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Research Programs




Catriona Jamieson, MD/PhD

Catriona Jamieson, MD/PhD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center
Deputy Director, Moores Cancer Center

Phone: 858-534-7128
Research summary

Thomas Kipps, MD/PhD

Thomas Kipps, MD/PhD

Professor of Medicine
Evelyn & Edwin Tasch Chair, Cancer Research
Deputy Director of Research Operations, Moores Cancer Center

Phone: 858-534-5400
Research summary


About the Program


The Hematologic Malignancies (HEM) research program focuses on advancing our understanding of molecular pathogenesis and treatment of leukemias and lymphomas. The mission of HEM Program is to develop functional biomarkers of response in hematologic malignancies and to develop novel drug, biologic, and cellular immune therapies. HEM program’s goal is to further elucidate the molecular pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Examination of the differences between neoplastic cells, particularly at the stem and progenitor cell level, with their normal counterparts has provided important insights into the molecular and biochemical features that define the malignant phenotype. In addition, research on genetic and epigenetic alterations within pre-malignant and malignant lesions has provided vital insights into the blueprint of the molecular features that contribute to disease development and progression.

Together with research on biochemical factors that govern cell cycle progression, cellular differentiation, response to injury, self-renewal, and programmed cell death, investigators are identifying molecular pathways and/or hematologic malignancy-associated antigens that could be targeted by antineoplastic drugs and/or immune therapy while sparing their normal cellular counterparts.

The HEM Program has 39 members across 10 departments and 2 schools with a wide range of cancer-relevant scientific disciplines and interests. The distinct clinical expertise of HEM members is bolstered by translational research of MCC scientists relevant to the focus of HEM and the goals of MCC, which are predicated on predicting and preventing cancer progression and relapse.

Program Goals

The overarching goal of the HEM Program is to understand the underlying mechanisms for development of hematologic malignancies, test novel therapies, and explore ways to improve patient outcomes.

To achieve its objective, the HEM Program has three specific aims to:

  1. Identify somatic DNA mutations, coding and alterations in non-coding RNA splicing and editing, ribosomal regulation and signaling as well as phenotypic alterations in hematologic malignancies.
  2. Generate accurate models of hematologic malignancies to improve understanding of the pathogenesis of disease.
  3. Test promising new approaches through clinical trials for hematologic malignancies.

Meetings & Events

The following list includes events and seminars of notable interest to the Hematology Program and its members. Please look for the Upcoming HEM Events list on the right edge of this page; this list is updated automatically and may be added to your Outlook or Google calendars.

HEM PRogram Events

Seminars, lectures, and other programmatic meetings led by the HEM Program. Expand the panels for schedules, locations, webinar links, and more information.

Multi-program Events

Programs, Symposia, Lectures, and training activities of interest to the HEM Program community:



Please contact us if you are interested in developing a collaboration or in joining the Hematology (HEM) Research Program. To see recent cross-program collaboration highlights with the HEM group, please click here.

Click on the link below to see a list of all current HEM members.

For a full list of all program membership affiliations, please click here.

Upcoming HEM  Events

Events for Hematology (HEM) Research Program Members

Click on an event headline to add it to your calendar. To view all Research Program events, click the link below:

View All Events

October 2020

MCC Scientific Retreat 2020

Now accepting submissions until September 10

We look forward to seeing your presentation and poster proposals.

Please contact Raluca Ciochina for more information.

Scientific Highlights

Hyper-Editing of Cell-Cycle Regulatory and Tumor Suppressor RNA Promotes Malignant
Progenitor Propagation

Qingfei Jiang, Jane Isquith, Maria Anna Zipeto, Raymond H. Diep, Jessica Pham, Nathan Delos Santos, Eduardo Reynoso, Julisia Chau, Heather Leu, Elisa Lazzari, Etienne Melese, Wenxue Ma, Rongxin Fang, Mark Minden, Sheldon Morris, Bing RenSFG,Gabriel Pineda, Frida Holm, and Catriona JamiesonHEM

Read the paper

HORMA Domain Proteins and a Trip13-like ATPase Regulate Bacterial cGAS-like Enzymes to Mediate Bacteriophage Immunity

