Joanna Phillips MD, PhD

Joanna Phillips MD, PhDAssociate Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Pathology

Principal Investigator, Brain Tumor Center

Faculty Member, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

 

The focus of Dr. Phillips’ research is on understanding how interactions in the tumor microenvironment help drive brain tumor initiation, progression, and invasion. The laboratory is particularly interested in understanding how alterations in proteoglycans and proteoglycan modifying enzymes contribute to oncogenesis and how these alterations may be used as therapeutic targets and as tumor biomarkers.

Recently, Dr. Phillips’ work has demonstrated that the extracellular sulfatase SULF2, an enzyme that regulates multiple heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG)-dependent RTK signaling pathways, is expressed in primary human GBM tumors and can regulate tumor cell proliferation, in vivo tumor growth, and the activity of PDGFRα, a major signaling pathway in GBM. Current studies in the laboratory are also investigating the determinants of glioma cell invasion and the role of the tumor-associated microglia/macrophage (TAMM) response in malignant astrocytoma. While at least some microglia are present in all GBM, our data suggest there are subsets of GBM with a more robust TAMM response and this may contribute to tumor phenotype and response to therapy. Together our studies point to the partnership of the tumor and the microenvironment in regulating GBM malignancy.

In addition to her independent scientific program, Dr. Phillips is also the Neuropathologist and Co-Director of the UCSF Brain Tumor Center Tissue Bank.

Read about Dr. Phillips' current research ►

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

2002–2004: Resident, Department of Anatomic Pathology, University of Washington
2004–2006: Clinical Fellow, Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco
2006-2008: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anatomy, University of California San Francisco
2008–2010: Clinical Instructor, Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco
2010-2016: Assistant Professor Neurological Surgery and Pathology, University of California, San Francisco
2009-Present: UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center Tissue Bank, Neuropathologist
2010-Present: Co-Director UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE Biorepository
2016-Present: Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Pathology, University of California, San Francisco

Selected Honors and Awards

1993-94: Hughes Scholars Program, Cornell University
2001: Stuart Mudd Award in Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
2005: Moore Award, American Association of Neuropathologists
2006: Young Pathologist Fellowship, American Society for Investigative Pathology, Experimental Biology
2006-08: American Brain Tumor Association: Susan Resnick Fisher/American Brain Tumor Association Fellowship
2008: Rubinstein Award, American Association of Neuropathologists
2010: Aspen Cancer Conference Fellow

Selected Recent Publications

Wang Q, Hu B, Hu X, Kim H, Squatrito M, Scarpace L, deCarvalho AC, Lyu S, Li P, Li Y, Barthel F, Cho HJ, Lin YH, Satani N, Martinez-Ledesma E, Zheng S, Chang E, Gabriel Sauvé CE, Olar A, Lan ZD, Finocchiaro G, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Gabrusiewicz KR, Wang G, Eskilsson E, Hu J, Mikkelsen T, DePinho RA, Muller F, Heimberger AB, Sulman EP, Nam DH, Verhaak RGW. Tumor Evolution of Glioma-Intrinsic Gene Expression Subtypes Associates with Immunological Changes in the Microenvironment. Cancer Cell. 2018 Jan 8;33(1):152. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2017.12.012. PubMed PMID: 29316430.

Hayes J, Yu Y, Jalbert LE, Mazor T, Jones LE, Wood MD, Walsh KM, Bengtsson H, Hong C, Oberndorfer S, Roetzer T, Smirnov IV, Clarke JL, Aghi MK, Chang SM, Nelson SJ, Woehrer A, Phillips JJ, Solomon DA, Costello JF. Genomic analysis of the origins and evolution of multicentric diffuse lower-grade gliomas. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Oct 25. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nox205. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29077933.

Byron SA, Tran NL, Halperin RF, Phillips JJ, Kuhn JG, de Groot JF, Colman H, Ligon KL, Wen PY, Cloughesy TF, Mellinghoff IK, Butowski NA, Taylor JW, Clarke JL, Chang SM, Berger MS, Molinaro AM, Maggiora GM, Peng S, Nasser S, Liang WS, Trent JM, Berens ME, Carpten JD, Craig DW, Prados MD. Prospective Feasibility Trial for Genomics-Informed Treatment in Recurrent and Progressive Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Oct 26. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-0963. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29074604.

