James Francis Amatruda, MD $$ Associate Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center


UTSW Physician Practicing at Children's Health

Appointments: 214-456-2978

Languages Spoken: English,


Each year, tens of thousands of children and teens are diagnosed with cancer. Dr. James Amatruda and his colleagues at Children’s Health℠ are dedicated to helping cure as many of them as possible.

Dr. Amatruda is an associate professor of pediatrics, molecular biology and internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and an attending physician in the Cancer and Blood Disorder Program, one of the nation’s best programs. The success of the program is based on exceptional clinical care and leadership in pediatric cancer research, particularly in the biology of childhood cancers.

“Astronomical progress has been made in the past few years in deciphering the ‘wiring diagram’ of cancer cells so that we can understand how a normal cell begins to grow out of control, leading to the formation of a tumor,” explains Dr. Amatruda. “This is exciting, because we can begin to choose medicines that are targeted to the cancer cells specifically. We have also made progress in harnessing the patient’s own immune system to treat a tumor.”

Dr. Amatruda is a physician-scientist who divides his time between his cancer research laboratory and the clinic. He was drawn to cancer medicine because of the opportunity to apply his interest in research with his desire for patient care.

“As oncologists, we have the privilege of getting to know patients and trying to help them at a very intense time of their lives,” he says. “You only have to meet these children and their families to want to do everything in your power to help them.”   

Dr. Amatruda is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He earned his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine and completed an internship in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He completed a fellowship in molecular genetics at Consglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Rome and a fellowship in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

He is associate division director for research in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and assistant director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at UT Southwestern. He also serves as chair of the Germ Cell Tumor Biology and Rare Tumors Biology committees in the Children’s Oncology Group.

Outside of his practice he enjoys family time with his wife and son, exploring Texas, and outdoor sports including running, cycling and hiking.

Education and Training

Education and Training

Medical School

Washington University School of Medicine (1993)


Brigham & Women's Hospital (1996), Internal Medicine


Boston Children's Hospital (2004), Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women's (1999), Hematology & Oncology
Consglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (1997), Cell and Molecular Biology
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Research Interests

  • Ewing sarcoma
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Pediatric cancers
  • Wilms tumor
  • Zebrafish models of human disease

Selected Publications

Awards & Honors

Awards & Honors

  • Outstanding Teacher, MS1 Class (2014)
  • Outstanding Teacher, MS1 Class (2013)
  • Regent's Outstanding Teaching Award
  • University of Texas System (2013)
  • Outstanding Teacher, MS1 Class (2012)
  • Outstanding Teacher, MS1 Class (2011)
  • Outstanding Teacher, MS1 Class (2010)
  • Health Care Heroes Award, Dallas Business Journal (2009)
  • William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation Scholar (2003)
  • Arnold Dunne Award (1994)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (1993)