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Georgia Tech Establishes a New Research Center Focused on Cancer

Seven different schools and departments join together to form the new Integrated Cancer Research Center.

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The human cell, like all robust systems, is highly integrated. Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech, which has had a long-standing history in cancer research, announces a new Intergrated Cancer Research Center which will bring together 48 biologists, bioengineers, chemists and physicists from seven different schools and departments, to take new innovative approaches to basic cancer research. John McDonald, PhD, professor of biology in the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB), will head the new center.

“The mission of the Integrated Cancer Research Center is to facilitate integration of the diversity of technological, computational, scientific and medical expertise at Georgia Tech and partner institutions in a coordinated effort to develop improved cancer diagnostics and therapeutics,” McDonald explained.

For years, the study of cancer has been concentrated at major medical research institutions and cancer research has been traditionally viewed as falling exclusively within the bailiwick of the biological sciences. This is now changing for the better, according to McDonald.

“We are at a truly exciting crossroads in the history of cancer research where molecular biology, the computational sciences, engineering and nanotechnology are joining together in a unified effort to develop more effective cancer diagnostics and therapeutics,” added McDonald.

New high-throughput methods to molecularly characterize cancer cells have, in recent years, lead to tremendous strides in the development of novel diagnostics and the identification of new molecular targets for therapeutic intervention.

On the computational side, recently developed algorithms customized for the analysis of genomic, proteomic and other high volume datasets are providing a level of insight into cellular complexities never before imagined. The number of new technologies and devices arising from the fields of biomedical engineering and nanotechnology that have potential application to the area of cancer biology has tremendous promise.

McDonald’s enthusiasm for the new cancer center is shared by Robert Guldberg, PhD, executive director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience.

“Georgia Tech, particularly researchers throughout the IBB community, have been leaders in the development of collaborative approaches to both cancer diagnostics and therapeutics,” Guldberg explained. “This new center will bring together researchers from a wide-variety of backgrounds to tackle complex research problems in new and exciting ways.”

Visit the new Intergrated Cancer Research Center website