John A. Thorson, M.D., Ph.D.

John A. Thorson, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Clinical Genomics Laboratory
  • M.D. - University of Iowa College of Medicine
  • Ph.D. - University of Iowa College of Medicine
  • Residency Training - Laboratory Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship – Washington University, St. Louis
  • Board Certification - Clinical Pathology and Molecular Genetic Pathology
  • Clinical Specialty – Clinical Genomics and Molecular Diagnostics

Research Interests

Dr. Thorson’s research interests involve the application of state of the art molecular biology and genomics technologies to clinical laboratory diagnostics with an emphasis on genomic sequencing and its applications in medical practice. A major current interest is the use of genomic profiling of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies by next generation sequencing for diagnosis and prognosis as well as to inform therapeutic decisions.

Representative Publications

  1. Bertram PG, Zheng C, Thorson J, Shaw AS, and Zheng X-FS. 1998. 14-3-3 proteins positively regulate rapamycin-sensitive signaling. Current Biology 8:1259-1267.
  2. Valdez R, Thorson J, Finn WG, Schnitzer B, and Kleer CG. 2003. Lymphocytic mastitis and diabetic mastopathy: a molecular, immunophenotypic, and clinicopathologic evaluation of 11 cases. Modern Pathology 16(3):223-228.
  3. Si MW, Thorson JA, Lauwers GY, DalCin P, and Furman, J. 2004. Hepatocellular lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma associated with Epstein Barr virus: a hitherto unrecognized entity. Diagnostic Molecular Pathology 13(3):183-189.
  4. Zhou L, Thorson JA, Nugent, C, Davenport, RD, Butch, SH, and Judd WJ. 2005. Non-invasive prenatal RHD genotyping by real-time PCR using plasma from D-negative pregnant women. The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 193(6):1966-71.
  5. Thorson JA, Weigelin HC, Ruiz RE, Howard JK, and Lucas DR. 2006. Identification of SYT-SSX transcripts from synovial sarcomas using RT- multiplex PCR and capillary electrophoresis. Modern Pathology 19(5):641- 647.
  6. Wang H-Y, Thorson JA, Broome HE, Rashidi, HH, Curtin PT, and Dell'Aquila ML. 2011. t(4;22)(q12;q11.2) involving presumptive platelet-derived growth factor receptor A and break cluster region in a patient with mixed phenotype acute leukemia. Human Pathology 42(12):2029-2036.
  7. Thorson JA, Wang H-Y (2011). Mixed phenotype acute leukemia. In: Schrijver I (Ed.), Molecular Pathology in Practice (pp. 159-165). New York, USA: Springer.
  8. Thorson JA, Wang H-Y (2011) Myeloproliferative neoplasms. In Schrijver I (Ed.), Molecular Pathology in Practice (pp. 123-131). New York, USA: Springer.

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Dr. Thorson is currently Associate Professor of Pathology and Medical Director of the Clinical Genomics Laboratory at the University of California San Diego Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine (CALM), where he oversees clinical molecular and genomic testing for genetic screening, cancer diagnostics, and therapeutics. He is board certified by the American Board of Pathology in Clinical Pathology and jointly by the American Board of Pathology and the American Board of Medical Genetics in Molecular Genetic Pathology. Dr. Thorson is a member of College of American Pathology (CAP) and currently serves as a member of the CAP Biochemical and Molecular Genetics Resources Committee, which is responsible for oversight and review of proficiency testing in molecular genetics.

Dr. Thorson received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Iowa. Afterward, he completed residency training in Laboratory Medicine and a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis. During his post-doctoral fellowship, he studied regulatory events controlling the interaction of the RAF-1 kinase with downstream signal transduction molecules. Following the completion of his training, he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Pathology and served as Medical Director of the Molecular Diagnostics and the Clinical Chemistry laboratories at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from July 1999 through May 2003. He then joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan, where he was Medical Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and established a Molecular Genetic Pathology fellowship training program. Dr. Thorson has been a member of the UCSD Department of Pathology faculty since 2009.

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