James J. Hsieh, MD, PhD

Professor, Molecular Oncology, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

As a medical student taking care of cancer patients in 1990, Dr. Hsieh witnessed the hopelessness that devastated metastatic cancer patients and decided to devote his life to the fight against cancer. His Ph.D. thesis concluded the mechanism by which EBV EBNA2 hijacks the cellular Notch signaling for tumorigenesis, earning him the Young Investigator Award at Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1996. Dr. Hsieh entered Washington University for Internal Medicine training and Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School for Medical Oncology training. Hsieh studied under the late Dr. Korsmeyer as an HHMI Physician-Scientist Fellowship Awardee in 2000-2003. He discovered proteolytic processing of MLL, purified the protease, and named it “Taspase1”. Dr. Hsieh was awarded with the NCI K01 Howard Temin Awardee in 2003, and joined the faculty at Wash U. in 2004. Dr. Hsieh was inducted into ASCI in 2010 and is the principal investigator of an NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) project “Optimization of Lead Small Molecule Taspase1 Inhibitors for Cancer Therapeutics”. As a physician scientist taking care of metastatic kidney cancer patients, Dr. Hsieh relocated and founded the MSK translational kidney cancer research program in 2011. His laboratory employs state-of-art platforms and utilizes clinical trial materials to integrate kidney cancer genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and therapeutics; pioneers a novel metabolic analytic algorithm (Metabologram) to interrogate human cancer metabolism; generates novel kidney cancer mouse models recapitulating human kidney cancer mutations; proposes a novel cancer evolution (Braided Cancer River) mode; and discovers genomic biomarkers to predict response to targeted therapies. In 2017, Dr. Hsieh was recruited back to Washington University as a full professor to incorporate novel clinical trial concepts into his kidney cancer research program. Hsieh founded Renal Cancer Clinical Trial Consortium (RCCTC) consisting of major cancer centers across the United States. His primary translational goals are to develop novel, effective, mechanism-based, personalized therapeutics to prevent cancer recurrence in localized kidney cancer patients and provide cure to most metastatic kidney cancer patients by 2025.