Members

Research fellows

Uri Ben-David

Uri Ben-DavidUri earned his BSc and PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is studying the cellular origins, functional consequences, and potential vulnerabilities of aneuploidy and chromosomal instability in cancer. Uri is co-mentored by Drs. Beroukhim and Todd Golub.
Fun facts:
Uri has visited 45 countries (airports not included). His goal is to visit 50 by the age of 40.
He translated Latino American prose and poetry from Spanish to Hebrew (two published books).
He got married in New Zealand.

Ruben Ferrer-Luna

Ruben Ferrer-LunaRuben received his BSc in biology and biochemistry from the University of Valencia. He obtained his MSc from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre and PhD from the University of Valencia in Spain. He is currently applying computational approaches to systematically identify genomic determinants of drug response.

Zach Reitman

Zach ReitmanZach studied biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State (’06), and then pursued an MD/PhD at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina (’14). At Duke, Zach earned his PhD under the mentorship of Professor Hai Yan on research in the Tisch Brain Tumor Center revolving around gliomas and cancer-associated mutations in IDH1, TERT, PPM1D, ATRX, and several other very interesting genes. He is now specializing in radiation oncology as a resident in the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program (’19).  In the Beroukhim Lab, Zach is studying PPM1D mutations as oncogenic drivers in DIPG.
Fun fact: When he is not pipetting or fielding pages, Zach enjoys cycling, hiking, microbrewed beer, and Penn State and Philadelphia Eagles football. He likes spending time with his fiancée Denise and their two cats, Wink and Arya.
Favorite quote: “Ma, The Meatloaf!” –Will Ferrell, Wedding Crashers

Cecile Rouleau

Cecile RouleauCecile earned a PhD in biochemistry at the Tufts University School of Medicine, where she studied mechanisms of viral transformation. Prior to her PhD, Cecile was a staff scientist at Genzyme Corporation where her work focused on cancer dependencies and early drug discovery. Cecile currently studies the oncogenic mechanism of MYB-QKI fusions and MYBL1 truncations in pediatric low-grade glioma.
Favorite quote: “Healthcare must be recognized as a right, not a privilege.” –Bernie Sanders.

Ofer Shapira

Ofer ShapiraOfer studies the mechanisms and selective processes that shape the landscape of somatic genomic rearrangements in cancer. He develops statistical and machine-learning models for large whole-genome sequencing datasets to identify genomic alterations that lead to the development and progression of cancer. Ofer received his PhD from the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at MIT, where he was later appointed as a research scientist studying the interaction of light with matter at the nanoscale.

Students

Prasidda Khadka

Prasidda KhadkaPrasidda received his BA in biology and biochemistry from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., before joining the BBS PhD program at Harvard University in 2016. He is currently studying the role of PPM1D mutations in the pathogenesis of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), mechanisms of therapeutic resistance in Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), and characterization of the role of TERC in human malignancies.
Response to being asked for a fun fact: “What if one literally doesn’t have any fun fact? Asking for a friend.”
Favorite quote: “The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible—and achieve it, generation after generation.”  –Pearl S. Buck

Jeff Meng

Jeff MengJeff majored in chemistry and math at Williams College. He is now a student in the MD–PhD program at Harvard and the MD program at Health Sciences and Technology. Jeff is studying the genomic correlates of melanoma response to immunotherapy and the use of new sequencing technologies to find alterations in cancer genomes.
Fun fact: Jeff measures the temperature of just about anything he cooks.
Favorite quote: “A journey of a thousand miles starts from the ground under your feet.” “千里之行,始于足下。” –Laozi

Caitlin Nichols

Caitlin NicholsCaitlin received her BS in molecular biology with a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. While at BYU, she worked in the lab of Laura Bridgewater, PhD, where she studied the function of a novel nuclear variant of BMP2 (nBMP2) in skeletal muscle, as well as the role of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in mouse models of osteoarthritis. She also worked in the lab of Steven Graves, PhD, studying the ability of a novel proteomic approach to identify differences between complex biological tissues, including normal and preeclamptic human placenta. Caitlin’s work in the Beroukhim Lab focuses on identifying and validating a novel class of cancer vulnerabilities caused by loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of cell-essential genes. She also studies the role of TERC amplification in cellular immortalization/transformation.

