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DSB Retreat
Members of the Dennis Vitkup Lab, from l to r: Konstatine Tchourine, German Plata and Jon Chang (Credit: Sandra Squarcia); Photo Gallery of the retreat.

Innovative research projects were highlighted at the Department of Systems Biology’s annual retreat, held October 5, at Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center in Riverdale, NY. The retreat, attended by 160 faculty, staff, post-doctoral scientists, students and guests, also provided an opportunity for young investigators to showcase their work during a poster competition. 

Andrea Califano , Dr., chair of the department, opened the day’s sessions with welcome remarks, as the retreat also served as a site visit by the National Cancer Institute for the Columbia University Center for Cancer Systems Therapeutics (CaST) . CaST, co-directors Drs. Califano and Barry Honig , vice-chair of the department, was established in 2016 as one of the key centers in the NCI’s Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (CSBC). The initiative behind CSBC is heavily grounded on innovation—bringing together interdisciplinary teams of clinical and basic cancer researchers with physical scientists, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists who collaborate to tackle major questions in cancer biology from a novel out-of-the-box point of view. 

Alvarez MJ, Subramaniam PS, Tang LH, Grunn A, Aburi M, Rieckhof G, Komissarova EV, Hagan EA, Bodei L, Clemons PA, Cruz FSDela, Dhall D, Diolaiti D, Fraker DA, Ghavami A, Kaemmerer D, Karan C, Kidd M, Kim KM, Kim HC, Kunju LP, Langel Ü, Li Z, Lee J, Li H, LiVolsi V, Pfragner R, Rainey AR, Realubit RB, Remotti H, Regberg J, Roses R, Rustgi A, Sepulveda AR, Serra S, Shi C, Yuan X, Barberis M, Bergamaschi R, Chinnaiyan AM, Detre T, Ezzat S, Frilling A, Hommann M, Jaeger D, Kim MK, Knudsen BS, Kung AL, Leahy E, Metz DC, Milsom JW, Park YS, Reidy-Lagunes D, Schreiber S, Washington K, Wiedenmann B, Modlin I, Califano A.  2018.  A precision oncology approach to the pharmacological targeting of mechanistic dependencies in neuroendocrine tumors.. Nat Genet. Go to Pubmed

Feb 7-8 Cancer Genomics Symposium

Pictured above, Adolfo Ferrando (left), professor of pediatrics and of pathology and cell biology at Columbia, with Luis Arnes, associate research scientist and first-place winner of the symposium's poster competition; For photos from the symposium, visit the gallery page . Credit: Lydia Lee Photography

A multidisciplinary team of researchers across Columbia University have been busy addressing the complex challenges in basic and translational cancer research. Faculty and investigators are bridging their expertise in fields ranging from mathematics, biology, and engineering to physics, genomics, and chemistry to develop innovative approaches to better understand, for instance, cancer disease progression, drug resistance, and the systems-wide network of tumor evolution.

Central to this ongoing work is research grounded in cancer genomics and mathematical data analysis explored during a two-day conference Feb. 7-8 co-hosted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) centers at Columbia University Medical Center, Cornell University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (Visit the Rabadan Lab YouTube Channel for video of the symposium).

"Genomics is becoming an important tool for the quantitative study of biological systems,” says Raul Rabadan, PhD , professor of systems biology at Columbia and director of the Center for Topology of Cancer Evolution and Heterogeneity and of the Program for Mathematical Genomics . “This meeting organized by four different NCI centers addressed some of the important challenges and new perspectives on the quantitative understanding of cancer using genomics tools.”

Faculty

Andrew Kung

Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Faculty

Kenneth Olive

Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine, and Pathology and Cell Biology

Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine, and Pathology and Cell Biology

Research Staff

Diana Murray

Program Director of Research and Outreach
Research Scientist
Program Director of Research and Outreach
Research Scientist

Faculty

Harris Wang

Assistant Professor, Department of Systems Biology

Assistant Professor, Department of Systems Biology

Faculty

Dennis Vitkup

Associate Professor, Department of Systems Biology
Associate Professor, Department of Systems Biology

Faculty

Nicholas Tatonetti

Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Director of Clinical Informatics, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Director of Clinical Informatics, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

Faculty

Peter Sims

Assistant Professor, Department of Systems Biology

Associate Director for Novel Technologies

Faculty

Raul Rabadan

Professor, Department of Systems Biology

Co-director, Next-Generation Sequencing

Faculty

Itsik Pe'er

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science

Faculty

Barry Honig

Director, Center for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Director, Center for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Faculty

Dimitris Anastassiou

Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering
Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering

Faculty

Cory Abate-Shen

Michael and Stella Chernow Professor of Urological Oncology
Michael and Stella Chernow Professor of Urological Oncology

Faculty

Andrea Califano

Chair, Department of Systems Biology
Director, JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center