Dr. Ford is a medical oncologist and geneticist at Stanford, devoted to studying the genetic basis of breast and GI cancer development, treatment and prevention. Dr. Ford graduated in 1984 Magna Cum Laude (Biology) from Yale University where he later received his M.D. degree from the School of Medicine in 1989. He was a internal medicine resident (1989-91), Clinical Fellow in Medical Oncology (1991-94), Research Fellow of Biological Sciences (1993-97) at Stanford, and joined the faculty in 1998. He is currently Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and Genetics, and Director of the Stanford Cancer Genetics Clinic and the Cancer Genomics Program at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Dr. Ford’s research goals are to understand the role of genetic changes in cancer genes in the risk and development of common cancers. He studies the role of the p53 and BRCA1 tumor suppressor genes in DNA repair, and uses techniques for high-throughput genomic analyses of cancer to identify molecular signatures for targeted therapies. Dr. Ford’s clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of patients with a hereditary pre-disposition to cancer. He runs the Stanford Cancer Genetics Clinic, that sees patients for genetic counseling and testing of hereditary cancer syndromes for prevention and early diagnosis of cancer in high-risk individuals and populations. He has recently been named the Director of Stanford’s new Cancer Genomics Program, performing next-generation tumor profiling to identify novel genetic targets for personalized targeted therapies, and directs the Molecular Tumor Board.

Dr. Ford is an editor of numerous scientific journals, including Cancer Research, DNA Repair, and PLoS Genetics. He has recently been named the founding Editor-in-Chief of JCO Precision Oncology.


Professional Summary

Education & Certifications
  • Medical Education: Yale School Of Medicine (1989) CT
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Hematology and Oncology Fellowship (1994) CA
  • Residency: Stanford University Internal Medicine Residency (1991) CA
  • Internship: Stanford University Internal Medicine Residency (1990) CA
  • M.D., Yale Medical School, Medicine (1989)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology (2005)
  • Maintenance of Certification, Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine (2015)

Honors & Awards
  • Council Chair, California Breast Cancer Research Program (2009 - 10)
  • Editor-in-Chief, JCO Precision Oncology Journal (2016 - 2020)
  • FASCO, ASCO (2017)
  • Medical Oncology, Best Doctors in America (2013 -)
  • Member, Western Society for Clinical Investigation (2007)
  • Top Doctor for Cancer, Castle Connolly (2008 -)

  • Board of Directors, Gastric Cancer Foundation (2008 - 2017)
  • Scientific Advisory Board, V Foundation (2006 - Present)
  • Member, ASCO Cancer Prevention Committee (2013 - 2016)

Administrative Appointments
  • Associate Director of Education and Training, Stanford Cancer Institute (2018 - Present)
  • Director, Oncology Fellowship Training Program (2002 - 2015)
  • Director, Stanford Clinical Cancer Genomics (2013 - Present)
  • Founding Director, Stanford Clinical Cancer Genetics Program (2000 - Present)


Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.

Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.

Specializing In

Practice Locations

Cancer Genetics Program Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

900 Blake Wilbur Drive

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

GI Cancer Prevention Program in Redwood City Redwood City, CA
Redwood City, CA

420 Broadway Street, Pavilion D, 2nd Floor

Redwood City , CA 94063

(650) 736-5555

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Patient Reviews

(69 reviews)

