University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, DSc (Hon)

Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, DSc (Hon)

Professor, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF
David A. Wood Distinguished Professorship of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Experimental Therapeutics

Research Summary

Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, is Professor of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. McCormick pursued cancer-related work with several Bay Area biotechnology firms and held positions with Cetus Corporation (Director of Molecular Biology, 1981-1990; Vice President of Research, 1990-1991) and Chiron Corporation, where he was Vice President of Research from 1991 to 1992. In 1992 he founded Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a company dedicated to developing new cancer therapies, and served as its Chief Scientific Officer until 1996. At Onyx Pharmaceuticals, he initiated and led drug discovery efforts that led to the approval of Sorafenib in 2005 for treatment of renal cell cancer, and for liver cancer in 2007, and the approval of ONYX-015 in 2006 in China for treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer. Sorafenib is being tested in multiple indications worldwide. In addition, Dr. McCormick’s group led to the identification of a CDK4 kinase inhibitor. Dr. McCormick's current research interests center on the fundamental differences between normal and cancer cells that can allow the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies.

Dr. McCormick holds the David A. Wood Chair of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research at UCSF. Dr. McCormick is the author of over 285 scientific publications and holds 20 issued patents. He also served as President, 2012-2013 for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). More recently, he has taken a leadership role at the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research, overseeing an NCI supported national effort to develop therapies against Ras-driven cancers. These cancers include most pancreatic cancers, and many colorectal and lung cancers, and are amongst the most difficult cancers to treat.

Education

University of Birmingham, England, B.Sc., 1972, Biochemistry
University of Cambridge, England, Ph.D., 1975, Biochemistry


Professional Experience

  • 1975-1978
    Professor Seymour S. Cohen, SUNY at Stony Brook (Post Doctoral Fellow)
  • 1978-1981
    Dr. Alan Smith, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London (Post Doctoral Fellow)
  • 1981-1990
    Cetus Corporation (Director of Molecular Biology)
  • 1990-1991
    Cetus Corporation (Vice President, Research)
  • 1991-1992
    Chiron Corporation (Vice President, Research)
  • 1992-1996
    Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Founder, Chief Scientific Officer)
  • 1997-2013
    University of California, San Francisco, Microbiology & Immunology (Professor)
  • 1997-2014
    University of California, San Francisco, Cancer Center (Director, Associate Dean)
  • 2013-2016
    University of California, San Francisco, Microbiology & Immunology (Professor Emeritus)
  • 2013-2016
    University of California, San Francisco, Cancer Center (Professor Emeritus)
  • 2013-present
    National Cancer Institute, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Project Leader
  • 2016-present
    University of California, San Francisco, Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, Professor
  • 2016-present
    University of California, San Francisco, Cancer Center, Professor

Honors & Awards

  • 1996
    Fellow of the Royal Society
  • 2002
    Bristol Myers Squibb Unrestricted Cancer Research Grant
  • 2002
    AACR – G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award
  • 2002
    Novartis Drew Award in Biomedical Research
  • 2003
    University of Chicago, Cancer Research Center, Shubitz Award
  • 2005
    Institute of Medicine
  • 2010
    ASCO Science of Oncology Award
  • 2014
    National Academy of Science
  • 2015
    Memorial Sloan Kettering, Sloan Award
  • 2018
    Biochemical Society Centenary Award

