May 27, 2024

Thematic Program on Mathematical and Quantitative Oncology
July - August 2008

Organizing Committee:
S. Sivaloganathan, Chair (Waterloo & CMM)
L. Estrada (VICBC)
M. Kohandel (Waterloo & CMM)
I. Pressman (Carleton & CMM)
H.M. Zhu

Scientific Advisory Committee:
A. Friedman (Director Math Biosciences Institute, Ohio)
T. Hudson (Director OICR, Toronto)
P. Maini (Director, Centre for Math Biology, Oxford)
M. Milosevic (Head of Research Radiation Oncology (PMH), Toronto)
V. Quaranta (Director VICBC)
S. Sivaloganathan (Director, Centre for Math Medicine)
J. Tuszynski (Allard Chair in Experiment. Oncology, Cross Cancer Inst.)
G. Webb (Mathematics, Vanderbilt)

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The thematic programme will be co-ordinated by the Centre for Mathematical Medicine (CMM) at the Fields Institute, the Vanderbilt Integrative Cancer Biology Center (VICBC) and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). In order to create the maximum level of continuity and coherence as the programme evolves, we propose to have a number of themes running throughout the 2-month focus period. The scientific content of each of these themes would be overseen by one of the members of the organising committee (under guidance from the scientific advisory committee) but principally by 2-4 specialist programme participants that include experts in each of the theme areas. The program would start and end with 2 international workshops encompassing the overall themes.

Outline of Scientific Activities

See Graduate courses for details

Fridays, (11am-1:30pm, starting July 11)
Introduction to Mathematical Oncology
Instructors: M. Kohandel, S. Sivaloganathan

Medical Image Processing
Instructors: C. Drapaca, C. Studholme, H. Zhu.

Workshops and Summer School

There will be two international workshop in each month of the 2-month thematic program. The first of these workshops will scheduled to take place at the beginning of the program in July, with the second scheduled towards the end of the program in August.

July 2-4, 2008,
Workshop on Growth and Control of Tumors: Theory and Experiment
Organizing Committee: M. Kohandel, P. Maini, S. Sivaloganathan, K. Swanson

August 2-6, 2008
VICBC Summer School on Integrative Cancer Biology
"Current Challenges in Oncology, through the Mathematical Looking Glass"
Organizing Committee
(Vanderbilt): A. Anderson, P. Crooke, L. Matrisian, L. Estrada, G. Webb and V. Quaranta
(Waterloo): M. Kohandel, S. Sivaloganathan

August 25-27, 2008
Workshop on Quantitative Cancer Modelling: Mathematical Models, Imaging and Bioinformatics
Organizing Committee: Hongmei Zhu, Corina Drapaca, Mike Milosovic, Siv Sivaloganathan

Coxeter Lecture Series

August 6-8, 2008
Professor Martin Nowak (Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University) will deliver the Coxeter Lecture Series. One of these lectures will be accessible to a broad audience (i.e. basic scientists, clinicians and mathematical scientists) whilst the other two may be of a more specialized nature related to the thematic program.

Research Seminars

Visitors will be invited to speak in a weekly research seminar. There will also be a working seminar, open to all but directed mainly at the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in attendance, providing an opportunity for them to present research papers and discuss research topics of current interest.

Program Research Themes

1. Mathematical/Quantitative Oncology:
Co-ordinators: M. Kohandel (Waterloo), P. Maini (Oxford), K.Swanson (Washington)

This will address a broad number of issues in oncology. Amongst them, the development of models that incorporate the effects of various processes on drug delivery to tumour sites and that help identify treatment protocols and regimens that will result in the most effective drug concentrations and residence time in the target tissue areas. Another focal point will be the development of mathematical models linking the effective drug concentration in tumour cells with molecular targets (in a time and concentration dependent manner) which are needed to improve our understanding of drug-target interaction. Another focus area of potentially enormous practical interest is the modelling and optimisation of chemotherapy and radiotherapy protocols. Mathematical models are required to improve understanding of the dynamic interplay between various processes and to translate these to clinical applications. Several other areas of focus would include mathematically driven experimental oncology, evolutionary models of carcinogenesis as well as organ models (brain, breast, prostate, ovarian, colorectal cancers). These challenges, as always, will lead to new mathematics and computational tools and generate new problems. Specific topics to be addressed during this focus period include:

(1)Integration of multiscale/multilevel data
Core group: P. Maini (Oxford), A. Anderson (Dundee), H. Byrne (Nottingham), V. Quaranta (Vanderbilt), G. Webb (Vanderbilt)

(2)Multiphase and mechanical aspects of tumour biology
Core group: M. Chaplain (Dundee), H. Byrne (Nottingham), A. Stephanou (Grenoble), T. Roose (Oxford), L. Preziosi (Torino), Z. Agur (IMBM).

