Center for Regulatory Networks in Cancer Initiation and Progression

Integrative Cancer Biology Program

Established with funding by the National Cancer Institute (NCI, the Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP) is an initiative designed to gain new insights into the development and progression of cancer through a systems-wide approach. NCI's goal is that ICBP will take advantage of the explosion in research and technology to comprehensively weave together the disparate pieces of knowledge and reveal how cancer develops and progresses within the context of the human system.

ResearchAn integrative and multi-disciplinary effort among all fields of cancer research will be applied, incorporating a spectrum of new technologies such as genomics, proteomics, and molecular imaging, to generate computer and mathematical models that could help elucidate the cancer process. Research conducted through the ICBP could ultimately lead to the development of improved cancer interventions.

ICBP will focuses on three main research projects: cell proliferation, DNA repair and cell migration. These processes are involved in cancer initiation and progression.

The NCI grant also includes funds for the establishment of two core research resources at the Institute that are planned to support the projects in a cost-effective fashion. The Bioinformatics, Computation and Modeling Resource will provide expert bioinformatics support for data analysis and data mining by scientists working in the individual projects as well as high-end computation that will be essential for handling the large volumes of data that will be subjected to computational modeling.

The second resource will develop RNA interference (RNAi) technology and will provide RNAi reagents, advice, and assistance to enable individual projects to test modeling predictions in both cellular and animal systems.

A final essential component of the ICBP provides funding for education and outreach initiatives. Funds are included for graduate student training, pilot programs for post-doctoral researchers and support for courses taught through the MIT Computational and Systems Biology Initiative.

The outreach effort will involve making the models and data accessible to the larger cancer research community, enabling other scientists to validate the usefulness of the ICBP models as a predictive tool. One important collaborator will be NCI’s cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) program, which will coordinate all the bioinformatics software needed by ICBP and provide NCI’s research partners access to the information generated by ICBP centers.

Principal Investigator

+ Douglas Lauffenburger, Ph.D.
Whitaker Professor of Biological Engineering and Biology
Head, Department of Biological Engineering

Co-Principal Investigator

+ Richard O Hynes, Ph.D.
Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology