The Program in Systems, Pathways and Targets comprises a group of cancer researchers who are focused on one or more of the following areas of research in biology: Systems, Organs, Pathways and Targets. The goals for this program are to study the dynamic interactions between cancer cells and their environment (systems and organs) with respect to specific types of cancer (organs) and the signaling pathways relevant to these cancers (pathways). The overarching goal is to identify key proteins or points of crosstalk for therapeutic intervention (targets).
Cancer is a complex, adaptive system
with dynamic regulatory pathways that respond to a changing environment. The
SPT program reflects the emerging view that modeling these dynamic interactions
at widely varying time and space scales is critical to understanding how these
networks drive cancer progression, and critical for identifying Achille’s heels
in oncogenesis. Systems Biology is a rapidly developing discipline that is
focused on modeling complex interactions and on synthesizing regulatory
relationships from large amounts of genomic and proteomic data. It is a
discipline perfectly suited for synergy with developmental biologists, cell
biologists and biochemists.
Marian Waterman, Ph.D., co-Leader of the SPT, is Professor and Vice Chair of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics. Dr. Waterman’s area of expertise is Wnt signaling and LEF/TCF regulation in cancer. Models of colon cancer, chronic myelogenous leukemia and breast cancer are active areas of focus.
John Lowengrub, Ph.D., co-Leader of the SPT, is a Professor of Mathematics. Dr. Lowengrub has extensive experience in the fields of mathematical and computational biology, applied and computational mathematics, mathematical oncology, complex fluids and materials science. Over the past several years, Dr. Lowengrub has developed multiscale models involving continuum, discrete and hybrid continuum-discrete models of tissue and tumor growth that bridge signaling processes at the subcell scale to tissue-scale models of growth and morphology.