Humsa Venkatesh received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and her PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University. After completing her postdoctoral work, she joined the Stanford faculty in 2019 and is now starting her Cancer Neuroscience research program as Assistant Professor at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She has been recognized by the MIT Technology Review as a Pioneer Under 35 ‘TR35’ (2018), by Genetic Engineering News as a ‘Top 10 innovator to watch under 40’ (2019), and won the Science & SciLife Prize for Young Scientists (2019).
Dr. Venkatesh’s research studies the reciprocal interactions between the central nervous system and brain cancers. Her work emphasizes the electrical components of glioma pathophysiology and highlights the extent to which the brain and its neurons can control and facilitate disease progression. The understanding of these co-opting mechanisms has led to novel strategies to broadly treat cancers, by disabling their ability to electrically integrate into neural circuitry. Her pioneering research in this emerging field of cancer neuroscience aims to harness the systems level microenvironmental dependencies of tumor growth to develop innovative therapeutic treatments.