University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


A.AktipisC. Athena Aktipis - Director, Human and Social Evolution
A.NedelcuAurora M. Nedelcu - Director, Education and Outreach

Local Faculty:

Athena Aktipis
Director of Human and Social Evolution, Center for Evolution and Cancer, UCSF
Department of Psychology, Arizona State University
Interests: Human evolution of cancer suppression and susceptibility. Social evolution of neoplastic cells.

Alan Ashworth
President, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Senior Vice President for Cancer Services, UCSF Health
Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

Daniel Fisher
Professor of Applied Physics, Biology and Bioengineering
Stanford University
Interests: Dynamics of evolutionary processes.

David Haussler
Professor of Biomolecular Engineering
Director of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Interests: The cancer genome browser and other statistical and algorithmic methods to explore the molecular evolution of the human genome, integrating cross-species comparative and high-throughput genomics data to study gene structure, function, and regulation.

David Jablons
Thoracic Oncology Program Leader, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Department of Surgery
University of California, San Francisco
Interests: Early detection and screening, lung transplants for bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC), molecular tumor profiling, targeted biological therapies, virtual biorepositories (ALCMI), and the Wnt pathway in lung cancer.

Nicole King
Associate Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Interests: Choanoflagellates and the origin of animal multicellularity.

Frank McCormick
Director Emeritus, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California, San Francisco
Interests: Signal transduction pathways in cancer cells (in particular the Ras pathway), and ways of treating cancer based on these pathways.

John Murnane
Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California, San Francisco
Interests: Mechanisms of genomic instability in mammalian cells and their role in cancer.

Rasmus Nielsen
Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Interests: Statistical and computational aspects of evolutionary theory and genetics.  In particular, the molecular basis of evolutionary adaptation.

Daniel Pinkel
Professor Emeritus
Department of Laboratory Medicine
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California, San Francisco
Interests: Genetic analyses of cancer, and in particular, melanoma.

Stephen Quake
Co-Chair, Department of Bioengineering
Stanford University
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Interests: Single molecule biophysics, precision force measurement, micro and nano fabrication with soft materials, integrated microfluidics and large scale biological automation.

Neil Shah
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology)
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California, San Francisco
Interests: Optimizing the timing of targeted therapy for human malignancy, optimizing treatment outcomes with targeted therapies by utilizing biomarkers, and defining mechanisms of cell death in response to kinase inhibitors.

Carlos Jose Suarez
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology
Director, Clinical and Genomic Testing Consult Service
Stanford University School of Medicine
Interests: applications of solid tumor evolution concepts in the interpretation of clinical cancer profiling results; somatic evolution and multicellularity.

Thea Tlsty
Professor, Department of Pathology
Leader, Cell Cycling and Signaling Program
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California, San Francisco
Interests: Tumor microenvironment as well as epigenetic and genetic alterations that confer genomic instability and fuel cancer initiation and progression.

External Faculty:

Alexander Anderson
Co-Director, Department of Integrative Mathematical Oncology
Moffitt Cancer Center

Bob Austin
Professor, Department of Physics
Princeton University

David Basanta
Assistant Member, Department of Integrative Mathematical Oncology
Moffitt Cancer Center

Robert A. Beckman, MD
Executive Director, Oncology Clinical Research
Daiichi Sankyo Pharmaceutical Development
Interests: Development of next-generation strategies for cancer treatment utilizing concepts from evolutionary biology, game theory and other approaches. Role of genetic instability in carcinogenesis. Clinical development of anti-cancer therapeutics, including integration of predictive molecular biomarkers into clinical development programs. Statistical optimization of clinical development programs. Biodistribution and clinical development of antibody therapies for cancer.

Douglas E. Brash, PhD
Professor of Therapeutic Radiology, Genetics, and Dermatology
Yale School of Medicine
Interests: My lab is working out how sunlight causes human skin cancer. We are currently focused on a) How chronic low-dose ultraviolet radiation drives the clonal expansion of p53-mutant keratinocytes. This turns out to be a physiology story, not a mutation story. b) The genome-wide distribution of UV photoproducts and repair.

Don Coffey
The Catherine Iola and J. Smith Michael Distinguished Professor of Urology
University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology
Professor of Oncology
Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
Professor of Pathology
Johns Hopkins University

Jose Costa
Professor of Pathology and Medicine (Oncology);
Director, Translational Diagnostics
Yale University

William A. Cresko
Associate Professor of Biology
Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Oregon

Bernard Crespi
Professor of Evolutionary Biology
Simon Fraser University

Paul Davies
Director, BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science
Arizona State University

James DeGregori, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Director, Program in Molecular Biology
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Interests: Evolutionary forces limiting cancer, both at tissue and organismal levels, and understanding associations of cancer with aging, diet, and carcinogenic exposures.

Rick Durrett
Mathematics Department
Duke University
Interests:Using probability models to understand cancer (and other topics in biology).