Lopez GY, Oberheim Bush NA, Phillips JJ, Bouffard JP, Moshel YA, Jaeckle K, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK, Rosenblum MK, Perry A, Solomon DA. Diffuse midline gliomas with subclonal H3F3A K27M mutation and mosaic H3.3 K27M mutant protein expression. Acta Neuropathol. 2017 Dec;134(6):961-963. doi: 10.1007/s00401-017-1780-0. Epub 2017 Oct 23. PubMed PMID: 29063183.

Tarpey PS, Behjati S, Young MD, Martincorena I, Alexandrov LB, Farndon SJ, Guzzo C, Hardy C, Latimer C, Butler AP, Teague JW, Shlien A, Futreal PA, Shah S, Bashashati A, Jamshidi F, Nielsen TO, Huntsman D, Baumhoer D, Brandner S, Wunder J, Dickson B, Cogswell P, Sommer J, Phillips JJ, Amary MF, Tirabosco R, Pillay N, Yip S, Stratton MR, Flanagan AM, Campbell PJ. The driver landscape of sporadic chordoma. Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 12;8(1):890. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01026-0. PubMed PMID: 29026114; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5638846.

Mazor T, Chesnelong C, Pankov A, Jalbert LE, Hong C, Hayes J, Smirnov IV, Marshall R, Souza CF, Shen Y, Viswanath P, Noushmehr H, Ronen SM, Jones SJM, Marra MA, Cairncross JG, Perry A, Nelson SJ, Chang SM, Bollen AW, Molinaro AM, Bengtsson H, Olshen AB, Weiss S, Phillips JJ, Luchman HA, Costello JF. Clonal expansion and epigenetic reprogramming following deletion or amplification of mutant IDH1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Oct 3;114(40):10743-10748. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708914114. Epub 2017 Sep 15. PubMed PMID: 28916733; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5635900.

Tran VM, Wade A, McKinney A, Chen K, Lindberg OR, Engler JR, Persson AI, Phillips JJ. Heparan Sulfate Glycosaminoglycans in Glioblastoma Promote Tumor Invasion. Mol Cancer Res. 2017 Nov;15(11):1623-1633. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-17-0352. Epub 2017 Aug 4. PubMed PMID: 28778876.

Wahl M, Chang SM, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Costello JF, Mazor T, Alexandrescu S, Lupo JM, Nelson SJ, Berger M, Prados M, Taylor JW, Butowski N, Clarke JL, Haas-Kogan D. Probing the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in gliomas: A phase 2 study of everolimus for recurrent adult low-grade gliomas. Cancer. 2017 Dec 1;123(23):4631-4639. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30909. Epub 2017 Jul 31. PubMed PMID: 28759109; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5693663.

Chan AK, Han SJ, Choy W, Beleford D, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Shieh JT, Bollen AW, Perry A, Phillips JJ, Butowski N, Solomon DA. Familial melanoma-astrocytoma syndrome: synchronous diffuse astrocytoma and pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma in a patient with germline CDKN2A/B deletion and a significant family history. Clin Neuropathol. 2017 Sep/Oct;36(5):213-221. doi: 10.5414/NP301022. PubMed PMID: 28699883; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5628627.

Wang Q, Hu B, Hu X, Kim H, Squatrito M, Scarpace L, deCarvalho AC, Lyu S, Li P, Li Y, Barthel F, Cho HJ, Lin YH, Satani N, Martinez-Ledesma E, Zheng S, Chang E, Sauvé CG, Olar A, Lan ZD, Finocchiaro G, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Gabrusiewicz KR, Wang G, Eskilsson E, Hu J, Mikkelsen T, DePinho RA, Muller F, Heimberger AB, Sulman EP, Nam DH, Verhaak RGW. Tumor Evolution of Glioma-Intrinsic Gene Expression Subtypes Associates with Immunological Changes in the Microenvironment. Cancer Cell. 2017 Jul 10;32(1):42-56.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2017.06.003. Erratum in: Cancer Cell. 2018 Jan 8;33(1):152. PubMed PMID: 28697342; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5599156.