Qiaozhen Ye, Rebecca K Lau, Ian T Mathews, Erica A Birkholz, Jeramie D Watrous, Camillia S Azimi, Joe Pogliano, Mohit JainCBS, Kevin D Corbett

Mol Cell. 2020 Feb 20;77(4):709-722.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.12.009. Epub 2020 Jan 10.
Read the paper

Inhibition of Nuclear PTEN Tyrosine Phosphorylation Enhances Glioma Radiation Sensitivity through Attenuated DNA Repair

Jianhui Ma, Jorge A Benitez, Jie Li, Shunichiro Miki, Claudio Ponte de Albuquerque, Thais Galatro, Laura Orellana, Ciro Zanca, Rachel Reed, Antonia Boyer, Tomoyuki Koga, Nissi M Varki, Tim R Fenton, Suely Kazue Nagahashi, Marie Erik Lindahl, Timothy C Gahman, Andrew K Shiau, Huilin Zhou, John DeGroot, Erik P Sulman, Webster K Cavenee, Richard D Kolodner, Clark C Chen, Frank B Furnari CBS

Cancer Cell. 2019 Mar 18;35(3):504-518.e7.doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2019.01.020.
Read the paper

Research Programs at Moores Cancer Center

Our scientific achievements are made possible through collaborations with colleagues across all other research programs at Moores Cancer Center. To learn more about these programs follow the links below:

HEM Leadership & Research Summary

Catriona Jamieson, MD/PhD

Dr. Jamieson is Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and Director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinic. Her research is specialized in myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) and leukemia. Myeloproliferative neoplasms are a family of uncommon but not rare degenerative disorders in which the body overproduces blood cells. Myeloproliferative neoplasms can cause many forms of blood clotting including heart attack, stroke, deep venous thrombosis, and pulmonary emboli and can develop into acute myelogenous leukemia. Although some effective treatments are available, they are laden with serious side effects. In addition, individuals can become resistant to the treatments. Dr. Jamieson studies the mutant stem cells and progenitor cells in myeloproliferative neoplasms. These cells can give rise to cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells may lie low to evade chemotherapy and then activate again later, causing disease progression and resistance to treatment. Her goal is to find more selective, less toxic therapies. In the past two years, Dr. Jamieson’s stem-cell research studies have taken a great leap: from identifying a promising treatment in the laboratory to opening and completing the first clinical trial to target cancer stem cells in humans. Dr. Jamieson led an international clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerability, and leukemia stem cell inhibitory efficacy of a first-in-human sonic hedgehog inhibitor, PF-04449913 (Glasdegib, Pfizer), in refractory hematologic malignancies (Martinelli et al. Lancet Haematology 2015) and led to trials that are showing efficacy in patients with secondary AML (sAML). This trial is the result of teamwork that has brought together her discoveries in myeloproliferative neoplasms and a local pharmaceutical company’s drug development track.

Academic Profile

Jamieson Lab

Thomas J. Kipps, PhD

Dr. Kipps is Professor of Medicine, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Kipps received his Ph.D. in Immunology and M.D. from Harvard University and had his residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Genetics at Stanford University. Dr. Kipps has a national and international reputation for his work in cancer research, immunology, and gene therapy. He has been a leader in the field for many years, and has helped to develop standardized treatment protocols. He is the author of more than 300 publications and is the PI on several peer-reviewed grants, including an award from NCI/NIH to fund the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortium (CRC). The CRC involves collaboration with eight other Cancer Centers around the United States and the UK. Dr. Kipps is also the Director of the Blood Cancer Research Fund at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. The Blood Cancer Research Fund concentrates on developing cures for all types of blood related cancers, specifically Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).

Dr. Kipps has over 20 years’ experience in combining research and clinical care responsibilities. International leadership accomplishments for include serving as a board member of the international workshop on CLL, membership on the NCCN committee on chronic leukemias, senior author of guidelines for management and treatment of patients with CLL, senior and/or co-authorship on New England Journal of Medicine articles describing pivotal clinical studies, which resulted in approval of practice-changing therapeutics, such as ibrutinib or venetoclcax, for treatment of patients with CLL.

Academic Profile

Kipps Lab