James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D., is a tenured Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) and a member of the Division of Hematology and Oncology. He holds the Sherry Wigley Crow Cancer Research Endowed Chair in Honor of Robert Lewis Kirby, M.D.
A practicing physician-scientist specializing in kidney cancer, Dr. Brugarolas is the founding director of the Kidney Cancer Program (KCP) at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Recognized for its clinical excellence with a Leaders in Clinical Excellence Program Development Award, for its innovation with a finalist Healthcare Innovation Award, and for its research with one of two National Cancer Institute (NCI) Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) Awards for kidney cancer in the US, the KCP has become a trailblazing program despite its short history. The program is one of a few across the world to have completed the journey from gene discovery to the development of a drug, a first-in-class HIF2 inhibitor, now approved by the FDA.
Dr. Brugarolas joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2006. Discoveries from the Brugarolas Laboratory have led to the identification of kidney cancer-causing genes, established the foundation for the first molecularly-based classification of the most common type of kidney cancer, enabled mouse models reproducing the human disease, established HIF2 as a core dependency, identified drivers of tumor grade, and provided a biological explanation for elusive prognostic factors.
Dr. Brugarolas earned his medical degree at Spain’s Universidad de Navarra before earning a doctoral degree in biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he trained with Tyler Jacks, Ph.D. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center and an oncology fellowship at a combined program of Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), where he trained in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate, William G. Kaelin, MD.
An active national and international speaker, Dr. Brugarolas serves on the NCI Renal Cancer Task Force and is the chair of the scientific advisory board of the Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
He has authored groundbreaking research and published in journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Cancer Cell, Nature Genetics, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Medical School
- Universidad de Navarra (1993)
- Graduate School
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998)
- Other Post Graduate Training
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998)
- Duke University - Medicine Internship (1999), Internal Medicine
- Duke University - Medicine Residency (2001), Internal Medicine
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School (2003), Medical Oncology
- Kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
- Molecular genetics and genomics of cancer
- Molecularly targeted therapies
- Research translation
- Signaling mechanisms and mechanisms of resistance to targeted agents
- HIF2 inactivation and tumor suppression with a tumor-directed RNA-silencing drug in mice and humans.
- Ma Y, Joyce A, Brandenburg O, Saatchi F, Stevens C, Tcheuyap VT, Christie A, Do Q, Fatunde O, Macchiaroli A, Wong SC, Woolford L, Yousuf Q, Miyata J, Carrillo D, Onabolu O, McKenzie T, Mishra A, Hardy T, He W, Li D, Ivanishev A, Zhang Q, Pedrosa I, Kapur P, Schluep T, Kanner SB, Hamilton J, Brugarolas J, Clin Cancer Res 2022 Oct
- Stereotactic Ablative Radiation for Systemic Therapy-naive Oligometastatic Kidney Cancer.
- Hannan R, Christensen M, Christie A, Garant A, Pedrosa I, Robles L, Mannala S, Wang C, Hammers H, Arafat W, Courtney K, Bowman IA, Sher D, Ahn C, Cole S, Choy H, Timmerman R, Brugarolas J, Eur Urol Oncol 2022 Aug
- Phase II Trial of Stereotactic Ablative Radiation for Oligoprogressive Metastatic Kidney Cancer.
- Hannan R, Christensen M, Hammers H, Christie A, Paulman B, Lin D, Garant A, Arafat W, Courtney K, Bowman I, Cole S, Sher D, Ahn C, Choy H, Timmerman R, Brugarolas J, Eur Urol Oncol 2021 Dec
- A renal cell carcinoma tumorgraft platform to advance precision medicine.
- Elias R, Tcheuyap VT, Kaushik AK, Singla N, Gao M, Reig Torras O, Christie A, Mulgaonkar A, Woolford L, Stevens C, Kettimuthu KP, Pavia-Jimenez A, Boroughs LK, Joyce A, Dakanali M, Notgrass H, Margulis V, Cadeddu JA, Pedrosa I, Williams NS, Sun X, DeBerardinis RJ, Öz OK, Zhong H, Seshagiri S, Modrusan Z, Cantarel BL, Kapur P, Brugarolas J, Cell Rep 2021 Nov 37 8 110055
- The Evolution of Angiogenic and Inflamed Tumors: The Renal Cancer Paradigm.
