Meet the Team: Kenan Onel, MD, PhD

Ken Onel, MD, PhD, is driven by a deep passion for learning how the body develops cancer and what can be done to prevent it.

“My entire career I’ve been practices as a clinical cancer geneticist, caring for patients and families who are a high risk for cancer because of genetics,” say Dr. Onel, Chief of Clinical Genomics and Director of the Center for Precision Oncology and Cancer Prevention at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “I’ve always been interested in understanding, foundationally, who we are.”

He began his career in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology but transitioned into genetics, specifically cancer genetics and identifying risk factors among families, earning a reputation for research into the genetic contribution to cancer risk and response to therapy. Dr. Onel is recognized as a leader in functional genomics, an emerging field integrating genetic and laboratory investigations.

“If we think about genes and we think about genetic interactions and overlay exposures and non-genetic factors, risk transitioning from normal to abnormal is a way we can understand these things,” Dr. Onel says. “The goal is, by doing this evolutionary analysis, by understanding the architecture of the normal and the tumor genomes, we might be able to someday predict relapse and treat relapse and diagnosis and prevent it from ever happening.”

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Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Kenan Onel MD, PhD

Kenan Onel MD, PhD

Clinical Genomics

I am a physician/scientist with more than 20 years’ experience in Oncology, Genetics and Genomics. As a physician, I am Board-certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and have spent my career as a clinical cancer geneticist caring for ...

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