Focus On: Precision Oncology

Eytan Ruppin, M.D., Ph.D. and Nikhil Wagle, M.D.

Date and time

December 6, 2021

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM PT



Due to an unexpected scheduling conflict, Dr. Ruppin was unable to attend this event. He will join us at a future Focus On seminar in 2022. For updates, check the Focus On web page or join our Cancer Center Seminars email list.


Eytan Ruppin, M.D., Ph.D.
Cancer Data Science Lab (CDSL)
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute

"Next generation transcriptomics based precision oncology"

Eytan Ruppin received his M.D. and Ph.D. (Computer Science) from Tel-Aviv University where he has served as a professor of Computer Science & Medicine since 1995, conducting computational multi-disciplinary research spanning a wide variety of topics, including neuroscience, machine learning and systems biology. He joined the University of Maryland in July 2014 as director of its center for bioinformatics and computational biology and moved to the NCI in January 2018 as chief of its newly established cancer data science branch (CDSL). The Ruppin lab has developed many leading algorithms for genome scale metabolic modeling. Together with their collaborators, they co-identified the first metabolic synthetic lethal (SL) drug target to treat cancer (Nature, 2011), were the first to identify metabolic SLs in cancer in a genome-wide manner (Molecular Systems Biology, 2011) and the first to infer cancer SLs by mining patient's tumor data (Cell, 2014). More recently, together with our experimental collaborators, we have developed and applied new computational approaches for SL/transcriptomics based precision oncology (Nature Comm 2018, Molecular Systems Biology 2019, Cancer Cell 2019, Nature Cell Biology 2019, Science Advances 2021, Cell 2021) and for immunotherapy (Nat Med 2018, Cell 2018, JAMA Onc 2019, Nature Cancer 2020). Eytan is a co-founder of a few startup companies involved in precision medicine and cancer drug discovery, including Metabomed, Medaware and Pangea Therapeutics. He is an editorial board member of EMBO Reports and Molecular Systems Biology and a fellow of the International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB).

Nikhil Wagle, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School

"Accelerating precision oncology through patient partnered cancer research"

Nikhil Wagle is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is also the Director of Count Me In, a nonprofit research initiative that aims to transform cancer care by empowering cancer patients to accelerate cancer research by sharing their samples, their medical information, and their voices.

Dr. Wagle leads a translational research program in cancer genomics and cancer precision medicine, with a particular focus on metastatic breast cancer. The major goals of his work are to better understand the biology of cancer and to develop new ways to overcome or prevent drug resistance in patients with advanced cancer. Ultimately, his research aims to develop new therapeutic strategies and to identify characteristics of tumors that might improve clinical decision-making for patients.

Dr. Wagle has been a pioneer in the development and use of next generation sequencing for cancer precision medicine, and has made major contributions to the understanding mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies in multiple cancer types. Over the past several years, he has focused on understanding the genomics of metastatic breast cancer, particularly through identifying and characterizing multiple clinical mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapies, CDK4/6 inhibitors, and other therapies in ER+ metastatic breast cancer.

Dr. Wagle received his MD from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he also served as chief medical resident, and completed his fellowship training in hematology/oncology in the Dana-Farber/Partners program.

Dr. Wagle also co-founded Doctors for America, a grassroots organization of over 18,000 doctors and medical student in the United States who are working to build a better health care system for all Americans.