David B. Roth, MD, PhD

Director, Penn Center for Precision Medicine
Chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Genomic alterations in cancer

David B. Roth, MD, PhD, joined Penn Medicine in 2011 as the Simon Flexner Professor and Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Previously he was the Irene Diamond Professor of Immunology, Chair of the Department of Pathology, and Director of the MD/PhD Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. Around 2006, Roth’s lab had generated genetically engineered mice that rapidly developed lymphomas that displayed incredible levels of genomic instability by disabling some of the regulatory controls associated with the normal mechanism of antigen receptor gene assembly. Every animal developed lymphoma within a few weeks, and, to understand the mechanism, the Roth Lab sought to characterize the genomic alterations in the tumor cells. To accomplish this, the lab began to develop capabilities for detecting and characterizing genomic rearrangements by “next generation sequencing” or NGS.

He moved to Penn in 2011 to take the Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. As part of his continuing efforts to bolster next-generation sequencing diagnostics, he set up the Center for Personalized Diagnostics, a joint effort between the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center. He is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, an elected member of the American Association of Physicians, and an elected member and past president of the American Association of University Pathologists.

In 2016, David was named the founding Director of Penn’s new Center for Precision Medicine. The mission of this new Center is to take advantage of Penn’s many strengths in biomedical research, developing synergies with our clinical programs to create and implement precision medicine-based clinical care pathways. One of the main roles of the Center will be to provide and organize the resources to allow us to design, test, and implement systems that allow each individual patient to receive the correct treatment (or prevention) at the right time.

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