Christopher Vakoc, MD, PhD

Christopher Vakoc, MD, PhD

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Chris graduated with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Penn State University and subsequently earned Ph.D. (2005) and M.D. (2007) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation research was performed in the laboratory of Gerd Blobel, where he studied basic mechanisms of long-range enhancer function, hematopoietic transcription factors, and histone lysine methylation. In 2008, Chris accepted a position as a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fellow and during this time, he initiated research into how chromatin modifications support the pathogenesis of leukemia. A key focus of this work has been to use genetic screens to reveal unique chromatin regulator dependencies in leukemia cells, which led to the discovery of BRD4 as a therapeutic target in this disease. In 2011, Chris joined the research faculty at CSHL and in 2015 he was promoted to Associate Professor. His laboratory continues to identify novel transcriptional regulators of cancer cell growth with an objective of developing next-generation cancer therapies. Chris is the recipient of a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award, the AACR Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Award, and the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance Prize. Chris lives on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory campus with his wife and two sons.