Debra Hawes, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology

Director of Pathology Core Lab

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Dr. Hawes began her education by pursuing a certificate in vocational nursing from Santa Ana College followed by a BA degree in French from Cal State Fullerton. She then attended medical school, and upon graduation she was first introduced to the Keck School of Medicine as a resident in the pathology department at LAC+USC Medical Center. While in medical school, Dr. Hawes demonstrated a profound aptitude for her studies when she was awarded to the Dean’s List of Outstanding Achievement in the Basic Sciences. Currently, Dr. Hawes is an assistant professor of clinical pathology and an instructor of the Pathology Multidisciplinary Laboratories at USC. She has reviewed manuscripts for the several medical journals, including the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. In addition to her vast academic and clinical responsibilities, Dr. Hawes has a number of research interests, such as cancer prevention, new technology development and biologic markers of disease progression. Dr. Hawes has co-authored nearly 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and a number of book chapters and abstracts.


  • Prognostic markers in pT3 bladder cancer: A study from the international bladder cancer tissue microarray projectUrol Oncol. 2021 05; 39(5):301. e17-301. e28. . View in PubMed
  • Identification of retinal oligomeric, citrullinated, and other tau isoforms in early and advanced AD and relations to disease status Acta Neuropathol. 2024 Jul 09; 148(1):3. . View in PubMed
  • Neuropathologic Impacts of JAK Inhibitor Treatment in Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome J Clin Immunol. 2024 Feb 21; 44(3):68. . View in PubMed
  • Clinical, pathologic, and genomic characteristics of two pediatric glioneuronal tumors with a CLIP2::MET fusion Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2024 04 22; 12(1):63. . View in PubMed
  • Low-grade fibromyxoid tumor of the dura: A new entity? Surg Neurol Int. 2024; 15:14.. View in PubMed
  • Hyaline protoplasmic astrocytopathy in epilepsy Neuropathology. 2023 Dec; 43(6):441-456. . View in PubMed
  • Retinal arterial Aß40 deposition is linked with tight junction loss and cerebral amyloid angiopathy in MCI and AD patients Alzheimers Dement. 2023 Nov; 19(11):5185-5197. . View in PubMed
  • Clinical Efficacy of ONC201 in H3K27M-Mutant Diffuse Midline Gliomas Is Driven by Disruption of Integrated Metabolic and Epigenetic Pathways Cancer Discov. 2023 11 01; 13(11):2370-2393. . View in PubMed
  • Targeting SWI/SNF ATPases in H33K27M diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 05 02; 120(18):e2221175120. . View in PubMed
  • Microstructural mapping of dentate gyrus pathology in Alzheimer’s disease: A 164 Tesla MRI study. Neuroimage Clin. 2023; 37:103318. . View in PubMed
  • ATRT-SHH comprises three molecular subgroups with characteristic clinical and histopathological features and prognostic significance Acta Neuropathol. 2022 06; 143(6):697-711. . View in PubMed
  • Quantitative Nuclear Histomorphometry Predicts Molecular Subtype and Clinical Outcome in Medulloblastomas: Preliminary Findings J Pathol Inform. 2022; 13:100090. . View in PubMed
  • Novel MRI deformation-heterogeneity radiomic features are associated with molecular subgroups and overall survival in pediatric medulloblastoma: Preliminary findings from a multi-institutional study Front Oncol. 2022; 12:915143. . View in PubMed
  • Targeting integrated epigenetic and metabolic pathways in lethal childhood PFA ependymomas Sci Transl Med. 2021 Oct 06; 13(614):eabc0497. . View in PubMed
  • Clinical utility of comprehensive genomic profiling in central nervous system tumors of children and young adults Neurooncol Adv. 2021 Jan-Dec; 3(1):vdab037. . View in PubMed
  • Autopsy findings of previously described case of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma-like tumor with EZHIP expression and molecular features of PFA ependymoma Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2021 06 23; 9(1):113. . View in PubMed
  • Corticospinal Wallerian Degeneration Before Myelination: A Case Report Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2020 Sep-Oct; 23(5):399-403. . View in PubMed
  • Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma-like tumor with EZHIP expression and molecular features of PFA ependymoma Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2020 03 20; 8(1):37. . View in PubMed
  • Integrated Metabolic and Epigenomic Reprograming by H3K27M Mutations in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine GliomasCancer Cell. 2020 09 14; 38(3):334-349. e9. . View in PubMed
  • Pediatric Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumors of the Brain: Identification of Metabolic Subgroups Using In Vivo 1H-MR Spectroscopy AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2019 05; 40(5):872-877. . View in PubMed
  • Rare Pediatric Invasive Gliofibroma Has BRAFV600E Mutation and Transiently Responds to Targeted Therapy Before Progressive Clonal Evolution JCO Precis Oncol. 2019; 3. . View in PubMed
  • Continuous and bolus intraventricular topotecan prolong survival in a mouse model of leptomeningeal medulloblastoma PLoS One. 2019; 14(1):e0206394. . View in PubMed
  • Novel GOPC(FIG)-ROS1 fusion in a pediatric high-grade glioma survivor J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2017 Jul; 20(1):51-55. . View in PubMed
  • Immunohistochemical analysis of H3K27me3 demonstrates global reduction in group-A childhood posterior fossa ependymoma and is a powerful predictor of outcome Acta Neuropathol. 2017 11; 134(5):705-714. . View in PubMed
  • Double-Blind Randomized 12-Month Soy Intervention Had No Effects on Breast MRI Fibroglandular Tissue Density or Mammographic Density Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015 Oct; 8(10):942-51. . View in PubMed
  • Phase I, dose-escalation study of the targeted cytotoxic LHRH analog AEZS-108 in patients with castration- and taxane-resistant prostate cancer Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Dec 15; 20(24):6277-83. . View in PubMed
  • Differential effects of RUNX2 on the androgen receptor in prostate cancer: synergistic stimulation of a gene set exemplified by SNAI2 and subsequent invasiveness Cancer Res. 2014 May 15; 74(10):2857-68. . View in PubMed
  • Molecular characteristics of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in human immunodeficiency virus-infected and -uninfected patients in the pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy and pre-rituximab era Leuk Lymphoma. 2014 Mar; 55(3):551-7. . View in PubMed
  • Epstein-Barr virus patterns in US Burkitt lymphoma tumors from the SEER residual tissue repository during 1979-2009 APMIS. 2014 Jan; 122(1):5-15. . View in PubMed
  • Combination of molecular alterations and smoking intensity predicts bladder cancer outcome: a report from the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program Cancer. 2013 Feb 15; 119(4):756-65. . View in PubMed
  • Biological effects of green tea capsule supplementation in pre-surgery postmenopausal breast cancer patients Front Oncol. 2013; 3:298. . View in PubMed
  • Lowering oral contraceptive norethindrone dose increases estrogen and progesterone receptor levels with no reduction in proliferation of breast epithelium: a randomized trial Contraception. 2012 Sep; 86(3):238-43. . View in PubMed
  • Breast epithelial cell proliferation is markedly increased with short-term high levels of endogenous estrogen secondary to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Apr; 132(2):653-60. . View in PubMed
  • Occult metastases in lymph nodes predict survival in resectable non-small-cell lung cancer: report of the ACOSOG Z0040 trial J Clin Oncol. 2011 Nov 10; 29(32):4313-9. . View in PubMed
  • Ethnic differences in neuroendocrine expression in prostate cancer tissue Anticancer Res. 2011 Nov; 31(11):3897-901. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of the change in cutoff values for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status by immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization: a study comparing conventional brightfield microscopy, image analysis-assisted microscopy, and interobserver variation Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011 Aug; 135(8):1010-6. . View in PubMed
  • Association of occult metastases in sentinel lymph nodes and bone marrow with survival among women with early-stage invasive breast cancer JAMA. 2011 Jul 27; 306(4):385-93. . View in PubMed
  • Effect of luteinizing hormone on the steroidogenic pathway in prostate cancer Prostate. 2011 Jun 01; 71(8):892-8. . View in PubMed
