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Gillian L Hirst, PhD

Gillian L Hirst, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor
Division of General Surgery
UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center

Contact Information

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  • University of Newcastle-upon Tyne, UK, BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences 1991
  • University of Edinburgh, PhD. Molecular Oncology, 1995
  • University of Glasgow, UK, Molecular Oncology, 1995 - 2000
  • University of California, San Francisco, Genetics, Oncology 2000-2003
  • Biomarkers
  • Breast Cancer
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Drug Resistance
  • Genetic Risk
  • Precision Medicine
  • Tumor Biology

Gillian Hirst received her Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh in the ICRF's (now CRUK) Molecular Oncology Unit, where she focused on the analysis and development of estrogen-regulated biomarkers for use in ovarian and breast cancers treated with anti-estrogenic therapies. As a postdoctoral fellow at CRUK Beatson Laboratories, University of Glasgow, she studied the molecular mechanisms of cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer, with emphasis on the mismatch repair pathway. Building upon this work she studied the genetic susceptibility to DNA damaging agents in Allan Balmain's group here at UCSF. She has over ten years' experience working as a scientific program manager for multi-consortia projects and oversees biomarker development for the I-SPY2 TRIAL for early high-risk breast cancer, as well as multiple research initiatives within the Breast Care Center and the NIH Molecular Characterization of Screen-detected Lesions Consortium.

Dr. Hirst's areas of research interest span the continuum of disease risk in the analysis and development of biomarkers which will lead to better patient stratification and refined treatment interventions.

Dr Hirst has over 15 years of research experience and managing scientific research programs. Her research interest particularly focuses on the molecular genetics of carcinogenesis, particularly as it relates to breast and ovarian cancer and understanding how we can better utilize biomarkers for risk stratification and treatment refinement. As Scientific Program Manager in the I-SPY2 TRIAL she oversees biomarker development and works with investigators from both academia and pharma to analyze data, tumor and liquid biopsy specimen using expression arrays, next-gen sequencing, multiplex-IHC and phospho-protein arrays.

As an investigator on a U01 which is part of the NIH Molecular Characterization of Screen-Detected Lesions (MCL) consortium, her research is focused on building tissue, pathology and imaging resources to assist in the better molecular definition of DCIS and defining who will recur with aggressive invasive cancer or not. The hope is to be able to stratify patients for either less treatment intervention or more at the earliest stages of disease, and to find potentially common drivers of aggressive disease across multiple disease types, as well as markers of indolent disease by looking at both tumor and stromal microenvironment biology.

