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Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Oncology

Research Interests

Molecular Genetics; Cancer Biology; Cancer Pathology

Background

Dr. Nickolas Papadopoulos is a professor of oncology and pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on cancer biology, genetics and diagnostics. Dr. Papadopoulos is internationally known as a co-discoverer of the genetic basis of the predisposition to hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), one of the most common hereditary forms of cancer, earlier in his career. He was part of the interdisciplinary team that was first to sequence all of the protein coding genes, determine genetic alterations and construct expression profiles of four common tumor types. Later he was involved in the identification of genetic alterations that drive tumorigenesis in multiple tumor types. His noteworthy discoveries include the identification of novel mutations in chromatin remodeling genes in ovarian clear cell carcinomas and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

He is currently engaged in translating the genetic information derived from cancer genome analyses to clinical applications in early detection, diagnosis and monitoring of cancer. He is a co-developer of sensitive methods for the detection of tumor DNA in liquid biopsy. Dr. Papadopoulos developed CancerSEEK, a blood test for the early detection of multiple cancers, and he is the co-founder of two companies that develop diagnostics for cancer. 

Dr. Papadopoulos received his B.S. from Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki in Greece. He earned his M.S. in biology at the University of Houston and his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He completed a Fogerty Fellowship at the National Institute on Aging and a postdoctoral fellowship in oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Papadopoulos joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2005.

He serves as an advisor to Science Translational Medicine and is a peer reviewer for a number of publications, including The American Journal of Pathology, Cancer Research and Genomics. His work has been recognized with multiple AACR Team Science Awards, the Dr. George N. Papanicolaou Award from the Hellenic Medical Society and the Director’s Teaching Award in Laboratory-Based Science from Johns Hopkins.

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Titles

  • Professor of Oncology
  • Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Education

Degrees

  • Ph.D., University of Texas McGovern Medical School at Houston (Texas) (1992)
  • B.S., Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki (Greece) (1985)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Nickolas Papadopoulos is internationally known as a co-discoverer of the genetic basis of the predisposition to hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), one of the most common hereditary forms of cancer, earlier in his career. He is known for the development of diagnostic tests and he is considered an expert in cancer genetics and diagnostics. He was part of the interdisciplinary team that was first to sequence all of the protein coding genes, determine genetic alterations and construct expression profiles of four common tumor types. Later he was involved in the identification of genetic alterations that drive tumorigenesis in multiple tumor types. Noteworthy discoveries he has made include the identification of novel mutations in chromatin remodeling genes in ovarian clear cell carcinomas and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Currently, he is focused on translating the genetic information derived from cancer genome analyses to clinical applications in early detection, diagnosis and monitoring of cancer. He is a co-developer of sensitive methods for the detection of tumor DNA in liquid biopsy. Recently, he developed CancerSEEK, a blood test for the early detection of multiple cancers. He is also the co-founder of two companies that develop diagnostics for cancer.

Selected Publications

Springer S, Masica DL, Dal Molin M, Douville C, Thoburn CJ, Afsari B, Li L, Cohen JD, Thompson E, Allen PJ, Klimstra DS, Schattner MA, Schmidt CM, Yip-Schneider M, Simpson RE, Fernandez-Del Castillo C, Mino- Kenudson M, Brugge W, Brand RE, Singhi AD, Scarpa A, Lawlor R, Salvia R, Zamboni G, Hong SM, Hwang DW, Jang JY, Kwon W, Swan N, Geoghegan J, Falconi M, Crippa S, Doglioni C, Paulino J, Schulick RD, Edil BH, Park W, Yachida S, Hijioka S, van Hooft J, He J, Weiss MJ, Burkhart R, Makary M, Canto MI, Goggins MG, Ptak J, Dobbyn L, Schaefer J, Sillman N, Popoli M, Klein AP, Tomasetti C, Karchin R, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Wolfgang CL, Hruban RH, Lennon AM. "A multimodality test to guide the management of patients with a pancreatic cyst." Sci Transl Med. 2019 Jul 17;11(501). pii: eaav4772. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav4772. PMID: 31316009

Lee B, Lipton L, Cohen J, Tie J, Javed AA, Li L, Goldstein D, Burge M, Cooray P, Nagrial A, Tebbutt NC, Thomson B, Nikfarjam M, Harris M, Haydon A, Lawrence B, Wm Tai D, Simons K, Lennon AM, Wolfgang CL, Tomasetti C, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Gibbs P. "Circulating tumor DNA as a potential marker of adjuvant chemotherapy benefit following surgery for localised pancreatic cancer." Ann Oncol. 2019 Jun 28. pii: mdz200. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdz200. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31250894

