Ashley Holder, MDAssistant Professor
Chief, Section of Melanoma and Sarcoma Surgery

Co-Leader, Surgical Grand Rounds

Areas of Interest
Skin and soft tissue neoplasms, melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, retroperitoneal sarcoma, gastric cancer, peritoneal malignancies, lymphatic transport, breast cancer


Dr. Ashley Holder joined the UAB Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, in 2020 as an Assistant Professor. Her clinical practice is directly linked to her research interests: the role of transport in cancer—from the effect of drug delivery on treatment response to the function of lymphatic transport in disease progression.

Dr. Holder is exploring the lymphatic transport of immune cells between primary cutaneous melanoma and the sentinel nodal basin to understand how macrophages facilitate lymphatic metastasis. Her research aims to build our understanding of the metastatic process, ultimately culminating in the development of innovative therapies for cutaneous melanoma and other cancers.

Dr. Holder was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area where she developed a passion for fishing and playing piano. From an early age, she knew she did not want a career in the family accounting business, as she enjoyed biology and working with her hands and ultimately discovered her calling as a surgeon. Although not an Alabama native, she has embraced the welcoming and generous spirit of the state she now calls "home."


Medical School
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
General Surgery

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
Complex General Surgical Oncology


General Surgery, American Board of Surgery (2016)

Complex General Surgical Oncology, American Board of Surgery (2018)

Selected Publications

Ziemys A, Kim M, Menzies A, Wilmott JS, Long GV, Scolyer RA, Kwong L, Holder A, Boland G. Integration of Digital Pathologic and Transcriptomic Analyses Connects Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte Spatial Density with Clinical Response to BRAF Inhibitors. Frontiers in Oncology: Skin Cancer, 10(757):1-9, 2020.

Ziemys A, Yokoi K, Kai M, Liu YT, Kojic M, Simic V, Milosevic M, Holder A, Ferrari M. Progression-dependent transport heterogeneity of breast cancer liver metastases as a factor in therapeutic resistance. J Control Release 291:99-105, 2018.

Mu C, Wu X, Wolfram J, Shen H, Zhang D, Mai J, Xia X, Holder AM, Liu X, Ferrari M. Chemotherapy sensitizes therapy-resistant cells to mild hyperthermia by suppressing heat shock protein 27 expression in triple negative breast cancer. Clin Cancer Research 19:4900-4912, 2018.

Holder AM, Akcakanat A, Adkins F, Evans K, Chen H, Wei C, Milton DR, Li Y, Do KA, Janku F, Meric-Bernstam F. Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition is Associated with Rapamycin Resistance. Oncotarget 6:19500-13, 2015.

Holder AM, Gonzalez-Angulo A, Chen H, Akcakanat A, Anh-Do K, Symmans WF, Pusztai L, Hortobagyi GN, Mills GB, Meric-Bernstam F. High Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 expression is associated with shorter survival in breast cancer patients. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 137:319-27, 2013.


Campus Address
BDB 571

(205) 934-6574