Selected Publications

  1. Simanshu DK, Nissley DV, McCormick F. RAS Proteins and Their Regulators in Human Disease. Cell. 2017 Jun 29; 170(1):17-33.
    View on PubMed
  2. Stephens RM, Yi M, Kessing B, Nissley DV, McCormick F. Tumor RAS Gene Expression Levels Are Influenced by the Mutational Status of RAS Genes and Both Upstream and Downstream RAS Pathway Genes. Cancer Inform. 2017; 16:1176935117711944.
    View on PubMed
  3. Tetsu O, McCormick F. ETS-targeted therapy: can it substitute for MEK inhibitors? Clin Transl Med. 2017 Dec; 6(1):16.
    View on PubMed
  4. Wang SJ, Asthana S, van Zante A, Heaton CM, Phuchareon J, Stein L, Higuchi S, Kishimoto T, Chiu CY, Olshen AB, McCormick F, Tetsu O. Establishment and characterization of an oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell line from a never-smoking patient. Oral Oncol. 2017 Jun; 69:1-10.
    View on PubMed
  5. Ye X, Chan KC, Waters AM, Bess M, Harned A, Wei BR, Loncarek J, Luke BT, Orsburn BC, Hollinger BD, Stephens RM, Bagni R, Martinko A, Wells JA, Nissley DV, McCormick F, Whiteley G, Blonder J. Comparative proteomics of a model MCF10A-KRasG12V cell line reveals a distinct molecular signature of the KRasG12V cell surface. Oncotarget. 2016 Dec 27; 7(52):86948-86971.
    View on PubMed
  6. Dharmaiah S, Bindu L, Tran TH, Gillette WK, Frank PH, Ghirlando R, Nissley DV, Esposito D, McCormick F, Stephen AG, Simanshu DK. Structural basis of recognition of farnesylated and methylated KRAS4b by PDEd. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Nov 01; 113(44):E6766-E6775.
    View on PubMed
  7. Stevenson DA, Schill L, Schoyer L, Andresen BS, Bakker A, Bayrak-Toydemir P, Burkitt-Wright E, Chatfield K, Elefteriou F, Elgersma Y, Fisher MJ, Franz D, Gelb BD, Goriely A, Gripp KW, Hardan AY, Keppler-Noreuil KM, Kerr B, Korf B, Leoni C, McCormick F, Plotkin SR, Rauen KA, Reilly K, Roberts A, Sandler A, Siegel D, Walsh K, Widemann BC. The Fourth International Symposium on Genetic Disorders of the Ras/MAPK pathway. Am J Med Genet A. 2016 Aug; 170(8):1959-66.
    View on PubMed
  8. McCormick F. K-Ras protein as a drug target. J Mol Med (Berl). 2016 Mar; 94(3):253-8.
    View on PubMed
  9. Tetsu O, Hangauer MJ, Phuchareon J, Eisele DW, McCormick F. Drug Resistance to EGFR Inhibitors in Lung Cancer. Chemotherapy. 2016; 61(5):223-35.
    View on PubMed
  10. Wang MT, Holderfield M, Galeas J, Delrosario R, To MD, Balmain A, McCormick F. K-Ras Promotes Tumorigenicity through Suppression of Non-canonical Wnt Signaling. Cell. 2015 Nov 19; 163(5):1237-1251.
    View on PubMed
  11. Gillette WK, Esposito D, Abreu Blanco M, Alexander P, Bindu L, Bittner C, Chertov O, Frank PH, Grose C, Jones JE, Meng Z, Perkins S, Van Q, Ghirlando R, Fivash M, Nissley DV, McCormick F, Holderfield M, Stephen AG. Farnesylated and methylated KRAS4b: high yield production of protein suitable for biophysical studies of prenylated protein-lipid interactions. Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 02; 5:15916.
    View on PubMed
  12. Tetsu O, Phuchareon J, Eisele DW, Hangauer MJ, McCormick F. AKT inactivation causes persistent drug tolerance to EGFR inhibitors. Pharmacol Res. 2015 Dec; 102:132-7.
    View on PubMed
  13. Tetsu O, Phuchareon J, Eisele DW, McCormick F. ETS1 inactivation causes innate drug resistance to EGFR inhibitors. Mol Cell Oncol. 2016 Mar; 3(2):e1078924.
    View on PubMed
  14. Phuchareon J, McCormick F, Eisele DW, Tetsu O. EGFR inhibition evokes innate drug resistance in lung cancer cells by preventing Akt activity and thus inactivating Ets-1 function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jul 21; 112(29):E3855-63.
    View on PubMed
  15. Nan X, Tamgüney TM, Collisson EA, Lin LJ, Pitt C, Galeas J, Lewis S, Gray JW, McCormick F, Chu S. Ras-GTP dimers activate the Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jun 30; 112(26):7996-8001.
    View on PubMed
  16. Fujita-Sato S, Galeas J, Truitt M, Pitt C, Urisman A, Bandyopadhyay S, Ruggero D, McCormick F. Enhanced MET Translation and Signaling Sustains K-Ras-Driven Proliferation under Anchorage-Independent Growth Conditions. Cancer Res. 2015 Jul 15; 75(14):2851-62.
    View on PubMed
  17. McCormick F. KRAS as a Therapeutic Target. Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 15; 21(8):1797-801.
    View on PubMed
  18. McCormick F. The potential of targeting Ras proteins in lung cancer. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2015 Apr; 19(4):451-4.
    View on PubMed
  19. Tetsu O, Eisele DW, McCormick F. Resistance to EGFR-targeted therapy by Ets-1 inactivation. Cell Cycle. 2015; 14(20):3211-2.
    View on PubMed
  20. Martins MM, Zhou AY, Corella A, Horiuchi D, Yau C, Rakshandehroo T, Gordan JD, Levin RS, Johnson J, Jascur J, Shales M, Sorrentino A, Cheah J, Clemons PA, Shamji AF, Schreiber SL, Krogan NJ, Shokat KM, McCormick F, Goga A, Bandyopadhyay S. Linking tumor mutations to drug responses via a quantitative chemical-genetic interaction map. Cancer Discov. 2015 Feb; 5(2):154-67.
    View on PubMed

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