Roel Verhaak, Ph.D.

Professor and Associate Director of Computational Biology, The Florine Deschenes Roux Chair for Genomics and Computational Biology

Brain tumors, sequencing, computational biology

We are a computational cancer biology lab with a research focus on the analysis of cancer genomics data to improve our understanding of cancer biology. We have a specialized research interest in understanding disease progression of brain tumors, and to study the role of extrachromosomal DNA amplifications in cancer. Our group combines wet lab approaches for functional modeling with large datasets and computational methods.

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Education and experience

  • 2006: PhD, Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  • 2000: MSc, Biomedical Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.


  • 2007-2010: Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Matthew Meyerson, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana- Farber Cancer Institute/Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge MA.
  • 2006: Visiting Scientist, Laboratory of John Quackenbush. Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Boston, MA.


  • 2008-2010: Fundamental and pre-clinical fellowship, Dutch Cancer Society KWF
  • 2006: Netherlands Genomics Initiative Fellowship


  • 2016-current: Professor and associate director for computational biology, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington, CT
  • 2015-2016: Associate professor, Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (primary), Department of Genomic Medicine (affiliate), UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
  • 2013-2015: Assistant professor, Department of Genomic Medicine, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
  • 2010-2015: Assistant professor, Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
  • 2010: Computational biologist, Laboratory of Matthew Meyerson, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA.
  • 2006-2007: Research Scientist, Laboratory of Peter JM Valk, Department of Hematology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  • 2002-2003: Software engineer, Dalicon BV, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Honors and accomplishments

  • 2016: Agilent Early Career Professor Award
  • 2016: AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award
  • 2015: Finalist, Robert M. Chamberlain Distinguished Mentor Award.
  • 2014: Adult Basic Science Award, Society for Neuro-Oncology Meeting 2014
  • 2013: Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Peter Steck Memorial Award
  • 2011: Wilson S. Stone Memorial Award at MD Anderson's Symposia on Cancer Research