David S. Alberts, MD

Regents Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Public Health

Director, Arizona Cancer Center

 Leon Levy Cancer Center Room 2964
P.O. Box 245024,
Tucson AZ 85724-5024

Phone: 
(520)626-7685 or 626-7925
Email Address: 
dalberts@azcc.arizona.edu

Fax: (520)626-6898

Education: 
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine, 1966 (M.D.)
  • University of Wisconsin, 1966-1967 (Internship)
  • University of Minnesota, 1969-1971 (Residency)
  • University of California San Francisco, 1972-1974, PMA Faculty Trainee in Clinical Pharmacology
Honors & Awards: 
  • Faculty Training Grant in Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMA), 1972-1974
  • Chairman, Oncologic Advisory Committee, U.S. FDA, 1982-1984
  • Chairman, Gynecology Committee, Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), 1977-2001
  • Chairman, Cancer Prevention and Control Committee, Gynecologic Oncology Group, 1995-present
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, 1997-present
  • Board of Scientific Advisors, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 1999-2003
  • Associate Dean for Research, 1996
  • ASPO Distinguished Achievement Award for Lifetime Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Prevention Research
  • AACR Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research, 2004
  • Former Director, Cancer Prevention and Control, Arizona Cancer Center
Major Areas of Research Interest: 
  • Chemoprevention of breast, colon, cervix, prostate, and skin cancers
  • Novel anti-cancer and chemoprevention drug development
  • Development, validation and testing of endpoint biomarkers for chemoprevention with special emphasis on quantitative histopathology using machine vision -Development of new anticancer and cancer chemopreventive agents -Clinical trials in cancer prevention and treatment of gynecologic and skin cancers
  • In vitro biomarkers of cancer risk, including biochemical, molecular/genetic and immunohistochemical
Research Activities: 

Opportunities afforded to medical students for participation in my research efforts:

1. Clinical participation in cancer prevention studies, including those involving patients with pre-neoplastic lesions of the skin, breast, colon and prostate randomized to various intervention strategies, including dietary change and chemoprevention agents. Cancer prevention clinics are within one mile of the Arizona Health Sciences Center.

2. Involvement in laboratory-based research projects related to the evaluation of surrogate endpoint biomarkers in the setting of cancer chemoprevention studies, including in vitro evaluation of biomarkers and cellular proliferation, differentiation, biochemical metabolism, gene expression, apoptosis and morphometry. Students will have an opportunity to work alongside research staff and to develop their own projects.

3. In vitro screening of anti-cancer drugs and chemoprevention agents in human cell models. Students will learn basic elements of tissue culture and in vitro anti-cancer drug and chemoprevention agent pharmacology. The student will have an opportunity to work alongside research staff and to develop their own projects.

Student Opportunities Through Research: 

Rebecca Wood (AHA FELLOWSHIP 1986-1987): "Cardiac myocyte toxicity: A model for screening antitumor agents; and, Retionic acid decreases expression of proteolytic enzymes and thereby inhibits tumor cell invasion."
Joshua Walsh (MSRP 1998): "The Role of the HIV-1 vpu Gene in Maternal-Fetal Transmission."
Yebabe "Bobby" Mengesha (MSRP 1998): "Molecular Genetic Studies of Chromosome #1 Abnormalities in Melanoma Characterization of Differentially Expressed Genes."
Airley Fish (MSRP 2000): "Phase II Study of the Effects of Selenium on Celecoxib Plasma Levels."
Thanh Nguyen (MSRP 2000): "COX-2 Expression as a Biomarker for Skin Carcinogenesis."
Charles Gawad (MSRP 2001, 2003): "Patterns of Gene Expression in Normal/AK/SCC Skin Samples that Can Be Altered by Chemoprevention Agents."
Amy Curtis (MSRP 2002, 2003): "Apoptosis in Benign and dysplastic nevi."

Melody Maarouf (MSRP 2015): "Karyometry Identifies Patients with Thin Melanoma who are at Risk for Metastases."

Laura Bricklin (MSRP 2015): "Building a Progression Curve of Esophageal Carcinogenesis using Karyometric Analysis to Quantitate Progressive Abnormalities in Nuclear Chromatin Structure."

Nellie Nafissi (MSRP 2014): "Nuclear Morphometry of Pancreatic Tissue Differentiates Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm and Pancreatic Carcinoma."

Samantha Russell (MSRP 2016): "Karyometry in Fallopian Tube Epithelium to Assess Ovarian Cancer Risk"

Sponsored Research Through MSRP: 

 Melody Maarouf, 2015; "Karyometry Identifies Patients with Thin Melanoma who are at Risk for Metastases"

Laura Bricklin, 2015; "Building a Progression Curve of Esophageal Carcinogenesis using Karyometric Analysis to Quantitate Progressive Abnormalities in Nuclear Chromatin Structure"

NIH High School Student Research Program: 

-Chris Francis, Flowing Wells High School, 1997

-Antonio Samaniego, Amphitheater High School, 2009

-Luz Maria Orduno, Catalina Magnet High School, 2012

NIH K-12 Science Teacher Program: 

-June de los Santos-Torreros, Maxwell Middle School, 2004

Last Updated: 
December 11, 2015