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.


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