• Researcher Profile

    Shuji Ogino, MD, PhD, MS

    Shuji Ogino, MD, PhD, MS
    Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
    Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


    Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Office phone: 617-632-1972
    Fax: 617-582-8558
    Email: shuji_ogino@dfci.harvard.edu
    Website: Ogino Lab

    Preferred contact method: email

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    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Molecular and Cellular


    Molecular Diagnostics

    Area of Research

    Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE, Molecular Pathologic Epidemiology), Epigenetics, Epigenomics, Colorectal cancer, Gastrointestinal cancer 

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Mayer 422B
    Boston, MA 02215

    Other Practice Locations

    Brigham and Women's Hospital
    75 Francis Street
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Ogino received his MD in 1993 and his PhD in 2001 from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He completed his residency in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in 1999, and a molecular pathology fellowship in 2000 at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as Instructor in 2001. In 2015, Dr. Ogino was promoted to Professor of Pathology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and Harvard Medical School; and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In 2016, Dr. Ogino has become the first Chief of Division of Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE) at BWH. Dr. Ogino has been serving as the Chairperson for the International Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE) Meeting Series since 2013. Dr. Ogino has received a number of awards and honors, particularly in recognition of his pioneering effort of establishing the interdisciplinary and integrative field of MPE. These recognitions include the Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) in 2011; Executive Officer’s Award (2004) and Meritorious Service Award (2012) from the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP); Elected Membership of American Society for Clinical Investigation (since 2014); recognition as the Most Influential Scientific Minds (2014), and High Cited Researcher (2015) by Thomson Reuters; and a 7-year grant, NCI R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (2015-2022) from the National Institute of Health. 

    Recent Awards

    • Meritorious Service Award, from Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), October 2012
    • Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award, from United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), March 2011


    Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE, Molecular Pathologic Epidemiology), Epigenetics, Epigenomics, Colorectal cancer, Gastrointestinal cancer 

    The Molecular Pathological Epidemiology Laboratory (The MPE Laboratory) 
    (For full description, please visit http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/shuji-ogino/ )

    The relationship between exposures and tumor molecular changes has been examined (eg, smoking -> KRAS mutation), under the umbrella of "molecular epidemiology".  However, this type of analysis needs a consideration of disease heterogeneity (eg, KRAS mutation present vs. absent), which necessitates a paradigm shift from conventional epidemiology, which is based on the premise that individuals with a given disease (by name) are homogeneous and can be lumped together to analyze the associations with exposures.

    Considering this paradigm shift, “Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE)” (or Molecular Pathologic Epidemiology) has been coined for integrative science to analyze inherent disease heterogeneity in epidemiology research (Ogino et al. JNCI 2010; Gut 2011; Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2011).  The power and promise of MPE has been well attested by our recent study (Liao et al. NEJM 2012) which discovered an interactive effect of aspirin use and colorectal cancer PIK3CA mutation.  MPE encompasses ALL HUMAN DISEASES (Ogino et al. Mod Pathol 2013). 

    MPE is based on the "Unique Tumor Principle" (Ogino et al. Expert Rev Mol Diagn 2012) and more broadly, the “Unique Disease Principle” (Ogino et al. Mod Pathol 2013).  MPE design can be used as the next step of genome-wide association study (“GWAS-MPE Approach”; Ogino et al. Gut 2011; Garcia-Albeniz et al. Carcinogenesis 2013).  Other new concepts related to MPE include "Colorectal Continuum Paradigm / Theory / Hypothesis" (Yamauchi, et al. Gut 2012), which underscores the importance of interplay of gut microbiota, microbiome, host factors and carcinogenesis. 

    We have been utilizing two large U.S. nationwide prospective cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, as well as CALGB trials.  Our discoveries by the MPE approach include (to mention just several); influence of the tumor microenvironment on tumor phenotype (Straussman et al. Nature 2012); YAP1 in colorectal cancer (Barry et al. Nature 2013); interactions between aspirin use and tumor PTGS2 (cyclooxygenase-2) expression (Chan et al. NEJM 2007; JAMA 2009); interactions between obesity (host energetics) and tumor FASN expression (Ogino et al. J Clin Oncol 2008; Kuchiba et al. JNCI 2012); interactions between host energetics and tumor CTNNB1 (b-catenin) (Morikawa et al. JAMA 2011; Cancer Res 2013); LINE-1 hypomethylation and colon cancer aggression and family history (Ogino et al. JNCI 2008; JNCI 2013).

