Jonathan C. Dudley, MD
2020 Benjamin Castleman Award
Dr. Dudley received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he developed an interest in molecular diagnostics. At Johns Hopkins, he worked with Dr. Ming-Tseh Lin, director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, to conduct quality assurance studies on the lab’s pyrosequencing assays for KRAS and BRAF hotspot mutations. This work highlighted predictors of KRAS assay failure, resulted in a redesign of the lab’s clinical assay for BRAF variants, and led to two first-author publications in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (featured cover) and Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy. Dr. Dudley then began residency in Anatomic Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where he worked with Dr. John Iafrate and Dr. Martha B. Pitman, directors of the Center for Integrated Diagnostics and of Cytopathology, respectively. Together, they demonstrated that MGH’s solid tumor genotyping panel could be used as an ancillary test for malignancy in pancreaticobiliary brushing specimens. This work resulted in the clinical implementation of a molecular assay for pancreaticobiliary cancer at MGH and a first-author publication in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.
Dr. Dudley then moved to Palo Alto, CA to join his wife Dr. Sara Dudley, a radiation oncology resident at Stanford Hospital. At Stanford, he completed his final year of Anatomic Pathology training, a fellowship in Molecular Genetic Pathology, and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Concurrent with his clinical training, he worked in the lab of Dr. Maximilian Diehn and Dr. Ash Alizadeh, who had previously developed a hybrid capture workflow for detecting cell-free tumor DNA from plasma, called Cancer Personalized Profiling by Deep Sequencing (CAPP-Seq; described in Newman et al., Nature Medicine, 2014; Newman et al., Nature Biotech, 2016). Building on his work at MGH, Dr. Dudley hypothesized that CAPP-Seq could be adapted to detect cancer from cell-free DNA in the supernatant of urine cytology specimens. After extensively re-optimizing the assay workflow to meet the unique challenges posed by these specimens, Dr. Dudley and colleagues applied it two cohorts of patients with bladder cancer. Across their cohorts, they were able to significantly outperform the sensitivity of cytology, cystoscopy, and UroVysion for the detection of bladder cancer while maintaining cytology’s high specificity. Dr. Dudley received the Young Investigator Award from the Association for Molecular Pathology for this work, which also resulted in a first-author publication in Cancer Discovery.
After completing his clinical training, Dr. Dudley returned to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Bert Vogelstein. His ultimate goal is to combine clinical work and research in molecular pathology, with a focus on developing novel molecular diagnostic approaches for pathology specimens.