• Alexander “Craig” Mackinnon Jr., M.D., Ph.D., is the inaugural director of the Division of Genomics Diagnostics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Pathology, School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mackinnon will lead ongoing efforts to establish the Precision Diagnostic Laboratory at UAB.

    A board-certified anatomical and molecular genetic pathologist, Mackinnon joins UAB after serving as associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Mackinnon directed the Clinical and Translational Research Laboratory (CTRL) at MCW, where he provided interpretation related to the pathology of tumor samples. The lab developed multiple Next Generation Sequencing-based panels targeting variants in both DNA and RNA. He has experience designing and validating targeted, custom DNA and RNA sequencing assays. Mackinnon’s lab interpreted a range of tests, from sequencing data to digital quantitative imaging for immunohistochemical analysis.

    “Dr. Mackinnon is a crucial addition to our burgeoning genomics diagnostics program, having run the CTRL at his previous institution, where he pioneered the validation of custom assays,” said George Netto, M.D., Robert and Ruth Anderson Endowed Chair, UAB Pathology. “Dr. Mackinnon will lead the Division of Genomics Diagnostics and Bioinformatics at an exciting time when we are expanding both our team of experts and the tests and services we offer relating to genomics diagnostics.”

    Mackinnon is a member of the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathology, where he served on the Molecular Pathology Section, Pathologist Recertification Individualized Self-Assessment Examination Committee.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2021 TFEB rearranged renal cell carcinoma. A clinicopathologic and molecular study of 13 cases. Tumors harboring MALAT1-TFEB, ACTB-TFEB, and the novel NEAT1-TFEB translocations constantly express PDL1Modern Pathology.  34:842-850. 2021
    2020 Myxoinflammatory fibroblastic sarcoma: an immunohistochemical and molecular genetic study of 73 casesModern Pathology.  33:2520-2533. 2020
    2020 p38γ MAPK Is Essential for Aerobic Glycolysis and Pancreatic Tumorigenesis.Cancer Research.  80:3251-3264. 2020
    2020 Increased SPARC expression is associated with neoadjuvant therapy in resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomaPractical Laboratory Medicine.  21. 2020
    2020 Comparison of tissue molecular biomarker testing turnaround times and concordance between standard of care and the biocartis idylla platform in patients with colorectal cancerAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology.  154:266-276. 2020
    2019 Esophageal pepsin and proton pump synthesis in Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. 2019
    2019 Evaluation, Validation and Implementation of the Idylla System as Rapid Molecular Testing for Precision Medicine. 2019
    2019 MDM2 amplification and immunohistochemical expression in sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma.Human Pathology.  28-36. 2019
    2019 Antibiotic modulation of mucins in otitis media; should this change our approach to watchful waiting?International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology.  2687-2695. 2019
    2019 Proliferative potential and resistance to immune checkpoint blockade in lung cancer patients. 2019
    2019 Next generation sequencing of PD-L1 for predicting response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. 2019
    2018 Expression of PD-L1/PD-1 in lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the thymus.Modern Pathology.  1801-1806. 2018
    2018 A serum-induced transcriptome and serum cytokine signature obtained at diagnosis correlates with the development of early pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma metastasis.Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention2018
    2018 Immunogenomic Landscape Contributes to Hyperprogressive Disease after Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy for Cancer.iScience2018
    2018 Poorly-differentiated non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma of the thymus: Clinicopathologic and molecular genetic study of 25 cases.American Journal of Surgical Pathology.  1224-1236. 2018
    2018 Tubulo-papillary adrenocortical adenoma in a patient with familial adenomatous polyposis: A morphologic, ultrastructural and molecular study.Annals of Surgery.  610-619. 2018
    2018 A-C Estrogens as Potent and Selective Estrogen Receptor-Beta Agonists (SERBAs) to Enhance Memory Consolidation under Low-Estrogen Conditions.Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.  61:4720-4738. 2018
    2018 Cerebellar Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma in a Patient with Neurofibromatosis Type 1- Molecular Study and Review of the Literature.Human Pathology: Case Reports.  11:38-42. 2018
    2018 Overexpression of the VRK1 kinase, which is associated with breast cancer progression, induces a mesenchymal to epithelial transition in mammary epithelial cells.PLoS One2018
    2018 Bronchiolar Adenoma: Expansion of the Concept of Ciliated Muconodular Papillary Tumors With Proposal for Revised Terminology Based on Morphologic, Immunophenotypic, and Genomic Analysis of 25 Cases.American Journal of Surgical Pathology.  1010-1026. 2018
    2018 Optimized b-value selection for the discrimination of prostate cancer grades, including the cribriform pattern, using diffusion weighted imaging.Journal of Medical Imaging.  5:011004. 2018
    2017 Immune Check Point Inhibition in Sarcomatoid Renal Cell Carcinoma: A New Treatment Paradigm.Clinical Genitourinary Cancer.  15:e897-e901. 2017
    2017 Association of Gel-Forming Mucins and Aquaporin Gene Expression With Hearing Loss, Effusion Viscosity, and Inflammation in Otitis Media With Effusion.JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.  143:810-817. 2017
    2017 Evaluation of CD43 expression in non-hematopoietic malignancies.Annals of Diagnostic Pathology.  29:23-27. 2017
    2017 Cancer cell chemokines direct chemotaxis of activated stellate cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.Laboratory Investigation.  97:302-317. 2017
    2016 Association of microRNA 146 with middle ear hyperplasia in pediatric otitis media.International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology.  88:104-108. 2016
