USC Physical Sciences in Oncology Monthly Seminar Series

11/15/2013: 11:45AM

Health Sciences Campus
Clinical Sciences Building (Map)
Harkness Auditorium #250


A lecture from Peter Kuhn, PhD: Time as the Fourth Dimension of Cancer Complexity Tumor heterogeneity is the result of both genomic instabilities and mircoenvironmental adaptations under both natural evolution of the disease and treatment pressures. Heterogeneity is mostly evaluated at the cellular level considering the individual cell as the biological unit. We have established a framework of single cell analyses that can integrate high content data at the phenotypic and genotypic level. The number of biological units/single cells analyzed provides the measure of resolution of the quantified heterogeneity. The high-content analysis utilizes the high-definition circulating tumor cell (HD-CTC) assay, which provides for an enrichment-free approach to identify and characterize rare cells. We utilized the HD-CTC assay to study protein biomarker expression combined with single-nucleus sequencing for genome-wide analysis of copy number variation (CNV) in fluid and solid biopsies with sequential sampling over the course of disease evolution. Standardized sample preparation methods that enables quantitative comparisons of multiple specimen types both intra- and inter-patient as well as along the timeline of cancer evolution.

USC was selected to establish a $16 million cancer research center as part of a new strategy against the disease by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and its National Cancer Institute. The new center is one of 12 in the nation to receive the designation. During the five-year initiative, the Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers will take new, nontraditional approaches to cancer research by studying the physical laws and principles of cancer; evolution and the evolutionary theory of cancer; information coding, decoding, transfer and translation in cancer; and ways to de-convolute cancer's complexity. As part of the outreach component of this grant, the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine is hosting a monthly seminar series.