C. David James PhD

C. David James PhD

Professor of Neurological Surgery

Berthold and Belle N. Guggenhime Endowed Chair

Associate Director and Principal Investigator, Brain Tumor Research Center


C. David James obtained his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio in 1986. He subsequently trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Montreal, with Webster Cavenee PhD, from 1986 to 1989. During his post-doctoral training he developed an interest in the genetics and molecular biology of central nervous system (CNS) tumors, which have served as the primary focus of his research for 25 years. His first independent position was as a Senior Staff Investigator in the Department of Neurosurgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, where he was a key contributor in launching the institution’s first program in neuro-oncology research.

In 1991, Dr. James relocated to Emory University as a faculty member in the Department of Neurosurgery, and, as before, helped initiate a program in neuro-oncology research. In 1996 he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where he was promoted to Professor in 2001. During his tenure at Mayo (1996 to 2006), Dr. James’ research leadership was of fundamental importance to establishing neuro-oncology as a premier program in the Mayo Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Center was awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence grant from the National Cancer Institute in 2004. In 2006, Dr. James joined the faculty of the UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery and Brain Tumor Research Center, where he serves as the Center’s Associate Director.

In addition to his independent as well as programmatic research efforts, which utilize CNS tumor genetic information for testing therapeutic hypotheses in rodent models, Dr. James is a member of the editorial boards for the International Journal of Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and he is a Senior Editor for the journal Neuro-Oncology. Dr. James served as the Basic Science Director for the Society for Neuro-Oncology from 1999-2001, and is a current member of the Scientific Advisory Committees for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the National Brain Tumor Society. In addition to these activities, he has served on numerous review committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including his current membership with the Clinical Neuroimmunology and Brain Tumors Study Section. Dr. James’ research has been continuously supported by the NIH since 1991, he has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed research publications, among which he is best known for his seminal contributions involving genetic alterations that are associated with CNS tumor development.

Read about Dr. James' current research

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

Member, Parent Committee, Specialized Projects of Research Excellence (SPORE), NCI, 2005- present
Member, Clinical Neuroimmunology and Brain Tumors (CNBT) Study Section, NINDS, 2000-2005
Scientific Advisory Committee, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the United States, 1997- present
Scientific Advisory Committee, Brain Tumor Society, 2007-present
Senior Editor, Neuro-Oncology, 2006- present
Editorial Board, Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 1996-2008
Editorial Board, Clinical Cancer Research, 2000-present
Editorial Academy, International Journal of Oncology, 2006-present

Selected Honors and Awards

2006-present: Berthold and Belle N. Guggenhime Endowed Chair

Selected Recent Publications

Fenton TR, Nathanson D, Ponte de Albuquerque C, Kuga D, Iwanami A, Dang J, Yang H, Tanaka K, Oba-Shinjo SM, Uno M, Del Mar Inda M, Wykosky J, Bachoo RM, James CD, Depinho RA, Vandenberg SR, Zhou H, Marie SK, Mischel PS, Cavenee WK, Furnari FB. Resistance to EGF receptor inhibitors in glioblastoma mediated by phosphorylation of the PTEN tumor suppressor at tyrosine 240. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012;109(35):14164-9.

Huang X, Dubuc AM, Hashizume R, Berg J, He Y, Wang J, Chiang C, Cooper MK, Northcott PA, Taylor MD, Barnes MJ, Tihan T, Chen J, Hackett CS, Weiss WA, James CD, Rowitch DH, Shuman MA, Jan YN, Jan LY. Voltage-gated potassium channel EAG2 controls mitotic entry and tumor growth in medulloblastoma via regulating cell volume dynamics. Genes Dev 2012;26(16):1780-96.

Park I, Hu S, Bok R, Ozawa T, Ito M, Mukherjee J, Phillips JJ, James CD, Pieper RO, Ronen SM, Vigneron DB, Nelson SJ. Evaluation of heterogeneous metabolic profile in an orthotopic human glioblastoma xenograft model using compressed sensing hyperpolarized 3D (13) C magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. Magn Reson Med. 2012 Jul 31. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24434. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22851374.

