Dr. Parsons’ work has been instrumental in the characterization of the genetic landscapes of a variety of pediatric and adult cancers, including the first identification of IDH1 and IDH2 as critical oncogenes in gliomas. He was one of the principal investigators of the BASIC3 study (2011-2017), an NHGRI and NCI-funded U01 Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) program project involving clinical exome sequencing of tumor and blood specimens from children with newly-diagnosed solid tumors and is now helping to lead the follow-up KidsCanSeq study (which includes clinical genomic analysis of patients from multiple Texas institutions) as part of that same consortium. He is the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) study chair for the NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH study, the first nationwide precision oncology clinical trial for children with relapsed and refractory solid tumors, lymphomas, and histiocytoses that opened in July 2017. Dr. Parsons’ group is currently engaged in a number of sequencing studies of high-risk and rare pediatric cancers with goals of revealing tumor biology, identifying potential molecular targets for therapy, and facilitating pre-clinical characterization of novel therapeutics.
Dr. Parsons received his B.A. (chemistry) from Princeton University and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins University and his oncology/neuro-oncology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins and the National Cancer Institute.