Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.
Technologies Available / Used at U-M Biomedical Engineering:
- Gene and drug delivery
- Oncogenic signaling and therapeutic mechanisms
- Single-cell analysis
- Multi-Scale computational modeling
Relevant Research from UM-BME Faculty
Dr. Mohammad Fallahi Sichani – Targeting the origins of phenotype switching to overcome heterogenous drug-resistant tumor cells
The discovery of driver oncogenes provides new opportunities for the development of molecularly targeted cancer therapies. However, patient benefit is often temporary and limited by drug adaptation and resistance. Phenotype switching following oncogene inhibition generates sub-populations of reversibly adapted cells that limit drug efficacy and constitute a reservoir from which stably resistant clones are ultimately selected and drive disease progression. Preventing therapeutic adaptation is likely key to durable therapy; it requires: 1) a system-wide understanding of the molecular networks involved in adaptive drug responses, and 2) single-cell understanding of how they regulate the fate of a tumor cell. We utilize a fusion of experimental and computational techniques to identify molecular drivers of phenotype switching and adaptation, and predict and test efficient ways to block the heterogeneous populations of drug-resistant cells and selectively maximize tumor cell killing.