Cheng CK, Gustafson WC, Charron E, Houseman BT, Zunder E, Goga A, Gray NS, Pollok B, Oakes SA, James CD, Shokat KM, Weiss WA, Fan QW. Dual blockade of lipid and cyclin-dependent kinases induces synthetic lethality in malignant glioma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012;109(31):12722-7.

Chaumeil MM, Gini B, Yang H, Iwanami A, Sukumar S, Ozawa T, Pieper RO, Mischel PS, James CD, Berger MS, Ronen SM. Longitudinal evaluation of MPIO-labeled stem cell biodistribution in glioblastoma using high resolution and contrast-enhanced MR imaging at 14.1Tesla. Neuro Oncol 2012;14(8):1050-61.

Huillard E, Hashizume R, Phillips JJ, Griveau A, Ihrie RA, Aoki Y, Nicolaides T, Perry A, Waldman T, McMahon M, Weiss WA, Petritsch C, James CD, Rowitch DH. Cooperative interactions of BRAFV600E kinase and CDKN2A locus deficiency in pediatric malignant astrocytoma as a basis for rational therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012;109(22):8710-5.

Toussaint LG 3rd, Nilson AE, Goble JM, Ballman KV, James CD, Lefranc F, Kiss R, Uhm JH. Galectin-1, a gene preferentially expressed at the tumor margin, promotes glioblastoma cell invasion. Mol Cancer 2012;11:32.

James CD. Nanoparticles for treating brain tumors: unlimited possibilities. Neuro Oncol 2012;14(4):389.

Serwer LP, James CD. Challenges in drug delivery to tumors of the central nervous system: an overview of pharmacological and surgical considerations. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2012;64(7):590-7.

Aoki Y, Hashizume R, Ozawa T, Banerjee A, Prados M, James CD, Gupta N. An experimental xenograft mouse model of diffuse pontine glioma designed for therapeutic testing. J Neurooncol 2012;108(1):29-35.

Goldhoff P, Clarke J, Smirnov I, Berger MS, Prados MD, James CD, Perry A, Phillips JJ. Clinical stratification of glioblastoma based on alterations in retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (RB1) and association with the proneural subtype. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2012 Jan;71(1):83-9.

Venkatesh HS, Chaumeil MM, Ward CS, Haas-Kogan DA, James CD, Ronen SM. Reduced phosphocholine and hyperpolarized lactate provide magnetic resonance biomarkers of PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibition in glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol 2012;14(3):315-25.

James CD. Stimulating anti-tumor immune response: the problem of regulatory T-cells. Neuro Oncol. 2011 Dec;13(12):1261.

Nicolaides TP, Li H, Solomon DA, Hariono S, Hashizume R, Barkovich K, Baker SJ, Paugh BS, Jones C, Forshew T, Hindley GF, Hodgson JG, Kim JS, Rowitch DH, Weiss WA, Waldman TA, James CD. Targeted therapy for BRAFV600E malignant astrocytoma. Clin Cancer Res 2011;17(24):7595-604.

Lai A, Kharbanda S, Pope WB, Tran A, Solis OE, Peale F, Forrest WF, Pujara K, Carrillo JA, Pandita A, Ellingson BM, Bowers CW, Soriano RH, Schmidt NO, Mohan S, Yong WH, Seshagiri S, Modrusan Z, Jiang Z, Aldape KD, Mischel PS, Liau LM, Escovedo CJ, Chen W, Nghiemphu PL, James CD, Prados MD, Westphal M, Lamszus K, Cloughesy T, Phillips HS. Evidence for sequenced molecular evolution of IDH1 mutant glioblastoma from a distinct cell of origin. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(34):4482-90.

Serwer LP, Noble CO, Michaud K, Drummond DC, Kirpotin DB, Ozawa T, Prados MD, Park JW, James CD. Investigation of intravenous delivery of nanoliposomal topotecan for activity against orthotopic glioblastoma xenografts. Neuro Oncol 2011;13(12):1288-95.

James CD. Evolution of mouse models for studying CNS cancer: a decade of progress. Neuro Oncol. 2011;13(7):691.