    2016 A Single Center's Approach to Discriminating Donor Versus Host Origin of Renal Neoplasia in the Allograft Kidney.Annals of Diagnostic Pathology2016
    2016 The tumor-suppressive small GTPase DiRas1 binds the noncanonical guanine nucleotide exchange factor SmgGDS and antagonizes SmgGDS interactions with oncogenic small GTPases.Journal of Biological Chemistry.  291:10948. 2016
    2016 Dysregulation of WNT5A/ROR2 Signaling Characterizes the Progression of Barrett's-associated Esophageal Adenocarcinoma.Molecular Cancer Research2016
    2016 Desmoplastic melanoma: an updated immunohistochemical analysis of 40 cases with a proposal for an additional panel of stains for diagnosis.Journal of Cutaneous Pathology.  43:313-323. 2016
    2015 Role of immunohistochemistry in the diagnosis of sebaceous carcinoma: a clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study.American Journal of Dermatopathology2015
    2015 Genomic variations in plasma cell free DNA differentiate early stage lung cancers from normal controls.Lung Cancer.  90:78-84. 2015
    2015 Granulomatous and lymphocytic interstitial lung disease: a spectrum of pulmonary histopathologic lesions in common variable immunodeficiency--histologic and immunohistochemical analyses of 16 cases.Human Pathology.  46:1306-1314. 2015
    2015 Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Activation beyond Robust Nuclear β-Catenin Accumulation in Nondysplastic Barrett's Esophagus: Regulation via Dickkopf-1. Neoplasia.Neoplasia2015
    2015 Spindle Cell Atypical Fibroxanthoma: Myofibroblastic Differentiation Represents a Diagnostic Pitfall in This Variant of AFX.American Journal of Dermatopathology2015
    2015 Comparing gene expression data from formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissues and qPCR with that from snap-frozen tissue and microarrays for modeling outcomes of patients with ovarian carcinoma.BMC Clinical Pathology.  15:17. 2015
    2015 Prostate cancer risk locus at 8q24 as a regulatory hub by physical interactions with multiple genomic loci across the genomeHuman Molecular Genetics.  24:154-166. 2015
    2014 Depletion of M2-like tumor-associated macrophages delays cutaneous T-cell lymphoma development in vivo. 2014
    2014 Cribriform adenocarcinoma of the lung: clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular analysis of 15 cases of a distinctive morphologic subtype of lung adenocarcinoma.Modern Pathology.  27:1063-1072. 2014
    2014 Antral atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, and preneoplastic markers in Mexican children with Helicobacter pylori-positive and Helicobacter pylori-negative gastritis.Annals of Diagnostic Pathology.  18:129-135. 2014
    2014 Dickkopf-1, the Wnt antagonist, is induced by acidic pH and mediates epithelial cellular senescence in human reflux esophagitis. 2014
    2014 The SmgGDS splice variant SmgGDS-558 is a key promoter of tumor growth and RhoA signaling in breast cancer.Molecular Cancer Research2014
    2014 CXCL12 chemokine expression suppresses human pancreatic cancer growth and metastasis.PLoS One.  9:e90400. 2014
    2013 Tracking in anatomic pathology.Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  137:1798-1810. 2013
    2013 Mitochondria-targeted vitamin E analogs inhibit breast cancer cell energy metabolism and promote cell death.BMC Cancer.  13:285. 2013
    2013 Extracolonic gastrointestinal tract morphologic findings in a case of pseudomembranous collagenous colitis.Annals of Diagnostic Pathology.  17:291-294. 2013
    2013 Use of combination chemotherapy for treatment of granulomatous and lymphocytic interstitial lung disease (GLILD) in patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID).Journal of Clinical Immunology.  33:30-39. 2013
    2012 Certification in molecular pathology in the United States: an update from the Association for Molecular Pathology Training and Education Committee. 2012
    2012 Disseminated Nocardia farcinica: literature review and fatal outcome in an immunocompetent patient.Surgical Infections.  13:163-170. 2012
    2012 Mitochondria-targeted drugs synergize with 2-deoxyglucose to trigger breast cancer cell death.Cancer Research.  72:2634-2644. 2012
    2011 Transcription factor genes Smad4 and Gata4 cooperatively regulate cardiac valve development. [corrected]. 2011
    2011 Paxillin expression and amplification in early lung lesions of high-risk patients, lung adenocarcinoma and metastatic disease. 2011
    2010 . Ets1 is required for proper migration and differentiation of the cardiac neural crest. 2010
    2010 Identification of histologically distinct conventional adenomas that arise predominately in patients with sessile serrated adenomas.American Journal of Surgical Pathology.  34:355-363. 2010
    2009 Recent developments in the pathology of renal tumors: morphology and molecular characteristics of select entities.Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  1026-1032. 2009
    2009 Molecular biology underlying the clinical heterogeneity of prostate cancer: an update.Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  1033-1040. 2009
    2009 Update in neoplastic lung diseases and mesothelioma.Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  1106-1115. 2009
    2009 Update in nonneoplastic lung diseases.Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine2009
    2008 Expression and mutational analysis of MET in human solid cancers. 2008
    2008 Paxillin is a target for somatic mutations in lung cancer: implications for cell growth and invasion.Cancer Research.  68:132-142. 2008
    2002 C. elegans PAT-4/ILK functions as an adaptor protein within integrin adhesion complexes.Current Biology.  12:787-797. 2002
    1997 Development of a coupled VanA/VanX assay: Screening for inhibitors of glycopeptide resistance.Journal of Biomolecular Screening.  241-247. 1997


    Year Title Altmetric
    2012 Pediatric Neoplasia: Advances in Molecular Pathology and Translational Medicine 2012


    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Synovial Sarcoma 2019
    2009 Lung and pleura.  217-280. 2009

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Mackinnon's research interests include the molecular pathology of solid tumors and quantitative immunohistochemistry.
  • Full Name

  • Alexander Mackinnon