Paul Ewald
Professor, Department of Biology
University of Louisville

Jasmine Foo 
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard School of Public Health
Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology
Interests: Mathematical evolutionary models of resistance and diversity in cancer.

Robert Gatenby
Chair, Department of Integrative Mathematical Oncology
Chair, Department of Diagnostic Imaging
Moffitt Cancer Center
Interests: Evolutionary dynamics in carcinogenesis and cancer therapy.

Robert Getzenberg
Professor and Director of Urology Research
Johns Hopkins University

Vera Gorbunova
Associate Professor of Biology
Associate Professor of Oncology
University of Rochester

Mel Greaves
Professor of Cell Biology
Chairman of the Section of Haemato-Oncology
Institute of Cancer Research

Henry Heng
Associate Professor
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics
Wayne State University

Paul Hohenlohe
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Idaho
Interests: Linking quantitative genetics and population genomics
approaches to address questions in evolution, conservation, and cancer

Shane Jensen
Associate Professor
Statistics Department
University of Pennsylvania
Interests: Bayesian multi-level modeling; applications in bioinformatics; statistical computing and MCMC methods.

Mary Kuhner
Research Associate Professor
Department of Genome Sciences
University of Washington

Larry Loeb
Professor of Pathology
University of Washington

Lauren Merlo
Postdoctoral Fellow
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Franziska Michor
Associate Professor
Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Department of Biostatistics
Harvard School of Public Health

Aurora Mihaela Nedelcu
Director of Education and Outreach
Center for Evolution and Cancer
University of California San Francisco
Professor of Biology
University of New Brunswick
Interests: Most of my current research is rooted in the framework of transitions in individuality and complexity (at a conceptual level), and of cellular responses to stress (at a more mechanistic level); specifically, I am interested in the evolution of multicellularity, development, cell differentiation, cancer, programmed cell death, and altruism.

Leonard Nunney
Professor of Biology
Director of the Graduate Research Unit in Evolution and Ecology
University of California, Riverside
Interests: Population genetics of cancer.

Edward (Ned) F. Patz, Jr.
James and Alice Chen Professor of Radiology
Professor in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Duke University Medical Center
Interests: Early detection and screening, tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution

John Pepper
Division of Cancer Prevention
National Cancer Institute

Ken Pienta
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Professor, Department of Urology
Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research
American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor
Director, Experimental Therapeutics, Michigan Center for Translational Pathology (MCTP)
Director, Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR)
University of Michigan
Interests: The interaction of cancer and host cells to remodel the normal host organ microenvironment may best be conceptualized as an evolving ecosystem. We propose that describing tumors as ecological systems defines new opportunities for novel cancer therapies.

John D. Potter
Member and Senior Advisor
Division of Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Interests: Etiology and prevention of cancer – from populations to molecules – and the development of better theories of carcinogenesis than we currently have.

Brian Reid
Member of the Divisions of Human Biology and Public Health Sciences
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Interests: Barrett’s esophagus and somatic evolution in neoplastic progression.

Susan M. Rosenberg
Ben F Love Chair in Cancer Research
Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology
Dan L Duncan Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Interests: Molecular mechanisms of genetic and genomic instability, mutation, evolvability, DNA repair, stress-induced mutagenesis, recombination, spontaneous DNA damage, DNA-damage response, bacteria, antibiotic resistance, cancer.

Andrei Seluanov
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
University of Rochester

Darryl Shibata
Professor of Pathology
Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Ricard Solé
ICREA Research Professor
Complex Systems Lab (UPF-PRBB)
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
External Professor
Santa Fe Institute

Kathleen Sprouffske
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Pennsylvania

Simon Tavaré
George and Louise Kawamoto Chair in Biological Sciences
University of Southern California
Professor of Cancer Research (Bioinformatics)
University of Cambridge

Ian Tomlinson
Professor of Molecular and Population Genetics
Nuffield Department of Medicine,
University of Oxford
Interests: Cancer as an evolutionary process, including models of tumorigenesis and experimental assessment of those models Colorectal cancer is chief area of work, but also interested in oesophgeal, endometrial and renal tumours.

Ting Wang
Assistant Professor
Department of Genetics
Washington University, St. Louis
Interests: Evolution and adaption of human regulatory networks, with a focus on the impact of these processes on human health and disease. In particular, we investigate the evolutionary model of mobile elements (or transposable elements) and their roles in basic biology and cancer, including their genetic and epigenetic regulation.

Richard White
Assistant Professor
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill-Cornell Medical College

Sir Nicholas Wright
Professor of Investigative Medicine
Warden of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Department of Histopathology
Cancer Research UK

Chung-I Wu
Department of Ecology and Evolution
University of Chicago

Hui Zong
Associate Professor
Dept of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Center for Cell Signaling


Social Evolution Faculty:

For external faculty in Human and Social Evolution see here. Please contact Athena Aktipis if your primary area of expertise is social evolution and/or human evolution and you are interested in joining the CEC.