University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
David A. Solomon, MD, PhD

David A. Solomon, MD, PhD

Director of Molecular Neuro-Oncology, UCSF Clinical Cancer Genomics Laboratory; Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Cancer Genetics

Research Summary

The Solomon laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms governing human cancer development and progression. We recently discovered frequent inactivating mutations of the cohesin complex gene STAG2 in a spectrum of cancers including glioblastoma, urothelial carcinoma, Ewing sarcoma, and acute myeloid leukemia, which define molecular subgroups of these tumors with distinct clinical outcomes. The cohesin complex is responsible for sister chromatid cohesion following DNA replication and helps ensure faithful chromosome segregation during mitosis, but has also been implicated in additional cellular processes such as regulation of chromatin architecture and gene transcription. We are currently working to determine the function of cohesin during tumorigenesis and to identify therapeutic vulnerabilities in the many cancers harboring cohesin gene alterations. Other ongoing research is focused on identifying the recurrent genetic alterations that drive the many different brain tumor variants including glioblastoma, astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, ependymoma, other gliomas, medulloblastoma, neurocytoma, meningioma, choroid plexus tumors, and pineal parenchymal tumors.

My clinical interests focus on diagnostic neuropathology, particularly tumors of the central nervous system. Accurate pathologic classification of brain tumors is increasingly dependent on integration of histologic features together with specific genetic alterations that molecularly define the many CNS tumor subtypes. I have thus been working with the Clinical Cancer Genomics Laboratory to advance molecular diagnostic testing for brain tumors at UCSF, where I function as the Director of Molecular Neuro-Oncology responsible for supervising and interpreting all genomic testing performed on CNS tumors at UCSF Medical Center.

Education

College of William and Mary, B.S., 1998-2002
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, post-bac research, 2002-2004
Georgetown University School of Medicine, MD, PhD, 2004-2012
University of California San Francisco, Anatomic Pathology Residency, 2012-2014
University of California San Francisco, Neuropathology Fellowship, 2014-2016


Professional Experience

  • 2016-present
    Assistant Professor (tenure-track), Department of Pathology, UCSF
  • 2016-present
    Member, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2016-present
    Faculty member, UCSF Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
  • 2018-present
    Principal Investigator, UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center
  • 2018-present
    Director of Molecular Neuro-Oncology, UCSF Clinical Cancer Genomics Laboratory

Honors & Awards

  • 2016-2021
    UCSF Physician-Scientist Scholar Program
  • 2015-2020
    NIH Director's Early Independence Award (DP5)
  • 2015-2016
    Career Development Research Award, UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE
  • 2015
    Hans Popper Hepatopathology Society Award
  • 2014
    Stowell-Orbison Award, United States & Canada Academy of Pathology
  • 2014
    International Society of Bone & Soft Tissue Pathology Young Investigator Award
  • 2013
    Julius R. Krevans Award, San Francisco General Hospital
  • 2013
    Stowell-Orbison Award, United States & Canada Academy of Pathology
  • 2012
    Harold Weintraub Graduate Student Award, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • 2012
    Future Leaders in Basic Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research
  • 2004-2012
    Strauss Physician-Scientist Training Fellowship, Georgetown University School of Medicine

