278890 Systems Biology of Cancer Signaling and Metabolism

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Nicholas A. Graham, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Biology has become a multiparameter, information-based science thanks to new measurement technologies (eg, genome-wide microarrays, mass spectrometry-based proteomics). This transformation has enabled an integrated, systems description of disease that bridges traditional biology and quantitative sciences. I am passionate about the power of quantitative systems biology to uncover novel biology and suggest new therapeutic routes, with a particular focus on cancer.

My graduate research at Caltech focused on crosstalk within biomolecular signaling networks and how these signaling networks interpret and process local cues to make decisions about fundamental cellular behaviors such as proliferation.  These studies provided a foundation for my postdoctoral studies at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in the systems analysis of cancer, with particular focus on the links between signaling and metabolism.

Here, I will present two studies from my postdoctoral research:  i) a systems analysis of crosstalk between glucose metabolism and tyrosine kinase signaling, uncovering a positive feedback loop by which metabolic perturbations lead to cell death, ii) development and application of a bioinformatic approach (self-organizing maps) to analyze multiparameter, single-cell data from a microfluidic device.

My future research will continue to synthesize my training in engineering and biological systems.  I will focus on the integration of genomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques to create systems models of disease.  The future of biological research will require investigators who can synthesize and integrate quantitative biological data to generate novel biological insights, and my training in chemical engineering, biological sciences and bioinformatics has positioned me to become one of these interdisciplinary researchers.

PhD: California Institute of Technology (2007), Advisor Anand R. Asthagiri

Postdoc:  University of California, Los Angeles, Advisor Thomas G. Graeber

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