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. 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, Schuller 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 JK, 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 TE, 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.
    View on PubMed
  2. 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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  3. 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 Mar 10.
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  4. Solomon DA. An update on the central nervous system manifestations of familial tumor predisposition syndromes. Acta Neuropathol. 2020 Feb 03.
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  5. 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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  6. 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 Jan 07.
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  7. 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. 2019 Dec 14.
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  8. 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. 2019 Dec 12.
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  9. 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 Nov; 40(11):1804-1810.
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  10. Lucas CG, Solomon DA, Perry A. A review of recently described genetic alterations in central nervous system tumors. Hum Pathol. 2019 Oct 31.
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  11. 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 Dec; 138(6):1103-1106.
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  12. 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. 2019 Oct 14.
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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. Cheaney B, Bowden S, Krause K, Sloan EA, Perry A, Solomon DA, Han SJ, Wood MD. An unusual recurrent high-grade glioneuronal tumor with MAP2K1 mutation and CDKN2A/B homozygous deletion. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2019 07 09; 7(1):110.
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  16. North JP, Solomon DA, Golovato J, Bloomer M, Benz SC, Cho RJ. Loss of ZNF750 in ocular and cutaneous sebaceous carcinoma. J Cutan Pathol. 2019 Oct; 46(10):736-741.
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  17. Ferris SP, Velazquez Vega J, Aboian M, Lee JC, Van Ziffle J, Onodera C, Grenert JP, Saunders T, Chen YY, Banerjee A, Kline CN, Gupta N, Raffel C, Samuel D, Ruiz-Diaz I, Magaki S, Wilson D, Neltner J, Al-Hajri Z, Phillips JJ, Pekmezci M, Bollen AW, Tihan T, Schniederjan M, Cha S, Perry A, Solomon DA. High-grade neuroepithelial tumor with BCOR exon 15 internal tandem duplication-a comprehensive clinical, radiographic, pathologic, and genomic analysis. Brain Pathol. 2020 01; 30(1):46-62.
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  18. Lucas CG, Gilani A, Solomon DA, Liang X, Maher OM, Chamyan G, Kleinschmidt-Demasters BK, Perry A. ALK-positive histiocytosis with KIF5B-ALK fusion in the central nervous system. Acta Neuropathol. 2019 08; 138(2):335-337.
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  19. Mondal G, Stevers M, Goode B, Ashworth A, Solomon DA. A requirement for STAG2 in replication fork progression creates a targetable synthetic lethality in cohesin-mutant cancers. Nat Commun. 2019 04 11; 10(1):1686.
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  20. Mueller S, Jain P, Liang WS, Kilburn L, Kline C, Gupta N, Panditharatna E, Magge SN, Zhang B, Zhu Y, Crawford JR, Banerjee A, Nazemi K, Packer RJ, Petritsch CK, Truffaux N, Roos A, Nasser S, Phillips JJ, Solomon D, Molinaro A, Waanders AJ, Byron SA, Berens ME, Kuhn J, Nazarian J, Prados M, Resnick AC. A pilot precision medicine trial for children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma-PNOC003: A report from the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium. Int J Cancer. 2019 10 01; 145(7):1889-1901.
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