School of Medicine
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Associate Professor of Genetics and of Pathology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur laboratory uses genome-wide methods to uncover alterations that drive cancer progression and metastasis in genetically-engineered mouse models of human cancers. We combine cell-culture based mechanistic studies with our ability to alter pathways of interest during tumor progression in vivo to better understand each step of metastatic spread and to uncover the therapeutic vulnerabilities of advanced cancer cells.
Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, of Biomedical Data Science and, by courtesy, of Genetics
BioDr. Witte joined the Stanford community in July 2021. In addition to serving as Vice Chair and professor in the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, and as a professor of Biomedical Data Science and, by courtesy, of Genetics, he will also serve as a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute.
Dr. Witte is an internationally recognized expert in genetic epidemiology. His scholarly contributions include deciphering the genetic and environmental basis of prostate cancer and developing widely used methods for the genetic epidemiologic study of disease. His prostate cancer work has used comprehensive genome-wide studies of germline genetics, transcriptomics, and somatic genomics to successfully detect novel variants underlying the risk and aggressiveness of this common disease. A key aspect of this work has been distinguishing genetic factors that may drive increased prostate cancer risk and mortality among African American men. Providing an avenue to determine which men are more likely to be diagnosed with clinically relevant prostate cancer and require additional screening or specific treatment can help reduce disparities in disease prevalence and outcomes across populations. Dr. Witte has also developed novel hierarchical and polygenic risk score modeling for undertaking genetic epidemiology studies. These advances significantly improve our ability to detect disease-causing genes and to translate genetic epidemiologic findings into medical practice.
Dr. Witte has received the Leadership Award from the International Genetic Epidemiology Society (highest award), and the Stephen B. Hulley Award for Excellence in Teaching. His extensive teaching portfolio includes a series of courses in genetic and molecular epidemiology. He has mentored over 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, serves on the executive committees of multiple graduate programs, and has directed a National Institutes of Health funded post-doctoral training program in genetic epidemiology for over 20 years. Recently appointed to the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Counselors, Dr. Witte has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health.