Matthew K. Topham, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor, Oncological Sciences
Matthew Topham, MD, is an investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) and associate professor of medicine and adjunct associate professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Cell Response and Regulation Program at HCI.
He studies a family of enzymes called diacylglycerol kinases, which are responsible for turning off the function of diacylglycerol, an important molecule that is often abnormally active in cancer cells. Diacylglycerol kinases may also produce another molecule called phosphatidic acid that can cause abnormal cell division leading to cancer. Thus, the diacylglycerol kinases occupy an important biological role and their activity must be tightly regulated. This biologic mechanism is relevant to many types of cancer, but Topham has a particular interest in its relationship to lung cancer.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Topham graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a BS in chemistry before returning to Salt Lake City to attend medical school at the University of Utah. He received a competitive Sarnoff Research Fellowship in 1989, which took him to a research lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for one year. Subsequently, he graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine and received the Upjohn Award for Research Excellence before completing a residency at Duke University. He returned to the University of Utah for a fellowship in pulmonary medicine and later, a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.