Selected Publications

  1. Ko K, Kitani T, Harris BT, Anaizi AN, Solomon D, Perry A, Toretsky J, Ozdemirli M. A novel PARD3B-NUTM1 fusion in an aggressive primary CNS embryonal tumor in a young adult. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2020 Jul 17; 8(1):112.
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  2. Vasudevan HN, Castro MRH, Lee JC, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Bush NAO, McDermott MW, Solomon DA, Perry A, Magill ST, Raleigh DR. DNA methylation profiling demonstrates superior diagnostic classification to RNA-sequencing in a case of metastatic meningioma. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2020 Jun 09; 8(1):82.
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  3. Gallo RA, Shoag J, Johnson TE, Solomon DA, Perry A, Podda A, Lee JY, Rong AJ. Eye-sparing Treatment of Localized Orbital Medulloepithelioma With Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation. Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2020 May 14.
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  4. Louis DN, Wesseling P, Aldape K, Brat DJ, Capper D, Cree IA, Eberhart C, Figarella-Branger D, Fouladi M, Fuller GN, Giannini C, Haberler C, Hawkins C, Komori T, Kros JM, Ng HK, Orr BA, Park SH, Paulus W, Perry A, Pietsch T, Reifenberger G, Rosenblum M, Rous B, Sahm F, Sarkar C, Solomon DA, Tabori U, van den Bent MJ, von Deimling A, Weller M, White VA, Ellison DW. cIMPACT-NOW update 6: new entity and diagnostic principle recommendations of the cIMPACT-Utrecht meeting on future CNS tumor classification and grading. Brain Pathol. 2020 Jul; 30(4):844-856.
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  5. Mondal G, Lee JC, Ravindranathan A, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Tran QT, Allen SJ, Barreto J, Gupta R, Doo P, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Devine P, Grenert JP, Samuel D, Li R, Metrock LK, Jin LW, Antony R, Alashari M, Cheshier S, Whipple NS, Bruggers C, Raffel C, Gupta N, Kline CN, Reddy A, Banerjee A, Hall MD, Mehta MP, Khatib Z, Maher OM, Brathwaite C, Pekmezci M, Phillips JJ, Bollen AW, Tihan T, Lucas JT, Broniscer A, Berger MS, Perry A, Orr BA, Solomon DA. Pediatric bithalamic gliomas have a distinct epigenetic signature and frequent EGFR exon 20 insertions resulting in potential sensitivity to targeted kinase inhibition. Acta Neuropathol. 2020 Jun; 139(6):1071-1088.
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  6. Clarke M, Mackay A, Ismer B, Pickles JC, Tatevossian RG, Newman S, Bale TA, Stoler I, Izquierdo E, Temelso S, Carvalho DM, Molinari V, Burford A, Howell L, Virasami A, Fairchild AR, Avery A, Chalker J, Kristiansen M, Haupfear K, Dalton JD, Orisme W, Wen J, Hubank M, Kurian KM, Rowe C, Maybury M, Crosier S, Knipstein J, Schüller U, Kordes U, Kram DE, Snuderl M, Bridges L, Martin AJ, Doey LJ, Al-Sarraj S, Chandler C, Zebian B, Cairns C, Natrajan R, Boult JKR, Robinson SP, Sill M, Dunkel IJ, Gilheeney SW, Rosenblum MK, Hughes D, Proszek PZ, Macdonald TJ, Preusser M, Haberler C, Slavc I, Packer R, Ng HK, Caspi S, Popovic M, Faganel Kotnik B, Wood MD, Baird L, Davare MA, Solomon DA, Olsen TK, Brandal P, Farrell M, Cryan JB, Capra M, Karremann M, Schittenhelm J, Schuhmann MU, Ebinger M, Dinjens WNM, Kerl K, Hettmer S, Pietsch T, Andreiuolo F, Driever PH, Korshunov A, Hiddingh L, Worst BC, Sturm D, Zuckermann M, Witt O, Bloom T, Mitchell C, Miele E, Colafati GS, Diomedi-Camassei F, Bailey S, Moore AS, Hassall TEG, Lowis SP, Tsoli M, Cowley MJ, Ziegler DS, Karajannis MA, Aquilina K, Hargrave DR, Carceller F, Marshall LV, von Deimling A, Kramm CM, Pfister SM, Sahm F, Baker SJ, Mastronuzzi A, Carai A, Vinci M, Capper D, Popov S, Ellison DW, Jacques TS, Jones DTW, Jones C. Infant High-Grade Gliomas Comprise Multiple Subgroups Characterized by Novel Targetable Gene Fusions and Favorable Outcomes. Cancer Discov. 2020 Apr 01.
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  7. Fan JM, Solomon DA, López GY, Hofmann JW, Colorado RA, Kim AS, Meisel K, Halabi C. Catastrophic stroke burden in a patient with uncontrolled psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: a case report. BMC Neurol. 2020 Mar 21; 20(1):106.
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  8. Sloan EA, Hilz S, Gupta R, Cadwell C, Ramani B, Hofmann J, Kline CN, Banerjee A, Reddy A, Oberheim Bush NA, Chang S, Braunstein S, Chang EF, Raffel C, Gupta N, Sun PP, Kim JYH, Moes G, Alva E, Li R, Bruggers CS, Alashari M, Wetmore C, Garg S, Dishop M, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Devine P, Grenert JP, Lee JC, Phillips JJ, Pekmezci M, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Berger MS, Costello JF, Perry A, Solomon DA. Gliomas arising in the setting of Li-Fraumeni syndrome stratify into two molecular subgroups with divergent clinicopathologic features. Acta Neuropathol. 2020 May; 139(5):953-957.
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  9. Solomon DA. An update on the central nervous system manifestations of familial tumor predisposition syndromes. Acta Neuropathol. 2020 Apr; 139(4):609-612.
