Theo Ross, MD, PhD
Theodora Ross, holds the Jeanne Ann Plitt Professorship in Breast Cancer Research and the H. Ben and Isabelle T. Decherd Chair in Internal Medicine, in Honor of Henry M. Winans, Sr., M.D. at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in oncology and cancer genetics.
Dr. Ross received her M.D. and Ph.D. from the Washington University Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in St. Louis. She completed her medical residency in Boston at Harvard’s the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Prior to joining UT Southwestern, Dr. Ross served as a clinician and researcher at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where for many years she cared for patients with breast cancer and investigated the basic cellular mechanisms of cancer cells and how those cells resist targeted cancer drugs.
Her laboratory has investigated the physiologic and neoplastic roles of HIP1 as well as HIP1/PDGFβR, AML1/ETO and BCR/ABL. They discovered that HIP1 is an endocytic protein that can transform cells by inhibiting degradation of growth factor receptors. They have generated many strains of genetically-modified mice, including Hip1 knockout mice. These mice die at 3-6 months of age with altered choline metabolism, cataracts, spinal defects and weight loss. Thus, HIP1 is required for normal growth and development. They have also generated other mouse models of leukemia and have studied targeted drug responses and resistance. Her laboratory at UT Southwestern continues to research HIP1 and also investigates BRCA1, a breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene. Her clinical team investigates how we determine if rare variations in cancer gene sequences are normal or pathogenic and when pathogenic, what to do about those faulty genes.
She has received numerous cancer research related honors including awards from the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Hematology, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
In her clinical practice, Dr. Ross now cares for individuals at a high genetic risk for any type of cancer. She also serves as the director of the UT Southwestern Cancer Genetics Program.
In addition to enjoying graduate students and postdoctoral trainees her educational focus can be seen in lay publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post and her book entitled A Cancer in the Family: Take Control of Your Genetic Inheritance.