Principal Investigator – Novel Paradigm in Cancer Etiology, Its Relationship with Aging, and Novel Methods for Cancer Early Detection
$1,335,319 (direct) – The John Templeton Foundation (12/2016 – 11/2019)
Description: The core objective of this project is to answer some fundamental human health questions. What causes cancer? Can we predict cancer risk in a tissue? Can we systematically, non-invasively, and economically detect cancer at an early stage? What are the effects of aging on the cell dynamics within our tissues? Currently, and somewhat strikingly, we do not know the answers to these questions. Specifically, we do not know the causes behind a large proportion of cancer cases (~60%). There is also no model for cancer risk prediction based on integrating sequencing, clinical, and tissue-specific data. There are no well-established early detection methodologies for cancer screening based on sequencing cell-free DNA. And the temporal dynamics of the effect of aging on cell division rates in healthy tissues and cancer is not known. Yet the answers to these questions may cause a fundamental paradigm shift in cancer research, with critical consequences for: (a) the direction of future cancer research efforts, (b) public health policies on cancer prevention and screening, and (c) the way cancer is presented to and understood by the general public.
Principal Investigator – Bioinformatic Basis of a Novel Blood Test for the Early Detection of Cancer
The Marcus Foundation (1/2017 – 12/2018)
Description: This is one of four components of a large grant over 5 years ($15 millions for the first two years) to develop a new blood test for the earlier detection of cancer.