Cancer Etiology, Evolution, and Earlier Detection

2/20/20 | 4:15pm | E51-325
Reception to follow.





Cristian Tomasetti

Associate Professor
Johns Hopkins University

Abstract: A fundamental question in cancer research and cancer prevention is what causes cancer. In this talk, recent findings that have challenged the core of our current understanding of cancer etiology will be presented, together with mathematical models of tumor evolution. In the final part, novel methods for the earlier detection of cancer via a simple blood test will be discussed.

Bio: Dr. Cristian Tomasetti is an Associate Professor of Oncology and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University with appointments in the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Department of Oncology (Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center) and the Department of Biostatistics (Bloomberg School of Public Health).

Dr. Tomasetti’s work is recognized internationally for his paradigm-shift contributions to the current understanding of cancer etiology and tumor evolution. His has published several corresponding author papers in Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. Three of his Science papers were ranked #4, #15, and #22 by Altmetric for the attention they received among any research paper published in any scientific field of any journal for the year 2015, 2017, and 2018, respectively.

He also develops classification algorithms for the early detection of cancer using a combination of statistical analysis, probabilistic modeling, and machine learning. In 2018, he published, as one of the corresponding authors, a new blood test methodology called CancerSEEK, for the early detection of 8 different cancer types.

Dr. Tomasetti holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park (Dec. 2010), where he received extensive training in pure mathematics, probability theory, stochastic processes, statistics, and dynamical systems. His Ph.D. research focused on the area of mathematical biology, studying the dynamics of somatic mutations during tumorigenesis. After his Ph.D., he was a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biostatistics of the Harvard School of Public Health and in the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Jan. 2011 – Jun. 2013). Since then he has been a faculty member at Hopkins (Assistant Professor, Jul. 2013 – Dec. 2017).

Event Time: 

2020 - 16:15