Jose Costa MD, FACP

Professor of Pathology, of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation; Director, Translational Diagnostics; Director, Musculoskeletal Tumor Program

Departments & Organizations

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, and Physiology

Yale Medical Group

Office of Student ResearchCancer Center, Yale: Cancer Genetics & Genomics; Sarcoma Oncology ProgramPathology: Surgical Pathology: Bone and Soft-tissue Pathology, Pediatric Pathology; Molecular Diagnostics; ExPath | Orthopaedics and RehabilitationMolecular DiagnosticsGene Regulation and Functional Genomics


Jose Costa, M.D., is Professor of Pathology and Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. A graduate of Barcelona Medical School, Dr. Costa trained in Anatomical Pathology at Colorado University (G.B. Pierce) and Washington University (P. Lacy; L.V. Ackerman). He went on to do research as a Fogarty International Fellow (1973) in the laboratory of A.S. Rabson at NCI, were he stayed to eventually become the Anatomical Pathology Branch Chief at the Clinical Center, NIH Bethesda, MD. Elected to a Chair in Pathology at the University of Lausanne (1982), he directed between 1983 and 1993 the Institut Universitaire de Patologie, developing a program of advanced diagnostics and collaborating both with the ISREC and the Lausanne Branch of the Ludwig Institute.

Dr. Costa joined the Yale Faculty in 1993 as Vice Chairman of Pathology and from 1995 until January 2007, he also served as Deputy Director of the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center. Since 1998 he has been a member of the NCI's Early Detection Research Network. His laboratory investigates the micro-evolutionary dynamics involved in tumor formation and tumor progression using both experimental and theoretical modeling at the systems level. This work has identified novel and promising ways to detect early cancer and ways to follow the changes in tumors under therapy. In July, 2007, he assumed the direction of the Translational Diagnostics Program and the Musculoskeletal Program in the Department of Pathology at Yale.

Dr. Costa remains an Emeritus Professor at the University of Lausanne, received the Trueta Medal for Sanitary Merit of the Catalan Government in 2002, and was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences in 2003 for his work on tumor cell heterogeneity. He has served on numerous national and international committees and Scientific Advisory Boards, and has been Editor in Chief of Pathology Research and Practice and Laboratory Investigation. He presently serves as a member of the Consulting Team for the NCI’s Early Detection Research Network and also of the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Cancer Research Institute in Madrid (Spain). He has contributed over 160 original publications to the technical literature.


  • M.D., University of Barcelona , 1967

Selected Publication

  • Costa, J., Gonzalez-Garcia, I., and Sole, R. (2006). Spatial Dynamics in Cancer, in Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine (Deisboeck, T.S., and Kresh, J.Y.), Chapter 6.2, pp. 557-572.