Research Profile: A. James Moser, MD

A. James Moser, MD

Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School 


Co-Director, BIDMC Pancreas and Liver Institute

Research Group

William E. Gooding, MS
Wendy Hori, RN
Sjors Klompmaker, MD
Robert Najarian, MD
Ana Sofia Ore, MD
Katie Stackhouse, MD
Wald Van der Vliet, MD
Monica Solis Velasco, MD
Koen Verhoulen, MD

Research Focus

I am a leader in complex, advanced surgical oncology including minimally-invasive surgery of the pancreas and liver and vascular resection for borderline resectable tumors. I am Co-Director of the multidisciplinary Pancreas and Liver Institute with Michael Curry, M.D., Director of Liver Transplantation and Chief of Hepatology, and Manuel Hildalgo, MD, PhD, Clinical Director of the BIDMC Cancer Center and Chief of Hematology/Oncology.

The Pancreas and Liver Institute combines BIDMC’s key strengths in advanced endoscopy with advanced minimally-invasive and robotic surgery, integrated patient-centered multidisciplinary care for pancreas and liver diseases, and leadership of innovative clinical trials within the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. I also co-lead BIDMC’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Program with Dr. Hidalgo. Current areas of primary interest include: minimally-invasive cancer surgery; biomarker development and computational biology approaches to precision medicine for pancreatic diseases, and particularly pancreatic cancer. 

I am currently principal investigator for Project Survival™, a multisite collaborative research effort to develop early prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. My current research group includes five research fellows, including a Fulbright scholar and two fellows pursuing their master’s degrees at the Harvard School of Public Health. The team is supported by a large community of grateful patients and families funding patient-centered care for pancreatic cancer through the Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic Cancer. I have been published more than 100 times and I am an active participant in multiple national and international societies, including the American Surgical Association.

Accomplishments 2016-2017

  • Elected to the American Surgical Association
  • Co-established and direct (with Manuel Hidalgo, MD, PhD) the Pancreatic Cancer Research Program within the BIDMC Cancer Research Institute (CRI).
  • Launched BIDMC Department of Surgery Pancreatic Disease Registry and Biorepository Core Facility
  • First annual observance of World Pancreatic Cancer Day at the BIDMC Pancreas and Liver Institute and Cancer Center on behalf of pancreatic cancer survivors, their families, and clinical and translational researchers tackling this deadly disease 
  • Surgical-services wide analysis of factors contributing to intraoperative flow disruptions affecting the hepatobiliary (HPB) surgery and assessment of Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement (QA/PI) processes to improve efficiency

Teaching, Training, and Education

  • Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic Cancer Translational Research Fellowship Award: Mentored translational research training grant to prepare the next generation of surgeon-scientists to tackle the challenges of curing pancreatic cancer
  • Fox-25 Boston Television interview with Drs. A. James Moser and Senthil Muthuswamy: “New research leading to new treatments- patient-derived organoids”
  • Weekly CME-approved multidisciplinary pancreatobiliary management conference

Selected Research Support

Project Survival: Multisite identification and validation of prognostic biomarkers for pancreatic cancer detection and treatment; Berg Pharma, 2015-2022; PI: A. James Moser, MD; Co-PI: Manuel Hidalgo, MD PhD; Co-I: Robert Najarian, MD, and Senthil Muthuswamy, PhD

Phase II study of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (Zenpep) on completion rates of adjuvant therapy among subjects with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Allergan Inc.,  2016-2019; PI: A. James Moser, MD; Co-PI: Bruno Bockorny, MD

Dendritic cell-cancer cell fusion vaccines for PDAC treatment; Jimmy V Foundation;, 2018-2021; PI: Manuel Hidalgo, MD PhD; Co-PIs: David Avigan, MD; A. James Moser, MD; Senthil Muthuswamy, PhD; Mandeep Sawhney, MD

A scalable blood-based pancreatic cancer test for high-risk screening; 2017-2018; PI: David S. Freedman PhD; Co-PI: Bruno Bockorny, MD; Co-I: A. James Moser, MD

Selected Publications

Klompmaker S, van Zoggel D, Watkins AA, Eskander MF, Tseng JF, Besselink MG, Moser AJ. Nationwide evaluation of patient selection for minimally-invasive distal pancreatectomy using ACS-NSQIP. Ann Surg 2017;266(6):1055-1061.

Watkins AA, Kent TS, Gooding WE, Boggi U, Chalikonda S, Kendrick ML, Walsh RM, Zeh HJ III, Moser AJ. Multicenter outcomes of robotic reconstruction during the early learning curve for minimally-invasive pancreaticoduodenectomy. HPB (Oxford) 2018;20(2):155-165.

Hogg ME, Besselink MG, Clavien PA, Fingerhut A, Jeyarajah DR, Kooby DA, Moser AJ, Pitt HA, Varban OA, Vollmer CM, Zeh HJ 3rd, Hansen P; Minimally Invasive Pancreatic Resection Organizing Committee. Training in Minimally Invasive Pancreatic Resections: a paradigm shift away from "See one, Do one, Teach one". HPB (Oxford) 2017;19(3):234-245.

Patti JC, Ore AS, Barrows C, Velanovich V, Moser AJ. Value-based assessment of robotic pancreas and liver surgery. Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr 2017;6(4):246-257.

Vergauwen MAT, Perillo M, Garces-Descovich A, Barrows CE, Moser AJ, Mortelé KJ. Radiologic evaluation of patients undergoing the modified Appleby procedure for locally advanced pancreatic neoplasms: A case series. Abdom Radiol (NY) 2018;43(2):467-475.

Barrows C, Ore AS, Solis-Velasco M, Moser AJ. “Minimally-Invasive Transduodenal Ampullary Resection.” In: Minimally Invasive Surgery of the Pancreas. Boggi U Ed. Milan, Italy. Springer-Verlag Italia  2017, p. 131-139.