Dr. Velculescu is internationally known for his discoveries in genomics and cancer research. He and his colleagues performed the first sequence analysis of the coding genome in human cancers, identifying key genes and pathways dysregulated in tumorigenesis. He developed SAGE (serial analysis of gene expression) and coined the word “transcriptome” to describe the comprehensive gene expression patterns that could now be obtained in cancer and other cells. This research has revealed the genomic landscape of human cancers, including in breast, colorectal, brain, pancreatic, ovarian, head and neck, and lung cancers. These analyses have identified a variety of genes not previously known to be involved in neoplasia, including PIK3CA as one of the most highly mutated genes in human cancer, and IDH genes in brain and other cancers. More recently,his group has focused on non-invasive liquid biopsies approaches for early tumor detection and monitoring. These discoveries have provided new paradigms for our understanding of human cancer, and have created new opportunities for precision diagnostics and personalized medicine for oncology and other diseases.
Dr. Velculescu is Professor of Oncology and Pathology, and Co-Director of Cancer Biology at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has a BS from Stanford University, and MD, PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Velculescu has served as a member of the Board of Directors of AACR, as a member of scientific advisory boards of Ludwig Cancer Research, Basser Research Center at University of Pennsylvania, the Starr Cancer Consortium, Quintiles, Helicos Biosciences, and Inostics, and is a co-founder of Personal Genome Diagnostics. He is the recipient of several awards for his work including the Grand Prize Winner of the Amersham/Pharmacia & Science Young Scientists Prize (1999), Judson Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society (2008), the European Association of Cancer Research and Carcinogenesis Young Investigator Award (2008), the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research (2009), the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research (2011), the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Maryland, and with his colleagues, the AACR Team Science Awards for Research in Pancreatic Cancer (2013), Brain Cancer (2014), and Liquid Biopsies (2017).