My visit with Shilpa Narayan and Dr. Ford was informative and concise.
He was helpful!
He’s very thorough! Explains everything in most simplified terms exact about what’s going on and so knowledgeable.
He explained everything well and was very knowledgeable in genetics ..
Not enough info to comment, but his info and attention to me was good.
Personable and informative. A great deal of the visit was conducted by a genetic counselor who was also outstanding.
I am extremely confident that Dr. James Ford, Answers to my questions and concerns were well explain and satisfactory to the end. Thank you.
Succinct, open, insightful.
I know his reputation and glad to have him as my doctor.
The video visit with Dr. Ford seemed like a face to face visit.
I appreciate his advice and will follow it.
was self explanatory
I'd like to thank both Dr. Ford AND Misha Raskin. Misha took a deep dive into my family's genetics. It's my hope that with the ever evolving genetics field that diseases that can be (mostly) attributed to a person's genetics can be cured by "tweaking" a gene or two. Thank you again Misha and Dr Ford. They both deserve raises!
Caring doctor and staff. Listen well and explain things clearly.
Very great doctor
Dr. Ford and his colleague answered all my questions and more. I was awed that they had the patience to listen to my poorly worded questions and respond with precise answers that a layman could comprehend.
Dr. Ford was wonderful confirming the course of testing and the realistic time in receiving the results.
I thought he was kind, professional and I read his bio prior and its QUITE impressive.
Great doctor.
Nice consultation
Berry good
He was very clear in his communication of what will be done with the genetic info.
Very professional, clear with his feedback and questions and explanations!
Thank you Misha and Dr Ford’s evaluation
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today!
Dr. Ford was good, but the other doctor who gave all the preliminary info and gathered family history was so patient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic even though she must have explained things to so many before me. It was clear that she loves her work and cares about me and my family's multiple challenges with cancer. Continued excellent care from Stanford!
He is excellent
Good, informative meeting. Answered all my questions
I want to thank him for his help. Thank you Dr. Ford!
He is an excellent doctor. I found him to be extremely knowledgable (an expert in his field) and quite compassionate. I'm grateful for the time I had with him today.
Well organised meeting. Very informative meeting..
Dr. Ford answered my questions succinctly.
James ford did not join the video visit till we were about 35 minutes into the interview and then while we were talking we signed off . SO I never got to speak with him
We had a good visit with Dr. Ford.
Dr Ford and his team work well together and his team seems well coordinated
Very informative, kind and inclusive.
Dr. Ford is an excellent communicator as he explains well very complex medical issues, and encourages patients to ask questions to confirm that they understood.
Dr. Ford is knowledgeable about my conditions and a good match up with me as a patient. I look forward to getting the most that Stanford may help me with.
Everything was extremely clear with the video visit
He approved the plan of action that the staff member and I had agreed to. This exactly what I wanted to occur.
I appreciate his research very much, and I am grateful for his care
He was warm, interested in my responses and made me feel engaged in my cancer problem. He answered my questions and gave me additional information. Left me with the belief he can be contacted if necessary.
Thoughtful, helpful, and willing to listen and provide guidance, as well Megan was communicative, thoughtful, terrific, knowledgeable, and well informed
short but informative
Very satisfied with the quality time he spent with me
My first impression was very good...
Thank you and your staff for a great visit.
Dr. Ford was very impatient during the video visit. He was trying to end the conversation instead of trying to understand more about my issue, even though I was very polite and patient during the whole process. I was disappointed that he was neither helpful nor even trying to be polite. The visit made me uncomfortable.
He was great.
Dr. Ford appeared impatient and lacked empathy. He did not demonstrate much compassion or understanding of how families of other cultures function. I would not recommend him as a doctor.
My doctor and PA concerns about how I feel. They asked how I'm doing.
Lots of time w/counselor very brief time w/genetic doctor (5 mins. - 10 mins. only). All explanation from counselor not doctor felt like dr. just dropped in to agree w/findings was thinking I was schedule w/doctor instead of counselor who is very knowledgeable & helpful.
Dr. James Ford and Rechelle Reyes were really helpful in helping us understand what kind of treatment my mom needed. We appreciate the recommendation and advice and quick responses in communication.
I felt like the doctors weren't explaining genetics to me in laymen's terms. It was overall very confusing and I felt like no one showed genuine concern for being a 30 yr. old with a very rare cancer.
Dr. Ford & PA Rachelle were excellent.
Dr. Ford & Rachel Koff spent a significant amt. of time with me explaining the testing process and what tests I would be having. Rachel spent a lot of time going over my history etc. Very friendly & professional. I was impressed!
Dr. Ford and Rachel Koff were amazing at explaining the genetic condition I have even though there is not much known about it. I could tell that they had spent a great deal of time preparing for my appointment.
Once again, very impressed, and I am fairly hard to impress.
As a longtime healthcare employee - Dr. Shith and her team could not do better!
Dr. Ford was very professional & explained my condition very well.
Dr. Ford and his PA Rochelle Ryes are wonderful. They have spent time with me and explained things in detail. Made sure I was plugged in to many other resources, palliative care, nutrition, etc.
Both Dr. Ford & Rochelle Reyes are amazing. We learn a lot and feel well taken care of. Every thing is clear and next steps are reviewed thoroughly.
The provider went over a power point type presentation which included an enormous amount of information & I would have loved to have been given a copy of it to read but I left with no pamphlets or reading material bat. genetic testing. I had to go home & Google the few things I remembered from our discussion.
Genetic counselor was extremely professional.
Everything was perfect.
I felt that despite telling me "I reviewed your information prior to your visit" it was clear he maybe glanced at it only. He seemed VERY anxious to leave room & go to next patient.

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