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Boris C. Bastian, MD

Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Boris Bastian received his MD degree and Dr. Med degree from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. After completing a residency in dermatology at the University of Wurzburg, he received additional training in dermatopathology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco before joining the institution's faculty and starting his research laboratory at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2010 he moved to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to become Chairman of the Department of Pathology. He served as the President of the Society of Melanoma Research from 2010 to 2013. In 2011 he returned to UCSF where he holds the title of Gerson and Barbara Bakar Distinguished Professor of Cancer Biology. He founded and directs the Clinical Cancer Genomics Laboratory at UCSF, which performs molecular diagnostics for patients of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has clinical responsibilities in the Dermatopathology Section of the Departments of Dermatology and Pathology, where he also oversees the molecular diagnostic laboratory.

Dr. Bastian’s research laboratory focuses on the molecular genetics of cutaneous neoplasms, with a particular emphasis on the discovery of genetic alterations useful for diagnosis, classification, and therapy. His laboratory has contributed to the discovery of multiple genetic alterations in melanocytic neoplasia that are relevant for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes and he has established a taxonomy of melanocytic neoplasia that integrates molecular and clinical disease aspects. He has received numerous awards for his work.

Selected Publications

  • Curtin JA, Fridlyand J, Kageshita T, Patel H, Busam K, Kutzner H, Cho KH, Aiba S, Bröcker EB, LeBoit PE, Pinkel D, Bastian BC. Distinct Sets of Genetic Alterations in Melanoma. N Engl J Med. 2005 17;353(20):2135-47. PMID 16291983, no PMCID
  • Ablain J, Xu M, Rothschild H, Jordan RC, Mito JK, Daniels BH, Bell CF, Joseph NM, Wu H, Bastian BC*, Zon LI*, Yeh I*. Human tumor genomics and zebrafish modeling identify SPRED1 loss as a driver of mucosal melanoma. Science. 2018 Nov 30;362(6418):1055–60. *equal contribution
  • Bastian BC, The molecular pathology of melanoma: an integrated taxonomy of melanocytic neoplasia. Annu. Rev. Pathol. 2014;9:239-71. PMC4831647
  • Shain, A.H., Yeh, I., Kovalyshyn, I., Sriharan, A., Talevich, E., Gagnon, A., Dummer, R., North, J., Pincus, L., Ruben, B., Rickaby, W., D’Arrigo, C., Robson, A., Bastian, BC. The genetic evolution of melanoma from precursor lesions. N Engl J Med. 2015, 20:373:1926-36. PMID: 26559571
  • Van Raamsdonk, CD, Bezrookove V, Green G, Bauer J, Gaugler L, O’Brien JM, Simpson EM, Barsh GE, Bastian BC. Frequent somatic mutations of GNAQ in uveal melanoma and blue nevi. Nature. 2009 Jan 29;457(7229):599-602. Epub 2008 Dec 10. PMC2696133
  • Van Raamsdonk CD, Griewank KG, Crosby MB, Garrido MC, Vemula S, Wiesner T, Obenauf AC, Wackernagel, Werner, Green G, Bouvier N, Sozen MM, Baimukanova G, Roy R, Heguy A, Dogalev I, Khanin R, Busam K, Speicher MR, O'Brien JM, Bastian BC. Mutations in GNA11 in Uveal Melanoma. N Engl J Med 2010; Dec 2;363(23):2191-9. PMC3107972
  • Chen X, Wu Q, Tan L, Porter D, Jager MJ, Emergy C, Bastian BC. Combined PKC and MEK inhibition in uveal melanoma tumorigenesis by activating YAP. Oncogene. 2014; 33(39):4724-34. PMC4524511
  • Chen, X., Wu, Q., Depeille, P., Chen, P., Thornton, S., Kalirai, H., Coupland, S.E., Roose, J.P., and Bastian, B.C. (2017). RasGRP3 Mediates MAPK Pathway Activation in GNAQ Mutant Uveal Melanoma. Cancer Cell 31, 685–696.e6. PMC5499527
  • Wiesner T, Obenauf AC, Murali R, Fried I, Griewank KG, Ulz P, Windpassinger C, Wackernagel W, Loy S, Wolf I, Viale A, Lash AE, Pirun M, Socci ND, Rütten A, Palmedo G, Abramson D, Offit K, Ott A, Becker JC, Cerroni L, Kutzner H, Bastian BC*, Speicher MR*.*co-corresponding and co--last authors. Germline mutations in BAP1 predispose to melanocytic tumors. Nat. Genet., 2011, PMC3328403
  • Bastian BC, LeBoit PE, Pinkel D. Mutations and copy number increase of HRAS in Spitz nevi with distinctive histopathological features. Am J Pathol. 2000 Sep;157(3):967–972. PMC1885704
  • Wiesner T, He J, Yelensky R, Esteve-Puig R, Botton T, Yeh I, Lipson D, Otto G, Brennan K, Murali R, Garrido M, Miller VA, Ross JS, Berger MF, Sparatta A, Palmedo G, Cerroni L, Busam KJ, Kutzner H, Cronin MT, Stephens PJ, Bastian BC. Kinase fusions are frequent in Spitz tumours and spitzoid melanomas. Nat Commun. 2014 Jan 20;5. PMC4084638
  • Yeh I, Botton T, Talevich E, Shain AH, Sparatta AJ, de la Fouchardiere A, Mully TW, North JP, Garrido MC, Gagnon A, Vemula SS, McCalmont TH, LeBoit PE, Bastian BC. Activating MET kinase rearrangements in melanoma and Spitz tumours. Nat Commun. 2015;6:7174. PMC4446791
  • Landi MT, Bauer j, Pfeiffer RM, Elder DE, Hulley B, Minghetti P, Calista D, Pinkel D, Kanetsky PA, Bastian BC. MC1R Germline Variants Confer Risk for BRAF-Mutant Melanoma. Science. 2006;313(5786):512–2. PMID: 16809487
  • Viros A, Fridlyand J, Bauer J, Lasithiotakis K, Garbe C, Pinkel D, Bastian BC. Improving Melanoma Classification by Integrating Genetic and Morphologic Features. PLoS Med. 2008;5(6):e120. PMC2408611
  • Shain AH, Garrido M, Botton T, Talevich E, Yeh I, Sanborn JZ, Chung J, Wang NJ, Kakavand H, Mann GJ, Thompson JF, Wiesner T, Roy R, Olshen AB, Gagnon A, Gray JW, Huh N, Hur JS, Busam KJ, Scolyer RA, Cho RJ, Murali R, Bastian BC. Exome sequencing of desmoplastic melanoma identifies recurrent NFKBIE promoter mutations and diverse activating mutations in the MAPK pathway. Nat Genet. 2015 Oct;47(10):1194–9
  • Shain AH, Joseph NM, Yu R, Benhamida J, Liu S, Prow T, Ruben B, North J, Pincus L, Yeh I, Judson R, Bastian BC. Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Incremental Disruption of Key Signaling Pathways during Melanoma Evolution. Cancer Cell. 2018 Jul 9;34(1):45-55. PMID: 29990500

