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Nikhil Wagle

Nikhil Wagle, M.D.

Nikhil Wagle is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Wagle leads a translational research program in cancer genomics and cancer precision medicine, with a particular focus on metastatic breast cancer. The major goals of his work are to better understand the biology of cancer and to develop new ways to overcome or prevent drug resistance in patients with advanced cancer. Ultimately, his research aims to develop new therapeutic strategies and to identify characteristics of tumors that might improve clinical decision-making for patients.

He has been a pioneer in the development and use of next-generation sequencing for cancer precision medicine, and has made major contributions to the understanding of mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies in multiple cancer types. Over the past several years, he has focused on understanding the genomics of metastatic breast cancer, particularly through identifying and characterizing multiple clinical mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapies, CDK4/6 inhibitors, and other therapies in ER+ metastatic breast cancer.

Wagle also is the director of Count Me In, a non-profit organization and research initiative aimed at making it possible for cancer patients anywhere in the United States and Canada to be partners in cancer research. The program’s first project, The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project (mbcproject.org), is a nationwide patient-driven research initiative that engages patients with advanced breast cancer through social media and seeks to empower them to accelerate cancer research through sharing their samples and clinical information. The project’s outreach program, developed in collaboration with advocacy organizations and patients, serves to connect thousands of patients around the U.S. with metastatic breast cancer research, allowing them to participate regardless of where they live. Additional projects for patients with angiosarcoma, metastatic prostate cancer, gastroesophageal cancer, brain tumors, and osteosarcoma were launched between 2017 and 2020. In August 2021, Count Me In opened the platform to any patient in the United States or Canada who has ever been diagnosed with cancer.

Wagle is a recipient of several awards and honors, including a Young Investigator Award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for Research in Personalized Cancer Medicine (2013), the inaugural AACR NextGen Award for Transformative Cancer Research (2016), and a Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2016). He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Wagle is also co-founder of Doctors for America, a grassroots organization of over 18,000 doctors and medical students in the United States who are working to build a better health care system for all Americans.  

Wagle received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he also served as chief medical resident; he completed his fellowship training in hematology/oncology in the Dana-Farber/Partners program. He conducted his postdoctoral studies in the lab of Levi Garraway at the Broad Institute and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

August 2022