David Nathanson, PhD

Project 2 Co-Leader, Biospecimen Core Co-Leader
David A. Nathanson

Dr. David Nathanson is an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 

Dr. Nathanson received his Ph.D. from UCLA under Dr. Paul Mischel in 2011.  His graduate studies with Dr. Mischel focused on interrogating the mechanisms in which glioblastomas acquire resistance to targeted therapy. From his work, he discovered a novel “hide and seek” drug resistance mechanism, whereby glioblastoma cells evade targeted drugs by eliminating the targeted genetic mutation (Nathanson et. al, Science, 2014). Dr. Nathanson conducted his post-doctoral work with Drs. Caius Radu and Johannes Czernin, which led to the development of a new therapy to target DNA metabolism in cancer (Nathanson et. al, JEM, 2014) and the founding of Trethera Corporation, a clinical stage biotechnology company. 

Dr. Nathanson's current laboratory investigates the dynamic interplay between specific molecular alterations and critical functional processes (e.g., metabolism, apoptosis) in malignant glioma. Using quantitative approaches to measure changes in tumor metabolism and the apoptotic machinery, together with innovative glioma models, his lab aims to 1) identify oncogenic signaling nodes responsible for regulating these critical functional processes during tumor development and drug resistance, and 2) develop new therapeutic approaches that exploit functional vulnerabilities in glioma for improved patient outcomes (e.g., Mai et. al., Nature Medicine, 2017).

Dr. Nathanson is a member of the UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division, and the Broad Stem Cell Institute at UCLA. He is a former Scholar in Oncologic Molecular Imaging (SOMI) Fellow, NIH T32 awardee, and recipient of the Johnny Mercer Foundation Award for brain tumor research (2015).