Angela C. Hirbe, MD, PhD

Angela C. Hirbe, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Division of Oncology
Mail Stop 8076-0041-03
Washington University
660 South Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110

Room 3304, Couch Biomedical Research Building (lab)

Terrie Stald

Clinical Interests
  • Sarcoma
  • Cancer predisposition syndromes
Research Interests
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1
  • Genomics

As a practicing medical oncologist in our Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) program, I treat sarcomas and cancer predisposition syndromes. My overarching research goals involve utilization of genomic information from sarcomas to better understand the pathogenesis of these rare tumors and to identify biomarkers and therapeutic targets for these aggressive cancers.  The focus of my laboratory is to utilize genomic information from human sarcoma samples to better understand the development and progression of these cancers.  My main interest is in the pathogenesis of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST), an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma that arises from a benign precursor plexiform neurofibroma and occurs at an increased frequency in patients with the Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) tumor predisposition syndrome. 

Approximately 13% of individuals with NF1 will develop MPNSTs during young adulthood. Currently there are no predictive markers of progression to cancer and standard imaging is not reliable for distinguishing the benign precursor from MPNST. As such and the vast majority of people are diagnosed late and will die within 5 years of diagnosis. As such, it is critical to develop better diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for MPNST.  To begin to address this critical problem, we have developed the largest series of deeply characterized patient-derived MPNST xenografts (PDX) which more accurately reflect the genetic heterogeneity seen in the human condition.  Through characterization of this tool, we now have a better understanding of the genomic landscape of MPNST compared to its benign precursor tumor. There are several ongoing projects in the lab evaluating the utility of candidate genes identified in our genomic studies as potential diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for MPNST.  Additionally, we are currently working to develop a non-invasive blood test to detect circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) sensitively and specifically in order to diagnose MPNST early and distinguish it from its benign precursor. Finally, we remain active in testing novel drugs and combinations in our PDX system.  Ultimately, these studies have the potential to improve diagnosis and treatments for patients with NF1-MPNST.



  • 2009-2001: MD/PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • 2001-1997: BA in Biology (summa cum laude), Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Post-Graduate Training

  • 2016-2013: Hematology-Oncology Fellow/PostDoctoral Research Fellow, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • 2013-2012: Chief Resident, Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • 2012-2011: Hematology-Oncology Fellow, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • 2011-2009: Internal Medicine Residency, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Academic Positions & Employment

  • present-2021: Director, Adult Neurofibromatosis Clinical Program
  • present-2020: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • present-2016: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • 2013-2012: Instructor in Medicine, Ambulatory Services, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

University & Hospital Appointments & Committees

  • present-2020: NCCN Bone Cancer Panel, Siteman Cancer Center Representative
  • present-2020: Washington University Academic Women’s Network, Committee Membership
  • present-2020: Siteman Cancer Center’s Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC)
  • present-2018: Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • present-2016: Member, Siteman Cancer Center

Board Certification

  • 2017: Diplomate, ABIM Medical Oncology
  • 2012: Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • 2017: Francis Collins Scholar
  • 2016: SARC Career Development Award
  • 2010: Gregory J. Gurtner, MD, Memorial Resident Research Award
  • 2009: Alfred Goldman Book Prize in Diseases of the Chest
  • 2006: Travel Award from Cancer and Bone Society VI International Meeting on Cancer Induced Bone Disease
  • 2001: Highest Honors in Biology from Washington University in St Louis
  • 2001: Sigma Xi Research Society
  • 2000: Golden Key National Honor Society
  • 1999: Howard Hughes Undergraduate Biomedical Sciences Research Grant

Professional Organizations

  • present-2021: Vice Chair of the NCCN Bone Panel
  • present-2021: NTAP (Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program) External Advisory Committee
  • present-2017: Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium, national
  • present-2017: DoD MPNST Consortium Committee, national
  • present-2016: Connective Tissue Oncologic Society
  • present-2016: Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF)
  • present-2016: Genomics of MPNST Consortium, steering committee member and co-chair
    Oncology and Pathology Working Group, national
  • present-2011: American Society of Clinical Oncology

Editorial Positions

  • present-2021: Editorial Board of Rare Tumors, Rare Tumors
  • present-2020: Editorial Board of the Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases Section, Genes

Scientist Grant Review

  • present-2021: Chair for the 2021 PRCRP Sarcoma peer review panel (DOD)
  • present-2021: Scientific Reviewer for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
  • present-2020: Scientific Reviewer for Department of Defense Rare Tumors Program
  • present-2019: Scientific Reviewer for Florida Department of Health Biomedical Research Programs
  • present-2018: Scientific Reviewer for the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program