The Baca Lab Advancing precision oncology with computational epigenomics
Welcome to the Baca Lab
Our lab develops and applies computational methods in an emerging space we call “translational epigenomics”. This space encompasses efforts to advance precision oncology by deeply characterizing cancer epigenomes. By examining epigenetic changes in patient specimens across the natural history of cancer, we aim to elucidate gene regulatory programs that drive cancer initiation, metastasis, and treatment resistance. We conduct both "bench to bedside" and "bedside to bench" studies - for instance, developing predictive epigenetic biomarkers for treatment response and analyzing tumor epigenomes from clinical specimens to nominate novel cancer drivers.
Our research lies at the intersection of computational biology, epigenomics, and clinical oncology. We use computational approaches in close collaboration with oncologists and wet lab scientists to answer clinically impactful questions, such as:
How does epigenetic re-programming of cancer drive resistance to treatment? Do specific gene regulatory programs predict response to cancer treatment? How does inherited genetic variation affect cancer outcomes?
Clinical relevance: Our research begins and ends with patients. We learn from tumor tissue, patient plasma, and clinical data to complement the research others perform in model systems. The aim of every project is to improve patient care.
Intellectual rigor: We strive for intellectually rigorous and reproducible research to maximally benefit patients.
Interdisciplinary collaboration: We are a collaborative hub within a vibrant intellectual community of clinical trialists, experimental scientists, and computational biologists – all with a shared mission of reducing suffering from cancer.
Diversity: We value an inclusive community where people from diverse backgrounds learn from each other while driving impactful science.
We are always seeking highly motivated scientist to join our team - please reach out of you're interested in learning more!
Affiliations: We are a member of the Population Sciences Division and the Genitourinary Oncology Division at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. We are also affiliated with the Broad Institute and the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics PhD program at Harvard Medical School