Franziska Michor

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Cancer represents one of the biggest problems for modern societies. In 2010, there were 1.53 million new cancer cases and 570,000 cancer-related deaths in the US, leading to an overall cost of $264 billion. By 2020, cancer deaths worldwide could reach 10 million. Therefore, an important goal of life science research is to improve tumor diagnostics and anti-cancer treatment options to alleviate cancer-related morbidity and mortality. We are interested in using the tools of theoretical evolutionary biology, applied mathematics, statistics, and computational biology to address important questions in cancer research.



Franziska Michor studied molecular biology and mathematics at the University of Vienna, Austria, and medical biotechnology at the Università degli Studi di Trieste, Italy. She received her PhD from Harvard's Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in 2005. Afterwards, she was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and worked at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. From 2007 to 2010, she was assistant professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In 2010, she moved to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health. Her lab investigates the evolutionary dynamics of cancer.


Recent Publications

Bhang HC, Ruddy DA, Radhakrishna VK, Caushi JX, Zhao R, Hims MM, Singh AP, Kao I, Rakiec D, Shaw P, Balak M, Raza A, Ackley E, Keen N, Schlabach MR, Palmer M, Leary RJ, Chiang DY, Sellers WR, Michor F, Cooke VG, Korn JM, Stegmaier F (2015) High complexity barcoding to study clonal dynamics in response to cancer therapy. Nature Medicine, in press.


Selmecki A, Maruvka YE, Richmond PA, Guillet M, Shoresh N, Sorenson A, De S, Kishony R, Michor F, Dowell R, Pellman D (2015) Polyploidy can drive rapid adaptation in yeast. Nature, in press.


Ashcroft P, Michor F, Galla T (2015) Stochastic tunneling and metastable states during the somatic evolution of cancer. Genetics, in press.


Kleppe M, Kwak M, Koppikar P, Riester M, Keller M, Bastian L, Hricik T, Bhagwat N, Abdel-Wahab O, Rampal R, Marubayashi S, Chen JC, Romanet V, Fridman J, Bromberg J, Teruya-Feldstein J, Murakami M, Radimerski T, Michor F, Fan R, Levine R (2015) JAK-STAT pathway activation in malignant and non-malignant cells contributes to MPN pathogenesis and therapeutic response. Cancer Discovery, in press.


Olshen A, Tang M, Cortes J, Gonen M, Hughes T, Branford S, Quintas-Cardama A, Michor F (2014) Dynamics of chronic myeloid leukemia response to dasatinib, nilotinib, and high-dose imatinib. Haematologica, in press.


Shaknovich S, De S, Michor F (2014) Epigenetic diversity in hematopoietic neoplasms. BBA Reviews on Cancer 1846, 477-484.


Marusyk A, Tabassum D, Altrock P, Almendro V, Michor F, Polyak K (2014) Non-cell-autonomous driving of tumor growth supports sub-clonal heterogeneity. Nature 514, 54-58.


Wang Y, Leung M, Waters J, Unruh A, Chen K, Scheet P, Vattathil S, Liang H, Multani A, Zhang H, Zhao R, Michor F, Meric-Bernstam F, Navin NE (2014) Clonal evolution in breast cancer revealed by single nucleus genome sequencing. Nature 512, 155-160.


Ozawa T*, Riester M*, Cheng Y-K, Huse JT, Squatrito M, Helmy K, Charles N, Michor F+, Holland EC+ (2014) Most human non-GCIMP glioblastoma subtypes evolve from a common proneural-like precursor glioma. Cancer Cell 26, 288-300. * Equal contribution. + Equal contribution.


Maruvka YE, Tang M, Michor F (2014) On the validity of using increases in 5-year survival rates to measure success in the fight against cancer. PLoS One 9, e83100.


Podlaha O, De S, Gonen M, Michor F (2014) Histone modifications are associated with transcript isoform diversity in normal and cancer cells. PLoS CB 10, e1003611.



Related Links

Michor Lab Website