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Douglas R. Hurst, PhD

Scientific Director
Biochemistry and Immunology of Cancer

White man with brown hair, fluffy bangs, gray thin beard and moustache

What Inspires My Work at the ACS

"The complicated process of tumor growth and progression is intriguing from the standpoint of research yet frustrating from a treatment perspective. Funding projects that put the fundamental pieces in place to solve this puzzle and make life better for patients is truly rewarding."

At ACS since 2022

As Scientific Director of the Biochemistry and Immunology of Cancer program in the Extramural Discovery Sciences department, Douglas Hurst, PhD, oversees peer review and grants management in areas related to DNA and RNA mechanisms, immunology and blood cell development, and tumor biochemistry and endocrinology.

Hurst also manages the Mission Boost Grant Program that specifically supports translational research projects that move into human testing.

He serves as the scientific liaison to the North and North East Regions of the American Cancer Society (ACS) where he collaborates with regional colleagues to provide expert information, education and communication about cancer and ACS programs.

Research focus and accomplishments

Prior to joining ACS, Hurst was an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he directed a cancer research program investigating the molecular mechanisms that regulate tumor progression.

His studies have included basic molecular and cellular biology techniques using both in vitro and in vivo model systems to characterize the structural and functional units of chromatin complexes that epigenetically regulate gene transcription.

He’s published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and has been an invited speaker at institutes across the globe. Hurst served on grant review study sections including chairing sessions for the Department of Defense and ACS. Having developed courses for the Cancer Biology theme at UAB and serving on more than 40 graduate student thesis committees, he is enthusiastic about working with the next generation of scientists.


For a full list of Dr. Hurst's publications, visit his Google Scholar page.  


Work before ACS

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham:
    • Department of Pathology, Associate Professor
    • O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, Associate Scientist

Professional organizations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
  • Metastasis Research Society (MRS), Member
    • Board of Directors 2014-2018


  • Postdoctoral Fellow (NIH F32 Fellowship): University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pathology, 2004-2009
  • PhD (DoD Predoctoral Fellowship): Biochemistry, Florida State University, 1999-2003
  • BS: Biochemistry, College of Charleston, 1995-1998

Personal life 

I enjoy running, hiking, and spending time with my wife Angela, daughter Ashley, son Jake, and two rescue dogs Cooper and Charlotte. We live in Homewood, Alabama.