Chris Sander
Tumor biology


I joined the Harvard community in 2016 as Director of the cBio Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (within the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology), Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute.

During my time as a postdoctoral researcher, I was inspired by the first completely sequenced genome to switch fields from theoretical physics to theoretical biology. I later founded two computational biology departments—at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—and co-founded the research branch of the European Bioinformatics Institute and a biotech startup with Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

My research focuses on solving biological problems using quantitative methods from bioinformatics, statistical physics, data sciences, statistics, computer science, and mathematics. We apply these computational methods to build predictive network models of molecular and cell-cell interactions, to support cancer precision medicine and to make discoveries in structural and evolutionary biology. We have a particular interest in combining experimental and computational systems biology approaches to identify drug combinations that might block the molecular “escape pathways” that drive resistance to targeted therapies. We also build tools for the research and clinical communities, such as the cBioPortal to analyze large genomics datasets and a platform to enable oncologists to more efficiently match patients to genomically informed clinical trials.


Ludwig Center at Harvard
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. 02215

T 617 632 3985
F 617 632 3408


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