Samir Hanash, MD, PhD

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas;
Director, Red & Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer;
Evelyn & Sol Rubenstein Distinguished Chair for Cancer Prevention;
Professor, Clinical Cancer Prevention-Research;
Professor, Translational Molecular Pathology

Dr Hanash was recruited to MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2011 to lead the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for Cancer Early Detection and Treatment. He was previously program head for Molecular Diagnosis at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Hanash’s interest and expertise are in the field of cancer diagnostics and the development of blood based cancer biomarkers for risk assessment and cancer early detection. He is the inaugural president of the International Human Proteome Organization dedicated to the study of the human proteome, and a founder of the US Human Proteome Organization.

Dr Hanash’s approaches to meet the challenge of developing markers that signal the presence of cancer at an early stage to allow detection and effective treatment have included a rigorous painstaking in-depth quantitative profiling of the various types of molecules in the blood to find those that are released early either from the cancer cells or from the host response to the developing cancer. The work emphasizes the need for rigor in experimental design, in data collection and statistical analysis and in developing a mechanistic understanding of the relationship between the identified cancer markers and the developing cancer. This work has sparked innovation in experimental design and statistical analysis of biomarker data aimed at minimizing biases in discovery studies through prospective sample collections that relate most directly to the intended clinical application(s) and at reducing the false discovery rate through integration of data from multiple sources to increase confidence in the significance of the markers.