Debyani Chakravarty, PhD (Co-director)

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Debyani Chakravarty, is an Assistant Member of the Molecular Diagnostics Service in the Department of Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) and the Lead Scientist of the clinical oncology decision support system OncoKB. OncoKB is a point-of-care database that annotates somatic cancer alterations in patient tumor sample sequencing reports with their potential treatment implications, as detected by the FDA-approved targeted sequencing panel, MSK-IMPACT. Dr. Chakravarty interfaces with the clinical leadership of MSK to ensure that OncoKB content is in line with MSK best practices, oversees the curation efforts of medical and translational research fellows and supports the operations of software developers.

She is a primary author of the OncoKB index paper which has been cited almost 400 times since its publication in 2017. Being part of the initial efforts to create standards and consensus for the annotation of somatic cancer variants and their potential actionability, she was named a Co-Director for the Variant Interpretation for Cancer Consortium (VICC), a driver project for the Global Alliance for Genomics Health (GA4GH). Additionally, she was engaged as an advisory member in the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Translational Research and Precision Medicine Working Group that launched a collaborative project to propose a classification system for molecular aberrations based on the evidence available supporting their value as clinical targets.

Her prior research experience spans 7 years within the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at MSK. Her first postdoctoral fellowship was in the lab of Chief of Endocrinology Dr. James Fagin and the second with Attending Neurosurgeon Dr. Cameron Brennan. Prior to this, Dr. Chakravarty grew up in Hong Kong and was raised in the British education system. She has been in the United States for 24 years, graduating with Honors from Boston University and then pursuing her PhD at Georgetown University.