Kline CN, Joseph NM, Grenert JP, van Ziffle J, Talevich E, Onodera C, Aboian M, Cha S, Raleigh DR, Braunstein S, Torkildson J, Samuel D, Bloomer M, Campomanes AGA, Banerjee A, Butowski N, Raffel C, Tihan T, Bollen AW, Phillips JJ, Korn WM, Yeh I, Bastian BC, Gupta N, Mueller S, Perry A, Nicolaides T, Solomon DA. Targeted next-generation sequencing of pediatric neuro-oncology patients improves diagnosis, identifies pathogenic germline mutations, and directs targeted therapy. Neuro Oncol. 2017 May 1;19(5):699-709. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now254. PubMed PMID: 28453743; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464451.

Banerjee A, Jakacki RI, Onar-Thomas A, Wu S, Nicolaides T, Young Poussaint T, Fangusaro J, Phillips J, Perry A, Turner D, Prados M, Packer RJ, Qaddoumi I, Gururangan S, Pollack IF, Goldman S, Doyle LA, Stewart CF, Boyett JM, Kun LE, Fouladi M. A phase I trial of the MEK inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244) in pediatric patients with recurrent or refractory low-grade glioma: a Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) study. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Aug 1;19(8):1135-1144. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now282. PubMed PMID: 28339824; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5570236.

Jalbert LE, Elkhaled A, Phillips JJ, Neill E, Williams A, Crane JC, Olson MP, Molinaro AM, Berger MS, Kurhanewicz J, Ronen SM, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Metabolic Profiling of IDH Mutation and Malignant Progression in Infiltrating Glioma. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 22;7:44792. doi: 10.1038/srep44792. PubMed PMID: 28327577; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5361089.

Lin CA, Rhodes CT, Lin C, Phillips JJ, Berger MS. Comparative analyses identify molecular signature of MRI-classified SVZ-associated glioblastoma. Cell Cycle. 2017 Apr 18;16(8):765-775. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2017.1295186. Epub 2017 Feb 22. PubMed PMID: 28278055; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5405724.

Kuang R, Jahangiri A, Mascharak S, Nguyen A, Chandra A, Flanigan PM, Yagnik G, Wagner JR, De Lay M, Carrera D, Castro BA, Hayes J, Sidorov M, Garcia JL, Eriksson P, Ronen S, Phillips J, Molinaro A, Koliwad S, Aghi MK. GLUT3 upregulation promotes metabolic reprogramming associated with antiangiogenic therapy resistance. JCI Insight. 2017 Jan 26;2(2):e88815. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.88815. PubMed PMID: 28138554; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5256137.

Neill E, Luks T, Dayal M, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Jalbert LE, Cha S, Molinaro A, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Quantitative multi-modal MR imaging as a non-invasive prognostic tool for patients with recurrent low-grade glioma. J Neurooncol. 2017 Mar;132(1):171-179. doi: 10.1007/s11060-016-2355-y. Epub 2017 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 28124178; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5373029.

Hu B, Wang Q, Wang YA, Hua S, Sauvé CG, Ong D, Lan ZD, Chang Q, Ho YW, Monasterio MM, Lu X, Zhong Y, Zhang J, Deng P, Tan Z, Wang G, Liao WT, Corley LJ, Yan H, Zhang J, You Y, Liu N, Cai L, Finocchiaro G, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Spring DJ, Hu J, Sulman EP, Fuller GN, Chin L, Verhaak RGW, DePinho RA. Epigenetic Activation of WNT5A Drives Glioblastoma Stem Cell Differentiation and Invasive Growth. Cell. 2016 Nov 17;167(5):1281-1295.e18. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.10.039. PubMed PMID: 27863244; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5320931.

Miroshnikova YA, Mouw JK, Barnes JM, Pickup MW, Lakins JN, Kim Y, Lobo K, Persson AI, Reis GF, McKnight TR, Holland EC, Phillips JJ, Weaver VM. Tissue mechanics promote IDH1-dependent HIF1α-tenascin C feedback to regulate glioblastoma aggression. Nat Cell Biol. 2016 Dec;18(12):1336-1345. doi: 10.1038/ncb3429. Epub 2016 Nov 7. PubMed PMID: 27820599; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5361403.

