Matthew Meyerson, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & Harvard Medical School, USA
Matthew Meyerson

Matthew Meyerson joined the Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School faculty in 1998, with the goal of using genomic approaches to discover the causes of human diseases, particularly lung cancer. In 2004, the Meyerson laboratory, working in collaboration with Dana-Farber colleagues Bill Sellers, Pasi Jänne, Bruce Johnson and others, discovered that recurrent mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene, EGFR, in lung adenocarcinoma, dictated clinical response to EGFR kinase inhibitors including erlotinib and gefitinib. This finding was corroborated by parallel observations from the Haber and Varmus groups and was a harbinger of today’s precision medicine approach to cancer care whereby cancer treatment can be targeted directly to each cancer’s unique molecular profile.

Dr. Meyerson’s group has since made many major genome discoveries in human lung cancer. The Meyerson laboratory has also pioneered many experimental and computational methods in cancer genomics, including cutting-edge methods for sequence analysis of single cell cancer genomes, analysis of circulating tumor DNA in patient blood samples, and for discovery of disease-causing pathogens by analysis of human tissue DNA.

In addition to serving as Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber, Dr. Meyerson has served as director of the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery since 2005, where he spearheaded development of the “Profile” test for cancer genome analysis that is now routinely offered to all patients at Dana-Farber. From 2015, he also serves as director of the expanded PROFILE program at DFCI, with a renewed focus on continuous integration of genomic discoveries into the test and its rapid clinical translation. In 2010, Dr. Meyerson, along with Drs. Todd Golub, Eric Lander and Levi Garraway, created Foundation Medicine, a cancer genome diagnostics company that has grown into one of the world’s leading companies dedicated to applying precision medicine approaches to cancer care.

Dr. Meyerson has received numerous honors for his contributions to cancer research, including the Paul Marks Prize in Cancer Research, the AACR Team Science Award, a Research Professor Award from the American Cancer Society, the Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute and the Han-Mo Koo Award from the Van Andel Research Institute, among others. Based on the impact of his research contributions, Thomson Reuters ranked him among the top ten most influential scientific minds in the world in 2014 and 2015, across all major scientific disciplines.

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