James F. Amatruda, MD, PhD is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Biology and Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, where he holds the Nearburg Family Professorship in Pediatric Oncology Research. He is also an Attending Physician in the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX.  He received his A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University a combined MD, PhD from Washington University in St. Louis.  He did a residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and completed a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, before joining Len Zon’s lab at Boston Children’s Hospital where he began his work using zebrafish as a model of human cancer. In 2005 he joined the faculty at UT Southwestern.  A physician-scientist, he divides his time between his research laboratory and Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, where he specializes in the care of children with cancer and blood disorders.  Research in the Amatruda lab focuses on understanding the genetic causes of childhood cancers, including genitourinary cancers and sarcomas, using zebrafish models and human genomic approaches. At UT Southwestern, Dr. Amatruda is the Associate Division Director for Research in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, and Assistant Director do the Medical Scientist Training Program. He also serves as Chair of the Germ Cell Tumor Biology and Rare Tumors Biology committees in the Children’s Oncology Group.


Medical School
Washington University School of Medicine (1993)
Brigham and Women's Hospital (1996), Internal Medicine
Consglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (1997), Molecular Genetics
Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School (1999), Hematology & Oncology
Children's Hospital of Boston (2004), Pediatric Hematology

Specialty Areas

Clinical Interest

  • Genitourinary Cancers
  • Sarcomas
  • Research Interest

    • Ewing sarcoma
    • Germ cell tumors
    • Pediatric cancers
    • Wilms tumor
    • Zebrafish models of human disease


    Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

    Blockade to pathological remodeling of infarcted heart tissue using a porcupine antagonist.
    Moon J, Zhou H, Zhang LS, Tan W, Liu Y, Zhang S, Morlock LK, Bao X, Palecek SP, Feng JQ, Williams NS, Amatruda JF, Olson EN, Bassel-Duby R, Lum L Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017 Jan
    C/EBPß-1 promotes transformation and chemoresistance in Ewing sarcoma cells.
    Gardiner JD, Abegglen LM, Huang X, Carter BE, Schackmann EA, Stucki M, Paxton CN, Randall RL, Amatruda JF, Putnam AR, Kovar H, Lessnick SL, Schiffman JD Oncotarget 2017 Jan
    Fasting selectively blocks development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia via leptin-receptor upregulation.
    Lu Z, Xie J, Wu G, Shen J, Collins R, Chen W, Kang X, Luo M, Zou Y, Huang LJ, Amatruda JF, Slone T, Winick N, Scherer PE, Zhang CC Nat. Med. 2016 Dec


    Featured Books Legend Featured Books

    Honors & Awards

    • Regent's Outstanding Teaching Award
      University of Texas System (2013)
    • Outstanding Teacher, MS1 Class
    • Health Care Heroes Award, Dallas Business Journal
    • William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation Scholar
    • Arnold Dunne Award
    • Alpha Omega Alpha

    Professional Associations/Affiliations

    • Zebrafish Disease Models Society (2013)
    • American Association for Cancer Research (2012)
    • Society for Developmental Biology (2010)
    • American Society for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology (2008)