Nikhil Wagle MD
Medical Oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Leads a translational research program in the field of breast cancer genomics and precision (or “personalized”) cancer medicine.
- Director of Count Me In, the first project of which, mbcproject.org, is a nationwide research initiative that seeks to empower people with advanced breast cancer to share their tumor samples and clinical information to fast-track research.
Connect with Dr. Wagle
Nikhil Wagle, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
Dr. 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 is also the President and Director of the Count Me In, a nonprofit research initiative that aims to transform cancer care by empowering cancer patients to accelerate cancer research by sharing their samples, their medical information, and their voices. The program’s first project, The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, is a nationwide patient-driven research initiative that engages patients with advanced breast cancer across the U.S. and Canada through social media and seeks to empower them to accelerate cancer research through sharing their samples and clinical information. Additional projects for patients with angiosarcoma, metastatic prostate cancer, esophageal and stomach cancer, brain cancer, osteosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, and colorectal cancer have also been launched.
Dr. Wagle also co-founded 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.
It was really my experience as a medical resident and oncology fellow. Taking care of patients with metastatic breast cancer and knowing we hadn’t yet found a way to cure this disease led me to want to devote my research career to this. I worked with many breast cancer patients, but when someone had metastatic breast cancer – there was a whole different approach to working with them. It was incredibly frustrating to not be able to offer people treatments that would cure their cancer.
Experience & Accolades
- Breast oncology
- Cancer genomics
- Precision cancer medicine
- Therapeutic resistance
- Patient-partnered research
- Harvard Medical School
- Doctor of Medicine, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, 2005
- Harvard University
- Bachelor of Arts, Biochemical Sciences, 1999
- Harvard Medical School
- Assistant Professor of Medicine, 2015-Present
- Instructor of Medicine, 2012-2015
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Medical Oncologist, 2012-Present
- Deputy Director, Center for Cancer Precision Medicine, 2015-Present
- Broad Institute
- Institute Member, 2019-Present
- Associate Member, 2013-2019
- Count Me In
- President and Director, 2017-Present
Awards and Distinctions
- Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for Research in Personalized Cancer Medicine, 2013
- Young Investigator Award, Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2016
- ASCI Young Physician Scientist Award, American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2016
- AACR NextGen Award for Transformative Cancer Research, 2016
Professional Memberships and Board Positions
- Scientific Advisory Board, Relay Therapeutics, 2020-Present
- The genomic landscape of intrinsic and acquired resistance to cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitors in patients with hormone receptor positive metastatic breast cancer. Wander S, Cohen O, Gong X, et al.
- Acquired FGFR and FGF Alterations Confer Resistance to Estrogen Receptor (ER) Targeted Therapy in ER+ Metastatic Breast Cancer Mao P, Cohen O, Kowalski KJ, et al.
- Acquired HER2 mutations in ER+ metastatic breast cancer confer resistance to estrogen receptor-directed therapies. Nayar U, Cohen O, Kapstad C, et al.
- Reversion and non-reversion mechanisms of resistance to PARP inhibitor or platinum chemotherapy in BRCA1/2-mutant metastatic breast cancer. Waks AG, Cohen O, Kochupurakkal, et al.
- Prevalence and mutational determinants of high tumor mutation burden in breast cancer. Barroso-Sousa R, Jain E, Cohen O, et al.
- Angiosarcoma Project: enabling genomic and clinical discoveries in a rare cancer through patient-partnered research Painter C, Jain E, Tomson B, et al.
- High-Throughput Detection of Actionable Genomic Alterations in Clinical Tumor Samples by Targeted, Massively Parallel Sequencing. Wagle N, Berger MF, Davis MJ, et al.