Overview

The Ha laboratory is interested in studying the role of genomic alterations in cancer progression and using this knowledge to expand applications for precision medicine.

We combine research in two complementary areas:

  1. Develop and apply novel computational methods to comprehensively profile cancer genomes from tumor tissue in large patient cohorts.
  2. Develop approaches to detect tumor-specific alterations from liquid biopsies, such as circulating cell-free DNA from blood plasma.

Our lab is interested in studying the abnormal structure of the cancer genome more deeply. We apply cutting-edge whole genome DNA sequencing technologies, particularly platforms that generate long-range genomic information such as linked-read and long-read data. These data enhance the reconstruction of genomic rearrangements and enable the study of alterations in non-coding genomic regions. We are also interested in integrating chromosome conformation information to better understand the effects of genomic alterations on the 3D chromosome structure.

We leverage insights from the analysis of tumor genomes to inform the design of blood-based applications to monitor patient response to treatment. Our goals are to uncover mechanisms of treatment resistance, to identify blood-based genetic biomarkers, and to translate these findings to help improve clinical decisions.