Associate Professor

Scott Bratman

MD, PhD, Columbia University

Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower
Toronto Medical Discovery Tower, 101 College Street, Room 13-305, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1L7
Research Interests
Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy, Cancer Mechanisms and Models, Data Science and Computational Biology

Julie Owen, Administrative Assistant
T: (416) 581-7861
Email Julie Owen

At A Glance

  • A strong focus of the lab is on circulating tumor-derived DNA (ctDNA) and its utility and applications as a cancer biomarker.
  • The lab also focuses on head and neck cancer genomics and translational research, stemming from Dr. Bratman’s clinical focus.
  • Methodologies frequently employed in the lab include in vitro and in vivo models of head and neck cancer, quantitative and digital PCR, next-generation sequencing technologies, and mining of publicly available genomics data.
  • The lab seeks to apply concepts of precision/personalized cancer medicine to the use of radiotherapy in curative treatment settings.

Short Bio

Dr. Bratman received his MD and PhD from Columbia University in 2009 followed by postdoctoral research and clinical training at Stanford Cancer Institute. Since joining University of Toronto and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in 2014, he has served as Staff Radiation Oncologist within the Wharton Head and Neck Centre and has led basic, translational, and clinical research studies on head and neck cancer and circulating biomarkers. Dr. Bratman currently holds the Dr. Mariano Antonio Elia Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Research at University Health Network. The Bratman Lab is taking a bench-to-bedside approach to develop molecular tools for personalized cancer medicine. 

Research Synopsis

Innovation for optimized detection and analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Analysis of ctDNA has the potential to revolutionize cancer detection and management. The Bratman Lab is a persistent source of innovation in ctDNA and other 'liquid biopsy' technologies. This includes methods for analysis of genetic, microbial, and epigenetic aberrations in circulating DNA. We develop novel molecular biology, sequencing, and bioinformatics approaches with the ultimate goal of clinical utility and adoption. We are also interested in the biology of circulating DNA and ctDNA release.

Personalized cancer medicine for head and neck cancer (HNC). As a radiation oncologist who treats patients with HNC, Dr. Bratman pursues a research agenda aimed at benefiting HNC patients. Many HNC patients endure poor outcomes despite treatment regimens such as chemo-radiotherapy that can cause significant toxicities. Thus, novel therapeutic strategies and innovative biomarkers are needed to improve management of this disease. The Bratman Lab is developing new radiation sensitizers with the goal of more tailored, tolerable, and effective treatment. The group is also pursuing molecular biomarkers to enable earlier diagnosis of cancer, risk stratification, and treatment individualization.

Recent Publications

  • HPV sequencing facilitates ultrasensitive detection of HPV circulating tumor DNA. Leung E, Han K, Zou J, Zhao Z, Zheng Y, Wang TT, Rostami A, Siu LL, Pugh TJ, Bratman SV.  (2021). Clin Cancer Res. 27:5857–68. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2384. 
  • Tumor-naïve multimodal profiling of circulating tumor DNA in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Burgener JM, Zou J, Zhen Z, Zheng Y, Shen SY, Huang SH, Keshavarzi S, Xu W, Liu FF, Liu G, Waldron J, Weinreb I, Spreafico A, Siu LL, de Almeida JR, Goldstein DP, Hoffman MM, De Carvalho DD, Bratman SV. (2021). Clin Cancer Res. 27:4230-44. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0110. 
  • Integration of intra-sample contextual error signatures for improved detection of somatic mutations from deep sequencing. Abelson S, Zeng A, Ng S, Wang TT, Minden M, Pugh TJ, Shlush LI, Murphy T, Chan S, Dick JE, Bratman SV. (2020). Sci Adv. 6(50):eabe3722. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abe3722.
  • Personalized circulating tumor DNA analysis as a predictive biomarker in solid tumor patients treated with pembrolizumab. Bratman SV, Yang SYC, Iafolla MAJ, Liu Z, Hansen AR, Bedard PL, Lheureux S, Spreafico A, Razak AA, Shchegrova S, Louie M, Billings P, Zimmermann B, Sethi H, Aleshin A, Torti D, Marsh K, Eagles J, Cirlan I, Hanna Y, Clothier DL, Lien SC, Ohashi PS, Xu W, Siu LL, Pugh TJ. (2020). Nature Cancer. doi: 10.1038/s43018-020-0096-5. 
  • Senescence, Necrosis, and Apoptosis Govern Circulating Cell-free DNA Release Kinetics. Rostami A, Lambie M, Yu C, Stambolic V, Waldron JN, Bratman SV. (2020). Cell Rep. 31(13):107830.doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107830. 
  • Modeling cellular response in large-scale radiogenomic databases to advance precision radiotherapy. Manem VSK, Lambie M, Smirnov P, Kofia V, Freeman M, Koritzinsky M, Abazeed ME, Haibe-Kains B, Bratman SV. (2019). Cancer Res. 79(24):6227-6237. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0179. 
  • High efficiency error suppression for accurate detection of low-frequency variants. Wang TT, Abelson S, Zou J, Li T, Zhao Z, Dick JE, Shlush LI, Pugh TJ, Bratman SV. (2019). Nucleic Acids Res. 47(15):e87. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz474. 
  • Computer-Assisted Image Analysis of the Tumor Microenvironment on an Oral Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tissue Microarray. Lee S, Cabanero M, Hyrcza M, Butler MO, Liu FF, Hansen A, Huang SH, Tsao M, Song Y, Lu L, Xu W, Chepeha D, Goldstein D, Weinreb I, Bratman SV. (2019). Clin Transl Radiat Oncol. 17:32-39. 
  • Plasma redox imbalance caused by albumin oxidation promotes lung-predominant NETosis and pulmonary cancer metastasis. Inoue M, Nakashima R, Enomoto M, Koike Y, Zhao X, Yip K, Huang SH, Waldron JN, Ikura M, Liu FF, Bratman SV. (2018). Nat Commun. 9(1):5116. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07550-x. 
  • Sensitive tumour detection and classification using plasma cell-free DNA methylomes. Shen SY, Singhania R, Fehringer G, Chakravarthy A, Roehrl MHA, Chadwick D, Zuzarte PC, Borgida A, Wang TT, Li T, Kis O, Zhao Z, Spreafico A, Medina TDS, Wang Y, Roulois D, Ettayebi I, Chen Z, Chow S, Murphy T, Arruda A, O'Kane GM, Liu J, Mansour M, McPherson JD, O'Brien C, Leighl N, Bedard PL, Fleshner N, Liu G, Minden MD, Gallinger S, Goldenberg A, Pugh TJ, Hoffman MM, Bratman SV, Hung RJ, De Carvalho DD. (2018). Nature. 563(7732):579-583. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0703-0. 
  • Human papillomavirus genotype impacts survival in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. *Bratman, S.V., *Bruce, J.P., O’Sullivan, B., Pugh, T.J., Xu, W., Yip, K.W., and Liu, F.-F. (2016). JAMA Oncol. Jun 1;2(6):823-6.
  • An ultrasensitive method for quantitating circulating tumor DNA with broad patient coverage. Newman, A.M., Bratman, S.V., To, J., Wynn, J.F., Eclov, N.C.W., Modlin, L.A., Liu, C.L., Neal, J.W., Wakelee, H., Merritt, M.E., Shrager, J.B., Loo, B.W., Alizadeh, A.A., and Diehn, M. (2014). Nat Med. 20(5):548-554. PMID 24705333.

Graduate Students

Steven De Michino
Sasha Main
Ethan Malkin