Sean E. Hanlon, Ph.D.


Sean E. Hanlon, Ph.D.Dr. Sean E. Hanlon is an Associate Director of the Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives (CSSI) at the NCI where he contributes to the vision and strategic plans of the Center, provides leadership in the analysis and evaluation of emerging fields, and develops and implements new initiatives. Additionally, Dr. Hanlon serves as a CSSI/NCI representative on NCI, NIH, and inter-agency working groups and committees, including the trans-NCI Data Sharing working group. He also facilitates collaborations and provides strategic and scientific leadership to collaborative transdisciplinary programs, including the NIH Common Fund’s 4D Nucleome program.

Prior to joining CSSI, Dr. Hanlon served as Program Director within the NCI Division of Cancer Biology where he served as Director of the Physical Sciences-Oncology Network (PS-ON). In this role, he led the scientific management and oversight of the PS-ON and worked to identify synergistic opportunities and foster new collaborations. He also managed the PS-ON Trans-Network Projects program and the PS-ON Data Coordinating Center which together leveraged the expertise of multiple teams to test new physical sciences-based cancer questions and fostered the sharing of PS-ON generated data.

Dr. Hanlon is a molecular biologist and genomicist by training with a focus on fundamental problems in chromatin organization, epigenetics, and transcriptional regulation. He came to the NCI in 2009 through the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship program. Prior to his selection as an AAAS Fellow, Dr. Hanlon was a postdoctoral fellow at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Carolina Center for Genome Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His postdoctoral work used genomics and bioinformatics approaches to address problems in transcriptional regulation on a genome-wide scale. This work helped further the understanding of how cells and organisms ensure that each gene in the transcriptome is expressed and repressed only at the appropriate time. As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Hanlon taught graduate level courses in genomics and bioinformatics research. Dr. Hanlon received his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Rutgers University in 2003 where his work focused on understanding how chromatin structure influences transcription and cell-cycle progression. Dr. Hanlon is interested in promoting data sharing and collaborative team science, improving scientific research evaluation, and enhancing science education.