Director for Cancer Genomics, Human Genome Sequencing Center,
Professor, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Wheeler received his Bachelor of Science degrees in biochemistry and zoology from the University of Maryland and Ph.D in molecular genetics in the field of cancer virology at George Washington University, and Postdoctoral research in the field of behavioral genetics of fruitflies at Brandeis University with Dr. Jeffrey Hall. There, he and his colleagues cloned the period locus, the first gene with an established role in regulating complex behavior (circadian rhyhthms) in any organism. His work laid the foundation for the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine awarded to Drs. Hall, Rosbash and Young in 2017. Since 2007, Dr. Wheeler has been Director of Cancer Genomics in the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine. He has contributed ground-breaking research into the role of somatic mutation in tumorigenesis through DNA and RNA sequencing in large-scale cancer cohorts such as The Cancer Genome Atlas and the International Cancer Genome Consortium. His research focus is is deciphering the role of somatic alteration in cancer initiation and progression, and in identifying the genetic mechanisms that lead to both positive and negative outcome in cancer patients.