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Chris Sander, PhD

Data Science


  • Director, cBio Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & Special Advisor for Quantitative Biology at the Ludwig Center at Harvard & Associate Member, Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT
  • Professor for Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

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Chris Sander was trained as a theoretical physicist and as a postdoctoral researcher he was inspired by the first completely sequenced genome to switch fields from theoretical physics to theoretical biology. He 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.

Sander’s research focuses on solving biological problems using quantitative methods from bioinformatics, Data Science, statistics, computer science, and mathematics. We apply 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 evolutionary couplings server for computation of protein 3D structures, the Pathway Commons resource and the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics in collaboration with the Knowledge Systems Groups at MSKCC and DFCI.


Research Departments:

Research Website:


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
360 Longwood Ave
CLSB 9th Floor
Boston, MA 02215
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