Dr. Patrick Grierson joined the Department of Medicine in the Division of Oncology as an Instructor on July 1, 2019.
Dr. Grierson’s main research objective is to improve outcomes in difficult to treat malignancies by identifying novel molecular targets that mediate de novo or acquired resistance to current therapies.
His pre-clinical research focuses on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which is characterized by frequent mutation of the KRAS oncogene, as well as a desmoplastic stroma. Unfortunately, neither targeting of KRAS nor its downstream effectors has produced meaningful clinical benefit, and the benefits of immunotherapy have not yet been realized in this disease. Further, targeting of the desmoplastic stroma has yielded mixed results, thereby leaving cytotoxic chemotherapy as the standard approach to systemic therapy. Therefore, Dr. Grierson will aim to identify novel molecular targets, either tumor cell intrinsic or extrinsic, to improve survival in this disease with limited therapeutic options. In an effort to identify novel molecular targets, he will employ broad in vitro laboratory techniques as well as in vivo genetically-engineered mouse models of pancreas cancer. Using these approaches, the lab group Dr. Grierson is with has identified stress- and inflammation-mediated MAPK signaling pathways in pancreatic cancer that contribute to treatment resistance, with high potential for clinical translation.
Clinically, Dr. Grierson will focus on the care of patients with diverse gastrointestinal malignancies, with a special interest in translating pre-clinical discoveries of novel therapeutics into early-phase clinical trials.