Andrea Califano

Andrea Califano


Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology
Chair, Department of Systems Biology
Director, JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center
Associate Director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center


Department of Systems Biology
Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Center for Cancer Systems Therapeutics
JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center
Department of Biomedical Informatics
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Institute for Cancer Genetics
Program for Mathematical Genomics

Executive Assistant:
Carolyn Williams

Andrea Califano is the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology in the Department of Systems Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, and Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University Medical Center. He also serves as the Founding Chair of the Department of Systems Biology, Director of the JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center, and Associate Director for Bioinformatics of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. After completing a doctoral thesis in physics at the University of Florence, Italy, Dr. Califano worked at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center, where he became involved in computational biology in 1990. In 1997 he became program director of the IBM Computational Biology Center. In 2000 he co-founded First Genetic Trust, Inc. to pursue translational genomics research. Finally, he joined Columbia in 2003.

The Califano Lab uses a combination of computational and experimental methodologies to reconstruct the regulatory logic of human cells in genome-wide fashion. He has shown that analysis of this logic can identify master regulator proteins responsible for human disease, including cancer and neurodegenerative syndromes, as well as for normal tissue development. In addition, his lab has developed methods for discovering compounds and compound combinations that can inactivate these proteins, thus providing valuable therapeutic strategies. These findings have been translated into several clinical studies, including a very innovative set of N-of-1 studies in which disease master regulators are identified and pharmacologically targeted on an individual patient basis, using a systems biology approach to precision medicine.

Dr. Califano is very active nationally, serving on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards, including the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, The MIT Koch Cancer Center, Cancer Genetics Inc., and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., among others. He has served as chair or co-chair of many international conferences and meetings, including the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR); the RECOMB-ISCB Conference on Regulatory and Systems Genomics, with DREAM Challenges; Keystone Conferences; as well as several special conferences of the AACR on genomics and cancer systems biology.

More News


Spotlighting Interdisciplinary Research and Young Investigators
Innovative research projects were highlighted at the Department of Systems Biology’s annual retreat at Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center. The retreat, attended by 160 guests, also provided an opportunity for young investigators to showcase their work during a poster competition. Congratulations goes out to this year's research poster winners: Andy Chiang (Vitkup Lab), Huijuan Feng (Zhang Lab) and Hanna Levitin (Sims Lab).
Dr. Andrea Califano Elected to the National Academy of Medicine
Congratulations to Department Chair Dr. Andrea Califano for his election today in the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in health and medicine. A pioneer in systems biology, Dr. Califano has directed the conversation about cancer research away from focusing solely on gene mutations, and examines the complex and tumor-specific molecular interaction networks that determine cancer cell behavior.
Hyundai Awards Columbia $2.5M Grant for Pediatric Cancer Research
A team of researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center has recently been awarded a five-year $2.5 million grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels to fund innovative pediatric cancer research, focusing on childhood cancers with poor prognosis. At Columbia, the team will target osteosarcoma, the most commonly diagnosed bone tumor in children and adolescents.
Matching Cancer Patients to Personalized Therapies
A novel N of 1 clinical trial at Columbia University is focusing on rare, untreatable malignancies that have progressed on multiple lines of therapy, with the goal of identifying and providing more effective, customized therapies for patients. The approach is grounded in a computational platform that enables accurate identification of proteins that represent critical tumor vulnerabilities and of the drug or drug combination that can most effectively disarm them.
Targeting the Engine Room of the Cancer Cell
Researchers at Columbia University, led by Dr. Andrea Califano, have developed an innovative computational framework that can support personalized cancer treatment by matching individual tumors with the drugs or drug combinations that are most likely to kill them. The new study details a proof of concept for an analytical platform applicable to any cancer type and validates its predictions on GEP-NET tumors.