David W. Dawson, MD, PhD

David Dawson, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Physician, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Surgical Pathology, Gastroenterology/Liver Pathology





Institutional Affiliation

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center



Gastrointestinal Pathology, UCLA School of Medicine, 2002


Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, UCLA School of Medicine, 1999 - 2000


MD, Northwestern University Medical School, 1999
PhD, Northwestern University, 1997


Anatomic Pathology, UCLA School of Medicine, 2000 - 2001

Board Certification

Anatomic Pathology, American Board of Pathology, 2002

Contact Information


(310) 794-9450 - Gastroenterology/Liver and Surgical Pathology information and referral
(310) 267-2680 - Gastroenterology/Liver Pathology referring physician

Scientific Interests

Dr. David Dawson is interested in molecular changes responsible for the development and progression of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. His primary research is focused on the regulation and function of Wnt signaling in pancreatic cancer progression with the long term goals of developing clinically useful Wnt-based biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. He is also seeking to understand the spectrum of epigenetic events causally linked to pancreatic tumorigenesis, as well as the factors responsible for dictating changes in DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications during pancreatic tumor initiation and progression.

Highlighted Publications

Arensman MD, Nguyen P, Kershaw KM, Lay AR, Ostertag-Hill CA, Sherman MH, Downes M, Liddle C, Evans RM, Dawson DW. Calcipotriol Targets LRP6 to Inhibit Wnt Signaling in Pancreatic Cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2015 Nov;13(11):1509-19. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-15-0204. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Arensman MD, Telesca D, Lay AR, Kershaw KM, Wu N, Donahue TR, Dawson DW. The CREB-binding protein inhibitor ICG-001 suppresses pancreatic cancer growth. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Oct;13(10):2303-14. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-1005. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Dawson DW, Hertzer K, Moro A, Donald G, Chang HH, Go VL, Pandol SJ, Lugea A, Gukovskaya AS, Li G, Hines OJ, Rozengurt E, Eibl G. High-fat, high-calorie diet promotes early pancreatic neoplasia in the conditional KrasG12D mouse model. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Oct;6(10):1064-73. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0065. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Arensman MD, Kovochich AN, Kulikauskas RM, Lay AR, Yang PT, Li X, Donahue T, Major MB, Moon RT, Chien AJ, Dawson DW. WNT7B mediates autocrine Wnt/Beta-catenin signaling and anchorage-independent growth in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Oncogene. 2014 Feb 13;33(7):899-908. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.23. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Manuyakorn A, Paulus R, Farrell J, Dawson NA, Tze S, Cheung-Lau G, Hines OJ, Reber H, Seligson DB, Horvath S, Kurdistani SK, Guha C, Dawson DW. Cellular histone modification patterns predict prognosis and treatment response in resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma: results from RTOG 9704. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Mar 10;28(8):1358-65. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.24.5639. Epub 2010 Feb 8.