Click here to visit the Columbia University Center for Topology of Cancer Evolution and Heterogeneity website.

The Columbia University Center for Topology of Cancer Evolution and Heterogeneity is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Physical Sciences in Oncology Network. Founded in 2009, the Network was created to support research that integrates perspectives from the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and engineering in ways that address key questions and obstacles in cancer research.

Led by principal investigators Raul Rabadan and Antonio Iavarone, the Center for Topology of Cancer Evolution and Heterogeneity opened in May 2015 as an interdisciplinary center formed to develop an integrated experimental and computational pipeline for characterizing the evolution of subclonal populations within solid tumors. Its experimental techniques include novel organoid systems for tracing cellular lineages, as well as innovative single-cell sequencing technologies. These experimental methods are being combined with emerging mathematical approaches from the field of topological data analysis that are well suited to analyzing the high-dimensional data that single-cell approaches generate.

The center’s faculty includes experts in cancer genomics, the genetics of brain tumors, developmental biology, single-cell genomics, machine learning, and topological data analysis. Working together in close collaboration, its goal is to provide the scientific community with experimentally validated geometric and topological structures of causal inference of clonal evolution, single-cell genomic protocols for fast and reliable uncovering of clonal heterogeneity, experimentally validated machine learning approaches for predicting drug sensitivities, and a strong multi-institutional, interdisciplinary program that creates bridges between researchers in pure mathematics, the technology sector, and cancer research.

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