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NCI Providing $22.5M for Systems Bio Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute will give $22.5 million a year to fund nine different cancer research centers that will serve as the core of its Integrative Cancer Biology Program.

These Centers for Cancer Systems Biology may receive up to $2 million per year in direct costs for up to five years to conduct interdisciplinary research that will couple systems biology with computational methods.

The CCSBs that are proposed for funding under the program must focus on three areas, including experimental systems biology, mathematical modeling and/or computer simulation focused on basic or translational research, and educational and outreach efforts that fit the center's goals.

The goal is to use these methods to conduct investigations into cancer biology, experimental therapeutics, early interventions, and cancer susceptibility. These centers also will develop an integrated educational and training program to enhance and further develop the field, and they will be tasked with working collaboratively with other NCI centers and programs. They will aim to develop "reliably predictive in silico or computational models of aspects of cancer initiation and progression" that could provide better understanding or help in managing the disease.

The specific research areas the CCSBs will target include gene expression including epigenetic, transcriptional, and translational control systems; metabolic networks and the control of the flux of substrates, intermediates, and products in cell physiology and cancer-related pathology; signaling networks and regulatory dynamics of cellular processes; cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions involved in tumor microenvironment; temporal processes, such as cancer initiation and progression; host systems, such as tumor immunology and drug processing; and other research areas.

More information about the Cancer Centers for Systems Biology program is available on NIH's funding announcement website.

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