Michael Wigler, PhD

Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor, Marvel Genomics
Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Michael’s work provides a new paradigm for understanding and exploring human disease. Devastating diseases like cancer and autism can be caused by spontaneous changes, or mutations, to DNA. His research concentrates on developing methods to discover these genetic changes in individuals, tumors, and even single cells in order to promote early detection and treatments.

The Wigler lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory studies human cancer and the contribution of new mutation to genetic disorders, with a focus on breast and prostate cancers. The lab’s cancer work involves collaborative clinical studies to discover mutational patterns predicting treatment response and outcome and the development of diagnostics to detect cancer cells in bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

The Wigler lab’s collaborative genetic focus is on determining the role of new mutations in pediatric disorders. In a large-scale population sequencing project with W. Richard McCombie and the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University in St. Louis, and supported by the Simons Foundation, Michael’s team has proven the contribution of this mechanism to autism. The work further suggests a relationship between the mutational targets in autism and the process of neuroplasticity that lies at the heart of learning.

Michael received his BA from Princeton University and his PhD from Columbia University.