Park I, Bok R, Ozawa T, Phillips JJ, James CD, Vigneron DB, Ronen SM, Nelson SJ. Detection of early response to temozolomide treatment in brain tumors using hyperpolarized 13C MR metabolic imaging. J Magn Reson Imaging 2011;33(6):1284-90.

Prasad G, Sottero T, Yang X, Mueller S, James CD, Weiss WA, Polley MY, Ozawa T, Berger MS, Aftab DT, Prados MD, Haas-Kogan DA. Inhibition of PI3K/mTOR pathways in glioblastoma and implications for combination therapy with temozolomide. Neuro Oncol 2011;13(4):384-92.

Fan QW, Cheng C, Hackett C, Feldman M, Houseman BT, Nicolaides T, Haas-Kogan D, James CD, Oakes SA, Debnath J, Shokat KM, Weiss WA. Akt and autophagy cooperate to promote survival of drug-resistant glioma. Sci Signal 2010 Nov 9;3(147):ra81.

Serwer L, Hashizume R, Ozawa T, James CD. Systemic and local drug delivery for treating diseases of the central nervous system in rodent models. J Vis Exp 2010;(42).

Ozawa T, James CD. Establishing intracranial brain tumor xenografts with subsequent analysis of tumor growth and response to therapy using bioluminescence imaging. J Vis Exp. 2010 Jul 13;(41). pii: 1986.

Zhu X, Bidlingmaier S, Hashizume R, James CD, Berger MS, Liu B. Identification of internalizing human single-chain antibodies targeting brain tumor sphere cells. Mol Cancer Ther 2010;9(7):2131-41.

James CD. Tumor-initiating cells: an influential paradigm for xenograft research. Neuro Oncol. 2010 Jun;12(6):519. PubMed PMID: 20530515; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2940644.

Uhm JH, Ballman KV, Wu W, Giannini C, Krauss JC, Buckner JC, James CD, Scheithauer BW, Behrens RJ, Flynn PJ, Schaefer PL, Dakhill SR, Jaeckle KA. Phase II evaluation of gefitinib in patients with newly diagnosed Grade 4 astrocytoma: Mayo/North Central Cancer Treatment Group Study N0074. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2011;80(2):347-53.

Swartling FJ, Grimmer MR, Hackett CS, Northcott PA, Fan QW, Goldenberg DD, Lau J, Masic S, Nguyen K, Yakovenko S, Zhe XN, Gilmer HC, Collins R, Nagaoka M, Phillips JJ, Jenkins RB, Tihan T, Vandenberg SR, James CD, Tanaka K, Taylor MD, Weiss WA, Chesler L. Pleiotropic role for MYCN in medulloblastoma. Genes Dev 2010;24(10):1059-72.

Hashizume R, Gupta N, Berger MS, Banerjee A, Prados MD, Ayers-Ringler J, James CD, VandenBerg SR. Morphologic and molecular characterization of ATRT xenografts adapted for orthotopic therapeutic testing. Neuro Oncol 2010;12(4):366-76.

Park I, Larson PE, Zierhut ML, Hu S, Bok R, Ozawa T, Kurhanewicz J, Vigneron DB, Vandenberg SR, James CD, Nelson SJ. Hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance metabolic imaging: application to brain tumors. Neuro Oncol 2010;12(2):133-44.

Ward CS, Venkatesh HS, Chaumeil MM, Brandes AH, Vancriekinge M, Dafni H, Sukumar S, Nelson SJ, Vigneron DB, Kurhanewicz J, James CD, Haas-Kogan DA, Ronen SM. Noninvasive detection of target modulation following phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibition using hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cancer Res 2010;70(4):1296-305.

Prasad G, Sottero T, Yang X, Mueller S, James CD, Weiss WA, Polley MY, Ozawa T, Berger MS, Aftab DT, Prados MD, Haas-Kogan DA. Inhibition of PI3K/mTOR pathways in glioblastoma and implications for combination therapy with temozolomide. Neuro Oncol 2011;13(4):384-92.

Fan QW, Cheng C, Hackett C, Feldman M, Houseman BT, Nicolaides T, Haas-Kogan D, James CD, Oakes SA, Debnath J, Shokat KM, Weiss WA. Akt and autophagy cooperate to promote survival of drug-resistant glioma. Sci Signal 2010;3(147):ra81.

