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Early Career Investigator (ECI)
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The Mission of the ECI Committee:

The Early Career Investigator (ECI) Committee, established in 2016, has been formally incorporated to the RRS Society. RRS wants to connect ECIs with each other as well as mentors of the Society, hear their experiences, and encourage their research programs.

Qualifications For ECI Membership Acceptance:
In order to apply you must be a Full or Sponsored Faculty Member of RRS in good standing. Submit your application for review by clicking on the link below:

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ECI Newsletter: April 2020


Early Career Investigator of the Month

Alexander Spektor, MD, PhD
Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
Attending Physician, Dana Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center

Dr. Alexander Spektor is an Assistant Professor in Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Cancer, where he sees patients with advanced malignancies on the Supportive and Palliative Radiation Oncology service and specializes in treating complex spine cases as part of a multidisciplinary team. He was born in Riga, Latvia and grew up in Buffalo, NY. He completed undergraduate studies at Cornell University in 2001, Medical Scientist Training Program at New York University School of Medicine in 2009, and his residency at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in 2014. For his PhD studies, he investigated mechanisms of centrosome duplication and ciliogenesis under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Dynlacht and identified several proteins with key function at the centrosome, including protein called Cep97 that controls centriole length and primary cilia formation (Spektor et al., Cell 2007).

Dr. Spektor completed his postdoctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. David Pellman, the Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Together with his colleagues, Dr. Spektor developed a technique that combines live-cell imaging and single-cell whole genome sequencing (Look-seq) to study key questions in cancer genome evolution. His research showed that errors that occur during cell division can lead to dramatic chromosome reshuffling within a single cell cycle, and in some cases lead to chromothripsis — a surprising mutagenic event that was recently uncovered by cancer genome sequencing and is believed to drive many cancers (Zhang CZ*, Spektor A*, et al., Nature 2015).

In his own laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Spektor continues to study how cell genomes evolve during tumor formation and in response to therapies in order to develop new therapeutic strategies to target tumor cells and combat therapy resistance. Using Look-seq method, his laboratory studies how cancer cell genomes involve following exposure to ionizing radiation, and the contribution of abnormal nuclear structures including micronuclei and chromosome bridges. His laboratory also investigates how genome instability and nuclear atypia contribute to activation of innate immune pathways that play a central role in tumor recognition by the immune system.



Who Are Your ECI Mentors? Contact your mentor by clicking on the photo to email.

Chiara La Tessa, PhD
Biology, Medicine,
Jan Schuemann, PhD
Physics/ Biophysics
Charles Maitz,
Biology, Chemistry,
Nicole Simone, PhD
Biology, Medicine

Jeffrey Willey, PhD
David Yu, MD, PhD
Janice Zawaski, PhD


CME and Travel Awards Available for the Annual Meeting. More information coming soon!

Have additional questions about ECI membership? Contact Chiara La Tessa at

ECI Travel Award Archive:

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