Pamela Paris, PhD
Pamela Paris, PhD
Pamela Paris, PhD received her undergraduate degree from John Carroll University, where she obtained a degree in chemistry magna cum laude. She was awarded two fellowships, the Sherman Clarke Fellow and Merck Fellow, while conducting her advanced education in biophysical chemistry at the University of Rochester. Upon completion of her PhD, Paris did a post doctoral fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in prostate cancer genetics. She joined the Department of Urology in 2001 as an Associate Researcher, received support from the Prostate Cancer Career Development Program from 2001 to 2003, and was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Urology in 2009. Dr. Paris received a joint appoint in the Division of Hematology-Oncology in 2010 and was advanced to Professor in 2012.
The Paris laboratory conducts translational cancer genomics research. Their overarching goal is to identify drug targets with associated prognostic biomarkers. The primary focus has been prostate cancer. Dr. Paris published a landmark paper demonstrating the use of formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue with array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). This research advance makes possible clinically significant studies because stored tissue from patients with prostate cancer with extensive follow-up can now be studied. As a co-leader of a UCSF prostate SPORE program project, Paris helped identify a set of DNA based biomarkers (named GEMCaP for Genomic Evaluators of Metastatic Cancer of the Prostate) that may help identify patients at the time of surgical intervention who are at high-risk of recurrence and metastasis, and therefore may assist Urologists in adjuvant therapy decisions. Their current research is aimed at validating these biomarkers with the goal of bringing a predictive tool into the clinic. Up and coming work will involve evaluating GEMCaP’s prognostic ability in the Active Surveillance setting.
On the other side of the disease spectrum is castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Ultimately, resistance to androgen deprivation therapy and chemotherapy is the underlying cause of mortality in patients with advanced prostate cancer. A major constraint in studying resistance mechanisms in advanced prostate cancer has been the limited accessibility to metastatic CRPC tissue. In collaboration with the Division of Hematology-Oncology, Paris piloted a project to isolate Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) from patients with CRPC. This research moves beyond CTC enumeration studies and genomically profiled CTCs. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first time CTCs had been profiled by high resolution aCGH. Copy number profiles from CTCs could provide potential new drug targets for castration resistant tumors. Current CTC research in the Paris laboratory is focused on CTC platform development and pairing with downstream genomic applications to make CTCs a vital part of personalized medicine.
University of California San Francisco,
Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building,
Department of Urology, 1450 3rd Street, HD384,
San Francisco, CA 94158-9001
(UCSF inter-office mail should be sent to Box 3110)