Non-Coding Genetic Variation in Cancer

Ekta Khurana, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Computational Genomics

Associate Director, Tri-Institutional Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology and Medicine

Seminar Information

Seminar Date
April 9, 2021 - 2:00 PM


Ekta Khurana, Ph.D.


Low costs of sequencing enable whole-genome sequencing of tumors from individual cancer patients. However, interpretation of these whole-genomes remains a bottleneck for clinical purposes. Most variants obtained from whole-genome sequencing occur in non-coding regions of the genome.  While numerous large-scale efforts focus on understanding the functional non-coding regions, their integration with whole-genome sequences remains a challenge. I will present the computational models that we have developed that have led to the identification of non-coding cancer drivers in gene promoters, enhancers, non-coding RNAs and CTCF insulators. 

Speaker Bio

Ekta Khurana is an Assistant Professor of Computational Genomics at Weill Cornell Medicine. She obtained her Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and performed postdoctoral research at Yale University. She is an expert in the integration of functional genomics data with DNA sequences and developed one of the first computational methods to identify non-coding cancer drivers. She received the ‘Irma Hirschl Career Scientist Award’ in 2019 and was featured as an ‘Emerging Leader in Systems-Level Biology’ in 2014.