Ohba S, Mukherjee J, Johannessen TC, Mancini A, Chow TT, Wood M, Jones L, Mazor T, Marshall RE, Viswanath P, Walsh KM, Perry A, Bell RJ, Phillips JJ, Costello JF, Ronen SM, Pieper RO. Mutant IDH1 Expression Drives TERT Promoter Reactivation as Part of the Cellular Transformation Process. Cancer Res. 2016 Nov 15;76(22):6680-6689. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0696. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PubMed PMID: 27758882; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5290072.

Vatsavayai SC, Yoon SJ, Gardner RC, Gendron TF, Vargas JN, Trujillo A, Pribadi M, Phillips JJ, Gaus SE, Hixson JD, Garcia PA, Rabinovici GD, Coppola G, Geschwind DH, Petrucelli L, Miller BL, Seeley WW. Timing and significance of pathological features in C9orf72 expansion-associated frontotemporal dementia. Brain. 2016 Dec;139(Pt 12):3202-3216. Epub 2016 Oct 22. PubMed PMID: 27797809.

Phillips JJ, Gong H, Chen K, Joseph NM, van Ziffle J, Jin LW, Bastian BC, Bollen AW, Perry A, Nicolaides T, Solomon DA, Shieh JT. Activating NRF1-BRAF and ATG7-RAF1 fusions in anaplastic pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma without BRAF p.V600E mutation. Acta Neuropathol. 2016 Nov;132(5):757-760. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 27624885; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5074852.

Lindberg OR, McKinney A, Engler JR, Koshkakaryan G, Gong H, Robinson AE, Ewald AJ, Huillard E, David James C, Molinaro AM, Shieh JT, Phillips JJ. GBM heterogeneity as a function of variable epidermal growth factor receptor variant III activity. Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 29;7(48):79101-79116. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12600. PubMed PMID: 27738329; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5346701.

Grossauer S, Koeck K, Murphy NE, Meyers ID, Daynac M, Truffaux N, Truong AY, Nicolaides TP, McMahon M, Berger MS, Phillips JJ, James CD, Petritsch CK. Concurrent MEK targeted therapy prevents MAPK pathway reactivation during BRAFV600E targeted inhibition in a novel syngeneic murine glioma model. Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 15;7(46):75839-75853. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12419. PubMed PMID: 27713119; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5342782.

Han SJ, Reis G, Kohanbash G, Shrivastav S, Magill ST, Molinaro AM, McDermott MW, Theodosopoulos PV, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Butowski NA, Barani I, Phillips JJ, Perry A, Okada H. Expression and prognostic impact of immune modulatory molecule PD-L1 in meningioma. J Neurooncol. 2016 Dec;130(3):543-552. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PubMed PMID: 27624915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5560602.

Lal S, Peng KW, Steele MB, Jenks N, Ma H, Kohanbash G, Phillips JJ, Raffel C. Safety Study: Intraventricular Injection of a Modified Oncolytic Measles Virus into Measles-Immune, hCD46-Transgenic, IFNαRko Mice. Hum Gene Ther Clin Dev. 2016 Dec;27(4):145-151. Epub 2016 Sep 7. PubMed PMID: 27604429.

Wahl M, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Lin Y, Perry A, Haas-Kogan DA, Costello JF, Dayal M, Butowski N, Clarke JL, Prados M, Nelson S, Berger MS, Chang SM. Chemotherapy for adult low-grade gliomas: clinical outcomes by molecular subtype in a phase II study of adjuvant temozolomide. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Feb 1;19(2):242-251. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now176. PubMed PMID: 27571885; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464133.

Wood MD, Reis GF, Reuss DE, Phillips JJ. Protein Analysis of Glioblastoma Primary and Posttreatment Pairs Suggests a Mesenchymal Shift at Recurrence. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2016 Oct;75(10):925-935. Epub 2016 Aug 18. PubMed PMID: 27539476.

Barajas RF Jr, Butowski NA, Phillips JJ, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Chang SM, Cha S. The Development of Reduced Diffusion Following Bevacizumab Therapy Identifies Regions of Recurrent Disease in Patients with High-grade Glioma. Acad Radiol. 2016 Sep;23(9):1073-82. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 27443507; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5571825.

