Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (MIT PS-OC) will assemble renowned investigators from cancer biology, experimental physics/engineering and theoretical/computational physics to address critical issues in cancer biology. These investigators will employ experimental and theoretical approaches to construct innovative technology and analytical and computational tools to explore the process of carcinogenesis at the single cell level. This group theorizes that the intersection of these varied disciplines will yield major breakthroughs in the principles of cancer formation. These investigators will utilize pioneering single-cell mRNA counting techniques to model stem cell differentiation and reprogramming signaling networks as well as to probe the connection between cell growth and the cell cycle. Gene expression of various transcripts in individual cells will be surveyed over time to measure the quantity and pattern during these processes. Likewise, Ras-regulated signaling networks and neoplastic progression will be explored and used to establish computational models. Overall, these studies will provide a better understanding of the complexity of cancer and should facilitate the discovery of novel therapeutic targets.