CaNCURE Mentors

John Quackenbush, Ph.D.

Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Biography: John Quackenbush received his PhD in 1990 in theoretical physics from UCLA working on string theory models. Following two years as a postdoctoral fellow in physics, Dr. Quackenbush applied for and received a Special Emphasis Research Career Award from the National Center for Human Genome Research to work on the Human Genome Project. He spent two years at the Salk Institute and two years at Stanford University working at the interface of genomics and computational biology. In 1997 he joined the faculty of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) where his focus began to shift to understanding what was encoded within the human genome. Since joining the faculties of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health in 2005, his work has focused on the use of genomic data to reconstruct the networks of genes that drive the development of diseases such as cancer and emphysema.

Research and Expertise: Two trends are driving innovation and discovery in biological sciences: technologies that allow holistic surveys of genes, proteins, and metabolites and the growing realization that analysis and interpretation of the resulting requires an understanding of the complex factors that mediate the link between genotype and phenotype. The growing body of biological and biomedical information, driven by an exponential drop in the cost of generating genomic data, provides an outstanding opportunity to develop new methods that can drive discovery. Our group uses a variety of bioinformatics and computational approaches, biostatistical analyses, and fundamental laboratory investigation to explore fundamental questions about the nature of human disease. Our approach is based on using high-throughput assays and applying "systems" methods integrate diverse datatypes, including the genome sequence, its annotation, genetic information, phenotype, and the vast body of knowledge captured in the literature. Our goal is not only to develop our own insight into these processes, but to instantiate our methods in tools, protocols, and databases to the broader community that will accelerate research beyond our own.



Featured Publications



SiRNA nanocomplexes