Marc Daniel Ryser

Marc Daniel Ryser
  • Assistant Professor in Population Health Sciences
  • Instructor in the Department of Mathematics (Joint)
  • Assistant Professor of Mathematics (Joint)
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
External address: 299B Physics Bldg, 120 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 684-8294

Research Areas and Keywords

Biological Modeling

cancer biology, cancer epidemiology, early carcinogenesis, cancer evolution

Computational Mathematics

cancer evolution

PDE & Dynamical Systems

bone biology, pattern formation


cancer biology, cancer epidemiology, early carcinogenesis, cancer evolution

For an up-to-date description of my research program please visit

Areas of Expertise: Multi-scale modeling, early carcinogenesis, cancer evolution

Education & Training
  • Ph.D., McGill University (Canada) 2011

Selected Grants

Modeling to Minimize Detection Bias in Cancer Risk Prediction Studies awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2020

Mathematical Analysis of Spatial Cancer Models awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2020

Ryser, Marc D., et al. “Cancer Outcomes in DCIS Patients Without Locoregional Treatment.J Natl Cancer Inst, vol. 111, no. 9, Sept. 2019, pp. 952–60. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/jnci/djy220. Full Text

Ryser, Marc D., et al. “Incidence of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ in the United States, 2000-2014.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, vol. 28, no. 8, Aug. 2019, pp. 1316–23. Pubmed, doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-1262. Full Text

Grimm, Lars J., et al. “Growth Dynamics of Mammographic Calcifications: Differentiating Ductal Carcinoma in Situ from Benign Breast Disease.Radiology, vol. 292, no. 1, July 2019, pp. 77–83. Pubmed, doi:10.1148/radiol.2019182599. Full Text

Shen, Yu, et al. “Estimating the frequency of indolent breast cancer in screening trials.Stat Methods Med Res, vol. 28, no. 4, Apr. 2019, pp. 1261–71. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/0962280217754232. Full Text

Ryser, Marc D., et al. “Identification of the Fraction of Indolent Tumors and Associated Overdiagnosis in Breast Cancer Screening Trials.Am J Epidemiol, vol. 188, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 197–205. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/aje/kwy214. Full Text

Ryser, Marc D., et al. “Epigenetic Heterogeneity in Human Colorectal Tumors Reveals Preferential Conservation And Evidence of Immune Surveillance.Sci Rep, vol. 8, no. 1, Nov. 2018, p. 17292. Pubmed, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-35621-y. Full Text

Ryser, Marc D., et al. “Spatial mutation patterns as markers of early colorectal tumor cell mobility.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 115, no. 22, May 2018, pp. 5774–79. Pubmed, doi:10.1073/pnas.1716552115. Full Text

Grimm, Lars J., et al. “Role of Preoperative Variables in Reducing the Rate of Occult Invasive Disease for Women Considering Active Surveillance for Ductal Carcinoma In Situ.Jama Surg, vol. 153, no. 3, Mar. 2018, pp. 290–91. Pubmed, doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.5566. Full Text

Ryser, Marc D., et al. “How Low Can We Go-and Should We? Risk Reduction for Minimal-Volume DCIS.Ann Surg Oncol, vol. 25, no. 2, Feb. 2018, pp. 354–55. Pubmed, doi:10.1245/s10434-017-6128-4. Full Text

Grimm, Lars J., et al. “Surgical Upstaging Rates for Vacuum Assisted Biopsy Proven DCIS: Implications for Active Surveillance Trials.Ann Surg Oncol, vol. 24, no. 12, Nov. 2017, pp. 3534–40. Pubmed, doi:10.1245/s10434-017-6018-9. Full Text


  Shira at the Algebraic CombinatoriXX II workshop at BIRS last summer Shira Viel I received my PhD from North Carolina State University under the direction of Nathan Reading.  My thesis work was in algebraic and geometric combinatorics with a focus... read more »

Tumor ancestral trees are physically embedded within their tumors

In cancer treatment, metastatic tumors receive equal treatment.  Patients are given the same aggressive therapies when abnormal clusters of cells are discovered early, even if they may be harmless.  In research studies co-led by Duke's Marc Ryser... read more »

New Approach to Bone Remodeling

Kevin Murgas (Biomedical Engineering, Class 2017), started working on this project during a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in mathematical biology in the summer of 2015. Together with his research mentor, Dr. Marc Ryser, they... read more »

Study: Vaccinating Boys Against HPV Could Prevent Cancer In Men and Women

A mathematical model from Duke University mathematicians suggests more can be done to protect people from the human papilloma virus.    HPV is associated with cervical cancer in women, but can also cause various cancers in men.   Duke mathematician... read more »

Mathematical model suggests select DCIS patients could delay treatment

Active surveillance could be a viable alternative to surgery and radiation for select patients with ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, according to a mathematical model developed by researchers at Duke University.... read more »