Wang Y, Li L, Cohen JD, Kinde I, Ptak J, Popoli M, Schaefer J, Silliman N, Dobbyn L, Tie J, Gibbs P, Tomasetti C, Kinzler KW, Papadopoulos N, Vogelstein B, Olsson L. "Prognostic Potential of Circulating Tumor DNA Measurement in Postoperative Surveillance of Nonmetastatic Colorectal Cancer." JAMA Oncol. 2019 May 9. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.0512. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31070668

Eich ML, Rodriguez Pena MDC, Springer SU, Taheri D, Tregnago AC, Salles DC, Bezerra SM, Cunha IW, Fujita K, Ertoy D, Bivalacqua TJ, Tomasetti C, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Netto GJ. "Incidence and distribution of UroSEEK gene panel in a multi-institutional cohort of bladder urothelial carcinoma." Mod Pathol. 2019 Apr 25. doi: 10.1038/s41379-019-0276-y. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31028363

Smith KN, Llosa NJ, Cottrell TR, Siegel N, Fan H, Suri P, Chan HY, Guo H, Oke T, Awan AH, Verde F, Danilova , Anagnostou V, Tam AJ, Luber BS, Bartlett BR, Aulakh LK1, Sidhom JW, Zhu , Sears CL, Cope L, Sharfman WH, Thompson ED, Riemer J, Marrone KA, Naidoo J, Velculescu VE, Forde PM, Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, Papadopoulos N, Durham JN, Wang H, Le DT1,2, Justesen S, Taube JM, Diaz LA Jr, Brahmer JR, Pardoll DM, Anders RA, Housseau F. "Persistent mutant oncogene specific T cells in two patients benefitting from anti-PD-1." J Immunother Cancer. 2019 Feb 11;7(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s40425-018-0492-x. PMID: 30841906

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Gastrointestinal Oncology

Human Genetics

Courses and Syllabi

  • Advanced Topics in Human Genetics
    2008 - 2016

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Dr. George N. Papanicolau Award, The Hellenic Medical Society, 2019
  • Annual Lauren T. Erb Lecture, Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation, 2018
  • Team Science Award, AACR, 2017
  • Director’s Teaching Award in Laboratory-Based Science, Johns Hopkins, 2017
  • Team Science Award, AACR, 2013
  • Team Science Award, AACR, 2014
  • Commonwealth Award, 2011
  • Carrying for Carcinoid Foundation Award, 2009
  • Carrying for Carcinoid Foundation Award, 2011
  • SPORE Career Award, 2007
  • V Foundation Award, 2000
  • CapCURE Young Investigator Award, 1998
  • W. Barry Wood, Jr. Prize for Postdoctoral Investigation, 1997
  • Fogerty Fellowship, 1992 - 1993

Professional Activities

  • Advisor, Science Translational Medicine, 2019
  • Peer reviewer, PNAS
  • Peer reviewer, Science
  • Peer reviewer, Science Translational Medicine
  • Peer reviewer, Cancer Discovery
  • Peer reviewer, Human Mutation
  • Peer reviewer, American Journal of Pathology
  • Peer reviewer, Cancer Research
  • Peer reviewer, Genomics
  • Peer reviewer, American Journal of Human Genetics
  • Peer reviewer, The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Peer reviewer, Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery
  • Peer reviewer, Journal of Clinical Investigation
  • Peer reviewer, Genome Research
  • Peer reviewer, Nature
  • Peer reviewer, Nature Reviews
  • Peer reviewer, Nature Biotechnology
  • Peer reviewer, Clinical Cancer Research
  • Peer reviewer, Genome Biology
  • Peer reviewer, Pharmacogenetics
  • Peer reviewer, Pharmaceutical Medicine
  • Peer reviewer, PLoS

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • Cancer Genomes and their Implications
    Lecture, Biology Department Seminar Series (10/26/2011)
    Johns Hopkins
  • Cancer Genomes and their Clinical Implications
    Lecture (04/25/2016)
    Johns Hopkins
  • Multi-Analyte Blood Test for the Detection of Cancer Sixth Annual Pathology Educational Symposium
    Lecture (10/26/2019)
    Johns Hopkins
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