Matthew Meyerson, M.D., Ph.D.
Institute Member, Director of Cancer Genomics
Matthew Meyerson is an institute member and director of cancer genomics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; professor of pathology in the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Harvard Medical School; and director of the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery at DFCI, where he is also director of cancer genomics.
The Meyerson laboratory uses genomic approaches to discover the causes of human diseases. These efforts are focused on discovering genetic changes that cause cancer as well as infectious agents that cause diseases of unknown origin. Meyerson is a principal investigator in The Cancer Genome Atlas project (TCGA) of the National Institutes of Health, leads the lung cancer disease working group of TCGA, and is co-chair of TCGA’s executive committee. Meyerson was part of the manuscript teams for TCGA’s study of the squamous cell lung carcinoma genome, which identified the first somatic mutations of immune regulators in cancer, and the lung adenocarcinoma genome, identifying novel oncogenes in the RTK/Ras/Raf pathway.
Previously, a team led by Meyerson discovered frequent mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase gene, EGFR, in lung adenocarcinomas. The EGFR mutations are tightly associated with clinical response to gefitinib and erlotinib, EGFR kinase inhibitors. This result helped to establish the paradigm where cancer treatment can be targeted directly at the molecular causes of the cancers. Working closely with colleagues in the Broad’s Cancer Program including Todd Golub, Levi Garraway, William Hahn, and Gad Getz, the Meyerson group has contributed to the discovery of major cancer genes in lung, colon, and breast cancers, leukemias, and pediatric cancers, many with direct therapeutic implications.
In addition, Meyerson continues to pursue a long-standing interest in the discovery of pathogenic microbes. He and his students developed a genomic approach to discover microbial sequences in cryptic infectious diseases called sequence-based computational subtraction. Using this approach, now pursued using high-throughput sequencing technologies at the Broad Institute, Meyerson and his colleagues recently identified bacteria associated with colon carcinomas and with a transplant-associated colitis syndrome.
Finally, together with Broad colleagues Stuart Schreiber and Andy Phillips, and with colleagues at Bayer HealthCare, Meyerson has initiated a systematic program in genome-inspired cancer drug discovery aimed at creating novel therapeutics for cancer patients.
Meyerson joined the faculty of DFCI and Harvard Medical School in 1998 and has mentored a generation of leading researchers in cancer genomics. He has received numerous honors including the Paul Marks Prize in Cancer Research, the Caine Holter Hope Now award from Uniting Against Lung Cancer, the AACR Team Science Award, the Ilchun Memorial Prize, and the American Cancer Society Research Professorship.
Meyerson received an A.B. cum laude in chemistry and physics from Harvard College, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University. He was a resident in pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a post-doctoral fellow with Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute.