John Douglas McPherson, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

John Douglas McPherson, Ph.D.


Deputy Director, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center





Locations and Contact

Research Building III

4645 Second Ave
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Philosophy of Care

Dr. McPherson is the Deputy Director of the UCD Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. He has deep expertise in DNA sequencing and cancer genomics through his involvement in the Human Genome Project and large-scale tumor sequencing as a founding member of the International Cancer Genome Consortium.  His current interests lie in bringing advanced genomic technologies to clinical application in personalized diagnosis and targeted therapeutics; in maximizing the data yield from small biopsies and circulating cell free DNA; and in the role of DNA repair in carcinogenesis.


Biological Chemistry

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Undergraduate School

B.Sc., Queen's University at Kingston, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 1983

Other School

Ph.D., Biochemistry, Queen's University at Kingston, Kingston, Ontario, Canada 1989


Pediatrics, UC Irvine, Irvine CA 1988-1990


Department of Biological Chemistry, UC Irvine, Irvine CA 1990-1992

Biotechnology Training Grant Fellowship, University of California at Irvine, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991

R.S. McLaughlin Fellowship, Queen's University, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Queen's Graduate Award, Queen's University at Kingston, 1984, 1985

To view Dr. McPherson's publications, please click here.

Kiuru M, Urban J, Zhu G, Rybak I, Terrell JR, Qi L, McPherson JD, Marghoob AA, Rauen KA. RAS pathway influences the number of melanocytic nevi in cardiofaciocutaneous and Costello syndromes. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 May;82(5):1091-1093.

Dall'Era MA, McPherson JD, Gao AC, DeVere White RW, Gregg JP, Lara PN Jr. Germline and somatic DNA repair gene alterations in prostate cancer. Cancer. 2020 Apr 21;. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32908.

Kiuru M, Terrell JR, Gorouhi F, McPherson JD. Novel POFUT1 mutation in patient with flexural and acral hyperpigmented reticulated macules presenting in adolescence. JAAD Case Rep. 2020 Apr;6(4):334-336. 

McPherson JD. Pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes. Nature. 2020 Feb;578(7793):82-93. 

Kim JC, Zuzarte PC, Murphy T, Chan-Seng-Yue M, Brown AMK, Krzyzanowski PM, Smith AC, Notta F, Minden MD, McPherson JD. Cryptic genomic lesions in adverse-risk acute myeloid leukemia identified by integrated whole genome and transcriptome sequencing. Leukemia. 2020 Jan;34(1):306-311.

McCombie WR, McPherson JD, Mardis ER. Next-Generation Sequencing Technologies. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2019 Nov 1;9(11).

Houlahan KE, Shiah YJ, Gusev A, Yuan J, Ahmed M, Shetty A, Ramanand SG, Yao CQ, Bell C, O'Connor E, Huang V, Fraser M, Heisler LE, Livingstone J, Yamaguchi TN, Rouette A, Foucal A, Espiritu SMG, Sinha A, Sam M, Timms L, Johns J, Wong A, Murison A, Orain M, Picard V, Hovington H, Bergeron A, Lacombe L, Lupien M, Fradet Y, Têtu B, McPherson JD, Pasaniuc B, Kislinger T, Chua MLK, Pomerantz MM, van der Kwast T, Freedman ML, Mani RS, He HH, Bristow RG, Boutros PC. Genome-wide germline correlates of the epigenetic landscape of prostate cancer. Nat Med. 2019 Oct;25(10):1615-1626. 

Prokopec SD, Lu A, Lee SCS, Yao CQ, Sun RX, Watson JD, Soliymani R, de Borja R, Wong A, Sam M, Zuzarte P, McPherson JD, Okey AB, Pohjanvirta R, Boutros PC. Comparative toxicoproteogenomics of mouse and rat liver identifies TCDD-resistance genes. Arch Toxicol. 2019 Oct;93(10):2961-2978.

McCombie WR, McPherson JD. Future Promises and Concerns of Ubiquitous Next-Generation Sequencing. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2019 Sep 3;9(9).

Ghia EM, Rassenti LZ, Neuberg DS, Blanco A, Yousif F, Smith EN, McPherson JD, Hudson TJ, Harismendy O, Frazer KA, Kipps TJ. Activation of hedgehog signaling associates with early disease progression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Blood. 2019 Jun 20;133(25):2651-2663.