Joanna Phillips, MD, PhD

Joanna Phillips, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery and Pathology; Co-Director UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE Biorepository

Phone: (415) 514-4929
Box 0520 , UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0520

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Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Neurologic Oncology

Research Summary

I am an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Departments of Neurological Surgery and Pathology, Director of the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center Tissue Biorepository and Histology Core, Co-Director of the UCSF Neuropathology BTRC Biomarkers Laboratory, Co-Director of the UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE Biorepository, and Director of the Biospecimen and Biostatistics Core for a UCSF brain tumor-focused Program Project (P01). I received my MD and PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2002, and I have over ten years of experience working in cancer and neuropathology. My research interests focus on studying how factors in the brain tumor microenvironment, including the extracellular matrix and immune cells, influence tumor development and invasion. I am the PI of an NINDS-funded R01 and an NCI-funded U01, and have published over 70 publications related to the development and therapy of brain tumors.


Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, BS, 05/1994, Biology/Biochemistry
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, PhD, 05/2001, Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, MD, 05/2002, Medicine
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Residency, 2002-2004, Anatomic Pathology
University of California SF, San Francisco, CA, Fellow, 2004-2006, Neuropathology

Professional Experience

  • 2002–2004
    Resident, Department of Anatomic Pathology, University of Washington
  • 2004–2006
    Clinical Fellow, Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco
  • 2006-2008
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Mentor: Zena Werb, Ph.D., Department of Anatomy, University of California San Francisco
  • 2008–2010
    Clinical Instructor, Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco
  • 2009-Present
    UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center Tissue Bank, Neuropathologist
  • 2010-Present
    Assistant Professor Neurological Surgery and Pathology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2010-Present
    Co-Director UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE Biorepository
  • 2012-Present
    UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Member
  • 2012-Present
    Society for Glycobiology

Honors & Awards

  • 1993-94
    Cornell University, Hughes Scholars Program
  • 1994
    Cornell University, graduated with honors and distinction in Biology
  • 1999
    American Society for Virology travel award
  • 2001
    Stuart Mudd Award in Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • 2005
    Moore Award for best paper on clinico-pathologic correlation, annual meeting of American Association of Neuropathologists
  • 2006
    Nominated UCSF School of Medicine Essential Teaching Award
  • 2006
    Young Pathologist Fellowship, American Society for Investigative Pathology, Experimental Biology annual meeting
  • 2006-08
    American Brain Tumor Association: Susan Resnick Fisher/American Brain Tumor Association Fellowship
  • 2008
    Rubinstein Award, best paper on neuro-oncology, annual meeting of American Association of Neuropathologists
  • 2010
    Aspen Cancer Conference Fellow
  • 2012
    Second place, Moore Award, Best paper on clinic-pathological correlation, annual meeting of American Association of Neuropathologists
  • 2013
    Nominated UCSF School of Medicine Essential Core Teaching Award