Coyin Oh

Coyin OhCoyin received her BS in biological engineering from MIT. Currently a medical student in the HST program at Harvard Medical School, she is working on a computational pipeline that infers copy-number alterations in cancer genomes.
Fun facts: Coyin is from Malaysia(!) and is very passionate about food.
Favorite quote: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” –Oscar Wilde

Melanie Pages

Melanie PagesMelanie is a cytogeneticist and visiting PhD student from Paris. She completed her postdoctoral medical training in neuropathology (Sainte-Anne Hospital, Paris, France). Melanie’s research interests include translational neuropathology and genomics of brain tumors. In the Beroukhim Lab, Melanie is studying genomic drivers of pediatric low-grade gliomas, in addition to developing technologies that include methods to detect cell-free DNA in blood samples obtained from children with brain tumors and DNA-barcoding to identify combination therapies.
Favorite quote: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” –Gandhi

Yohanna Georgis

Yohanna GeorgisYohanna is an undergraduate student at Tufts University. She is currently studying PPM1D as a therapeutic target for DIPG. She is specifically interested in the effects of a truncating mutation in PPM1D as a contributor to cellular resistance to treatment, and in determining if this mutation in PPM1D is oncogenic in DIPG.
Fun fact: Beyoncé and Yohanna share a birthday.
Favorite quote: “Always remember where you came from, but never underestimate how far you can go.” –Joan Solotar

Scientific staff

Andrew Cherniack

Andrew CherniakAndrew is a group leader in the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute of MIT. He led the Broad Institute’s effort to analyze somatic DNA copy-number alterations for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Now, Andrew and Rameen Beroukhim are co-principal investigators of the Broad Institute’s copy-number Genome Data Analysis Center for the National Cancer Institute’s Genomic Data Analysis Network (GDAN). Andrew holds a PhD in molecular genetics from Ohio State University and a BA in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ashton Berger

Ashton BergerAshton received a BS in physics and a BS in biology from The University of Texas at Austin. During his senior year, he conducted independent research simulating transcriptional kinetics at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Science, under the supervision of Dr. William Press. He currently works with Dr. Andrew Cherniack and Dr. Rameen Beroukhim at the Broad Institute developing software workflows for processing high-throughput screening data from tumors and analyzing somatic copy-number mutation profiles.
Fun fact: In his free time, Ashton enjoys going hiking with his dog, Mama.
Favorite quote: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” –Inscribed on the front of The University of Texas tower

Galen Gao

Galen received his BS in bioengineering from the California Institute of Technology. In the past, he has worked on projects in synthetic biology and in image analysis of chromatin rearrangement in D. melanogaster development. He is currently studying pan-cancer patterns of DNA damage and immune response, and works on biomarker prediction for novel therapeutic compounds.
Favorite quote: “Do not believe everything you read on the internet.” –George Washington

Elizabeth (Eli) Gonzalez

Elizabeth (Eli) GonzalezEli majored in molecular and cell biology at the University of Pennsylvania and is originally from Miami, Fla. She aspires to be a physician scientist and join the efforts to discover better treatments for rare pediatric cancers. As a research assistant in the Bandopadhayay and Beroukhim Labs, Eli is studying new therapeutic strategies for pediatric brain tumors. She is also interested in science diplomacy, particularly collaborations on cancer research between the US and Cuba.
Fun facts: Eli loves to snorkel, and her favorite animal is a yellowtail damselfish.
Favorite quote: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” –Carl Sagan

Noah Greenwald

Noah GreenwaldNoah received his BA in biophysics from Harvard University. He focused on applying next-generation sequencing techniques to discover genetic drivers of brain tumors. As of August 2017, he will be pursuing a PhD at Stanford University in cancer biology.
Fun fact: Palo Alto has 30% more days of sunshine per year than Boston. (NB from Rameen: We have Tom Brady)
Favorite quote: “Give a man a program, and you will frustrate him for a day; teach a man to program, and you will frustrate him for a lifetime.”

Patricia Ho

Patricia HoTricia received her BA from Williams College, where she majored in biology and music. For her undergraduate thesis, she studied the effect of sublingual immunotherapy on lung tissue-resident T cells in allergic asthma. In the Beroukhim and Bandopadhayay Labs, she currently researches mechanisms of drug resistance in pediatric brain tumors.
Fun fact: Tricia plays cello and piano! Fun musical moments have included a play where she was stranded alone with her cello on a stairless platform for three hours, an orchestra rehearsal briefly attended by Sting, and a wedding proposal at the top of a hill that almost happened until bad weather occurred. (NB from Rameen: youtu.be/rnC18X1oqDI)
Favorite quote: “I don’t really have any quotes off the top of my head, though a close friend recently said to me, ‘Lolita, light of my life, fire of my covfefe.’ Is that inappropriate? No one knows what it means anyway.”

Ryan O’Rourke

Ryan O’RourkeRyan received a Bachelor of Science in animal science from the University of Vermont in 2014. In the Beroukhim and Bandopadhayay Labs, Ryan is currently studying resistance mechanisms in pediatric brain tumors. Ryan’s future aspirations are to become a physician.

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