Serwer L, Hashizume R, Ozawa T, James CD. Systemic and local drug delivery for treating diseases of the central nervous system in rodent models. J Vis Exp 2010;(42). pii: 1992.

Ozawa T, James CD. Establishing intracranial brain tumor xenografts with subsequent analysis of tumor growth and response to therapy using bioluminescence imaging. J Vis Exp 2010;(41). pii: 1986.

Zhu X, Bidlingmaier S, Hashizume R, James CD, Berger MS, Liu B. Identification of Internalizing Human Single-Chain Antibodies Targeting Brain Tumor Sphere Cells. Mol Cancer Ther 2010;9(7):2131-41.

Ward CS, Venkatesh HS, Chaumeil MM, Brandes AH, Vancriekinge M, Dafni H, Sukumar S, Nelson SJ, Vigneron DB, Kurhanewicz J, James CD, Haas-Kogan DA, Ronen SM. Noninvasive detection of target modulation following phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibition using hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cancer Res 2010;70(4):1296-305.

Verhaak RG, Hoadley KA, Purdom E, Wang V, Qi Y, Wilkerson MD, Miller CR, Ding L, Golub T, Mesirov JP, Alexe G, Lawrence M, O'Kelly M, Tamayo P, Weir BA, Gabriel S, Winckler W, Gupta S, Jakkula L, Feiler HS, Hodgson JG, James CD, Sarkaria JN, Brennan C, Kahn A, Spellman PT, Wilson RK, Speed TP, Gray JW, Meyerson M, Getz G, Perou CM, Hayes DN; Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. Integrated genomic analysis identifies clinically relevant subtypes of glioblastoma characterized by abnormalities in PDGFRA, IDH1, EGFR, and NF1. Cancer Cell 2010;17(1):98-110.

Schiffman JD, Hodgson JG, VandenBerg SR, Flaherty P, Polley MY, Yu M, Fisher PG, Rowitch DH, Ford JM, Berger MS, Ji H, Gutmann DH, James CD. Oncogenic BRAF mutation with CDKN2A inactivation is characteristic of a subset of pediatric malignant astrocytomas. Cancer Res 2010;70(2):512-9.

Costa BM, Smith JS, Chen Y, Chen J, Phillips HS, Aldape KD, Zardo G, Nigro J, James CD, Fridlyand J, Reis RM, Costello JF. Reversing HOXA9 oncogene activation by PI3K inhibition: epigenetic mechanism and prognostic significance in human glioblastoma. Cancer Res 2010;70(2):453-62.

Sughrue ME, Yang I, Kane AJ, Rutkowski MJ, Fang S, James CD, Parsa AT. Immunological considerations of modern animal models of malignant primary brain tumors [Review]. J Transl Med 2009;7:84.

Silber J, James CD, Hodgson JG. microRNAs in gliomas: small regulators of a big problem [Review]. Neuromolecular Med 2009;11(3):208-22.

Lu KV, Zhu S, Cvrljevic A, Huang TT, Sarkaria S, Ahkavan D, Dang J, Dinca EB, Plaisier SB, Oderberg I, Lee Y, Chen Z, Caldwell JS, Xie Y, Loo JA, Seligson D, Chakravari A, Lee FY, Weinmann R, Cloughesy TF, Nelson SF, Bergers G, Graeber T, Furnari FB, James CD, Cavenee WK, Johns TG, Mischel PS. Fyn and SRC are effectors of oncogenic epidermal growth factor receptor signaling in glioblastoma patients. Cancer Res 2009;69(17):6889-98.

Hashizume R, Ozawa T, Dinca EB, Banerjee A, Prados MD, James CD, Gupta N. A human brainstem glioma xenograft model enabled for bioluminescence imaging. J Neurooncol 2010;96(2):151-9.

Kadoch C, Dinca EB, Voicu R, Chen L, Nguyen D, Parikh S, Karrim J, Shuman MA, Lowell CA, Treseler PA, James CD, Rubenstein JL. Pathologic correlates of primary central nervous system lymphoma defined in an orthotopic xenograft model. Clin Cancer Res 2009;15(6):1989-97.