University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Alexander Marson, MD, PhD

Alexander Marson, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Departments of Microbiology/Immunology and Medicine, UCSF
Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Cancer Immunology

Research Summary

Our lab's goal is to understand the genetic circuits that control human immune cell function in health and disease. We have begun to identify how genetic risk variants for autoimmune diseases disrupt immune cell circuits (Farh and Marson et al., Nature 2015; Simeonov et al., Nature, 2017), and how pathogenic circuits may be targeted with novel therapeutics (Xiao et al., Immunity 2014). My lab has developed new tools for efficient CRISPR genome engineering in primary human T cells (Schumann et al., PNAS 2015; Roth et al., Nature 2018). Now we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to test how coding and non-coding genetic variation control essential programs in the human immune system. Genome engineered human T cells hold great potential for the next generation of cell-based therapies for cancer, autoimmunity and infectious diseases.


Harvard College, MA, A.B., 2001, Biology
Cambridge University, UK, M.Phil., 2003, Biological Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, Ph.D., 2008, Biology
Harvard Medical School, MA, M.D., 2010, Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Residency, 2012, Internal Medicine
UC San Francisco, Fellowship, Present, Infectious Diseases

Professional Experience

  • 2001-2002
    M.Phil. Lab of Dr. Ashok Venkitaraman, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 2002-2010
    M.D./Ph.D. Student, Labs of Richard Young and Rudolf Jaenisch, Harvard /MIT
  • 2009-2010
    Research with Dr. Richard Young and Dr. David Hafler, Whitehead Institute/MIT
  • 2010-2012
    Visiting Scientist, Laboratory of Vijay Kuchroo, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • 2010-2012
    Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • 2012
    Clinical Fellow, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, UCSF
  • 2013-2016
    UCSF Sandler Faculty Fellow, Diabetes Center and Department of Medicine, UCSF
  • 2014-present
    Affiliate Member, Innovative Genomics Initiative (IGI), UC Berkeley
  • 2015-present
    Assistant Professor, Departments of Microbiology/Immunology and Medicine, UCSF
  • 2017-present
    Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator


Honors & Awards

  • 1998
    Jacob Wendell Prize for most promising freshman scholar, Harvard College
  • 1998
    Detur Book Prize, Harvard College
  • 2000
    William and Mary Bossert Prize, Harvard College
  • 2001
    Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard College
  • 2001-2002
    Herchel Smith Harvard Scholar, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, UK
  • 2009
    Sigma Xi 2009, MIT
  • 2010
    James Tolbert Shipley Prize for excellence and accomplishment in research, Harvard Medical
  • 2016
    American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Young Physician Scientist Award
  • 2016
    Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Career Award for Medical Scientists
  • 2016
    NIDA/NIH Avenir New Innovator Award
  • 2017
    Named to first cohort of Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators

Selected Publications