  • Elucidating the molecular and contextual basis for IDLE ultralow risk lesions and the tumor immune microenvironment of high risk in situ and invasive breast cancers NIH/NCIU01CA196406Sep 16, 2015 - Aug 31, 2020 Role: Co-Investigator Modeling the Impact of Targeted Therapy Based on Breast Cancer Subtypes NIH/NCIU01CA187945Sep 18, 2014 - Aug 31, 2019 Role: Co-Investigator
Most recent publications from a total of 19
  1. Boughey JC, Alvarado MD, Lancaster RB, Symmans WF, Mukhtar R, Wong JM, Ewing CA, Potter DA, Tuttle TM, Hieken TJ, Carter JM, Jakub JW, Kaplan HG, Buchanan CL, Jaskowiak NT, Sattar HA, Mueller J, Nanda R, Isaacs CJ, Pohlmann PR, Lynce F, Tousimis EA, Zeck JC, Lee MC, Lang JE, Mhawech-Fauceglia P, Rao R, Taback B, Goodellas C, Chen M, Kalinsky KM, Hibshoosh H, Killelea B, Sanft T, Hirst GL, Asare S, Matthews JB, Perlmutter J, Esserman LJ. Erratum: Author Correction: Surgical Standards for Management of the Axilla in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials with Pathological Complete Response Endpoint. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2019; 5:2. View in PubMed
  2. Boughey JC, Alvarado MD, Lancaster RB, Fraser Symmans W, Mukhtar R, Wong JM, Ewing CA, Potter DA, Tuttle TM, Hieken TJ, Carter JM, Jakub JW, Kaplan HG, Buchanan CL, Jaskowiak NT, Sattar HA, Mueller J, Nanda R, Isaacs CJ, Pohlmann PR, Lynce F, Tousimis EA, Zeck JC, Lee MC, Lang JE, Mhawech-Fauceglia P, Rao R, Taback B, Chen M, Kalinsky KM, Hibshoosh H, Killelea B, Sanft T, Hirst GL, Asare S, Matthews JB, Perlmutter J, Esserman LJ. Surgical Standards for Management of the Axilla in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials with Pathological Complete Response Endpoint. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2018; 4:26. View in PubMed
  3. Julia D. Wulfkuhle, Christina Yau, Denise M. Wolf, Daniel J. Vis, Rosa I. Gallagher, Lamorna Brown-Swigart, Gillian Hirst, Emile E. Voest, Angela DeMichele, Nola Hylton, Fraser Symmans, Douglas Yee, Laura Esserman, Donald Berry, Minetta Liu, John W. Park, Lodewyk F.A. Wessels, Laura van’t Veer, and Emanuel F. Petricoin III . Evaluation of the HER/PI3K/AKT Family Signaling Network as a Predictive Biomarker of Pathologic Complete Response for Patients With Breast Cancer Treated With Neratinib in the I-SPY 2 TRIAL. JCO Precision Oncology. 2018. View in PubMed
  4. Wolf DM, Yau C, Sanil A, Glas A, Petricoin E, Wulfkuhle J, Severson TM, Linn S, Brown-Swigart L, Hirst G, Buxton M, DeMichele A, Hylton N, Symmans F, Yee D, Paoloni M, Esserman L, Berry D, Rugo H, Olopade O, van 't Veer L. DNA repair deficiency biomarkers and the 70-gene ultra-high risk signature as predictors of veliparib/carboplatin response in the I-SPY 2 breast cancer trial. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2017; 3:31. View in PubMed
  5. Quigley DA, Kandyba E, Huang P, Halliwill KD, Sjölund J, Pelorosso F, Wong CE, Hirst GL, Wu D, Delrosario R, Kumar A, Balmain A. Gene Expression Architecture of Mouse Dorsal and Tail Skin Reveals Functional Differences in Inflammation and Cancer. Cell Rep. 2016 07 26; 16(4):1153-1165. View in PubMed
  6. Park JW, Liu MC, Yee D, Yau C, van 't Veer LJ, Symmans WF, Paoloni M, Perlmutter J, Hylton NM, Hogarth M, DeMichele A, Buxton MB, Chien AJ, Wallace AM, Boughey JC, Haddad TC, Chui SY, Kemmer KA, Kaplan HG, Isaacs C, Nanda R, Tripathy D, Albain KS, Edmiston KK, Elias AD, Northfelt DW, Pusztai L, Moulder SL, Lang JE, Viscusi RK, Euhus DM, Haley BB, Khan QJ, Wood WC, Melisko M, Schwab R, Helsten T, Lyandres J, Davis SE, Hirst GL, Sanil A, Esserman LJ, Berry DA. Adaptive Randomization of Neratinib in Early Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jul 07; 375(1):11-22. View in PubMed
  7. Rugo HS, Olopade OI, DeMichele A, Yau C, van 't Veer LJ, Buxton MB, Hogarth M, Hylton NM, Paoloni M, Perlmutter J, Symmans WF, Yee D, Chien AJ, Wallace AM, Kaplan HG, Boughey JC, Haddad TC, Albain KS, Liu MC, Isaacs C, Khan QJ, Lang JE, Viscusi RK, Pusztai L, Moulder SL, Chui SY, Kemmer KA, Elias AD, Edmiston KK, Euhus DM, Haley BB, Nanda R, Northfelt DW, Tripathy D, Wood WC, Ewing C, Schwab R, Lyandres J, Davis SE, Hirst GL, Sanil A, Berry DA, Esserman LJ. Adaptive Randomization of Veliparib-Carboplatin Treatment in Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2016 Jul 07; 375(1):23-34. View in PubMed
  8. McCreery MQ, Halliwill KD, Chin D, Delrosario R, Hirst G, Vuong P, Jen KY, Hewinson J, Adams DJ, Balmain A. Evolution of metastasis revealed by mutational landscapes of chemically induced skin cancers. Nat Med. 2015 Dec; 21(12):1514-20. View in PubMed
  9. Hirst GL, Balmain A. Forty years of cancer modelling in the mouse. Eur J Cancer. 2004 Sep; 40(13):1974-80. View in PubMed
  10. Hirst GL, Illand M. Automated fluorescent detection of microsatellite instability. Mol Biotechnol. 2001 Mar; 17(3):239-47. View in PubMed
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