Michael S. McGrath, MD, PhD

Michael S. McGrath, MD, PhD

Professor, Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Pathology, and Medicine, UCSF


Phone: (415) 206-8204 (voice)
Box 1317, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-1317

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Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Cancer, Immunity, and Microenvironment

Research Summary

Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, I have been involved in studying the role of macrophages in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The primary model systems for these studies revolved around the study of HIV-infected macrophages and their influence on the brain, as well as in lymphoma. Through the study of HIV, I have gained important insight into the pathogenesis of other non-HIV diseases that seem to operate in the same manner as those associated with HIV infection. A critical component of the studies performed over the past 30 years was the creation of the ACSR, a central NCI-sponsored program of which I have been the PI since 1994. Access to well-preserved tissues from patients with a wide variety of AIDS-related conditions has allowed the discovery of fundamental mechanisms of disease that would never have been made otherwise. Through study of ACSR specimen sets, we have discovered that HIV-infected macrophages persist in tissues long after the blood has been cleared of infectious HIV. In fact, recent evidence suggests that infected macrophages play central roles in the pathogenesis of major post-cART diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. The current ACSR program will continue to expand investigator access to biospecimens for HIV-associated cancer research.


University of Minnesota, B.S., 1974, Biology Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine, M.D., 1980, Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine, Ph.D., 1981, Cancer Biology

Professional Experience

  • 1972-1974
    Research Assistant, Dept of Medicine with Dr. Charles Moldow, University of Minnesota: Identification and analysis of fibroblast receptors for avian tumor viruses.
  • 1974-1980
    M.D./Ph.D. Predoctoral Fellow, Dept of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program. Enrolled in Cancer Biology Ph.D. Program with Dr. Irving Weissman. Thesis: Receptor mediated leukemogenesis.
  • 1980
    ICRETT Fellowship in Cancer Research with Dr. George Klein, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden: Relationship between leukemogenesis and chromosomal abnormalities.
  • 1980-1982
    NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pathology, Stanford University.
  • 1980-1982
    Visiting Fellow, Department of Biology, California Institute of Technology with Dr. Lee Hood: Molecular Biology of Immunoglobulin and T Cell Receptor Genes.
  • 1980-1982
    Hematology Fellow, Dept of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine.
  • 1982-1984
    Residency in Internal Medicine, Stanford University.
  • 1984-1985
    Fellow in Hematology, Stanford University, Department of Medicine.
  • 1985
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, AIDS/Oncology Division, University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital.
  • 1985
    Ad hoc grant reviewer for NIMH, NCI, NIAID, VA
  • 1985-present
    Scientific Advisory Board, The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR)
  • 1991-1992
    Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine, UCSF/SFGH
  • 1992
    Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Medicine, UCSF/SFGH
  • 1995
    Associate Professor of Pathology, UCSF/SFGH
  • 1998-present
    Professor in Residence of Laboratory Medicine, Medicine and Pathology, UCSF/SFGH
  • 1999-2000
    Sabbatical with Dr. Stefan Meuer, Institut fur Immunologie, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Honors & Awards

  • 1990
    Outstanding Speaker Award, American Association for Clinical Chemistry
  • 1999-2000
    Mercatur Scholar, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Selected Publications

