Skip to main content
Sign In

Wells A. Messersmith, MD, FACP

Professor With Tenure, Head, Division of Medical Oncology, Co-Leader, Developmental Therapeutics

Fred HirschWells A. Messersmith, MD


Williams College (Williamstown, MA), BA 1992
Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), MD 1998

Dr. Messersmith joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty in August 2007 as the Director of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology as well as an active participant in the Drug Development Program. He trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School and did his Medical Oncology / Drug Development Fellowship at Johns Hopkins, where he was on the faculty from 2004-2007 as Assistant Professor in the GI Oncology and Drug Development programs.

Dr. Messersmith is focused on clinical and translational cancer research and is the
director of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology Program. This comprehensive
program includes multi-disciplinary GI cancer clinics, tumor boards, and research
endeavors. Dr. Messersmith’s laboratory is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI, R01) and he serves as the principal investigator on numerous national and local therapeutic trials. He is an active investigator in the developmental therapeutics laboratory, working on novel targeted therapies as well as correlative studies for use on human tissue samples. Dr. Messersmith is a member of multiple national committees, including NCI GI Steering Committee, NCI Colon Cancer Task Force, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Committee on Colon/Rectal/Anal Cancers (which sets treatment guidelines used internationally), NCCN Investigator Steering Committee, Medical Oncology Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and others.


  • 1 R01 CA152303-01: “Biomarker-driven Src Studies in Colorectal Cancer” 

  • P30CA046934-23S4: co-Leader, Developmental Therapeutics Program (Cancer Center)

  • European Union / Danish Government: “IndiTreat - Individualized treatment of colorectal cancer patients”

  • Lustgarten Cancer Foundation: “Correlative Studies in Pancreas Cancer: Notch Inhibition” ​


Arcaroli JJ, Quackenbush KS, Purkey A, Powell RW, Pitts TM, Bagby S, Tan AC, Cross B, McPhillips K, Song EK, Tai WM, Winn RA, Bikkavilli K, Vanscoyk M, Eckhardt SG, Messersmith WA. Tumours with elevated levels of the Notch and Wnt pathways exhibit efficacy to PF-03084014, a γ-secretase inhibitor, in a preclinical colorectal explant model. Br J Cancer. 2013 Aug 6;109(3):667-75. Epub 2013 Jul 18.
Arcaroli J, Quackenbush K, Dasari A, Powell R, McManus M, Tan AC, Foster NR, Picus J, Wright J, Nallapareddy S, Erlichman C, Hidalgo M, Messersmith WA.  Biomarker-driven trial in metastatic pancreas cancer: feasibility in a multicenter study of saracatinib, an oral Src inhibitor, in previously treated pancreatic cancer.  Cancer Med. 2012 Oct;1(2):207-17. Epub 2012 Aug 16

Infante JR, Fecher LA, Falchook GS, Nallapareddy S, Gordon MS, Becerra C, Demarini DJ, Cox DS, Xu Y, Morris SR, Peddareddigari VG, Le NT, Hart L, Bendell JC, Eckhardt G, Kurzrock R, Flaherty K, Burris HA 3rd, Messersmith WA. Safety, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and efficacy data for the oral MEK inhibitor trametinib: a phase 1 dose-escalation trial. Lancet Oncol. 2012 Aug;13(8):773-81. Epub 2012 Jul 16

PubMed Articles​​​​​​​