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Victor E. Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Director of Cancer Biology
Professor of Oncology
Research Interests: Cancer Genomics; Cancer Biology; Liquid Biopsies; Immunotherapy
Dr. Velculescu is internationally known for his discoveries in genomics and cancer research. He and his colleagues performed the first genome-wide sequence analysis in human cancers, identifying key genes and pathways dysregulated in tumorigenesis. He developed methods for global gene expression analyses and coined the word “transcriptome" to describe the patterns that could now obtained in cancer and other cells. This research has revealed the genomic landscape of human cancers, including in breast, colorectal, brain, pancreatic, ovarian, head and neck, and lung cancers. These analyses identified a variety of genes not previously known to be involved in neoplasia, including PIK3CA as one of the most highly mutated genes in human cancer. More recently, his group has developed non-invasive liquid biopsies approaches for early detection and monitoring of cancer patients. These discoveries provide new paradigms for our understanding of human cancer, and have created opportunities for precision diagnostics and personalized medicine for oncology and other diseases.
Dr. Velculescu is Professor of Oncology and Pathology and Co-Director of Cancer Biology at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has a B.S. from Stanford University, and M.D., Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Velculescu has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), as a member of scientific advisory boards of Ludwig Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK, Harvard Cancer Center, Tisch Cancer Center at Mount Sinai, Mark Foundation, and the White House Cancer Moonshot, and is a founder of Personal Genome Diagnostics. He is the recipient of several awards for his work including the Grand Prize Winner of the Amersham/Pharmacia & Science Young Scientist Prize (1999), Judson Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society (2008), the European Association of Cancer Research and Carcinogenesis Young Investigator Award (2008), the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research (2009), the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research (2011), the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Maryland (2016), and with his colleagues, the AACR Team Science Award for Research in Pancreatic Cancer (2013), Brain Cancer (2014), and Liquid Biopsies (2017).
- Co-Director of Cancer Biology
- Associate Cancer Center Director for Precision Medicine
- Professor of Oncology
- Professor of Medicine
- Professor of Pathology
Departments / Divisions
- B.S., Stanford University (California) (1992)
- Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University (Maryland) (1999)
- M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Maryland) (1999)
Research & Publications
Dr. Velculescu's research efforts are focused on improved understanding of human cancer and using these observations for development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
Lab Website: Victor Velculescu Laboratory
Learn more about clinical trials at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Academic Affiliations & Courses
Graduate Program Affiliation
Program in Human Genetics
Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program
Activities & Honors
- Graduated with Honors and Distinction, Stanford University, 1992, Johns Hopkins University
- Dynal Literature Award, Dynal Biotech, 1996
- Michael Shanoff Research Award, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1998
- International Grand Prize Winner, Amersham & Science Young Scientist Prize, 1999
- Pew Scholar Award, The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2004
- Sir William Osler Young Investigator Award, Interurban Clinical Club, 2006
- Judson Daland Prize, American Philosophical Society, 2007
- European Association of Cancer Research and Carcinogenesis Young Investigator Award, 2008
- American Association of Cancer Research Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research, 2009
- Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 2011
- Elected to Sir William Osler Interurban Clinical Club, 2011
- AACR Team Science Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research, 2013
- AACR Team Science Award for Malignant Brain Tumor Research, 2014
- Elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 2014
- Highly Cited Researcher, Thompson Reuters, 2014
- Elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2014
- Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Maryland, 2016
- Elected as Foreign Honorary Member to the Romanian Academy, 2017
- AACR Team Science Award for Research in Liquid Biopsies for Cancer, 2017
- Elected to American Association of Physicians, 2018
- Carol and Dick Hertzberg Prize for Technological Innovations, UCSD, 2018
- Board of Directors, American Association of Cancer Research
- Scientific Advisory Committee, Ludwig Cancer Research
- Scientific Advisory Committee, The Mark Foundation
- External Advisory Board, Cancer Research UK
- Co-Leader, Stand Up to Cancer Colorectal Cancer Dream Team
Videos & Media
Recent News Articles and Media Coverage
Johns Hopkins Researchers Design New Blood Test That Uses DNA ‘Packaging’ Patterns to Detect Multiple Cancer Types, Johns Hopkins Medicine (May 29, 2019)
Blood Test Could Spot Multiple Cancer Types, Researchers Say, US News (May 29, 2019)
Novel Liquid Biopsy Opens Door to Pan-Cancer Testing?, Medscape (June 03, 2019)
Cancers Evade Immunotherapy By 'Discarding the Evidence' of Tumor-Specific Mutations, Johns Hopkins Medicine (January 5, 2017)
Scientists Develop Blood Test That Spots Tumor-Derived DNA in People With Early-Stage Cancers, Johns Hopkins Medicine (August 16, 2017)
Blood Test Finds Cancer Before Symptoms Start, NBC News, (August 17, 2017)
Can a blood test detect cancer earlier? CBS News (August 18, 2017)
Blood test shows promise for early-stage cancer detection, Chicago Tribune, (August 18, 2017)
Hopkins scientists using blood tests and DNA to detect early stage cancer, Baltimore Sun, (September 1, 2017)