Dr. Paul Boutros

Investigator II

Today, most cancer patients are treated based on physical characteristics of their tumour — usually how large it is and how far it has spread. Dr. Paul Boutros’ team uses biological big data to create new biomarkers that personalize therapy for individual patients. For example, the team develops new algorithms to identify prostate cancer patients whose disease is aggressive and requires clinical intervention. These algorithms are implemented in open-source software and the team works with clinical partners around the world to validate their novel computational techniques and to move new diagnostic tests toward clinical practice.

Current affiliations

  • Professor, Department of Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles;
  • Professor, Department of Urology, University of California, Los Angeles;
  • Associate Director Cancer Informatics, Institute for Precision Health, University of California, Los Angeles;
  • Director Cancer Data Sciences, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre, University of California, Los Angeles;
  • Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto;
  • Associate Professor, Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto;
  • Co-Lead, Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE);
  • Lead, ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling Challenge.

Research interests

  • Cancer genomics;
  • Computational biology;
  • Prostate cancer;
  • Crowd-sourcing;
  • Big data;
  • Benchmarking;
  • Biomarkers;
  • Precision medicine.

Select publications

Haider S, Yao CQ, Sabine VS, Grzadkowski M, Stimper V, Starmans MHW, Wang J, Nguyen F, Moon NC, Lin X, Drake C, Crozier CA, Brookes CL, van de Velde CJH, Hasenburg A, Kieback DG, Markopoulos CJ, Dirix LY, Seynaeve C, Rea DW, Kasprzyk A, Lambin P, Lio’ P, Bartlett JMS, Boutros PC.
Pathway-based subnetworks enable cross-disease biomarker discovery.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4746.

Espiritu SMG, Liu LY, Rubanova Y, Bhandari V, Holgersen EM, Szyca LM, Fox NS, Chua MLK, Yamaguchi TN, Heisler LE, Livingstone J, Wintersinger J, Yousif F, Lalonde E, Rouette A, Salcedo A, Houlahan KE, Li CH, Huang V, Fraser M, van der Kwast T, Morris QD, Bristow RG, Boutros PC.
The Evolutionary Landscape of Localized Prostate Cancers Drives Clinical Aggression.
Cell. 2018; 173(4):1003-1013.e15

Fraser M, Sabelnykova VY, Yamaguchi TN, Heisler LE, Livingstone J, Huang V, Shiah YJ, Yousif F, Lin X, Masella AP, Fox NS, Xie M, Prokopec SD, Berlin A, Lalonde E, Ahmed M, Trudel D, Luo X, Beck TA, Meng A, Zhang J, D’Costa A, Denroche RE, Kong H, Espiritu SM, Chua M, Wong A, Chong T, Sam M, Johns J, Timms L, Buchner NB, Orain M, Picard V, Hovington H, Murison A, Kron K, Harding NJ, P’ng C, Houlahan KE, Chu KC, Lo B, Nguyen F, Li CH, Sun RX, de Borja R, Cooper CI, Hopkins JF, Govind SK, Fung C, Waggott D, Green J, Haider S, Chan-Seng-Yue MA, Jung E, Wang Z, Bergeron A, Dal Pra A, Lacombe L, Collins CC, Sahinalp C, Lupien M, Fleshner NE, He HH, Fradet Y, Tetu B, van der Kwast T, McPherson JD, Bristow RG, Boutros PC.
Genomic hallmarks of localized, non-indolent prostate cancer.
Nature. 2017; 541(7637):359-364.

Boutros PC, Fraser M, Harding NJ, de Borja R, Trudel D, Lalonde E, Meng A, Hennings-Yeomans PH, McPherson A, Sabelnykova VY, Zia A, Fox NS, Livingstone J, Shiah YJ, Wang J, Beck TA, Have CL, Chong T, Sam M, Johns J, Timms L, Buchner N, Wong A, Watson JD, Simmons TT, P’ng C, Zafarana G, Nguyen F, Luo X, Chu KC, Prokopec SD, Sykes J, Dal Pra A, Berlin A, Brown A, Chan-Seng-Yue MA, Yousif F, Denroche RE, Chong LC, Chen GM, Jung E, Fung C, Starmans MH, Chen H, Govind SK, Hawley J, D’Costa A, Pintilie M, Waggott D, Hach F, Lambin P, Muthuswamy LB, Cooper C, Eeles R, Neal D, Tetu B, Sahinalp C, Stein LD, Fleshner N, Shah SP, Collins CC, Hudson TJ, McPherson JD, van der Kwast T, Bristow RG.
Spatial genomic heterogeneity within localized, multifocal prostate cancer.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(7):736-45.

Ewing AD, Houlahan KE, Hu Y, Ellrott K, Caloian C, Yamaguchi TN, Bare JC, P’ng C, Waggott D, Sabelnykova VY; ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling Challenge participants, Kellen MR, Norman TC, Haussler D, Friend SH, Stolovitzky G, Margolin AA, Stuart JM, Boutros PC.
Combining tumor genome simulation with crowdsourcing to benchmark somatic single-nucleotide-variant detection.
Nat Methods. 2015; 12(7):623-30.

See Dr. Boutros’ recent publications on PubMed or on Google Scholar.



All Boutros Lab software is freely available on the Boutros Lab Website.


  • Canadian Cancer Society, Dorval Prize, 2018;
  • University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Early Career Graduate Teaching Award. 2016;
  • University of Waterloo, Young Alumni Award, 2016;
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, New Investigator Award, 2015;
  • Prostate Cancer Canada, Rising Star, 2014;
  • Terry Fox Research Institute, New Investigator Award, 2014.

Previous experience and education

  • Investigator II, OICR;
  • Assistant Professor, Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto;
  • Assistant Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Toronto;
  • Investigator I, OICR;
  • PhD, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto;
  • Fellow, Informatics and Bio-computing, OICR;
  • B.Sc., Chemistry, Honours Co-operative Education, University of Waterloo;
  • Bioinformatics Researcher, Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto;
  • Bioinformatics Researcher, Department of Biochemistry, Michigan State University.

Opportunities to collaborate

The Boutros lab welcomes collaboration with researchers around the world. Contact us to find out more or visit OICR’s Collaborative Research Resources directory for more opportunities to collaborate with OICR researchers.

Related links

Boutros Lab

Twitter: @TheBoutrosLab


Dr. Paul Boutros