Photo of David Alan Sweetser, MD

David Alan Sweetser, MD

  • Chief of Medical Genetics and Metabolism, MGH
  • Attending Physician in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Co-Director Pitt Hopkins Clinic


Accepting New Patients

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Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Clinical Interests
  • medical genetics
  • Biochemical genetics
  • Genetic basis for birth defects and inherited syndromes
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Hematologic malignancies
  • Inherited syndromes
  • Pitt Hopkins syndrome
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Birth defects
  • Hereditary malformations
  • Inherited cancer predispositions
  • Genetics
  • Brain tumors
  • Cancer
  • Genetic testing
Medical Education
  • MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Residency, Children's Hospital of St. Louis
  • Fellowship, Children's Hospital of St. Louis|Fellowship, University of Washington Hospitals
Board Certifications
  • Clinical Biochemical Genetics
  • Clinical Genetics (M.D.)
  • Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Danvers: The Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
Existing Patients
Patient Gateway
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - ACD
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - PBO
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • BMC HealthNet Mass Health MCO/ACO
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
  • Well Sense Pediatrics

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.

Patient Age Group
Pediatric and Adult
Provider Gender


Dr. Sweetser completed his MD/PhD at Wash. Univ Sch of Med in St. Louis, and Pediatric Residency training at St. Louis Children's Hosp. He did his Medical Genetics Fellowship training at the Wash. Univ Sch of Med in St. Louis and the Univ of Wash in Seattle along with a Biochemical Genetics Fellowship. He subsequently completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Univ of Wash. in Seattle.  Since 2003 Dr. Sweetser has been at Massachusetts General Hospital seeing patients in Ped. Hem/Onc as well as Medical Genetics and Metabolism and runs a research lab in leukemia and medical genetics. Dr. Sweetser is Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics and Metabolism. Under his leadership the Genetics Program has markedly expanded more than doubling the number of patient visits with new specialty clinics in Turner Syndrome, Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, CHARGE syndrome, a multidisciplinary Sensorineural Hearing Loss Clinic at the MEEI, an Autism Genetics Clinic at the Lurie Center, Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Clinic, as well as a world renown Down Syndrome clinic. Dr. Sweetser has been a leader in the application of  whole exome sequencing to clinical diagnostics. Dr. Sweetser is the MGH site director for the NIH sponsored Undiagnosed Diseases Network linking 11 medical centers around the country to accelerate discovery and innovation in the way we diagnose and treat patients with previously undiagnosed diseases.

Research & Publications

Research Summary

View my most recent research

The Sweetser laboratory investigates how leukemia and other cancers develop with the goal of developing novel, safer, and more effective therapies. We are investigating how the Groucho/TLE family of co-repressors function as potent tumor suppressors of acute myeloid leukemia and their roles in normal development and cell function. Knock-out mice for Tle1 and Tle4 have identified critical roles for these proteins in hematopoiesis, bone, lung, and brain development, as well as a critical role in limiting inflammation. We have defined critical inflammatory signaling pathways mediating cell proliferation and synergistic cross talk within the cancer niche. The laboratory is also using whole exome sequencing to characterize underlying cancer predisposition genes in patients with a variety of pediatric malignancies. As the MGH site director for the newly established HMS Undiagnosed Diseases Center and Chief of Medical Genetics and Metabolism at MGH, Dr. Sweetser is also leading a group of clinicians and researchers actively engaged in elucidating the underlying basis of a wide variety of human diseases.


View my most recent publications at PubMed

News & Events

  • Jesse's story: Seeing beyond the disability helps teen thrive

    For 12 years, Jesse Simon lived with a genetic disorder that puzzled doctors. Jesse, now 15, is one of 500 individuals worldwide diagnosed with Pitt Hopkins syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects development, intellect and speech. Since coming to MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Jesse has learned to thrive in many aspects of his life.

  • Season of hope

    Baby boy Brooks Hill lived just two days shy of two months, but his life is taking on a larger meaning thanks to his parents, Caitlin and Rich Hill, and their enthusiastic support for the work of David Sweetser, MD, PhD, director of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) Genetics and Metabolism Program and site director of the MGH Undiagnosed Disease Network.

  • MGHfC Recognizes Employees' Years of Service at 73rd Annual Ether Day

    Ether Day, a tradition started in 1945, is a day to recognize MGHfC and Mass General staff for their years of service to patients and the hospital's overall mission. Below, staff and faculty share what their years at MGHfC mean to them.

  • Small, but mighty: Sofia conquers her world amid rare diagnosis

    Sofia is one of an estimated 500 children in the world diagnosed with Pitt Hopkins syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects development, speech and intellect. This little girl, although tiny in size, is proving she is capable of big things despite her rare diagnosis.

  • MassGeneral Hospital for Children launches the world's first Pitt Hopkins Syndrome Clinic

    The Pitt Hopkins Syndrome Clinic will work with patients and families to further understand, diagnose, and treat Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

  • New MGHfC clinic offers treatment for rare disorder

    MassGeneral Hospital for Children will soon open the world’s first Pitt Hopkins Syndrome Clinic. Made possible by a generous donation from parents of two young women with Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, the clinic will focus on providing knowledge-based medical care and serving the comprehensive medical needs of individuals with the disease.

  • Q&A with marathon runner David Sweetser, MD, PhD

    David Sweetser, MD, PhD, explains why he is running for the MassGeneral Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer . . . One Step at a Time.

  • Exciting Time for Growing Genetics Program

    David Sweetser, MD, PhD, chief of the Medical Genetics Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, explains why it is such an opportune time to be in the field.

  • MGHfC receives gift to support cancer research and care

    MGH Hotline 9.17.10 September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.


Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-2737
Fax: 617-724-0702
Medical Genetics Clinic
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-1561
Fax: 617-724-1911
Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
104 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923-3623
Phone: 617-724-6038
Fax: 978-882-6989

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