Paula M. Vertino, PhD


Department of Radiation Oncology


Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University



Dr. Vertino is a cancer research scientist internationally recognized for her work in the field of cancer epigenetics. Dr. Vertino has a longstanding record of extramural research support from the NCI, the American Cancer Society, NASA and the Georgia Cancer Coalition. She has served as a regular member on the Cancer Etiology study section at the NIH, and is a former member of the editorial board of Cancer Research. Dr. Vertino has been actively engaged in graduate and postgraduate education and has trained and mentored numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and medical residents in her laboratory. She is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the Cancer Biology Graduate Program and the co-director for research for the Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Program. 


Dr. Vertino received her BS in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa inductee. She pursued graduate work at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, receiving her PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990. After postdoctoral training in cancer genetics at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Dr. Vertino joined the faculty of Emory University in 1996. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and the leader of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Program of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.


Dr. Vertino has received several local honors and awards, including most recently induction into the ‘Millipub Club’ and the ‘Emory 1%’, recognizing Emory faculty that have authored articles cited more than 1000 times, and with NIH grants scoring in the top 1% at peer review. She was recently invited to the board of Faculty of 1000.


Dr. Vertino’s research interests are focused on the areas of cancer epigenetics and novel mechanisms of gene silencing in cancer. Her work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society and Georgia Cancer Coalition.


Dr. Vertino has published extensively on cancer epigenetics and novel mechanisms of gene silencing in cancer. She received several awards including an Avon Breast Cancer Scholar Award for her work on the TMS1 gene and its role in breast carcinogenesis.