Headshot of Orieta Celiku

Orieta Celiku, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Neuro-Oncology Branch


Dr. Celiku develops and applies integrative computational approaches to better understand and treat primary brain cancers. Her research in the Translational Immunology Research Program at the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB) is driven by the conviction that solid computational principles that have stood the test of time are indispensable tools for tackling the complexity of precision oncology. Her research focuses are: 

  1. Developing computational models to understand how genomic and epigenomic alterations affect tumor biology and behavior 
  2. Developing semantic and machine learning approaches for characterizing molecular profiles of preclinical models alongside profiles of patient tumors—in order to assess how well these models recapitulate human disease, and how they can inform rational selection of therapies
  3. Developing cancer patient genomic and outcomes data integration and visualization tools to facilitate data exploration for bench scientists and clinicians
  4. Developing tools that enable primary brain tumor patients and their caregivers to track and manage their symptoms

Explore the NOB's Research Programs >

Areas of Expertise

Computer Science


Selected Key Publications

A Critical Analysis of Neuro-Oncology Clinical Trials

Kim Y, Armstrong TS, Gilbert MR, Celiku O
Neuro-Oncology. 25(9): 1658-1671, 2023. [ Journal Article ]

Discovery of clinical and demographic determinants of symptom burden in primary brain tumor patients using network analysis and unsupervised clustering

Bergsneider BH, Vera E, Gal O, Christ A, King AL, Acquaye A, Choi A, Leeper ME, Mendoza T, Boris L, Burton E, Lollo N, Panzer M, Penas-Prado M, Pillai T, Polskin L, Wu J, Gilbert MR, Armstrong TS, Celiku O
Neuro-Oncology Advances. 5(1): vdac188, 2022. [ Journal Article ]

Probabilistic model checking of cancer metabolism

Friedenberg MD, Lita A, Gilbert MR, Larion M, Celiku O
Scientific Reports. 12(1): 18870, 2022. [ Journal Article ]

Computational modeling demonstrates that glioblastoma cells can survive spatial environmental challenges through exploratory adaptation.

Celiku O, Gilbert MR, Lavi O
Nature Communications. 10(1): 5704, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Visualizing molecular profiles of glioblastoma with GBM-BioDP.

Celiku O, Johnson S, Zhao S, Camphausen K, Shankavaram U
PLoS One. 9(7): e101239, 2014. [ Journal Article ]


Aiguo Li, Ph.D.
Special Volunteer
Yeonju Kim
Special Volunteer
Brandon Bergsneider


Headshot of Orieta Celiku smiling against a grey background

Dr. Orieta Celiku Receives Society for Neuro-Oncology Abstract Award for Excellence in Healthcare Equity

November 17, 2023

Neuro-Oncology Branch staff scientist is recognized for her research on the disparities in neuro-oncology clinical trial access across the United States. Read more >

Icon of brain

Symptom Management App

June 28, 2021

The My STORITM app was developed for brain tumor patients and caregivers. Learn about how this free mobile app can help you track and manage your symptoms and self-care activities. Read more >

Illustration showing the progression of tumor cells from the tumor core (CT) to the leading edge of the tumor (LE) through an intermediate state (IT), towards a proliferating state (CTmvp) close to vasculature or a necrotic state (CTpan).

Exploratory Adaptation Explains How Glioblastoma Cells Adapt and Survive

February 5, 2020

Drs. Celiku and Gilbert used bioinformatics and mathematical modeling to find tools to explain how glioblastoma cells may adapt to survive in stressful conditions. Read more >