Cancer represents one of the biggest problems for modern societies. In 2017, the cancer incidence was projected to be around 1.7 million cases with an estimated mortality of roughly 601,000. By 2020, cancer deaths worldwide could reach 10 million. Therefore, an important goal of life science research is to improve tumor diagnostics and anti-cancer treatment options to alleviate cancer-related morbidity and mortality. We are interested in using the tools of theoretical evolutionary biology, applied mathematics, statistics, and computational biology to address important questions in cancer research.
Franziska Michor, Ph.D.
- Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
- Professor of Computational Biology
Department of Data Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and the Center for Cancer Evolution
Franziska Michor is a Professor of Computational Biology in the Department of Data Sciences at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology in HSCRB.
Michor completed her undergraduate training in mathematics and molecular biology from the University of Vienna, Austria, and her Ph.D. from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. After being awarded a fellowship from the Harvard Society of Fellows, she accepted a faculty position in the Computational Biology Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2010 she moved back to Boston and has since been directing the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and the Center for Cancer Evolution.
Michor is the recipient of the Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Alice Hamilton Award, the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, the 36th Annual AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research, and others. Dr. Michor’s laboratory investigates the evolutionary dynamics of cancer initiation, progression, response to therapy, and emergence of resistance.
The research of our lab focuses on the evolutionary dynamics of cancer. Cancer emerges due to an evolutionary process in somatic tissue. The fundamental laws of evolution can best be formulated as exact mathematical equations. Therefore, the process of cancer initiation and progression is amenable to mathematical investigation. Current areas of research include cancer stem cells, evolution of drug resistance, and the dynamics of metastasis formation.