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Stanford Wins $12.8M NCI Award Toward New Center for Cancer Systems Biology

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Stanford University's School of Medicine will use a five-year, $12.8 million award from the National Cancer Institute to establish a Center for Cancer Systems Biology.

The new center will combine biological and computational research to reconstruct molecular networks in the study of adult myeloid leukemia, follicular lymphoma, T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and other non-solid tumors.

The center will also establish resources for complex data analysis and an education and outreach component targeted to Stanford's cancer research community and the broader community, the medical school said in a statement.

Sylvia Plevritis, associate professor of radiology at the med school, is the director of the new center, with Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology, serving as co-director.

Other Stanford faculty and researchers within the center include Ron Levy, professor of medicine-oncology; Dean Felsher, associate professor of medicine-oncology and pathology; Ravi Majeti, assistant professor of medicine-hematology; computer science professors David Dill and Daphne Koller; Robert Tibshirani, associate chairman and professor of health research and policy, and statistics; genomics researcher Andrew Gentles; and mathematics professor Gunnar Carlsson.

"We want to understand the regulators of differentiation and how they contribute to what we think of as a hierarchical structure of cancer. We suspect that cancer manifests itself in a cellular organization that emerges from the disregulation of normal cellular differentiation processes," Plevritis said in the statement.

Back in 2004, Plevritis joined with colleagues in applying for and receiving a preliminary round of funding from the NCI to support a planning effort for a full-scale center.

Stanford is one of 12 institutions that comprise the core of the NCI’s Integrative Cancer Biology Program, under which they received funding for new centers intended to use integrative systems approaches and apply computational modeling toward cancer research.

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