Raul Rabadan

Raul Rabadan


Professor, Department of Systems Biology


Department of Systems Biology
Department of Biomedical Informatics
Program for Mathematical Genomics
Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Center for Cancer Systems Therapeutics
JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center


(212) 851-5141

Raul Rabadan is a Professor in the Department of Systems Biology, with a joint appointment in Biomedical Informatics. He is the director of the Program for Mathematical Genomics (PMG) and the Center for Topology of Cancer Evolution and Heterogeneity. He established PMG in the fall of 2017 with the goal of bringing together scientists, mathematicians and researchers from multiple disciplines to work toward a quantitative understanding of complex biological systems. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Rabadan was a fellow at the Theoretical Physics Division at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2003 he joined the Physics Group of the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. Previously, Dr. Rabadan was the Martin A. and Helen Chooljian Member at The Simons Center for Systems Biology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has been named one of Popular Science's Brilliant 10 (2010), a Stewart Trust Fellow (2013), and he received the Harold and Golden Lamport Award at Columbia University (2014). Dr. Rabadan’s current interest focuses on uncovering patterns of evolution in biological systems—in particular, RNA viruses and cancer.

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Detailed Map Gives Scientists a New Window into how Human-Infecting Viruses Work
Columbia University biologists leveraged a computational method to map protein-protein interactions between all known human-infecting viruses and the cells they infect. The method, along with the data that it generated, has spawned a wealth of information toward improving our understanding of how viruses manipulate the cells that they infect and cause disease. Among its findings, the work uncovered a role for estrogen receptor in regulating Zika Virus infection, as well as links between cancer and the human papillomavirus. The research, led by Dr. Sagi Shapira, appears Aug. 29 in the journal, Cell.
Making Strides in Mapping the Human Cell Atlas
In two groundbreaking research projects contributing to the Human Cell Atlas, Columbia University scientists are tasked with mapping complete cells in the immune system and the human spine. The global effort is aiming to identify and define every cell type of the human body and create a collection of maps for navigating the cellular basis of human health and disease. The Columbia teams include co-principal investigators from the Department of Systems Biology Drs. Peter Sims and Raul Rabadan, and are among the 38 collaborative science teams launching the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Seed Networks for the Human Cell Atlas project announced June 21.
Identifying High-Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer
Armed with a new two-year, $1 million grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, a global team of researchers, led by Dr. Raul Rabadan, is working to develop a comprehensive computational framework that will identify high-risk factors for pancreatic cancer. The team will attack pancreatic cancer research from multiple disciplines—genomics, mathematics and medicine—to provide an integrated approach to studying the contributing factors to this lethal disease. The need for a deeper understanding of pancreatic cancer is pressing--it is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality within the next decade.
Why Some Brain Tumors Respond to Immunotherapy
Fewer than 1 in 10 patients with glioblastoma­ respond to immunotherapy, which has shown remarkable success in the past few years in treating a variety of aggressive cancers. But there has been no way to know in advance which glioblastoma patients will respond. In a study, led by Raul Rabadan, PhD, researches have learned why some glioblastomas—the most common type of brain cancer—respond to immunotherapy. The findings could help identify patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment with immunotherapy drugs and lead to the development of more broadly effective treatments.
Columbia Joins Global Consortium to Advance Precision Cancer Medicine
Columbia University has joined Project GENIE, which brings together leading institutions in cancer research and treatment to provide a repository for the largest possible amount of clinical-grade cancer genomic data and clinical outcomes data. At Columbia, GENIE is being led by Drs. Raul Rabadan of systems biology and Richard Carvajal of medicine.