Robert and Kate Niehaus Center for Inherited Cancer Genomics

Kenneth Offit and Vijai Joseph

Kenneth Offit (right), with geneticist Vijai Joseph, leads the Niehaus Center at MSK.

Researchers in the Robert and Kate Niehaus Center for Inherited Cancer Genomics focus on discovering the inherited causes of cancer. The center’s ultimate goal is to develop new approaches for precision cancer prevention, earlier detection, and targeted treatments.

The Niehaus Center uses genomic sequencing and functional genomic research methods to discover new pathways associated with inherited cancer risk. Genomic data and tools from MSK’s Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology are combined with family history and clinical information, as well as additional DNA sequencing and functional genomic experiments, in a dedicated laboratory.

MSK is a leader in using next-generation sequencing technology to study cancer. The MSK-IMPACT™ test screens tumor tissue for more than 400 cancer genes, so doctors are able to match MSK patients with appropriate therapies.

The Niehaus Center extends this approach to uncovering genetic changes that are present from birth, with a focus on families who have an unexplained cancer predisposition. The Niehaus Center builds on prior discoveries made at MSK related to susceptibility to breast, ovarian, prostate, colon, and other tumors, as well as lymphoma and childhood leukemia.

The Niehaus Center was established in 2015 with a $10 million gift from Robert Niehaus and his wife, Kate.