Thomas Sellers, PhD, MPH

Thomas SellersDr. Thomas Sellers is center director of Moffitt Cancer Center and executive vice president. Dr. Sellers’ research program seeks to integrate a basic science background in nutrition and genetics with observational research methods to try to understand questions such as, why do less than 20% of cigarette smokers develop lung cancer and why is a proven effective cancer treatment beneficial to only a subset of patients? His studies are based on genetic analysis of germline DNA and the increasing incorporation of acquired (somatic) events. 

The primary focus of his research is ovarian cancer, which is a devastating disease with no clear warning signs and high mortality rates. Dr. Sellers also has active collaborations that involve cancers of the breast, lung and prostate. The underlying theme is identifying inter-individual differences in cancer susceptibility and using that to inform approaches to cancer prevention, early detection and precision medicine to enhance outcomes after diagnosis.

Critical to the success of this effort is team science, necessitating collaborations with geneticists, pathologists, biostatisticians, biomedical informaticists and clinicians. The Moffitt environment enables that to happen naturally.

Dr. Sellers earned his Master of Public Health from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and his Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Tulane. He was a postdoctoral fellow in genetic epidemiology at Louisiana State University Medical Center.)


Center Director; Executive Vice President 

Faculty Rank:

Senior Member

Research Appointments:

Cancer Epidemiology

Academic Appointment:


  •      Cancer Epidemiology

Other Appointments: University of South Florida
College of Medicine, Department of Oncologic Sciences

Education & Training:

  •      Postdoctoral Fellow, Louisiana State University Medical Center, 1989 - Genetic Epidemiology
  •      PhD, Tulane University, 1988 - Epidemiology
  •      MPH, Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1984 - Epidemiology
  •      BS, University of California at Davis, 1982 - Community Nutrition