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Systems, Pathways & Targets Program (SPT)


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. 

Waterman 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.
Lowengrub 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.
Fruman David Fruman, Ph.D., co-Leader of the SPT is a Professor of Microbiology and Biochemistry. The focus of research in the Fruman Lab is signal transduction in lymphocytes and leukemia cells. The long-term goal is to define signaling components whose function is specific to particular immune cell types or responses. Dr. Fruman is particularly interested in cells of the immune system, both normal lymphocytes and their transformed counterparts.