Integrative Cancer
Biology Program

MIT was awarded an NCI Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP) grant in 2004, for the period September 2004 through February 2010. This grant catalyzed formation of a community of faculty, postdoctoral associates, graduate students, and undergraduate students having the common goal of developing and effectively applying systems biology approaches to fundamental problems in cancer biology and therapy.

The MIT ICBP community comprises an interdisciplinary faculty from multiple departments in the MIT Schools of Science (mainly Biology and Chemistry) and Engineering (mainly Biological Engineering and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science) as well as the HMS Department of Systems Biology. Students/postdocs are drawn from these departments along with the interdepartmental MIT Computational & Systems Biology graduate program. Most participating investigators are also members of Koch Institute.

Objective 1 - Cancer Research: Advance the development and application of new systems biology approaches to cancer research in three significant scientific areas (mitogenesis, migration, and DNA damage/repair) and improve corresponding approaches for discovery and use of cancer therapies. 

Objective 2 - Education: Train a new generation of young research leaders comfortable at the interdisciplinary interface between experimental molecular/cell biology and quantitative modeling in key areas of basic and applied cancer research.

Objective 3 - Collaboration and Outreach: Serve the general cancer biology community by acting as a collaborative partner that brings new ideas and methods to a wide community of investigators regardless of institutional affiliation.

To learn more, visit the ICBP@MIT Web site.

In March 2010, the Koch Institute received NCI funding to become a Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB). These centers are part of NCI’s Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP). The purpose of the NCI CCSB initiative is: "to stimulate the development and application of the integrative systems approaches and mathematical/computational modeling to cancer research... specifically in the areas of (a) cancer biology; (b) experimental therapeutics; (c) early interventions; and (d) cancer susceptibility."

The efforts of our MIT ICBP/CCSB, now entitled the 'Tumor Cell Networks Center' (TCNC), focus primarily on Area (a) cancer biology, with intersection into Area (b) experimental therapeutics. The TCNC comprises three multi-investigator research projects and cores in Computational Modeling and in Education/Outreach:

Project 1 - Mitogenesis Networks

Project 2 - Migration Networks

Project 3 - DNA Repair Networks

Core 1 - Computational Modeling

Core 2 - Education & Outreach

Principal Investigator: Douglas Lauffenburger, Ph.D.        Co-Principal Investigator: Michael Yaffe, M.D., Ph.D.