  • Expression of receptors for luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) in prostate cancers following therapy with LH-RH agonists Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Sep 15; 16(18):4675-80. . View in PubMed
  • Progesterone and estrogen receptors in pregnant and premenopausal non-pregnant normal human breast Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Nov; 118(1):161-8. . View in PubMed
  • Preferential induction of EphB4 over EphB2 and its implication in colorectal cancer progression Cancer Res. 2009 May 01; 69(9):3736-45. . View in PubMed
  • Prognostic value of the androgen receptor and its coactivators in patients with D1 prostate cancer Anticancer Res. 2008 Jan-Feb; 28(1B):425-30. . View in PubMed
  • Glucose-regulated protein GRP78 is up-regulated in prostate cancer and correlates with recurrence and survival Hum Pathol. 2007 Oct; 38(10):1547-52. . View in PubMed
  • Expression of stress response protein Grp78 is associated with the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 15; 12(20 Pt 1):5987-93. . View in PubMed
  • Most early disseminated cancer cells detected in bone marrow of breast cancer patients have a putative breast cancer stem cell phenotype Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 01; 12(19):5615-21. . View in PubMed
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase EphB4 is a survival factor in breast cancer Am J Pathol. 2006 Jul; 169(1):279-93. . View in PubMed
  • Detection of occult lymph node metastases in locally advanced node-negative prostate cancer J Clin Oncol. 2006 Jun 20; 24(18):2735-42. . View in PubMed
  • Expression and significance of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 in bladder cancer J Urol. 2006 Apr; 175(4):1245-52. . View in PubMed
  • Dense breast stromal tissue shows greatly increased concentration of breast epithelium but no increase in its proliferative activity Breast Cancer Res. 2006; 8(2):R24. . View in PubMed
  • Anti-angiogenic activity of contortrostatin, a disintegrin from Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix snake venom Angiogenesis. 2003; 6(3):213-24. . View in PubMed
  • Correlation of p53 immunostaining in primary and residual ovarian cancer at the time of positive second-look laparotomy and its prognostic role: a Southwest Oncology Group ancillary study Gynecol Oncol. 2002 Oct; 87(1):17-23. . View in PubMed
  • Thrombospondin-1 expression in patients with pathologic stage T3 prostate cancer undergoing radical prostatectomy: association with p53 alterations, tumor angiogenesis, and tumor progression Urology. 2002 Jan; 59(1):97-102. . View in PubMed
  • Occult metastases in patients with breast cancer Ann Surg Oncol. 2001 Oct; 8(9 Suppl):60S-63S. . View in PubMed
  • Detection of occult metastasis in patients with breast cancer Semin Surg Oncol. 2001 Jun; 20(4):312-8. . View in PubMed
  • Occult metastasis Biomed Pharmacother. 2001 May; 55(4):229-42. . View in PubMed
  • Calcium-induced modification of protein conformation demonstrated by immunohistochemistry: What is the signal? J Histochem Cytochem. 1999 Apr; 47(4):463-70.. View in PubMed
  • Detection of occult metastases in lung carcinomas: progress and implications for lung cancer staging J Surg Oncol. 1998 Dec; 69(4):265-74. . View in PubMed
  • Magnetic resonance imaging for detection of prostate cancer metastatic to bone J Urol. 1993 Jun; 149(6):1482-4. . View in PubMed
  • Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric adenocarcinoma among Japanese Americans in Hawaii Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1993 May-Jun; 2(3):213-7. . View in PubMed
  • Specific genetic analysis of microscopic tissue after selective ultraviolet radiation fractionation and the polymerase chain reaction Am J Pathol. 1992 Sep; 141(3):539-43. . View in PubMed
  • Postoperative bone marrow alterations: potential pitfalls in the diagnosis of osteomyelitis with In-111-labeled leukocyte scintigraphy Radiology. 1991 Sep; 180(3):741-7. . View in PubMed
  • Vertebral compression fractures: distinction between benign and malignant causes with MR imaging Radiology. 1989 Jul; 172(1):215-8. . View in PubMed
  • Osteomyelitis of the foot in diabetic patients: evaluation with plain film, 99mTc-MDP bone scintigraphy, and MR imaging AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1989 Apr; 152(4):795-800. . View in PubMed