Sam McBrayer received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Baylor University and went on to obtain his Ph.D. in cancer biology from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. At Northwestern, he worked to explain the molecular underpinnings of enhanced glucose transport activity in multiple myeloma in the laboratory of Dr. Steven Rosen. Dr. McBrayer then joined the laboratory of Dr. William G. Kaelin, Jr. at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow. During his time in the Kaelin Laboratory, he studied metabolic reprogramming in glioma and developed new strategies for brain tumor therapy.


In 2019, Dr. McBrayer joined the faculty of Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern as an Assistant Professor. Since then, he has received awards from the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.


The McBrayer laboratory is working to identify the metabolic mechanisms that push cells to become cancerous and find new ways to inhibit them. To identify these mechanisms, they study the biology of brain tumors driven by mutations in genes that regulate metabolism. Studying these mutations will help them discover fundamental connections between metabolism and other aspects of cell biology that are likely to control cancer formation in many different tissues. These insights hold great promise for the development of new therapies for patients with brain tumors and, by extension, for those with other types of cancer.


Baylor University (2006), Biochemistry
Graduate School
Northwestern Univ (2012), Cancer Biology

Research Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Brain Tumor Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Metabolism
  • Mouse Genetics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Distinguished Scientist Award, Sontag Foundation
  • Rising Stars of Cancer Metabolism Runner-Up, New York Academy of Sciences
  • Abeloff V Scholar Award, V Foundation for Cancer Research
  • NCI K22 Career Transition Award
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Young Scholars Symposium
  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
  • Aspen Cancer Conference Fellow
  • DF/HCC Brain SPORE Career Enhancement Program Award
  • American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP Scholarship
  • NCI T32 Fellowship
  • Magna Cum Laude, Baylor University
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research (2021)
  • Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center (2019)
  • Society for Neuro-Oncology (2021)