Welcome to the Navin laboratory at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.  We are a cancer genomics and computational biology research lab located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center.

Our lab has pioneered the development of
single cell sequencing techniques to study cancer.  We apply these tools to understand cancer evolution and diversity at the genetic level.  Tumors are akin to ecosystems that obey the laws of natural selection.  As they grow in size, cancer cells form distinct lineages and subpopulations as they encounter selective pressures in the tumor microenvironment, resulting in intratumor heterogeneity.  This salient characteristic of human cancer confounds basic research and clinical diagnosis, because standard tools are unable to resolve complex admixtures of cells. 

Single Cell Sequencing

Cancer Genomics

Genome Evolution

Tumor Heterogeneity

To understand cancer we combine our expertise in experimental and computational biology.  We develop new experimental methods to sequence single cells and rare subpopulations, and develop new analytical methods to detect variants and quantify genetic diversity.  Our research projects focus mainly on breast cancer, in which we are investigating the role of clonal diversity in the evolution in invasion, metastasis and response to chemotherapy.  We are also using these tools to study rare tumor cell subpopulations including circulating tumor cells and cancer stem cells.  Our goal is to understand the role of clonal diversity in tumor evolution so that we can exploit this diversity for therapeutic vulnerabilities and improve diagnostic tools.  We expect that these tools will have a major impact on reduced morbidity in breast cancer and many other cancer types.

Funding Support