Kenneth Aldape, M.D.

Senior Investigator

Laboratory of Pathology


Building 10, Room 2S235
Bethesda, MD 20892-1500


Research Topics

My laboratory studies genomic and epigenomic alterations in brain tumors, including glioma and meningioma. We characterize the biology of specific genomic alterations and how they contribute to the molecular pathogenesis and treatment resistance of aggressive brain tumors. We also utilize genomic signatures with a goal of identifying clinically relevant subclasses. Our hypothesis is that biologically-based classification of brain tumors will lead to a greater understanding of why specific tumor subtypes may be more or less sensitive to therapeutics.

At the branch level, and as a diagnostic pathologist, I am passionate about the use of new technologies to improve diagnostics of cancer. Morphologic interpretation by the light microscope is an extremely effective tool for classification, but can be limited by subjectivity and ambiguity for difficult-to-diagnose cases. The increasing application of genomic, epigenomic and computational modalities show promise to improve precision and accuracy of cancer diagnostics. The future of diagnostic pathology will increasingly utilize genetic and epigenomic alterations, as well as computational and image analysis approaches to define and classify cancer. My vision is to disrupt our current practice of sole reliance on morphologic interpretation by integrating these and other technologies within our current standard of care to promote precision diagnostics of cancer.


Dr. Aldape is a diagnostic and molecular neuropathologist who focusses on genomics and molecular pathogenesis of primary brain tumors. He studies the biology of specific alterations in brain tumors, including the CIC tumor suppressor gene. As a diagnostic pathologist, he works on the integration of new genomic and computational approaches to improve how cancer can be classified and treated. The future of cancer classification and treatment decisions will increasingly integrate these tools into clinical practice, and his vision is to contribute to this new paradigm in pathology. Previously, Dr. Aldape has held faculty positions at the University of California, San Francisco, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Selected Publications

  1. Bunda S, Heir P, Li ASC, Mamatjan Y, Zadeh G, Aldape K. c-Src Phosphorylates and Inhibits the Function of the CIC Tumor Suppressor Protein. Mol Cancer Res. 2020;18(5):774-786.
  2. Nassiri F, Chakravarthy A, Feng S, Shen SY, Nejad R, Zuccato JA, Voisin MR, Patil V, Horbinski C, Aldape K, Zadeh G, De Carvalho DD. Detection and discrimination of intracranial tumors using plasma cell-free DNA methylomes. Nat Med. 2020;26(7):1044-1047.
  3. Xia D, Leon AJ, Cabanero M, Pugh TJ, Tsao MS, Rath P, Siu LL, Yu C, Bedard PL, Shepherd FA, Zadeh G, Chetty R, Aldape K. Minimalist approaches to cancer tissue-of-origin classification by DNA methylation. Mod Pathol. 2020;33(10):1874-1888.
  4. Brat DJ, Aldape K, Colman H, Figrarella-Branger D, Fuller GN, Giannini C, Holland EC, Jenkins RB, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters B, Komori T, Kros JM, Louis DN, McLean C, Perry A, Reifenberger G, Sarkar C, Stupp R, van den Bent MJ, von Deimling A, Weller M. cIMPACT-NOW update 5: recommended grading criteria and terminologies for IDH-mutant astrocytomas. Acta Neuropathol. 2020;139(3):603-608.
  5. Bunda S, Heir P, Metcalf J, Li ASC, Agnihotri S, Pusch S, Yasin M, Li M, Burrell K, Mansouri S, Singh O, Wilson M, Alamsahebpour A, Nejad R, Choi B, Kim D, von Deimling A, Zadeh G, Aldape K. CIC protein instability contributes to tumorigenesis in glioblastoma. Nat Commun. 2019;10(1):661.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Monday, February 26, 2024