Stephen X. Skapek, M.D., earned his medical degree at the Duke University School of Medicine. He then completed a residency in pediatrics at Wilford Hall Medical Center, a U.S. Air Force treatment facility in San Antonio, Texas, followed by a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Children’s Hospital Boston, as well as a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Skapek is Co-Leader of the Cancer and Development Scientific Program at UTSW’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Childhood Cancer for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. He serves on several leadership committees for the international Children’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest clinical research organization focused on childhood cancers. He's a member of several other professional organizations including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Skapek leads a research lab that focuses on tumor-suppressor genes in soft-tissue sarcomas. He has delivered numerous invited lectures and published countless academic articles.

He is currently Interim Chair of UT Southwestern’s Department of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. He holds the UT Southwestern Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Oncology Research. He also serves as Medical Director of the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Health.


Medical School
Duke University (1988)
Wilford Hall Medical Center (1991), Pediatrics
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (1994), Pediatric Hematology/oncology

Research Interest

  • Elucidating molecular mechanisms for Arf-dependent regulation of vascular involution during eye development and tumor angiogenesis
  • Studying the molecular basis for how persistent expression of cyclin D1 in mouse photoreceptors and pinealocytes disrupts normal eye development and leads to tumor formation as a novel model for retinoblastoma and pineoblastoma
  • Treatment of children with aggressive fibromatosis using minimally-toxic therapy
  • Understanding molecular and genetic mechanisms for coordinating the initiation of differentiation with cell proliferation arrest in skeletal myoblasts and determining whether the manipulation of these programs alters the biology of rhabdomyosarcoma-derived cells


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Addition of Vincristine and Irinotecan to Vincristine, Dactinomycin, and Cyclophosphamide Does Not Improve Outcome for Intermediate-Risk Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group.
Hawkins DS, Chi YY, Anderson JR, Tian J, Arndt CAS, Bomgaars L, Donaldson SS, Hayes-Jordan A, Mascarenhas L, McCarville MB, McCune JS, McCowage G, Million L, Morris CD, Parham DM, Rodeberg DA, Rudzinski ER, Shnorhavorian M, Spunt SL, Skapek SX, Teot LA, Wolden S, Yock TI, Meyer WH J. Clin. Oncol. 2018 Aug JCO2018779694
Integrative Bayesian Analysis Identifies Rhabdomyosarcoma Disease Genes.
Xu L, Zheng Y, Liu J, Rakheja D, Singleterry S, Laetsch TW, Shern JF, Khan J, Triche TJ, Hawkins DS, Amatruda JF, Skapek SX Cell Rep 2018 Jul 24 1 238-251
PAX3-FOXO1 transgenic zebrafish models identify HES3 as a mediator of rhabdomyosarcoma tumorigenesis.
Kendall GC, Watson S, Xu L, LaVigne CA, Murchison W, Rakheja D, Skapek SX, Tirode F, Delattre O, Amatruda JF Elife 2018 Jun 7
Undifferentiated sarcomas in children harbor clinically-relevant oncogenic fusions and gene copy-number alterations: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.
Laetsch TW, Roy A, Xu L, Black JO, Coffin CM, Chi YY, Tian J, Spunt SL, Hawkins DS, Bridge JA, Parsons DW, Skapek SX Clin. Cancer Res. 2018 Apr
Clinical and mutational spectrum of highly differentiated, paired box 3:forkhead box protein o1 fusion-negative rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.
Teot LA, Schneider M, Thorner AR, Tian J, Chi YY, Ducar M, Lin L, Wlodarski M, Grier HE, Fletcher CDM, van Hummelen P, Skapek SX, Hawkins DS, Wagers AJ, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Hettmer S Cancer 2018 Feb
Histology, fusion status, and outcome in metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the Children's Oncology Group.
Rudzinski ER, Anderson JR, Chi YY, Gastier-Foster JM, Astbury C, Barr FG, Skapek SX, Hawkins DS, Weigel BJ, Pappo A, Meyer WH, Arnold MA, Teot LA, Parham DM Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017 May
The Role of Childhood Infections and Immunizations on Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group.
Sankaran H, Danysh HE, Scheurer ME, Okcu MF, Skapek SX, Hawkins DS, Spector LG, Erhardt EB, Grufferman S, Lupo PJ Pediatr Blood Cancer 2016 May
Current state of pediatric sarcoma biology and opportunities for future discovery: A report from the sarcoma translational research workshop.
Hingorani P, Janeway K, Crompton BD, Kadoch C, Mackall CL, Khan J, Shern JF, Schiffman J, Mirabello L, Savage SA, Ladanyi M, Meltzer P, Bult CJ, Adamson PC, Lupo PJ, Mody R, DuBois SG, Parsons DW, Khanna C, Lau C, Hawkins DS, Randall RL, Smith M, Sorensen PH, Plon SE, Skapek SX, Lessnick S, Gorlick R, Reed DR Cancer Genet 2016 May 209 5 182-94
Histology, Fusion Status, and Outcome in Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma With Low-Risk Clinical Features: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group.
Arnold MA, Anderson JR, Gastier-Foster JM, Barr FG, Skapek SX, Hawkins DS, Raney RB, Parham DM, Teot LA, Rudzinski ER, Walterhouse DO Pediatr Blood Cancer 2016 Jan
p19(Arf) limits primary vitreous cell proliferation driven by PDGF-B.
Iqbal NS, Devitt CC, Sung CY, Skapek SX Exp. Eye Res. 2016 Jan 145 224-229


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Best Pediatric Specialists/Doctors in Dallas
    D Magazine (2015-2018)
  • Distinguished Professorship in Pediatric Oncology Research
    Children’s Cancer Fund (2011)
  • Research Scholar Award
    American Cancer Society (2004)
  • Medical Research Award
    G and P Foundation for Cancer Research (1999)
  • Clinical Investigator Development Award (K08)
    NIH (1994)
  • Achievement Medal
    United States Air Force (1992)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research (2008)
  • American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (2008)
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (2006)
  • Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group (1999-2000)
  • Pediatric Oncology Group/Children's Oncology Group (1997)