Dr. Andrew Hsieh is a professor and associate director of the division of Human Biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Originally hailing from Torrance, CA, he earned his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During this time, he conducted a yearlong HHMI medical student fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. William Sellers performing one of the first siRNA functional screens against the PI3K signaling pathway. This experience was transformative and set him on the path of becoming a physician scientist. Dr. Hsieh did his residency and oncology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. There he joined the Ruggero Lab to study how oncogenic mTOR signaling promotes mRNA translation and cancer phenotypes. Through this experience, Dr. Hsieh developed a deep interest in understanding how post-transcriptional gene regulation coordinates normal cell physiology and disease.
Historically, the field of cancer biology has focused on DNA-based mutations as the core etiology of human malignancies. However, Dr. Hsieh’s work has revealed that mRNA translation is often rewired in cells to fundamentally alter their fate and malignant potential. To this end, he has demonstrated that mRNA-specific translation through cis-regulatory elements encoded within distinct mRNAs are critical for processes such as metastasis and drug resistance. Currently, his laboratory is focused on delineating at molecular resolution how the translation machinery and RNA binding proteins identify and decode specific mRNAs to drive cell fate decisions and cancer formation. His laboratory has also developed new functional genomic methods to study post-transcriptional gene regulation genome wide. To ground his work and provide inspiration for the science, Dr. Hsieh maintains a genitourinary oncology practice at the University of Washington Medical Center.