Paul is the recipient of the Penny and Phil Knight professorship in Cancer Research Innovation in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics within the OHSU School of Medicine. Paul is Interim Director for Computational Biology Program, a co-director of CEDAR, and co-leader of the Quantitative Oncology Program in the Knight Cancer Institute. He uses genetics to help determine who is at risk for cancer, how to computationally analyze genomic data to identify early changes in cancers, and how to accurately screen different populations for the disease. He also works to inform the public about ways that genetics shape cancer risk. Dr. Spellman received his Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University.
Senior Research Associate
Myron works on construction and maintenance of pipelines specific to mutation calling.
Kami is a Bioinformatics Research Associate primarily focused on customization and implementation of algorithms for analysis of multidimensional "omics" data. With a particular interest in transcriptomics, she works to identify tumor-specific gene targets for immunologic and/or pharmacologic therapies. She also assists with development and containerization of computational pipelines designed for high-throughput DNA or RNA sequence analysis of a variety of features, such as mutation timing, copy number variants, structural aberrations, cluster analysis, and alternative splicing events.
Carol is interested in understanding the heterogeneity of breast cancer tumors at the single cell level through the use of Flow Cytometry, Cytof (Mass Cytometry), and single cell RNA sequencing. These approaches have the power to show different populations of cancer cells within a tumor. Carol also manages the regulatory compliance for the group in regards to human subjects research projects.
Lab Manager, Research Associate, Next Generation Sequencing Specialist
Chris has been with Dr. Paul Spellman's research laboratory at OHSU since 2013 and formally managed the lab since 2015. He specializes in the identification of tumor-derived mutations in blood samples using next-generation sequencing of cell free DNA. He has developed custom error-correction techniques that enable the accurate detection of known and de novomutations present in only one in 10,000-100,000 molecules (0.01%-0.001% variant allele frequency). These methods to detect rare variants in blood from cancer patients provide a promising means for the early detection of recurrence as well as the identification of genetic alterations derived from metastases invisible to standard imaging technologies. The longitudinal study of cell free DNA may provide many other valuable insights into the course of a patient's disease as well. Chris currently works on research projects that use his methods to understand the clonal dynamics of tumor evolution, predict responses to therapy, and uncover genetic mechanisms of therapeutic resistance.
Trainees and volunteers
Michael is a PhD candidate in Molecular and Medical Genetics and is currently studying the role of long non-coding RNA's in the regulation of DNA replication timing and maintenance of chromosome stability.
Simeneh is interested in immunobiology of cancer. He is interested in applying computational tools to analyze immune cells omics datasets to facilitate cancer early detection and prevention.
Burcu is an MD/PhD student at OHSU, currently pursuing the PhD portion of her training. Her interest is in implementing statistical methods to find quantitative insights in clinical and high throughput medical data, which provides evidence-based strategies to improve patient care. Burcu has been working on the normalization of a pipeline of T-Cell Receptor sequencing, of which downstream applications would have a strong impact on immunotherapy and auto-immune diseases to name a few. The other topics Burcu is interested in are genomics, clonal evolution, cancer heterogeneity, and liquid tumors, especially AML. Her long-term goal is combining her quantitative training with clinical knowledge and create solutions to biomedical and clinical problems as a physician researcher.
Burcu holds a BSc in Statistics from Middle East Technical University, and an M.A. degree in Statistics from Columbia University. Upon graduating, she worked at the United Nations, New York, and at Nielsen as a statistical modeling analyst, as well as at Cornell Medical College and Columbia University Hospital as a biostatistical researcher. She was also teaching statistics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology before joining OHSU.