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Photo of Max Shpak, PhD


Research Scientist,
Sarah Cannon Research Institute


Dr. Max Shpak’s research background is in population and evolutionary genetics. His current research focuses on applying concepts and approaches from population genetics and computational genomics to further our understanding of cancer biology. He is also the Program Manager for the Austin Brain Tumor Repository (ABTR) program. Dr. Shpak received his doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University in 2004, and his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Cornell University in 1997. Dr. Shpak’s past research and publications span a wide range of subjects, including gene duplication, mutation-selection dynamics, the genetics of speciation, evolutionary game theory, and the dynamics of demographic stochasticity and genetic drift in age and spatially-structured populations. He also has a strong background in computational biology, which he taught for several years at the University of Texas at El Paso.


Cancer genetics & genomics and Evolutionary biology


  • BS – Mathematics, Cornell University (1997)
  • PhD – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University (2004)