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)
Other Post Graduate Training
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998)
Graduate School
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

Research Interest

  • Biomarkers
  • Immunotherapy
  • 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


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Featured Books Legend Featured Books

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 Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (2004)
  • Claudia Adams Barr Award for Innovative Basic Cancer Research
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (2003)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • 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)