Daniel Haber, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, MGH Cancer Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Oncology
Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Member
Broad Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
PhD Stanford University School of Medicine 1981
MD Stanford University School of Medicine 1983
cancer genetics; carcinoma non-small-cell lung; circulating tumor cells; egfr; epithelial cancers; genes wilms tumor; microfluidics; neoplastic cells circulating; receptor epidermal growth factor; wilms tumor; wt1 proteins

The Haber laboratory focuses on understanding the fundamental genetics of human cancer, from inherited mutations that confer familial predisposition to genetic mutations that are acquired by tumors themselves and may render them susceptible to specific targeted drug therapies. For example, we have identified mutations in the EGFR gene that confer dramatic sensitivity of some lung cancers to drugs that inhibit that pathway, pointing toward the importance of genetic classification of common epithelial cancers in applying novel targeted therapies.

We have also collaborated with the bioengineering team led by Dr. Mehmet Toner, the molecular biology group of Dr. Shyamala Maheswaran, and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center clinical disease centers to develop, characterize and apply a microfluidic device capable of isolating rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of patients with cancer. This new technology offers the promise of 1) noninvasive monitoring of cancers during their treatment for the emergence of drug resistance; 2) early detection of invasive cancers; and ultimately 3) understanding and preventing blood-borne spread of cancer.