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Jessica Tsai, M.D., Ph.D.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Jessica Tsai is a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in the laboratory of Pratiti Bandopadhayay. She is also an attending physician in Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplant at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. As a graduate student with Tom Clandinin at Stanford, she identified a novel transcriptional feedback pathway critical for synapse maintenance, revealing a critical role for the interaction of presynaptic proteins and phospholipids to maintain neuronal networks. Jess completed her MD/PhD in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Stanford University School of Medicine, then subsequently completed her residency in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and her fellowship in Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is dedicated to a career as a physician-scientist, with an interest specifically in pediatric brain and solid tumors. Jess now utilizes single cell approaches, epigenetics, and genome-scale functional modifier screens to identify drivers of pediatric high grade gliomas and novel dependencies. Her long-term research interest is to determine precisely how developmental pathways are hijacked in pediatric brain cancers. She is also Director of Research for the STEM Advocacy Institute (SAi), a non-profit incubator that provides support to accelerate the building of novel STEM programs and tools and envisions a future where STEM is more accessible and inclusive. Jess is a recipient of a St. Baldrick’s Foundation Fellowship with support from Griffin’s Guardians, a Young Investigator Award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and a Helen Gurley Brown Presidential Initiative Fellowship.

Science Programs at Allen Institute