Selected Awards

  • 2017 NCI Outstanding Investigator Award
  • 2017 Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award, American Academy of Dermatology
  • 2016 Research Achievement Award in Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research, American Skin Association
  • 2015 Stein Innovation Award, Research to Prevent Blindness
  • 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, Society of Melanoma Research
  • 2012 Scientific Leadership Award, Melanoma Research Foundation
  • 2012 Helwig Award, American Society of Dermatopathology
  • Elected to the German National Academy of Science
  • 2012 Honorary Member, European Association of Dermatologic Oncology
  • 2010-2013 President, Society of Melanoma Research
  • 2008 Abby S. and Howard P Milstein Innovation Award for Skin Cancer Research, American Skin Association
  • 2005 Hermann Pinkus Lectureship and Award, American Society of Dermatopathology
Boris C. Bastian, MD
  • Professor
  • Pathology
  • Dermatology

Specialty Area

  • Dermatopathology: Skin cancer biology and genetics

Contact Information

Mailing/Shipping Address:

  • UCSF
  • Boris C. Bastian, MD
  • Box 3116
  • 1450 Third Street, Room HD-281
  • San Francisco, CA 94143

Web Site

Hospital Affiliation(s)

  • UCSF Mount Zion, Department of Dermatology, Dermatopathology Section
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