Ralph Hruban, M.D.

Headshot of Ralph Hruban
  • Director of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center
  • Professor of Pathology


Pancreatic Cancer, Pathology

Research Interests

Pancreatic Cancer


The Johns Hopkins Hospital

600 N. Wolfe Street
Carnegie Building, 415
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 410-955-9790 | Fax: 410-955-0394
The Johns Hopkins Hospital - Google Maps


Dr. Ralph Hruban is a professor of pathology and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A world-renowned pancreatic cancer pathology expert, his areas of clinical expertise include pancreatic cancer and its precursors, neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas and pancreatic pathology.

His research contributions include the characterization of PanINs, the precursor lesions that give rise to invasive pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Hruban is the Baxley Professor and Director of the Department of Pathology.  He also serves as director of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins and is a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and a medical degree from Johns Hopkins, Dr. Hruban continued his residency training in anatomic pathology at Johns Hopkins. He then completed a fellowship in surgical pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and returned to join the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1990.

Dr. Hruban co-founded the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry at Johns Hopkins in 1994, created an award-winning iPad application to teach pancreas pathology (the Johns Hopkins Atlas of Pancreatic Pathology) and an iPAD and iPhone APP for patients with pancreatic cancer (the Johns Hopkins iCareBook).  He also produced an award-winning documentary on the life of William Stewart Halsted, Hopkins’ first surgeon-in-chief.

He has authored more than 850 peer-reviewed manuscripts and ten books, including the standard textbook on pancreatic pathology (the AFIP Fascicle on Tumors of the Pancreas) and the World Health Organization “blue book” on tumors of the digestive tract. His book on the history of medicine, A Scientific Revolution: Ten men and women who reinvented American Medicine, was recently published by Pegasus Books. He is recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a highly cited researcher and by Essential Science Indicators as the most highly cited pancreatic cancer scientist.

Dr. Hruban has received numerous awards including the Arthur Purdy Stout Prize for significant career achievements in surgical pathology, the Ramzi Cotran Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, the PanCAN Medical Visionary Award, the Ranice W. Crosby Distinguished Achievement Award in Art as Applied to Medicine, the Ruth C. Brufsky Award of Excellence in Clinical Research for Pancreatic Cancer, the Frank Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education, the Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumni Award, the Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, and five teaching awards from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was elected to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2013.

...read more


  • Director of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center
  • Director, Department of Pathology
  • Past-President, Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association
  • Professor of Pathology
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1985)


  • Pathology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1990)


  • Pathology; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1989)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology (Anatomic Pathology) (1990)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The goals of Dr. Hruban’s research are to understand the noninvasive precursor lesions from which invasive pancreatic cancers develop (PanINs and IPMNs); why pancreatic cancer aggregates in some families; and the pathologic ramifications of genetic alterations in the pancreas. Toward these goals, Dr. Hruban has applied molecular genetics to the study of noninvasive precursor lesions in the pancreas and to patients with familial pancreatic cancer. A better understanding of these lesions and families may provide an avenue for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.

Selected Publications

Blackford A, Parmigiani G, Kensler TW, Wolfgang CL, Jones S, Zhang X, Parsons DW, Lin JC, Leary RJ, Eshleman JR, Goggins M, Jaffee EM, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Maitra A, Klein AP, Cameron JL, Olino K, Schulick R, Winter J, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE, Kinzler KW, Hruban RH. Genetic Mutations Associated With Cigarette Smoking in Pancreatic Cancer. Cancer Res. 69:3681-8, 2009.

Shi C, Klein AP, Goggins M, Maitra A, Canto M, Ali S, Schulick R, Palmisano E, Hruban RH. Increased prevalence of precursor lesions in familial pancreatic cancer patients. Clin Cancer Res. 15:7737-43, 2009.

Jiao Y, Shi C, Edil BH, de Wilde RF, Klimstra DS, Maitra A, Schulick RD, Tang LH, Wolfgang CL, Choti MA, Velculescu VE, Diaz LA, Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW*, Hruban RH*, Papadopoulos N*. DAXX/ATRX, MEN1 and mTOR pathway genes are frequently altered in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Science. 331:1199-203, 2011

Matthaei H, Hong SM, Mayo SC, dal Molin M, Olino K, Venkat R, Goggins M, Herman JM, Edil BH, Wolfgang CL, Cameron JL, Schulick RD, Maitra A, Hruban RH. Presence of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia in the pancreatic transaction margin does not influence outcome in patients with R0 resected pancreatic cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 18:3493-9, 2011.

Hong SM, Goggins M, Wolfgang CL, Schulick RD, Edil BH, Cameron JL, Handri-Luca A, Herman JM, Hruban RH. Vascular invasion in infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas can mimic pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia: a histopathologic study of 209 cases. Am J Surg Pathol. 36:235-41, 2012.

Wu J, Jiao Y, dal Molin M, Maitra A, de Wilde RF, Wood LD, Eshleman JR, Goggins MG, Wolfgang CL, Canto MI, Schulick RD, Edil BH, Choti MA, Adsay V, Kimstra DS, Offerhaus GJ, Klein AP, Kopelovich L, Carter H, Karchin R, Allen PJ, Schmidt CM, Naito Y, Diaz LA, Kinzler KW, Papadopoulos N, Hruban RH*, Vogelstein B*. Whole-exome sequencing of neoplastic cysts of the pancreas reveals recurrent mutations in components of ubiquitin-dependent pathways. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 108:21188-93, 2011.

Roberts NJ, Jiao Y, Yu J, Kopelovich L, Petersen GM, Bondy ML, Gallinger S, Schwartz AG, Syngal S, Cote ML, Axilbund J, Schulick R, Ali SZ, Eshleman JR, Velculescu VE, Goggins M, Vogelstein B, Papadopoulos N, Hruban RH*, Kinzler KW*, Klein AP*. ATM mutations in patients with hereditary pancreatic cancer. Cancer Discovery. 2:41-6, 2012.

Activities & Honors


  • Member, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, 2013
  • Educational Innovation, Institute for Excellence in Education, 2014
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, The Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association, 2013
  • Ruth Leff Siegel Award for Excellence in Pancreatic Cancer Research, Columbia University, 2013
  • The Ranice W. Crosby Distinguished Achievement Award, Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2011
  • BioCommunications Association's Medical Education Award, 2012
  • Team Science Award (twice), American Association for Cancer Research
  • Ruth C. Brufsky Award of Excellence in Clinical Research for Pancreatic Cancer
  • Frank Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education, The Vesalius Trust
  • Medical Visionary Award, PanCAN
  • Ramzi Cotran Award
  • Arthur Purdy Stout Prize, The Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists
  • German National Academy of Science, Leopoldina

Professional Activities

  • President, The Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, 2013 - 2015
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Joseph C. Monastra Foundation
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
Is this you? Edit Profile
back to top button