Nikhil Wagle, MD
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.”
– Dr. Nikhil Wagle, The Cancer Couch
- 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, Johnson G, Buendia-Buendia J, Lloyd M, Kim D, Luo F, Mao P, Helvie K, Kowalski K, Nayar U, Waks A, Parsons S, Martinez R, Litchfield L, Ye X, Yu C, Jansen V, Stille J, Smith P, Oakley G, Chu Q, Batist G, Hughes M, Kremer J, Garraway L, Winer E, Tolaney S, Lin N, Buchanan S, Wagle N. Cancer Discovery, 2020.
- Acquired FGFR and FGF Alterations Confer Resistance to Estrogen Receptor (ER) Targeted Therapy in ER+ Metastatic Breast Cancer Mao P, Cohen O, Kowalski KJ, Kusiel JG, Buendia-Buendia JE, Cuoco MS, Exman P, Wander SA, Waks AG, Nayar U, Chung J, Freeman S, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Miller VA, Piccioni F, Root DE, Regev A, Winer EP, Lin NU, Wagle N.
- Acquired HER2 mutations in ER+ metastatic breast cancer confer resistance to estrogen receptor-directed therapies. Nayar U, Cohen O, Kapstad C, Cuoco MS, Waks AG, Wander SA, Painter C, Freeman S, Persky NS, Marini L, Helvie K, Oliver N, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Ma CX, Regev A, Winer EP, Lin NU, Wagle N.
- 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 B, Kim D, Dunn CE, Buendia Buendia J, Wander S, Helvie K, Lloyd MR, Marini L, Hughes ME, Freeman SS, Ivy SP, Geradts J, Isakoff S, LoRusso P, Adalsteinsson VA, Tolaney SM, Matulonis U, Krop IE, D'Andrea AD, Winer EP, Lin NU, Shapiro GI, Wagle N. Ann Oncol. 2020 May;31(5):590-598. Epub 2020 Feb 20.
- Prevalence and mutational determinants of high tumor mutation burden in breast cancer. Barroso-Sousa R, Jain E, Cohen O, Kim D, Buendia-Buendia J, Winer E, Lin N, Tolaney SM, Wagle N. Ann Oncol. 2020 Mar;31(3):387-394. Epub 2020 Jan 9.
- Angiosarcoma Project: enabling genomic and clinical discoveries in a rare cancer through patient-partnered research Painter C, Jain E, Tomson B, Dunphy M, Stoddard R, Thomas B, Damon A, Shah S, Kim D, Zañudo J, Hornick J, Chen Y, Merriam P, Raut C, Demetri G, Van Tine B, Lander E, Golub T, Wagle N.. Nature Medicine 26, 181–187 (2020)
- High-Throughput Detection of Actionable Genomic Alterations in Clinical Tumor Samples by Targeted, Massively Parallel Sequencing. Wagle N, Berger MF, Davis MJ, Blumenstiel B, DeFelice M, Pochanard P, Ducar M, Van Hummelen P, MacConaill LE, Hahn WC, Meyerson M, Gabriel SB, and Garraway LA. Cancer Discovery. 2012 Jan
In the media
- Cancer patients partner with researchers in "Count Me In" projects
- The metastatic breast cancer project: accelerating genomics research (VJOncology)
Connect on social media
- Follow Dr. Wagle on Twitter
Learn more about Dr. Wagle on Dana Farber’s website.