Medical College of Wisconsin Precision Medicine Discovery and Innovation Laboratory

Located in the Health Resource Center (HRC) 5th Floor

Raul Urrutia, MD

Raul Urrutia, MD
Director, Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Center for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine
Professor, Surgery & Biochemistry
Warren P. Knowles Endowed Chair of Genomics and Precision Medicine
Director, Pancreas Cancer Program
Medical College of Wisconsin
Emeritus Professor, Mayo Clinic
(414) 955-4885

Research Summary

Dr. Urrutia’s laboratory combines interests and expertise in the areas of genomics, epigenomics, and individualized medicine, in particular as it relates to pancreatic diseases such as Cancer and Diabetes. In the area of medical genomics and precision medicine, his laboratory discovered pancreatic cancer tumor suppressor genes, which also cause juvenile (MODY VII) and neonatal diabetes, as well as the insulin resistance metabolic syndrome. Dr. Urrutia and his group have made fundamental contributions by identifying members and helping to put together the family of KLF proteins, which are critical regulators of biology, pathobiology and epigenetic reprogramming. In addition, his group has discovered several histone deacetylase (HDAC), histone acetyltransferase (HAT), and histone methyltransferase (HMT) epigenetic pathways that are operational not only in pancreatic cancer, but in numerous other diseases. His work led to the discovery of histone-proteins associated subcodes, which helps to interpret epigenomic codes. Methodologically, Dr. Urrutia leads a large group of biochemists, biophysicists, cell biologists, geneticists, epigeneticists, molecular pathologists, and bioinformaticians in a highly productive Team Science environment.
He is Director of the Mellowes Center at MCW and also the Director of the Precision Medicine Simulation Unit, which seeks to improve the methods of interpretation for genomic variants that associate to cancer development. Through National and International collaborative alliances, the Urrutia laboratory offers unique opportunities for fruitful scientific engagement and cross training. Because of his contributions to science and leadership, Dr. Urrutia has been president of the American Pancreatic Association, Chairman of the Pancreatic Diseases Section of the American Gastroenterology Association, Council Member of the International Association of Pancreatology, Chief-Scientific-Officer of the Cancer Epigenomic Society, and member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He has been and is currently Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, or member of the Editorial Board of several journals and serves as a scientific reviewer for Institutions in USA, France, Italy, and Argentina. Lastly, Dr. Urrutia has mentored more than 50 investigators, many of them are currently reputed national and international leaders in their field.

Members of the Lab


Angela J. Mathison, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery; Technology Development Director, Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Center for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine


Young-In Chi, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery; Research Scientist, Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Center for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine


Thiago de Milech Assuncao, MSc

Lab Manager


Elise Sloey

Research Technologist II


Gareth Pollin, PhD

Bioinformatics Postdoctoral Fellow

Research in the Urrutia Precision Medicine Discovery and Innovation Lab is supported by funding from:

  • R01: NCI - Targeting Epigenomic Regulators at the Replication Fork in PDAC
  • U24: A Data Resource for Analyzing Blood & Marrow Transplants (CIBMTR)
  • AHW: Precision Medicine of Pancreatic Cancer
  • AHW: Establishing Wisconsin's First Cancer Precision Medicine Simulation Unit
  • Theodore W. Batterman Family Foundation Grant - Pathogenic Characterization of Germline Variants in Pancreatic Cancer

Contact Us

Raul Urrutia, MD
(414) 955-4885

Thiago Milech De Assuncao, MSc
(414) 955-7470

Christopher Bauer, MS
(414) 955-5759

Medical College of Wisconsin
Health Resource Center (HRC)
8701 Watertown Plank Rd., 5th Floor
Milwaukee, WI  53226

Medical College of Wisconsin Google map location