2. Bioinformatics:
Co-ordinators: M. Li (Waterloo), I. Jurisica (OCI)

The "molecular revolution" of the last two decades, spurred on particularly from the impetus provided by the genome projects, has inundated the field with an over abundance of data but done little to remedy the paucity of relevant mathematical models and techniques. Recent advances in computational statistics have heralded the possibility of vast improvements in the quality of statistical analyses. Coupled with this, the problems in analysing the flood of molecular genetic sequences and structures has raised a range of challenging biomathematical topics. These draw on a variety of sub-branches including stochastic processes, probabilistic modelling, statistical data analysis, neural networks, genetic algorithms and expert systems. This theme will encompass several areas including the analysis of gene expression data, regulatory networks and computational proteomics as well as other emerging areas.
Specific topics to be addressed during this focus period include:

1) Protein structure prediction and refinement
Core group: D. Baker (Washington), B. Berger (MIT), M. Li (Waterloo), J. Skolnick (Georgia Tech), J. Xu (Toyota Institute, Chicago), Y. Zhang (Kansas), J. Tuszynski (Cross Cancer Inst., Alberta).

2) New algorithms to annotate genes and other functionally active parts of the genome
Core group: A. Condon (UBC), H. Hoos (UBC), M. Li (Waterloo), C. Sahinalp (SFU), L. Stacho (SFU), K. Zhang (UWO)

(3) Modelling and analysis in the discovery and characterisation of genes that influence susceptibility to various cancers
Core group: M. Corey (Toronto), G. Darlington (Guelph), J. Graham (SFU), C. Greenwood (Toronto),
K. Morgan (McGill), B. Smith (Dalhousie), D. Tritchler (Toronto), S. Bull (Mt. Sinai).

3. Medical Imaging and Related Treatment Modalities:
Co-ordinators: C. Drapaca (Penn State), H.M.Zhu (York), M. Milosevic(PMH)

Modern technology coupled with the mathematical sciences holds the very real promise of providing quantitative imaging information about structures/phenomena, hithertofore thought to be inaccessible to imaging. There is also potential to build up information based on the synthesis and fusion of multiple imaging modalities. Thus this theme will focus on a number of topics including new computational techniques and algorithms for 3D imaging as well as inverse problems, magnetic resonance elastography, tomography, PDES and conformal maps.
Specific topics to be addressed during this focus period include:

(1) Precision in radiation therapy - accounting for organ/tissue motion and Computational challenges in radiation oncology
Core group: K. Brock (PMH), T. Chan (MIT), J. Deasy (Washington, St. Louis), E. Lee (Georgia Tech), D. Jaffray (PMH), L. Xing (Stanford), M. Milosevic (PMH)

(2) Determination of the mechanical properties of tumours and abnormal tissue using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)
Core group: C. Drapaca (Mayo), I. Sack (Berlin), C. MacGowan (Sick Kids), A. Samani (UWO), C. Luginbuhl (Sunnybrook &Womens Hosp), D.B. Plewes (Toronto), A. Manduca (Mayo), E. Van Houten (Dartmouth), R. Muthupillai (Houston), J. Sciaretta (Toronto)

Affiliated Activities

July 30-August 2, 2008
Society for Mathematical Biology (SMB) Conference

Hosted by the Centre for Mathematical Medicine (CMM) . This is one of the premier conferences on mathematics in biology and the biomedical sciences. This conference will integrate into the activities of the thematic program with Cancer being one of the major themes of the conference. This will take place July 30-August 2, 2008 at the University of Toronto.

Apply to the Program:

All scientific events are open to the mathematical sciences community. Visitors who are interested in office space or funding are requested to apply by filling out the application form. Additional support is available (pending NSF funding) to support junior US visitors to this program. Fields scientific programs are devoted to research in the mathematical sciences, and enhanced graduate and post-doctoral training opportunities. Part of the mandate of the Institute is to broaden and enlarge the community, and to encourage the participation of women and members of visible minority groups in our scientific programs.

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