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Biomedical applications

Associated VT Laboratories

The Virginia Tech Laboratories participating in the new systems biology cancer center are the Computational Bioinformatics and Bio-Imaging Laboratory and the Computational Cell Biology Laboratory.

ECE team part of new systems biology cancer center

ECE faculty members are part of a new $7.5 million Center for Cancer Systems Biology that is investigating the development and treatment of breast cancer, with a specific focus on the estrogen receptor in breast cells.

This protein determines which women will develop the most common kind of breast cancer and how they will fare during their treatment. The ultimate goal of the center, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is to develop more advanced and better-targeted treatments for the disease.

The new center is part of NCI’s Integrative Cancer Biology Program, which is the NCI’s primary effort in cancer systems biology, a field that is rapidly seen as an essential component in the future of cancer research. The center is lead by researchers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center, who are providing the experimental expertise. ECE’s Yue (Joseph) Wang and Jason Xuan of the Advanced Research Institute in Arlington, are providing the bioinformatic analysis of the data; and ECE’s Bill Baumann and John Tyson of biology will build the mathematical models. Guided by the experimental findings and the predictions of the mathematical models, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center of Philadelphia will test what happens when specific genes and proteins are knocked out.