Jones C, Karajannis MA, Jones DTW, Kieran MW, Monje M, Baker SJ, Becher OJ, Cho YJ, Gupta N, Hawkins C, Hargrave D, Haas-Kogan DA, Jabado N, Li XN, Mueller S, Nicolaides T, Packer RJ, Persson AI, Phillips JJ, Simonds EF, Stafford JM, Tang Y, Pfister SM, Weiss WA. Pediatric high-grade glioma: biologically and clinically in need of new thinking. Neuro Oncol. 2017 Feb 1;19(2):153-161. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now101. Review. PubMed PMID: 27282398; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5464243.

Jalbert LE, Neill E, Phillips JJ, Lupo JM, Olson MP, Molinaro AM, Berger MS, Chang SM, Nelson SJ. Magnetic resonance analysis of malignant transformation in recurrent glioma. Neuro Oncol. 2016 Aug;18(8):1169-79. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/now008. Epub 2016 Feb 23. PubMed PMID: 26911151; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4933480.

Radoul M, Chaumeil MM, Eriksson P, Wang AS, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. MR Studies of Glioblastoma Models Treated with Dual PI3K/mTOR Inhibitor and Temozolomide:Metabolic Changes Are Associated with Enhanced Survival. Mol Cancer Ther. 2016 May;15(5):1113-22. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0769. Epub 2016 Feb 16. PubMed PMID: 26883274; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4873419.

Mukherjee J, Ohba S, See WL, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Pieper RO. PKM2 uses control of HuR localization to regulate p27 and cell cycle progression in human glioblastoma cells. Int J Cancer. 2016 Jul 1;139(1):99-111. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30041. Epub 2016 Mar 2. PubMed PMID: 26874904.

Bandopadhayay P, Ramkissoon LA, Jain P, Bergthold G, Wala J, Zeid R, Schumacher SE, Urbanski L, O'Rourke R, Gibson WJ, Pelton K, Ramkissoon SH, Han HJ, Zhu Y, Choudhari N, Silva A, Boucher K, Henn RE, Kang YJ, Knoff D, Paolella BR, Gladden-Young A, Varlet P, Pages M, Horowitz PM, Federation A, Malkin H, Tracy AA, Seepo S, Ducar M, Van Hummelen P, Santi M, Buccoliero AM, Scagnet M, Bowers DC, Giannini C, Puget S, Hawkins C, Tabori U, Klekner A, Bognar L, Burger PC, Eberhart C, Rodriguez FJ, Hill DA, Mueller S, Haas-Kogan DA, Phillips JJ, Santagata S, Stiles CD, Bradner JE, Jabado N, Goren A, Grill J, Ligon AH, Goumnerova L, Waanders AJ, Storm PB, Kieran MW, Ligon KL, Beroukhim R, Resnick AC. MYB-QKI rearrangements in angiocentric glioma drive tumorigenicity through a tripartite mechanism. Nat Genet. 2016 Mar;48(3):273-82. doi: 10.1038/ng.3500. Epub 2016 Feb 1. PubMed PMID: 26829751; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4767685.

Ge X, Gong H, Dumas K, Litwin J, Phillips JJ, Waisfisz Q, Weiss MM, Hendriks Y, Stuurman KE, Nelson SF, Grody WW, Lee H, Kwok PY, Shieh JT. Missense-depleted regions in population exomes implicate ras superfamily nucleotide-binding protein alteration in patients with brain malformation. NPJ Genom Med. 2016;1. pii: 16036. doi: 10.1038/npjgenmed.2016.36. Epub 2016 Oct 5. PubMed PMID: 28868155; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5576364.

Lerner RG, Grossauer S, Kadkhodaei B, Meyers I, Sidorov M, Koeck K, Hashizume R, Ozawa T, Phillips JJ, Berger MS, Nicolaides T, James CD, Petritsch CK. Targeting a Plk1-Controlled Polarity Checkpoint in Therapy-Resistant Glioblastoma-Propagating Cells. Cancer Res. 2015 Dec 15;75(24):5355-66. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-3689. Epub 2015 Nov 16. PubMed PMID: 26573800; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4698003.