Joshua Schiffman

Associate Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and
Adjunct Associate Professor of Oncological Sciences


B.S. Brown University

M.D. Brown University School of Medicine



Joshua Schiffman's Lab Page

Joshua Schiffman's PubMed Literature Search


Dr. Joshua Schiffman is a pediatric oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. He attended the Brown University School of Medicine, followed by pediatric residency and chief residency at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology also at Stanford University. Dr. Schiffman's research focuses on the development of pediatric cancer and he runs a translational genomics laboratory that works to identify which children are at risk for cancer and why. Dr. Schiffman serves as the Medical Director for the High Risk Pediatric Cancer Clinic run jointly through Primary Children's Medical Center and Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. Through this clinic, Dr. Schiffman cares for children and families at risk for hereditary cancer syndrome and using state of the art imaging technology, Dr. Schiffman and colleagues have been able to identify and remove tumors in patients before they even present with symptoms. Dr. Schiffman also serves as the Education Director for the Program in Personalized Health Care at the University of Utah where he oversees the teaching of translational and individualized clinical medicine based on cutting-edge genomic information now available to physicians and their patients. Dr. Schiffman is a member of several international pediatric cancer organizations, including serving as the Working Group Leader for the Familial Leukemia Section of the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC) and the Working Group Leader for the Clinical Section of the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C). Both of these organizations bring cancer and epidemiology experts together from around the world with the singular goal of understand the genetic and environmental origins of pediatric cancer. On a local level, Dr. Schiffman serves as the Co-Chair of the Oversight Committee for the Tissue Resource and Applications Core (TRAC) at Huntsman Cancer Institute which is a biobank that contains over 40,000 tissue specimens for cancer research. Dr. Schiffman also was recently appointed the Chair of the Oversight Committee and Interim Director for the Translational Oncology Core (TOC) at Huntsman Cancer Institute, a new core facility at Huntsman Cancer Institute that will be responsible for implementing the clinical use of genomic technology in clinical decision-making for individual patients and their cancers.

In the Schiffman Laboratory, the focus is on understanding the genetic susceptibility to cancer and how variations in the genomes of patients contribute to the development of pediatric cancer. Dr. Schiffman believes strongly that the inherited (germline) genetics of patients cannot be separated from the acquired (somatic) genetics found in the tumors of these patients. Therefore, half of Dr. Schiffman's research laboratory focuses on the genetic risks for cancer in patients and the other half of his laboratory investigates the genetics of specific tumors once they develop. By understanding the genetic risks in the patient and the altered DNA changes in cancer, Dr. Schiffman is trying to identify novel approaches to preventing cancer in high risk individuals and find new therapeutic targets to treat pediatric cancer. He has been successful in the discovery of genomic signatures in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and Ewing sarcoma that are highly predictive of clinical outcome. Dr. Schiffman's laboratory is now working to validate these genomic profiles in additional clinical samples and to investigate the specific genetic changes that contribute to worse outcome to see if they can develop new treatment approaches to improve the outcome of children with cancer.  Most recently, Dr. Schiffman has recognized the power of comparative oncology to advance the field of cancer research. Teaming up with collaborators from across the country, the Schiffman Lab is now actively involved in comparing the genomics and functional biology of different species across the animal kingdom and using this information to generate hypotheses and guide experimental design in cancer research.


