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Engineering center to probe forces that cause cancer to spread
Date:10/26/2009

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology have been awarded $14.8 million from the National Cancer Institute to launch a research center aimed at unraveling the physical underpinnings of the growth and spread of cancer.

The new Johns Hopkins Engineering in Oncology Center at INBT includes 11 Johns Hopkins faculty members affiliated with the INBT and four from partner universities. The project's participants say that they hope this new line of research will lead to never-before-considered approaches to cancer therapy and diagnostics.

The Johns Hopkins center is one of 12 being launched by the National Cancer Institute to bring a new cadre of theoretical physicists, mathematicians, chemists and engineers to the study of cancer. During the five-year initiative, the NCI's Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers will take new, nontraditional approaches to cancer research by studying the physical laws and principles of cancer; evolution and evolutionary theory of cancer; information coding, decoding, transfer and translation in cancer; and ways to deconvolute cancer's complexity.

"By bringing a fresh set of eyes to the study of cancer, these new centers have great potential to advance, and sometimes challenge, accepted theories about cancer and its supportive microenvironment," NCI Director John E. Niederhuber said.

The NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, will allocate the Johns Hopkins-based Engineering in Oncology Center's funding over five years. As the name of the center suggests, the researchers will look at how physical sciences play a role in the way cancer spreads, commonly called metastasis.

"Physical scientists think in terms of time, space, pressure, heat and evolution in ways that we hope will lead to new understandings of the multitude of forces that govern cancer," Niederhuber said, "and with that understanding, we hope to develop new and innovative methods of arresting
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Contact: Mary Spiro
mspiro@jhu.edu
410-516-4802
Johns Hopkins University
Source:Eurekalert

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