Kenan Onel

Clinical Genomics

About Kenan Onel


I am a physician/scientist with more than 20 years’ experience in Oncology, Genetics and Genomics. As a physician, I am Board-certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and have spent my career as a clinical cancer geneticist caring for children, adults, and families at high risk for cancer due to genetic predispositions or family history. As a scientist, I am known internationally for my work on the genetic contribution to cancer risk and response to therapy, and am recognized as a leader in functional genomics, an emerging field integrating genetic and laboratory investigations that is yielding profound new insights into human health and disease. I have a long history of NIH and foundation funding, and has published almost 100 articles, reviews and book chapters.

I came to Roswell Park as the Chief of Clinical Genomics to build a novel and innovative medical specialty home to diagnose and provide ongoing precision care for patients and families at high risk of cancer because of their genetics or family history. As Director of the Center for Precision Oncology and Cancer Prevention in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, I am establishing a translational research program utilizing cutting-edge genomic technologies to investigate the actions and interactions of genetic and non-genetic factors in cancer etiology, cancer evolution, and the emergence of therapy-resistance in tumors. The Center will also provide a platform for multi-disciplinary collaborative research in translational cancer genomics, bridging the bench and the bedside.

I graduated with both a BS and an MA in Modern European History from Yale University, and then earned my MD and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program. I completed my residency in Pediatrics at the Babies and Children’s Hospital of New York (Columbia University Medical Center), and my fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I was then a post-doctoral scholar in cancer genetics at Rockefeller University.

From 2004-2016, I was a faculty member at The University of Chicago, where I was Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Familial Cancer Clinic, Associate Director of the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program, and a member of the Steering Committee for the Committee on Cancer Biology PhD Program. I was recruited to the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell as Chief of Medical Genetics and Human Genomics, and then to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where I was Associate Director for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Precision Oncology at the NCI-designated Tisch Cancer Institute, and Director of the Center for Cancer Prevention and Wellness. Most recently, I was Senior Vice President for Translational Genetics at Sema4, a health intelligence company.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Professor of Cancer Prevention and Control
  • Chief, Clinical Genomics
  • Department of Medicine
  • Director, Center for Precision Oncology and Cancer Prevention
  • Department of Cancer Prevention and Control


Education and Training:

  • 1996 - MD - Cornell University Medical College, New York City, NY
  • 1995 - PhD - Cancer Genetics, Cornell University Medical College, New York City, NY
  • 1985 - MA - European History, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • 1984 - BS- Yale University, New Haven, CT


  • 1996-1998 - Pediatrics - Babies and Children's Hospital of New York, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, NY


  • 1999-2003 - Cancer Genetics - Rockefeller University/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY
  • 1998-2001 - Pediatric Hematology/Oncology - Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY

Board Certification:

  • American Board of Pediatrics - Pediatric Hematology/Oncology


Full Publications list on PubMed

Shih AJ, Jun T, Skol AD, Bao R, Huang L, Vora S, Megan E McNerney ME, Hungate EA, Le Beau MM, LarsonRA, Elliott A, Lu H-M, Huether R, Hernandez F, Stölzel F, Allan JM, Onel K. 2023. Inherited cancer predisposing mutations in patients with therapy-related myeloid neoplasms. Br J Haematol 200(4): 489.

Lin WY, Fordham SE, Hungate E, Sunter NJ, Elstob C, Xu Y, Park C, Quante A, Strauch K, Gieger C, Skol A, Rahman T, Sucheston-Campbell L, Wang J, Hahn T, Clay-Gilmour AI, Jones GL, Marr HJ, Jackson GH, Menne T, Collin M, Ivey A, Hills RK, Burnett AK, Russell NH, Fitzgibbon J, Larson RA, Le Beau MM, Stock W, Heidenreich O, Alharbi A, Allsup DJ, Houlston RS, Norden J, Dickinson AM, Douglas E, Lendrem C, Daly AK, Palm L, Piechocki K, Jeffries S, Bornhäuser M, Röllig C, Altmann H, Ruhnke L, Kunadt D, Wagenführ L, Cordell HJ, Darlay R, Andersen MK, Fontana MC, Martinelli G, Marconi G, Sanz MA, Cervera J, Gómez-Seguí I, Cluzeau T, Moreilhon C, Raynaud S, Sill H, Voso MT, Lo-Coco F, Dombret H, Cheok M, Preudhomme C, Gale RE, Linch D, Gaal-Wesinger J, Masszi A, Nowak D, Hofmann WK, Gilkes A, Porkka K, Milosevic Feenstra JD, Kralovics R, Grimwade D, Meggendorfer M, Haferlach T, Krizsán S, Bödör C, Stölzel F, Onel K*, Allan JM. 2021. Genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for acute myeloid leukemia. Nat Commun 12(1): 6233.
*co-corresponding author

Hungate EA, Applebaum MA, Skol AD, Vaksman Z, Diamond M, McDaniel L, Volchenboum SL, Stranger BE, Maris JM, Diskin SJ, Onel K*, Cohn SL*. 2017. Evaluation of genetic predisposition for MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma. JNCI 109(10): 1093.
*co-corresponding author

Hungate EA, Vora SR, Gamazon EA, Moriyama T, Best T, Hulur I, Lee Y, Evans T-J, Ellinghaus E, Stanulla M, Rudant J, Orsi L, Clavel J, Milne E, Scott RJ, Pui C-H, Cox NJ, Loh ML, Yang JJ, Skol AD, Onel K. 2016. Novel variation at 9p21.3 functionally implicates CDKN2B in the etiology of pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nat Commun 7: 10635.

Best T, Li D, Skol AD, Kirchhoff T, Jackson SA, Yasui Y, Bhatia S, Strong LC, Domchek SM, Nathanson KL, Olopade O, Mack TM, Conti DV, Offit K, Cozen W, Robison LL, Onel K. 2011. Variants at 6q21 implicate PRDM1 in the etiology of therapy-induced second malignancies after Hodgkin lymphoma. Nat Med 17(8): 941.