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

Jennifer R. Grandis, MD

American Cancer Society Professor
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- 2018
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical and Translational Research Institute, UCSF
  • 2015- present
    Professor, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 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. Duvvuri U, George J, Kim S, Alvarado D, Neumeister VM, Chenna A, Gedrich R, Hawthorne T, LaVallee T, Grandis JR, Bauman JE. Molecular and Clinical Activity of CDX-3379, an Anti-ErbB3 Monoclonal Antibody, in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Jul 15.
    View on PubMed
  2. Meister KS, Godse NR, Khan NI, Hedberg ML, Kemp C, Kulkarni S, Alvarado D, LaVallee T, Kim S, Grandis JR, Duvvuri U. HER3 targeting potentiates growth suppressive effects of the PI3K inhibitor BYL719 in pre-clinical models of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 24; 9(1):9130.
    View on PubMed
  3. Leonard BC, Lee ED, Bhola NE, Li H, Sogaard KK, Bakkenist CJ, Grandis JR, Johnson DE. ATR inhibition sensitizes HPV- and HPV+ head and neck squamous cell carcinoma to cisplatin. Oral Oncol. 2019 Aug; 95:35-42.
    View on PubMed
  4. Sola AM, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. Investigational multitargeted kinase inhibitors in development for head and neck neoplasms. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2019 Apr; 28(4):351-363.
    View on PubMed
  5. Bhola NE, Jansen VM, Koch JP, Li H, Formisano L, Williams JA, Grandis JR, Arteaga CL. Correction: Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer with TORC1/2 Inhibitors Sustains a Drug-Resistant and Notch-Dependent Cancer Stem Cell Population. Cancer Res. 2019 Feb 15; 79(4):875.
    View on PubMed
  6. Hedberg ML, Peyser ND, Bauman JE, Gooding WE, Li H, Bhola NE, Zhu TR, Zeng Y, Brand TM, Kim MO, Jordan RCK, VandenBerg S, Olivas V, Bivona TG, Chiosea SI, Wang L, Mills GB, Johnson JT, Duvvuri U, Ferris RL, Ha P, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs predicts improved patient survival for PIK3CA-altered head and neck cancer. J Exp Med. 2019 Feb 04; 216(2):419-427.
    View on PubMed
  7. Cannataro VL, Gaffney SG, Sasaki T, Issaeva N, Grewal NKS, Grandis JR, Yarbrough WG, Burtness B, Anderson KS, Townsend JP. APOBEC-induced mutations and their cancer effect size in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oncogene. 2019 Jan 15.
    View on PubMed
  8. Zhang L, Li Z, Liu Y, Xu S, Tandon M, Appelboom B, LaValle CR, Chiosea SI, Wang L, Sen M, Lui VWY, Grandis JR, Wang QJ. Analysis of oncogenic activities of protein kinase D1 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. BMC Cancer. 2018 Nov 12; 18(1):1107.
    View on PubMed
  9. Frazier NM, Brand T, Gordan JD, Grandis J, Jura N. Overexpression-mediated activation of MET in the Golgi promotes HER3/ERBB3 phosphorylation. Oncogene. 2019 Mar; 38(11):1936-1950.
    View on PubMed
  10. Lee YS, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. An update: emerging drugs to treat squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2018 Oct 30; 1-17.
    View on PubMed
  11. Bauman JE, Duvvuri U, Thomas S, Gooding WE, Clump DA, Karlovits B, Wehbe A, Miller FR, Kim S, Sen M, Heron DE, Grandis JR, Argiris A. Phase 1 study of EGFR-antisense DNA, cetuximab, and radiotherapy in head and neck cancer with preclinical correlatives. Cancer. 2018 Oct 01; 124(19):3881-3889.
    View on PubMed
  12. Eckhardt M, Zhang W, Gross AM, Von Dollen J, Johnson JR, Franks-Skiba KE, Swaney DL, Johnson TL, Jang GM, Shah PS, Brand TM, Archambault J, Kreisberg JF, Grandis JR, Ideker T, Krogan NJ. Multiple Routes to Oncogenesis Are Promoted by the Human Papillomavirus-Host Protein Network. Cancer Discov. 2018 Nov; 8(11):1474-1489.
    View on PubMed
  13. Njatcha C, Farooqui M, Kornberg A, Johnson DE, Grandis JR, Siegfried JM. STAT3 Cyclic Decoy Demonstrates Robust Antitumor Effects in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 Sep; 17(9):1917-1926.
    View on PubMed
  14. 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
  15. Leonard B, Brand TM, O'Keefe RA, Lee ED, Zeng Y, Kemmer JD, Li H, Grandis JR, Bhola NE. BET Inhibition Overcomes Receptor Tyrosine Kinase-Mediated Cetuximab Resistance in HNSCC. Cancer Res. 2018 Aug 01; 78(15):4331-4343.
    View on PubMed
  16. Santuray RT, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. New Therapies in Head and Neck Cancer. Trends Cancer. 2018 05; 4(5):385-396.
    View on PubMed
  17. 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
  18. Kemmer JD, Johnson DE, Grandis JR. Leveraging Genomics for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment. J Dent Res. 2018 Jun; 97(6):603-613.
    View on PubMed
  19. 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
  20. 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

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