Jonathan M. Hernandez, M.D.
- Center for Cancer Research
- National Cancer Institute
- Building 10, Room 4-3740
- Bethesda, MD 20892
Dr. Jonathan Hernandez is a surgical oncologist/HPB surgeon, chief of the surgical oncology section (Surgical Oncology Program/NCI/NIH), and an Associate Professor of Surgery (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences). He specializes in the treatment of metastatic and primary tumors of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas, as well as in the surgical management of complex abdominal tumors. Dr. Hernandez’s research efforts focus on implementation of ex-vivo human tumor systems that allow his lab to fully characterize tumors from the operating room and evaluate new therapies in an unfettered platform. The Hernandez lab utilizes these human tumor systems to 1) develop combination therapies for recalcitrant tumors, 2) delineate and target uncharacterized signaling axes for therapeutic gain in patients with cholangiocarcinoma, and 3) elucidate the mechanisms through which tumor cells coopt the microenvironment of distant organs to form life-threatening metastases.
American Board of Surgery: General Surgery
American Board of Surgery: Complex General Surgical Oncology
Areas of Expertise
Information for Patients
Learn more about Dr. Hernandez's clinical research team and clinical trials.
The ability to recapitulate the complexities of solid human tumors for the purposes of drug development and testing has been, and remains, a major obstacle in the progress of cancer care. Despite great efforts expended on pre-clinical optimization using existing validation models, most drugs simply fail to demonstrate efficacy when subjected to phase III clinical trial scrutiny. Our interpretation is that the currently available model systems lack the appropriate clinical predictive power. The reasons for the inadequacies of these model systems, which are largely based upon cell lines, mouse models or patient-derived xenografts, are myriad but are almost certainly related to the absence of the human stromal component and its intricate relationship with tumor cells. Indeed, modeling the multi-faceted interactions between human cancer cells and the multitude of various stromal components, including activated fibroblasts, immune cell infiltrate and the abnormal vasculature is, at present, an impossibility. We hypothesize that the advent of a system capable keeping intact human tumors viable in an ex vivo setting carries broad implications across many fields of investigational medicine and brings with it the potential to fundamentally alter the translational research landscape. Moreover, given that this system is based on a patient’s tumor, the benefits of personalized medicine could leap from generating lists of potentially useful drugs to designation of efficacious agents for that patient. The Hernandez lab has begun to satisfy the requirements of an ideal, translational human tumor system with the use of two innovative platforms and tumor straight from the operating room.
IBEX: A versatile multiplex optical imaging approach for deep phenotyping and spatial analysis of cells in complex tissues.
Jonathan M. Hernandez, M.D.
Dr. Hernandez graduated from medical school with honors from the University of Florida, and completed general surgery training at the University of South Florida. During his residency, Dr. Hernandez spent two years at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute interrogating molecular diagnostics for liver metastases and miRNA-mediated mechanisms of metastatic spread with the support of NIH funding. Following residency, Dr. Hernandez completed fellowship training in both surgical oncology and hepatopancreatobiliary surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. During his fellowships, Dr. Hernandez spent an additional two years in dedicated basic research studying metastatic colonization as a scholar in the Cell Biology Program of the Sloan Kettering Institute supported by NIH funding and a grant from America’s HepatoPancreatoBiliary Association. Dr. Hernandez was also a visiting investigator in the Cell and Developmental Biology Department of Weill Medical College of Cornell University studying metastatic niche evolution with funding support from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Hernandez has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has contributed book chapters in numerous authoritative surgical textbooks.
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