  1. Jin X, McGrath MS, Xu H. Inhibition of HIV Expression and Integration in Macrophages by Methylglyoxal-Bis-Guanylhydrazone. J Virol. 2015 Nov 15; 89(22):11176-89.
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  2. Lamers SL, Nolan DJ, Rife BD, Fogel GB, McGrath MS, Burdo TH, Autissier P, Williams KC, Goodenow MM, Salemi M. Tracking the Emergence of Host-Specific Simian Immunodeficiency Virus env and nef Populations Reveals nef Early Adaptation and Convergent Evolution in Brain of Naturally Progressing Rhesus Macaques. J Virol. 2015 Aug 15; 89(16):8484-96.
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  3. Miller RG, Block G, Katz JS, Barohn RJ, Gopalakrishnan V, Cudkowicz M, Zhang JR, McGrath MS, Ludington E, Appel SH, Azhir A, Katz J, Kushner G, Wong C, Engel M, Forshew D, Osborne R, Schug B, Akers A, Brent B, Zayas-Bazan T, McCoy S, Goyal N, Harris W, Gonella M, Brooks BR, Bravver E, Sanjak M, Ward AL, Mehrizi A, Belfiore M, Lary C, Nemeth J, Conway J, Bender R, Holsten S, Shue J, Mitsumoto H, Youngman R, Armstrong N, Lee YW, Weimer LH, Brannagan T, Hirano M, Scotto M, Dalton K, Bedlack RS, Morgenlander JC, Boyette CL, Grace KL, Arvik BM, Thomas Hickey P, Lasater Scott B, Lynn Heydt D, Perry-Trice P, Cudkowicz M, Berry J, Atassi N, Boylan K, Kennelly K, DeSaro P, Johnston A, Huser A, Fuqua P, Staggs K, Babcock L, Kryston T, Ross MA, Bosch EP, Verheijde JL, Grover Y, Duffy AK, Lee MS, McLaughlin RR, Musil DJ, Early J, Whiteman D, Wisbey JA, Simpson EP, Pleitez MY, Lay LF, Halton SL, Schwartz T, Blanton L, Lai EC, Pioro EP, Kuenzler R, Berry N, Khan S, Chowdhury N, Biernot J, Goslin K, Carter GT, Corkrey PM, Ann Kovarik M, Shefner JM, Simionescu L, Grosso M, Watson ML, Reale MA, Duleep A, Carhart R, Markis K, Money K, Boevin T, Lava N, Glass JD, Polak M, Shaw L, Bordeau J, Rogers S, Ferguson S, Fournier C, Kelly C, Mozaffar T, Wang AK, Ramsey G, Tully PA, Graves M, Wiedau-Pazos M, Alvarez R, Barohn R, McVey AL, Dimachkie MM, Pasnoor M, Herbelin L, Walsh M, Kasarskis EJ, Dotson WF, Sitzlar SC, Tandy T, Carrico J, Phillips S, Rice L, Holbrook KM, Eckmann D, Chamblin L, Townsend J, Kaenzig J, Hanley-Borgia L, Vanderpool KE, Taylor DG, Carpenter J, Thomas S, Hutchinson J, King JT. Randomized phase 2 trial of NP001-a novel immune regulator: Safety and early efficacy in ALS. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2015 Jun; 2(3):e100.
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  4. Fogel GB, Lamers SL, Levine AJ, Valdes-Sueiras M, McGrath MS, Shapshak P, Singer EJ. Factors related to HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment differ with age. J Neurovirol. 2015 Feb; 21(1):56-65.
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  5. Miller RG, Zhang R, Block G, Katz J, Barohn R, Kasarskis E, Forshew D, Gopalakrishnan V, McGrath MS. NP001 regulation of macrophage activation markers in ALS: A phase I clinical and biomarker study. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2014 Dec; 15(7-8):601-9.
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  6. Lamers SL, Fogel GB, Nolan DJ, McGrath MS, Salemi M. HIV-associated neuropathogenesis: a systems biology perspective for modeling and therapy. Biosystems. 2014 May; 119:53-61.
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  7. Subimerb C, Wongkham C, Khuntikeo N, Leelayuwat C, McGrath MS, Wongkham S. Transcriptional profiles of peripheral blood leukocytes identify patients with cholangiocarcinoma and predict outcome. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(10):4217-24.
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  8. Turner MR, Bowser R, Bruijn L, Dupuis L, Ludolph A, McGrath M, Manfredi G, Maragakis N, Miller RG, Pullman SL, Rutkove SB, Shaw PJ, Shefner J, Fischbeck KH. Mechanisms, models and biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2013 May; 14 Suppl 1:19-32.
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  9. Zhang R, Miller RG, Madison C, Jin X, Honrada R, Harris W, Katz J, Forshew DA, McGrath MS. Systemic immune system alterations in early stages of Alzheimer's disease. J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Mar 15; 256(1-2):38-42.
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  10. Lamers SL, Fogel GB, Singer EJ, Salemi M, Nolan DJ, Huysentruyt LC, McGrath MS. HIV-1 Nef in macrophage-mediated disease pathogenesis. Int Rev Immunol. 2012 Dec; 31(6):432-50.
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  11. Mukhtar RA, Moore AP, Tandon VJ, Nseyo O, Twomey P, Adisa CA, Eleweke N, Au A, Baehner FL, Moore DH, McGrath MS, Olopade OI, Gray JW, Campbell MJ, Esserman LJ. Elevated levels of proliferating and recently migrated tumor-associated macrophages confer increased aggressiveness and worse outcomes in breast cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Nov; 19(12):3979-86.
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  12. Lamers SL, Poon AF, McGrath MS. HIV-1 nef protein structures associated with brain infection and dementia pathogenesis. PLoS One. 2011; 6(2):e16659.
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  13. Ayers LW, Silver S, Orenstein JM, McGrath MS, Garcia DL. The AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource. Methods Mol Biol. 2011; 675:193-203.
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  14. Lamers SL, Fogel GB, Huysentruyt LC, McGrath MS. HIV-1 nef protein visits B-cells via macrophage nanotubes: a mechanism for AIDS-related lymphoma pathogenesis? Curr HIV Res. 2010 Dec; 8(8):638-40.
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  15. Lamers SL, Gray RR, Salemi M, Huysentruyt LC, McGrath MS. HIV-1 phylogenetic analysis shows HIV-1 transits through the meninges to brain and peripheral tissues. Infect Genet Evol. 2011 Jan; 11(1):31-7.
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  16. Zhang R, Hadlock KG, Do H, Yu S, Honrada R, Champion S, Forshew D, Madison C, Katz J, Miller RG, McGrath MS. Gene expression profiling in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS). J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Jan; 230(1-2):114-23.
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  17. Campbell MJ, Tonlaar NY, Garwood ER, Huo D, Moore DH, Khramtsov AI, Au A, Baehner F, Chen Y, Malaka DO, Lin A, Adeyanju OO, Li S, Gong C, McGrath M, Olopade OI, Esserman LJ. Proliferating macrophages associated with high grade, hormone receptor negative breast cancer and poor clinical outcome. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Aug; 128(3):703-11.
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  18. Subimerb C, Pinlaor S, Lulitanond V, Khuntikeo N, Okada S, McGrath MS, Wongkham S. Circulating CD14(+) CD16(+) monocyte levels predict tissue invasive character of cholangiocarcinoma. Clin Exp Immunol. 2010 Sep; 161(3):471-9.
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  19. Subimerb C, Pinlaor S, Khuntikeo N, Leelayuwat C, Morris A, McGrath MS, Wongkham S. Tissue invasive macrophage density is correlated with prognosis in cholangiocarcinoma. Mol Med Rep. 2010 Jul-Aug; 3(4):597-605.
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  20. Lamers SL, Fogel GB, McGrath MS. HIV-miR-H1 evolvability during HIV pathogenesis. Biosystems. 2010 Aug; 101(2):88-96.
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