Scholars gather at Yale to advance systems approach to cancer

Scientists from across the region gathered June 17 for Advances in Systems Analysis of Aggressive Cancers, a symposium “celebrating science, interaction, and the research of junior scholars.” Hosted by the Yale Systems Biology Institute, the full day of presentations and discussions focused on research that has expanded in recent years to include over a dozen labs across Yale, Emory University and UCONN, and the many participants in the Cancer Systems Biology @ Yale program.

Through the program, partners from a broad spectrum of disciplines have come together to fight some of the deadliest forms of cancer with novel approaches supported by the National Cancer Institute. The work includes extensive outreach and connections with clinical departments, including neurosurgery, surgery and pathology.

In the USA cancer is the number one cause of death in 21 states, and is predicted to be the number one cause of death worldwide by 2030. Therapies remain expensive for the several hundred thousand people with central nervous system cancers in the United States.

“We are together today to understand not just exceptional research, but the next cancer therapies,” said keynote speaker Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, Chair of Neurologic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic and one of the country’s top neurosurgeons.

Through extensive collaborations with Andre Levchenko and scientists across Yale’s Systems Biology Institute, Quiñones-Hinojosa expressed optimism about the potential for future breakthroughs.

“You can only imagine the clinical impact we are having every single day through your research,” he said.

By Jon Atherton