  1. Jasperson KW, Kohlmann W, Gammon A, Slack H, Buchmann L, Hunt J, Kirchhoff AC, Baskin H, Shaaban A, Schiffman JD. Role of rapid sequence whole-body MRI screening in SDH-associated hereditary paraganglioma families. Fam Cancer. 2014 Jun;13(2):257-65.
  2. Mangum DS, Downie J, Mason CC, Jahromi MS, Joshi D, Rodic V, Müschen M, Meeker N, Trede N, Frazer JK, Zhou Y, Cheng C, Jeha S, Pui CH, Willman CL, Harvey RC, Hunger SP, Yang JJ, Barnette P, Mullighan CG, Miles RR, Schiffman JD. VPREB1 deletions occur independent of lambda light chain rearrangement in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia. 2014 Jan;28(1):216-20.
  3. Curtin K, Smith KR, Fraser A, Pimentel R, Kohlmann W, Schiffman JD. Familial risk of childhood cancer and tumors in the Li-Fraumeni spectrum in the Utah Population Database: implications for genetic evaluation in pediatric practice. Int J Cancer. 2013 Nov 15;133(10):2444-53.
  4. Schiffman JD, Geller JI, Mundt E, Means A, Means L, Means V. Update on pediatric cancer predisposition syndromes. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Aug;60(8):1247-52. Review.
  5. Killian JK, Kim SY, Miettinen M, Smith C, Merino M, Tsokos M, Quezado M, Smith WI Jr, Jahromi MS, Xekouki P, Szarek E, Walker RL, Lasota J, Raffeld M, Klotzle B, Wang Z, Jones L, Zhu Y, Wang Y, Waterfall JJ, O'Sullivan MJ, Bibikova M, Pacak K, Stratakis C, Janeway KA, Schiffman JD, Fan JB, Helman L, Meltzer PS. Succinate dehydrogenase mutation underlies global epigenomic divergence in gastrointestinal stromal tumor. Cancer Discov. 2013 Jun;3(6):648-57.
  6. Schiffman JD. Genome-wide analyses of sarcoma: implications for future treatment options. Future Oncol. 2013 Mar;9(3):307-10.
  7. Testa JR, Malkin D, Schiffman JD. Connecting molecular pathways to hereditary cancer risk syndromes. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2013:81-90.
  8. Burningham Z, Hashibe M, Spector L, Schiffman JD. The epidemiology of sarcoma. Clin Sarcoma Res. 2012 Oct 4;2(1):14.
  9. Jahromi MS, Putnam AR, Druzgal C, Wright J, Spraker-Perlman H, Kinsey M, Zhou H, Boucher KM, Randall RL, Jones KB, Lucas D, Rosenberg A, Thomas D, Lessnick SL, Schiffman JD. Molecular inversion probe analysis detects novel copy number alterations in Ewing sarcoma. Cancer Genet. 2012 Jul-Aug;205(7-8):391-404.
  10. Knapke S, Zelley K, Nichols KE, Kohlmann W, Schiffman JD. Identification, Management, and Evaluation of Children with Cancer-Predisposition Syndromes. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2012;32:576-584.
  11. Schiffman JD. Hereditary cancer syndromes: if you look, you will find them. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Jan;58(1):5-6.
  12. Calvert GT, Randall RL, Jones KB, Cannon-Albright L, Lessnick S, Schiffman JD. At-risk populations for osteosarcoma: the syndromes and beyond. Sarcoma. 2012;2012:152382.
  13. Schiffman JD, Lorimer PD, Rodic V, Jahromi MS, Downie JM, Bayerl MG, Sanmann JN, Althof PA, Sanger WG, Barnette P, Perkins SL, Miles RR. Genome wide copy number analysis of paediatric Burkitt lymphoma using formalin-fixed tissues reveals a subset with gain of chromosome 13q and corresponding miRNA over expression. Br J Haematol. 2011 Nov;155(4):477-86.
  14. Geiersbach KB, Jarboe EA, Jahromi MS, Baker CL, Paxton CN, Tripp SR, Schiffman JD. FOXL2 mutation and large-scale genomic imbalances in adult granulosa cell tumors of the ovary. Cancer Genet. 2011 Nov;204(11):596-602.
  15. Schiffman JD. No child left behind in SDHB testing for paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas. J Clin Oncol. 2011 Nov 1;29(31):4070-2.
  16. Jones KB, Schiffman JD, Kohlmann W, Randall RL, Lessnick SL, Cannon-Albright LA. Complex genotype sarcomas display familial inheritance independent of known cancer predisposition syndromes. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 May;20(5):751-7.
  17. Jahromi MS, Jones KB, Schiffman JD. Copy Number Alterations and Methylation in Ewing's Sarcoma. Sarcoma. 2011;2011:362173.
  18. Schiffman JD, Wright J. Ewing's Sarcoma and Second Malignancies. Sarcoma. 2011;2011:736841.
  19. Meeker ND, Yang JJ, Schiffman JD. Pharmacogenomics of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jul;11(10):1621-32. Review.
  20. Rutter J, Winge DR, Schiffman JD. Succinate dehydrogenase - Assembly, regulation and role in human disease. Mitochondrion. 2010 Jun;10(4):393-401. Review.
  21. Schiffman JD, Hodgson JG, VandenBerg SR, Flaherty P, Polley MY, Yu M, Fisher PG, Rowitch DH, Ford JM, Berger MS, Ji H, Gutmann DH, James CD. Oncogenic BRAF mutation with CDKN2A inactivation is characteristic of a subset of pediatric malignant astrocytomas. Cancer Res. 2010 Jan 15;70(2):512-9.
  22. Randall RL, Lessnick SL, Jones KB, Gouw LG, Cummings JE, Cannon-Albright L, Schiffman JD. Is There a Predisposition Gene for Ewing's Sarcoma? J Oncol. 2010;2010:397632.
  23. Schiffman JD, Wang Y, McPherson LA, Welch K, Zhang N, Davis R, Lacayo NJ, Dahl GV, Faham M, Ford JM, Ji HP. Molecular inversion probes reveal patterns of 9p21 deletion and copy number aberrations in childhood leukemia. Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2009 Aug;193(1):9-18.

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