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Photo via Oncotherapy Network

Gaddy Getz


Broad Institute




Broad Institute








What makes Gaddy Getz a Global Shaker?

Gaddy Getz is an internationally acclaimed leader in cancer genomics and is pioneering widely used tools for analyzing cancer genomes.

Getz is an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he directs the Cancer Genome Computational Analysis Group. He is also a professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member and director of bioinformatics at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and Department of Pathology. He is also the inaugural incumbent of the Paul C. Zamecnik Chair in Oncology at the MGH Cancer Center.

The Getz Laboratory analyses the cancer genome in two major steps:

The first is characterization — cataloguing of all genomic events and the mechanisms that created them during the clonal evolution of cancer (starting from normal cells and progressing to premalignancy, primary cancer, and emergence of resistance), and comparing events at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels between tumour and normal samples from an individual patient.

The second is interpretation — analysis of the characterization data across a cohort of patients with the aim of identifying the alterations in genes and pathways that drive cancer progression or increase its risk, as well as identifying molecular subtypes of the disease, their markers, and relationship to clinical variables.

Through this work, Getz and his team of researchers have developed a new mathematical model to sort through their long list of genetic mutations linked to cancer.

By accurately picking out the “driver” mutations from the less important “passenger” ones this model could help drug developers focus their work on the true drivers of cancer.

In addition to his roles at the MGH and the Broad Institute, Getz is the principal investigator of the Processing Genome Data Analysis Center (GDAC), as part of the NCI Genome Data Analysis Network; a co-leader of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) project; and a co-principal investigator of the Broad’s Proteogenomics Data Analysis Center. 

Getz received his B.S. degree in physics and mathematics from Hebrew University and an M.Sc. in physics from Tel-Aviv University and later earned a PhD in physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

He completed his postdoctoral training at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard with Todd Golub, where he focused on developing computational tools and analyzing expression of miRNAs across cancer.

Tags: big data, cancer, cancer detection, genetics, genomics

Last updated: February 5, 2020