD, Li H, Grandis JR, Bhola NE. BET inhibition overcomes receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated cetuximab resistance in HNSCC. Cancer Res. 2018 May 23.
    View on PubMed
  3. Santuray RT, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. New Therapies in Head and Neck Cancer. Trends Cancer. 2018 May; 4(5):385-396.
    View on PubMed
  4. Brand TM, Hartmann S, Bhola NE, Li H, Zeng Y, O'Keefe RA, Ranall MV, Bandyopadhyay S, Soucheray M, Krogan NJ, Kemp C, Duvvuri U, LaVallee T, Johnson DE, Ozbun MA, Bauman JE, Grandis JR. Cross-talk Signaling between HER3 and HPV16 E6 and E7 Mediates Resistance to PI3K Inhibitors in Head and Neck Cancer. Cancer Res. 2018 May 01; 78(9):2383-2395.
    View on PubMed
  5. Johnson DE, O'Keefe RA, Grandis JR. Targeting the IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signalling axis in cancer. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2018 Apr; 15(4):234-248.
    View on PubMed
  6. Kemmer JD, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. Leveraging Genomics for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment. J Dent Res. 2018 Feb 01; 22034518756352.
    View on PubMed
  7. Johnston PA, Sen M, Hua Y, Camarco DP, Shun TY, Lazo JS, Grandis JR. High Content Imaging Assays for IL-6-Induced STAT3 Pathway Activation in Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines. Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1683:229-244.
    View on PubMed
  8. Cho J, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. Therapeutic Implications of the Genetic Landscape of Head and Neck Cancer. Semin Radiat Oncol. 2018 Jan; 28(1):2-11.
    View on PubMed
  9. Zhong Q, Liu ZH, Lin ZR, Hu ZD, Yuan L, Liu YM, Zhou AJ, Xu LH, Hu LJ, Wang ZF, Guan XY, Hao JJ, Lui VWY, Guo L, Mai HQ, Chen MY, Han F, Xia YF, Grandis JR, Zhang X, Zeng MS. The RARS-MAD1L1 Fusion Gene Induces Cancer Stem Cell-like Properties and Therapeutic Resistance in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Feb 01; 24(3):659-673.
    View on PubMed
  10. Zhang H, Kim S, Chen Z, Nannapaneni S, Chen AY, Moore CE, Sica G, Mosunjac M, Nguyen MLT, D'Souza G, Carey TE, Peterson LA, McHugh JB, Graham M, Komarck CM, Wolf GT, Walline HM, Bellile E, Riddell J, Pai SI, Sidransky D, Westra WH, William WN, Lee JJ, El-Naggar AK, Ferris RL, Seethala R, Grandis JR, Chen ZG, Saba NF, Shin DM. Prognostic biomarkers in patients with human immunodeficiency virus-positive disease with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Head Neck. 2017 Dec; 39(12):2433-2443.
    View on PubMed
  11. Xu MJ, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. EGFR-targeted therapies in the post-genomic era. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2017 Sep; 36(3):463-473.
    View on PubMed
  12. El-Naggar AK, Chan JKC, Takata T, Grandis JR, Slootweg PJ. The fourth edition of the head and neck World Health Organization blue book: editors' perspectives. Hum Pathol. 2017 08; 66:10-12.
    View on PubMed
  13. Sun C, Fang Y, Yin J, Chen J, Ju Z, Zhang D, Chen X, Vellano CP, Jeong KJ, Ng PK, Eterovic AKB, Bhola NH, Lu Y, Westin SN, Grandis JR, Lin SY, Scott KL, Peng G, Brugge J, Mills GB. Rational combination therapy with PARP and MEK inhibitors capitalizes on therapeutic liabilities in RAS mutant cancers. Sci Transl Med. 2017 May 31; 9(392).
    View on PubMed
  14. Sen M, Johnston PA, Pollock NI, DeGrave K, Joyce SC, Freilino ML, Hua Y, Camarco DP, Close DA, Huryn DM, Wipf P, Grandis JR. Mechanism of action of selective inhibitors of IL-6 induced STAT3 pathway in head and neck cancer cell lines. J Chem Biol. 2017 Jul; 10(3):129-141.
    View on PubMed
  15. Stabile LP, Egloff AM, Gibson MK, Gooding WE, Ohr J, Zhou P, Rothenberger NJ, Wang L, Geiger JL, Flaherty JT, Grandis JR, Bauman JE. IL6 is associated with response to dasatinib and cetuximab: Phase II clinical trial with mechanistic correlatives in cetuximab-resistant head and neck cancer. Oral Oncol. 2017 Jun; 69:38-45.
    View on PubMed
  16. Kulkarni S, Bill A, Godse NR, Khan NI, Kass JI, Steehler K, Kemp C, Davis K, Bertrand CA, Vyas AR, Holt DE, Grandis JR, Gaither LA, Duvvuri U. TMEM16A/ANO1 suppression improves response to antibody-mediated targeted therapy of EGFR and HER2/ERBB2. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2017 06; 56(6):460-471.
    View on PubMed
  17. Bauman JE, Duvvuri U, Gooding WE, Rath TJ, Gross ND, Song J, Jimeno A, Yarbrough WG, Johnson FM, Wang L, Chiosea S, Sen M, Kass J, Johnson JT, Ferris RL, Kim S, Hirsch FR, Ellison K, Flaherty JT, Mills GB, Grandis JR. Randomized, placebo-controlled window trial of EGFR, Src, or combined blockade in head and neck cancer. JCI Insight. 2017 Mar 23; 2(6):e90449.
    View on PubMed
  18. Ben-Dayan MM, Ow TJ, Belbin TJ, Wetzler J, Smith RV, Childs G, Diergaarde B, Hayes DN, Grandis JR, Prystowsky MB, Schlecht NF. Nonpromoter methylation of the CDKN2A gene with active transcription is associated with improved locoregional control in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Med. 2017 Feb; 6(2):397-407.
    View on PubMed
  19. Li YY, Chung GT, Lui VW, To KF, Ma BB, Chow C, Woo JK, Yip KY, Seo J, Hui EP, Mak MK, Rusan M, Chau NG, Or YY, Law MH, Law PP, Liu ZW, Ngan HL, Hau PM, Verhoeft KR, Poon PH, Yoo SK, Shin JY, Lee SD, Lun SW, Jia L, Chan AW, Chan JY, Lai PB, Fung CY, Hung ST, Wang L, Chang AM, Chiosea SI, Hedberg ML, Tsao SW, van Hasselt AC, Chan AT, Grandis JR, Hammerman PS, Lo KW. Exome and genome sequencing of nasopharynx cancer identifies NF-?B pathway activating mutations. Nat Commun. 2017 Jan 18; 8:14121.
    View on PubMed
  20. Peyser ND, Grandis JR. Cancer genomics: Spot the difference. Nature. 2017 01 12; 541(7636):162-163.
    View on PubMed

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