Dr. Brugarolas

James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D. Video clip commemorating SPORE Award.
James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D.

James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of Internal Medicine, Cancer Biology, Genetics, Development and Disease, is the founding Director of the Kidney Cancer Program at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Principal Investigator of one of two Specialized Programs of Research Excellence in kidney cancer in the U.S. He holds the Sherry Wigley Crow Cancer Research Endowed Chair in Honor of Robert Lewis Kirby, M.D.

Dr. Brugarolas received his medical degree from the University of Navarra, Spain (1993), and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998). He trained in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and completed a fellowship in Oncology at a combined program of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital in 2003. He was an instructor at Harvard Medical School until 2006, when he was recruited by UT Southwestern Medical Center to begin a program in kidney cancer.

The goal of the program is to understand the fundamental biology of renal cancer and create a platform to bring discoveries from the laboratory into the clinic. Highlights of the research program include (i) the discovery that the BAP1 gene is inactivated in 15% of clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs), (ii) the establishment of a foundation for the first molecular genetic classification of sporadic ccRCC, (iii) the implication of the TSC1 gene as a tumor suppressor in ccRCC and a putative predictor of responsiveness to mTORC1 inhibitors clinically, (iv) the characterization of a feedback loop that links the two dominant pathways in renal cancer, (v) the identification of a novel effector of mTORC1, (vi) the development of the first animal model of renal cancer that reproduces the treatment responsiveness in patients, and (vii) the determination that mTORC1 inhibitors have activity against epithelioid angiomyolipomas.

Dr. Brugarolas is a member of the Renal Task Force of the Genitourinary Steering Committee of the National Cancer Institute, and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He has received numerous awards including a V Scholar Award (V Foundation), a Research Scholar Award (American Cancer Society), and a Claudia Adams Barr Award for Innovative Cancer Research (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School). He has served on advisory boards of kidney cancer and SPORE programs at several NCI-designated cancer centers and on study sections and ad hoc review panels of the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Command.