Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO
CCBIO Seminar series

CCBIO Seminar – Rameen Beroukhim

CCBIO Seminar with speaker Rameen Beroukhim, Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute. Title of the talk: "Ancestry-associated features in cancer." All are welcome, both to the seminar and the following pizza get-together! No registration needed.

Speaker: Rameen Beroukhim, Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute

Title: "Ancestry-associated features in cancer."

Place: Aud. 4, BB-building, Jonas Lies vei 91, Bergen

Time: Thursday February 20th 2020 at 14:30

Chairperson: Camilla Krakstad


Many cancers are distributed differently across ancestry groups, and often exhibit different genomic and phenotypic features. However, a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between ancestry and molecular features across cancers--or even across normal tissue types--has not been performed. We evaluated the effects of ancestry on mutation rates, DNA methylation, and mRNA and miRNA expression among 10,678 patients across 33 cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We found that ancestry-associated differences in DNA methylation and RNA expression that were large enough to have biological relevance were cancer type-specific and often shared with normal tissue. We also found specific mutations and pathway activations that were ancestry-associated in individual cancer types.


Dr. Beroukhim is a practicing oncologist with extensive experience in the genomic characterization of cancer. In early work describing integrated genomic profiling of glioblastomas, he developed the Genomic Identification of Significant Targets In Cancer (GISTIC) method that is now widely used to analyze copy-number changes across a range of cancers. He has been heavily involved in several TCGA marker papers and has contributed to the development of several genomic analysis methods and their application to thousands of cancers across several dozen cancer types.

The Beroukhim laboratory focuses on understanding the somatic genetics of cancer, primarily in identifying alterations in chromosomal structure (including copy-number gains and losses and loss of heterozygosity) that contribute to tumor growth, and characterizing the biological effects of these alterations. The aims of these experiments are to understand the biological basis of the various cancer subtypes to guide development of therapeutics, and to develop prognostic and predictive markers to guide the application of those therapeutics.