Levi Garraway is a senior associate member of the Broad Institute, where he leads several large cancer genome analyses and functional genomics efforts within the institute’s Cancer Program.
The overall aim of Garraway’s research is to develop systematic approaches to link genomic changes in tumors to novel avenues for targeted cancer therapeutics. He has made seminal research contributions in cancer genomics, drug resistance, and genomics-driven (or “precision”) cancer medicine. He published the first genome sequencing studies of aggressive primary prostate cancer, and has led major sequencing initiatives in melanoma and head/neck cancers. At the Broad, he also leads the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, a collaboration with Novartis that involves a genomic and pharmacological study of ~1000 human cancer cell lines to characterize sensitivity and resistance to anticancer agents.
Garraway is perhaps best known for his contributions to precision cancer medicine. He described the first high-throughput adaptation of a genomic technology to profile human tumors for hundreds of “actionable” cancer gene mutations. This provided a basis for tumor mutation profiling as a means to stratify cancer patients for clinical trial enrollment and, in the future, optimal therapeutic choices. He also demonstrated the promise of massively parallel sequencing as a clinical tumor genomic profiling approach. This research has inspired precision medicine initiatives at many cancer centers worldwide.
In addition to his appointment at the Broad, Garraway is an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Minority Scholar Award from the American Association of Cancer Research, the Partners in Excellence Award, and the Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences from the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund. In 2007, Garraway was awarded one of the first prestigious New Innovator Awards from the National Institutes of Health. In 2009, he was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
Garraway received his A.B. in biochemical sciences from Harvard College, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he also served as medical chief resident. He received fellowship training in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.