Selected Publications

  1. Mazor T, Pankov A, Johnson BE, Hong C, Hamilton EG, Bell RJ, Smirnov IV, Reis GF, Phillips JJ, Barnes MJ, Idbaih A, Alentorn A, Kloezeman JJ, Lamfers ML, Bollen AW, Taylor BS, Molinaro AM, Olshen AB, Chang SM, Song JS, Costello JF. DNA Methylation and Somatic Mutations Converge on the Cell Cycle and Define Similar Evolutionary Histories in Brain Tumors. Cancer Cell. 2015 Sep 14; 28(3):307-17.
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  2. Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Viswanath P, Eriksson P, Cai L, Radoul M, Chaumeil MM, Blough M, Luchman HA, Weiss S, Cairncross JG, Phillips JJ, Pieper RO, Ronen SM. IDH1 Mutation Induces Reprogramming of Pyruvate Metabolism. Cancer Res. 2015 Aug 1; 75(15):2999-3009.
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  3. Reis GF, Pekmezci M, Hansen HM, Rice T, Marshall RE, Molinaro AM, Phillips JJ, Vogel H, Wiencke JK, Wrensch MR, Walsh KM, Perry A. CDKN2A Loss Is Associated With Shortened Overall Survival in Lower-Grade (World Health Organization Grades II-III) Astrocytomas. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015 May; 74(5):442-52.
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  4. Prados MD, Byron SA, Tran NL, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Ligon KL, Wen PY, Kuhn JG, Mellinghoff IK, de Groot JF, Colman H, Cloughesy TF, Chang SM, Ryken TC, Tembe WD, Kiefer JA, Berens ME, Craig DW, Carpten JD, Trent JM. Toward precision medicine in glioblastoma: the promise and the challenges. Neuro Oncol. 2015 Aug; 17(8):1051-63.
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  5. Safaee M, Fakurnejad S, Bloch O, Clark AJ, Ivan ME, Sun MZ, Oh T, Phillips JJ, Parsa AT. Proportional Upregulation of CD97 Isoforms in Glioblastoma and Glioblastoma-Derived Brain Tumor Initiating Cells. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2):e0111532.
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  6. Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Viswanath P, Eriksson P, Chaumeil MM, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. Metabolic Reprogramming in Mutant IDH1 Glioma Cells. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2):e0118781.
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  7. Lemjabbar-Alaoui H, McKinney A, Yang YW, Tran VM, Phillips JJ. Glycosylation alterations in lung and brain cancer. Adv Cancer Res. 2015; 126:305-44.
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  8. Wade A, Engler JR, Tran VM, Phillips JJ. Measuring sulfatase expression and invasion in glioblastoma. Methods Mol Biol. 2015; 1229:507-16.
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  9. Phillips J, Tihan T, Fuller G. Practical molecular pathology and histopathology of embryonal tumors. Surg Pathol Clin. 2015 Mar; 8(1):73-88.
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  10. Singer MS, Phillips JJ, Lemjabbar-Alaoui H, Wang YQ, Wu J, Goldman R, Rosen SD. SULF2, a heparan sulfate endosulfatase, is present in the blood of healthy individuals and increases in cirrhosis. Clin Chim Acta. 2015 Feb 2; 440:72-8.
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  11. Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Cai LM, Chaumeil MM, Eriksson P, Robinson AE, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. Glioma cells with the IDH1 mutation modulate metabolic fractional flux through pyruvate carboxylase. PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e108289.
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  12. Ivan ME, Safaee M, Oh T, Clark AJ, Sun MZ, Kim J, Bloch O, Jahangiri A, Phillips JJ, Aghi MK, Parsa AT. Epidermal growth factor-like module containing mucin-like hormone receptor 2 expression in gliomas. J Neurooncol. 2015 Jan; 121(1):53-61.
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  13. Elkhaled A, Jalbert L, Constantin A, Yoshihara HA, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Characterization of metabolites in infiltrating gliomas using ex vivo ¹H high-resolution magic angle spinning spectroscopy. NMR Biomed. 2014 May; 27(5):578-93.
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  14. Wade A, McKinney A, Phillips JJ. Matrix regulators in neural stem cell functions. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Aug; 1840(8):2520-5.
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  15. Solomon DA, Kim JS, Bondaruk J, Shariat SF, Wang ZF, Elkahloun AG, Ozawa T, Gerard J, Zhuang D, Zhang S, Navai N, Siefker-Radtke A, Phillips JJ, Robinson BD, Rubin MA, Volkmer B, Hautmann R, Küfer R, Hogendoorn PC, Netto G, Theodorescu D, James CD, Czerniak B, Miettinen M, Waldman T. Frequent truncating mutations of STAG2 in bladder cancer. Nat Genet. 2013 Dec; 45(12):1428-30.
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  16. Sun MZ, Oh MC, Ivan ME, Kaur G, Safaee M, Kim JM, Phillips JJ, Auguste KI, Parsa AT. Current management of choroid plexus carcinomas. Neurosurg Rev. 2014 Apr; 37(2):179-92; discussion 192.
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  17. Sun MZ, Kim JM, Oh MC, Safaee M, Kaur G, Clark AJ, Bloch O, Ivan ME, Kaur R, Oh T, Fouse SD, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Parsa AT. Na?/K?-ATPase ß2-subunit (AMOG) expression abrogates invasion of glioblastoma-derived brain tumor-initiating cells. Neuro Oncol. 2013 Nov; 15(11):1518-31.
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  18. Abedalthagafi M, Phillips JJ, Kim GE, Mueller S, Haas-Kogen DA, Marshall RE, Croul SE, Santi MR, Cheng J, Zhou S, Sullivan LM, Martinez-Lage M, Judkins AR, Perry A. The alternative lengthening of telomere phenotype is significantly associated with loss of ATRX expression in high-grade pediatric and adult astrocytomas: a multi-institutional study of 214 astrocytomas. Mod Pathol. 2013 Nov; 26(11):1425-32.
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  19. DeLance AR, Safaee M, Oh MC, Clark AJ, Kaur G, Sun MZ, Bollen AW, Phillips JJ, Parsa AT. Tuberculoma of the central nervous system. J Clin Neurosci. 2013 Oct; 20(10):1333-41.
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  20. Reis GF, Bloomer MM, Perry A, Phillips JJ, Grenert JP, Karnezis AN, Tihan T. Pilocytic astrocytomas of the optic nerve and their relation to pilocytic astrocytomas elsewhere in the central nervous system. Mod Pathol. 2013 Oct; 26(10):1279-87.
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