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  10. Pekmezci M, Phillips JJ, Dirilenoglu F, Atasever-Rezanko T, Tihan T, Solomon D, Bollen A, Perry A. Loss of H3K27 trimethylation by immunohistochemistry is frequent in oligodendroglioma, IDH-mutant and 1p/19q-codeleted, but is neither a sensitive nor a specific marker. Acta Neuropathol. 2020 Mar; 139(3):597-600.
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  11. Heskett MB, Sanborn JZ, Boniface C, Goode B, Chapman J, Garg K, Rabban JT, Zaloudek C, Benz SC, Spellman PT, Solomon DA, Cho RJ. Multiregion exome sequencing of ovarian immature teratomas reveals 2N near-diploid genomes, paucity of somatic mutations, and extensive allelic imbalances shared across mature, immature, and disseminated components. Mod Pathol. 2020 Jun; 33(6):1193-1206.
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  12. Solomon DA, Pekmezci M. Pathology of meningiomas. Handb Clin Neurol. 2020; 169:87-99.
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  13. Lee JC, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Ferris SP, Cham EM, Zucker J, Cooney T, Gilani A, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK, Trembath D, Mafra M, Chiang J, Ellison DW, Cho SJ, Horvai AE, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Devine P, Grenert JP, de Voijs CMA, van Blokland WTM, de Leng WWJ, Ploegmakers MJ, Flucke U, Pekmezci M, Bollen AW, Tihan T, Koelsche C, von Deimling A, Wesseling P, Solomon DA, Perry A. Clinicopathologic and molecular features of intracranial desmoplastic small round cell tumors. Brain Pathol. 2020 03; 30(2):213-225.
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  14. Afshar AR, Pekmezci M, Bloomer MM, Cadenas NJ, Stevers M, Banerjee A, Roy R, Olshen AB, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Devine WP, Grenert JP, Bastian BC, Solomon DA, Damato BE. Next-Generation Sequencing of Retinoblastoma Identifies Pathogenic Alterations beyond RB1 Inactivation That Correlate with Aggressive Histopathologic Features. Ophthalmology. 2020 Jun; 127(6):804-813.
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  15. Aboian MS, Tong E, Solomon DA, Kline C, Gautam A, Vardapetyan A, Tamrazi B, Li Y, Jordan CD, Felton E, Weinberg B, Braunstein S, Mueller S, Cha S. Diffusion Characteristics of Pediatric Diffuse Midline Gliomas with Histone H3-K27M Mutation Using Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Histogram Analysis. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2019 11; 40(11):1804-1810.
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  16. Lucas CG, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Whipple N, Oberheim Bush NA, Cooney T, Chang S, McDermott M, Berger M, Cham E, Sun PP, Putnam A, Zhou H, Bollo R, Cheshier S, Poppe MM, Fung KM, Sung S, Glenn C, Fan X, Bannykh S, Hu J, Danielpour M, Li R, Alva E, Johnston J, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Devine P, Grenert JP, Lee JC, Pekmezci M, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Perry A, Solomon DA. Myxoid glioneuronal tumor, PDGFRA p.K385-mutant: clinical, radiologic, and histopathologic features. Brain Pathol. 2020 May; 30(3):479-494.
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  17. Lucas CG, Solomon DA, Perry A. A review of recently described genetic alterations in central nervous system tumors. Hum Pathol. 2020 02; 96:56-66.
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  18. Sloan EA, Sampognaro PJ, Junn JC, Chin C, Jacques L, Ramachandran PS, DeRisi JL, Wilson MR, Kriegstein AR, Bollen AW, Solomon DA, Margeta M, Engstrom JW. Neuroglial stem cell-derived inflammatory pseudotumor (n-SCIPT): clinicopathologic characterization of a novel lesion of the lumbosacral spinal cord and nerve roots following intrathecal allogeneic stem cell intervention. Acta Neuropathol. 2019 12; 138(6):1103-1106.
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  19. Sloan EA, Cooney T, Oberheim Bush NA, Buerki R, Taylor J, Clarke JL, Torkildson J, Kline C, Reddy A, Mueller S, Banerjee A, Butowski N, Chang S, Mummaneni PV, Chou D, Tan L, Theodosopoulos P, McDermott M, Berger M, Raffel C, Gupta N, Sun PP, Li Y, Shah V, Cha S, Braunstein S, Raleigh DR, Samuel D, Scharnhorst D, Fata C, Guo H, Moes G, Kim JYH, Koschmann C, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Devine P, Grenert JP, Lee JC, Pekmezci M, Phillips JJ, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Perry A, Solomon DA. Recurrent non-canonical histone H3 mutations in spinal cord diffuse gliomas. Acta Neuropathol. 2019 11; 138(5):877-881.
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  20. Halfpenny A, Ferris SP, Grafe M, Woltjer R, Selden N, Nazemi K, Perry A, Solomon DA, Gultekin SH, Moore S, Olson S, Lawce H, Lucas L, Corless CL, Wood MD. A case of recurrent epilepsy-associated rosette-forming glioneuronal tumor with anaplastic transformation in the absence of therapy. Neuropathology. 2019 Oct; 39(5):389-393.
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