- Brugarolas J, Rajaram S, Christie A, Kapur P, Cancer Cell 2020 Dec 38 6 771-773
- Pancreatic tropism of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
- Singla N, Xie Z, Zhang Z, Gao M, Yousuf Q, Onabolu O, McKenzie T, Tcheuyap VT, Ma Y, Choi J, McKay R, Christie A, Torras OR, Bowman IA, Margulis V, Pedrosa I, Przybycin C, Wang T, Kapur P, Rini B, Brugarolas J, JCI Insight 2020 Apr 5 7
- HIF-2 Complex Dissociation, Target Inhibition, and Acquired Resistance with PT2385, a First-in-Class HIF-2 Inhibitor in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients.
- Courtney KD, Ma Y, Diaz de Leon A, Christie A, Xie Z, Woolford L, Singla N, Joyce A, Hill H, Madhuranthakam AJ, Yuan Q, Xi Y, Zhang Y, Chang J, Fatunde O, Arriaga Y, Frankel AE, Kalva S, Zhang S, McKenzie T, Reig O, Figlin RA, Rini BI, McKay RM, Kapur P, Wang T, Pedrosa I, Brugarolas J, Clin. Cancer Res. 2019 Nov
- PD-L1 detection using 89Zr-atezolizumab immuno-PET in renal cell carcinoma tumorgrafts from a patient with favorable nivolumab response.
- Vento J, Mulgaonkar A, Woolford L, Nham K, Christie A, Bagrodia A, de Leon AD, Hannan R, Bowman I, McKay RM, Kapur P, Hao G, Sun X, Brugarolas J, J Immunother Cancer 2019 Jun 7 1 144
- An Empirical Approach Leveraging Tumorgrafts to Dissect the Tumor Microenvironment in Renal Cell Carcinoma Identifies Missing Link to Prognostic Inflammatory Factors.
- Wang T, Lu R, Kapur P, Jaiswal BS, Hannan R, Zhang Z, Pedrosa I, Luke JJ, Zhang H, Goldstein LD, Yousuf Q, Gu YF, McKenzie T, Joyce A, Kim MS, Wang X, Luo D, Onabolu O, Stevens C, Xie Z, Chen M, Filatenkov A, Torrealba J, Luo X, Guo W, He J, Stawiski E, Modrusan Z, Durinck S, Seshagiri S, Brugarolas J Cancer Discov 2018 Jun
- Modeling Renal Cell Carcinoma in Mice: Bap1 and Pbrm1 Inactivation Drive Tumor Grade.
- Gu YF, Cohn S, Christie A, McKenzie T, Wolff NC, Do QN, Madhuranthakam A, Pedrosa I, Wang T, Dey A, Busslinger M, Xie XJ, Hammer RE, McKay RM, Kapur P, Brugarolas J Cancer Discov 2017 May
mTORC1 Signaling and Hypoxia. In mTOR Pathway and mTOR Inhibitors in Cancer Therapy
Brugarolas, J (2010). Humana Press
Research Translation and Personalized Medicine. In Renal Cell Carcinoma
Brugarolas, J. (2012). Springer US
Honors & Awards
- Principal Investigator
Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) Award (2022)
- Sherry Wigley Crow Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
- Elected Member
American Society for Clinical Investigation (2013)
- Individual Investigator Research Award
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (2010)
- Research Scholar
American Cancer Society (2008)
- Basil O'Connor Research Award
March of Dimes (2007)
- Clinical Scientist Development Award
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (2007)
- V Scholar Award
The V Foundation for Cancer Research (2007)
- Virginia Murchison Linthicum Endowed Scholar in Medical Research
UT Southwestern Medical School (2006)
- Young Investigator Award
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Harvard Medical School (2004)
- Claudia Adams Barr Award for Innovative Basic Cancer Research
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (2003)
- American Association for Cancer Research (2006)
- American Society for Advancement of Science (2006)
- American Society for Clinical Investigation (2013)
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (2006)
- MIT chapter of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society of North America (1998)