Samuel Aparicio is the Nan and Lorraine Robertson Chair in Breast Cancer Research and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada. He is also head of the Cancer Agency’s Department of Breast and Molecular Oncology, and a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UBC.
Aparicio graduated in medical and natural sciences from Cambridge University (U.K.), clinical medicine from Oxford, and subsequently in internal medicine and pathology. After doctoral work with Sydney Brenner in Cambridge, he held a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship at the Wellcome/Cancer Research UK Developmental Biology Institute. From 2000 to 2005 he was a senior investigator in the Department of Oncology, Cambridge. He was a co-leader of the international consortium that sequenced the genome of the pufferfish Fugu rubripes in 2002. He moved to Vancouver in 2005.
Aparicio’s research programme encompasses the fields of cancer genomics, mouse genetic models, high throughput screens, and translational breast cancer research. His most recent work on the molecular taxonomy of breast cancer led to identification of new genes that could change the way breast cancer is diagnosed, and form the basis of next-generation treatments. This discovery was preceded by another breakthrough in decoding the genetic makeup of the most-deadly form of breast cancer, known as triple negative subtype. Aparicio is also interested in tumour heterogeneity, and is involved in developing genomically- and clonally-characterised xenograft models of breast cancer. He collaborates widely with other groups, with current projects including the genomic and biochemical analysis of lymphoma, ovarian cancer, and several rare pediatric cancers.
His contributions to academic research have been widely published in scientific and clinical journals such as Nature, Science, Cell, and the New England Journal of Medicine.