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Roel Verhaak, PhD

Professor of Neurosurgery; Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

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Roel Verhaak, PhD

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Roel Verhaak, PhD., is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Yale School of Medicine. Following graduation with a Ph.D. in medicine from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Roel joined the Broad Institute/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a postdoctoral associate, supported by a fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society. During his time at the Broad, he was part of the team analyzing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. He led the identification and characterization of gene expression subtypes in glioblastoma, work that resulted in a seminal Cancer Cell 2010 publication.

Roel moved to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, in 2010 to start his own lab. Since then, the Verhaak lab has studied tumor evolution and mechanisms of therapy resistance in low- and high-grade gliomas. The group was foundational in establishing the Glioma Longitudinal Analysis Consortium, which has established a resource of molecular profiles over time on a large cohort of patients with a glioma. They identified and described genetic ‘scars’ and cellular phenotypes associated with glioma progression and disease recurrence. Extrachromosomal DNA amplifications were discovered as critical drivers and are now a major part of the team's research. After being affiliated with the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine from 2016, the Verhaak lab joined the School of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, in 2023. Roel Verhaak is a recipient of the AAAS Wachtel Award, the Agilent Early Career Professor Award, and the Peter Steck Memorial Award, and is a co-founder of Boundless Bio.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (2010)
  • PhD
    Erasmus University Medical Center, Hematology (2006)
  • MSc
    Radboud University, Biomedical Sciences (2000)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research AwardAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science2016
Adult Basic Science AwardSociety for Neuro-Oncology 2014
Peter Steck Memorial AwardPediatric Brain Tumor Foundation2012
Wilson S. Stone Memorial Award MD Anderson Cancer Center2011

Departments & Organizations