Jeffrey M. Trent, PhD, FACMG

Jeffrey M. Trent, PhD, FACMG


Dr. Jeffrey M. Trent is President and Research Director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona, an affiliate of the City of Hope Medical System and Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Prior to forming TGen in 2002, Dr. Trent served for 10 years as the Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Under his guidance, NHGRI’s Division of Intramural Research became an internationally recognized research center in human genetics.

His previous faculty positions included: The University of Arizona, where he was Deputy Director and Director for Basic Science of the Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center; the University of Michigan, where he held the E. Maisel Endowed Professorship in Cancer Genetics, Professor of Human Genetics and Radiation Oncology, Head of the Cancer Biology Division of the Department of Radiation Oncology, and Deputy Director and Director of Basic Research for the Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also is a Diplomat of the American College of Medical Genetics.

Dr. Trent’s research has provided important insights into the genetic basis of cancer. He is the author of more than 300 manuscripts in the scientific literature. His research specializes in developing and integrating novel “omic” technologies, supporting studies of molecular changes related to cancer risk and progression. He has worked the majority of his career on melanoma, most recently serving as the Co-Principal Investigator of the Stand Up to Cancer Melanoma Dream Team. The focus on that project was using molecularly-guided therapy for patients with BRAF wild-type (BRAFwt) metastatic melanoma. In addition to continuing work on germline genetic alterations associated with melanoma risk, his laboratory has been among the most active in identifying and understanding the somatic changes associated with canine melanoma, and he leads TGen’s canine hereditary cancer program. The canine is a critically important model of human disease, and in the case of melanoma the clear clinical association to the human is for the largely understudied mucosal melanomas.

Finally, recent funded work in his laboratory is focused upon relating the recent advances in both molecular biology and cancer genetics of ovarian cancer. Specifically, he was one of the leaders of an international consortium which recently identified that Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary, hypercalcemic type, (SCCOHT) displays frequent inactivating germline and somatic mutations in SMARCA4 {}. SCCOHT is an extremely rare, aggressive cancer affecting children and young women (average age of diagnosis 23yo).