    Select Publications

    • Schernhammer ES, Giovannucci E, Kawasaki T, Rosner B, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. Dietary folate, alcohol, and B vitamins in relation to LINE-1 hypomethylation in colon cancer. Gut 2010: in press (published online).
    • Nosho K, Kure S, Irahara N, Shima K, Baba Y, Spiegelman D, Meyerhardt JA, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. A prospective cohort study shows unique epigenetic, genetic, and prognostic features of synchronous colorectal cancers. Gastroenterology 2009: in press (published online).
    • Chan AT, Ogino S, Fuchs CS. Aspirin use and survival after diagnosis of colorectal cancer. JAMA J Am Med Assoc 2009;302:649-658.
    • Ogino S, Nosho K, Irahara N, Shima K, Baba Y, Kirkner GJ, Meyerhardt JA, Fuchs CS. Prognostic significance and molecular associations of 18q loss of heterozygosity: a cohort study of microsatellite stable colorectal cancers. J Clin Oncol 2009;27:4591-4598.
    • Ogino S, Shima K, Baba Y, Nosho K, Irahara N, Kure S, Chen L, Toyoda S, Kirkner GJ, Wang YL, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS. Colorectal cancer expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma; (PPARG, PPARgamma) is associated with good prognosisis. Gastroenterology 2009;136:1242-1250. PMCID:PMC2663601
    • Ogino S, Nosho K, Kirkner GJ, Shima K, Irahara N, Kure S, Chan AT, Engelman JA, Kraft P, Cantley LC, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS. PIK3CA mutation is associated with poor prognosis among patients with curatively resected colon cancer. J Clin Oncol 2009;27:1477-1484. PMCID:PMC2659340
    • Ogino S, Nosho K, Kirkner GJ, Kawasaki T, Meyerhardt JA, Loda M, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS. CpG island methylator phenotype, microsatellite instability, BRAF mutation and clinical outcome in colon cancer. Gut 2009;58:90-6. PMCID:PMC2679586
    • Ogino S, Nosho K, Meyerhardt JA, Kirkner GJ, Chan AT, Kawasaki T, Giovannucci EL, Loda M, Fuchs CS. Cohort study of fatty acid synthase expression and patient survival in colon cancer. J Clin Oncol 2008;26:5713-20. PMCID:PMC2630484
    • Ogino S, Nosho K, Kirkner GJ, Kawasaki T, Chan AT, Schernhammer ES, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS. A cohort study of tumoral LINE-1 hypomethylation and prognosis in colon cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2008;100:1734-8. PMCID:PMC2639290
    • Nosho K, Irahara N, Shima K, Kure S, Kirkner GJ, Schernhammer ES, Hazra A, Hunter DJ, Quackenbush J, Spiegelman D, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. Comprehensive biostatistical analysis of CpG island methylator phenotype in colorectal cancer using a large population-based sample. PLoS ONE 2008;3:e3698. PMCID:PMC2579485.
    • Schernhammer ES, Ogino S, Fuchs CS. Folate intake and risk of colon cancer in relation to p53 expression. Gastroenterology 2008;135:770-80. PMCID:PMC2634965
    • Firestein R, Bass AJ, Kim SY, Dunn IF, Silver SJ, Guney I, Freed E, Ligon AH, Vena N, Ogino S, Chheda MG, Tamayo P, Finn S, Shrestha Y, Boehm JS, Jain S, Bojarski E, Mermel C, Barretina J, Chan JA, Baselga J, Tabernero J, Root DE, Fuchs CS, Loda M, Shivdasani RA, Meyerson M, Hahn WC. CDK8 is a colorectal cancer oncogene that regulates beta-catenin. Nature 2008;455:547-51. PMCID:PMC2587138
    • Ogino S, Kawasaki T, Kirkner GJ, Suemoto Y, Meyerhardt JA, Fuchs CS. Molecular correlates with MGMT promoter methylation and silencing support CpG island methylator phenotype-low (CIMP-low) in colorectal cancer. Gut 2007;56:1564-71.
    • Chan AT, Ogino S, Fuchs CS. Aspirin use and risk of colorectal cancer according to cyclooxygenase-2 expression. New Engl J Med 2007;356:2131-42.
    • Ogino S, Cantor M, Kawasaki T, Brahmandam M, Kirkner GJ, Weisenberger DJ, Campan M, Laird PW, Loda M, Fuchs CS. CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) of colorectal cancer is best characterised by quantitative DNA methylation analysis and prospective cohort studies. Gut 2006;55:1000-6.
    • Ogino S, Nosho K, Irahara N, Shima K, Baba Y, Kirkner GJ, Mino-Kenudson M, Giovannucci EL, Meyerhardt JA, Fuchs CS. Negative lymph node count is associated with survival of colorectal cancer patients, independent of tumoral molecular alterations and lymphocytic reaction. Am J Gastroenterol 2010;105:420-433.
    • Firestein R, Shima K, Nosho K, Irahara N, Baba Y, Bojarski E, Giovannucci EL, Hahn WC, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. CDK8 expression in 470 colorectal cancers in relation to -catenin activation, other molecular alterations and patient survival. Int J Cancer 2010: in press (published online).
    • Irahara N, Nosho K, Baba Y, Shima K, Lindeman NI, Hazra A, Schernhammer ES, Hunter DJ, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. Precision of Pyrosequencing assay to measure LINE-1 methylation in colon cancer, normal colonic mucosa and peripheral blood cells. J Mol Diagn 2010;12:177-183.
    • Baba Y, Nosho K, Shima K, Irahara N, Chan AT, Meyerhardt JA, Chung DC, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. HIF1A overexpression is associated with poor prognosis in a cohort of 731 colorectal cancers. Am J Pathol 2010: in press.
    • Baba Y, Nosho K, Shima K, Goessling W, Chan AT, Ng K, Chan JA, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. PTGER2 overexpression in colorectal cancer is associated with microsatellite instability, independent of CpG island methylator phenotype. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010;19:822-831.
    • Worthley DL, Whitehall VLJ, Buttenshaw RL, Irahara N, Greco SA, Ramsnes I, Mallitt K, Le Leu RK, Winter J, Hu Y, Ogino S, Young GP, Leggett BA. DNA methylation within the normal colorectal mucosa is associated with pathway specific predisposition to cancer. Oncogene 2010: in press.
    • Ogino S, Stampfer M. Lifestyle factors and microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer: the evolving field of molecular pathological epidemiology [editorial]. J Natl Cancer Inst 2010: in press (published online).


    • Imamura, Yu, MD, PhD
    • Liao, Xiaoyun, MD, PhD
    • Qian, Zhirong, MD, PhD
    • Kuchiba, Aya, PhD
    • Yamauchi, Mai, PhD
    • Nishihara, Reiko, PhD
    • Jung, Seungyoun, ScD
    • Inamura, Kentaro, MD, PhD
    • Kim, Sun A., MD, PhD
    • Sukawa, Yasutaka, MD, PhD
    • Mima, Kosuke, MD, PhD
    • Fitzgerald, Kathryn, MS
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