Christina Curtis Receives High-Risk, High-Reward NIH Award

Christina Curtis, MD
Photo by Paul Sakuma

Christina Curtis, MD, an assistant professor of oncology and genetics, is one of eight Stanford scientists awarded High-Risk, High-Reward Research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Curtis is the recipient of the Pioneer Award, a $3.5 million grant, dispensed over five years, for the pursuit of new research directions and the development of what the NIH defines as “groundbreaking, high-impact approaches to a broad area of biomedical or behavioral science.” With a focus on understanding cancer systems biology, Curtis plans to study human tumor development and methods for predicting progression. Her goal is to help clinicians anticipate tumor behavior over time, in hopes of guiding its development and tailoring treatment options. To date, she has created innovative computational and statistical techniques that can analyze the patterns of mutations present in their genomes. Through comparison with virtual tumors, she aims to map an evolutionary history of tumors. Curtis says that “learning cancer’s evolutionary rulebook will give us clues about a patient’s prognosis and is a necessary step toward the development of predictive models.”

Curtis is part of the group of talented researchers that School of Medicine Dean Lloyd Minor says “are helping to realize Stanford Medicine’s goal of making health care more precise, predictive and proactive.”

Click here for the full list of Stanford NIH grant recipients.