In the last years, technological developments in biology, computational sciences and nanotechnology have allowed the emergence of the new and rapidly evolving field of systems biology. Whereas classical reductionist methods address complex biological questions by breaking them down into individual components, systems biology proposes an alternative approach where the properties of networks of interacting proteins, nucleic acids and biochemical reactions are instead studied as a whole. Thus, systems biology has the potential to provide a more comprehensive understanding of complex biological systems, going beyond the sum of individual parts. This is especially relevant to Cancer, which is a complex disease that involves multiple molecular networks, and interacts massively with its microenvironment. Systems biology offers promising avenues to resolve challenging questions in cancer biology where reductionist methods still struggle to provide us with answers.
The Systems Biology in Cancer & Immunology Symposium (SysBio) is an initiative of IRIC’s students. The aim of SysBio is to provide a forum to improve communication between different disciplines and to help foster an interest in systems biology. The event involves 2 days of seminars given by high profile local and international researchers. The seminars are grouped into 4 different themes: Cancer Systems Biology, Cell Engineering Approaches to Cancer, Systems Biology in Clinical & Pharmaceutical Applications and Systems Immunology. A poster session is also scheduled to allow participants to present their work and exchange ideas with experts in the field. 1st year graduate students attending IRIC’s Systems Biology summer course will also be invited to attend the SysBio symposium as a complement to their regular summer course.
The SysBio committee would like to thank our sponsor, VWR as well as the CIHR for providing funding for this event, and IRIC for hosting the SysBio meeting. We also thank Dr. Driss Rochdi for the design of the SysBio banner and Jean-Philippe Laverdure for help with the website registration system.
The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
Dedicated to immunology and cancer research, IRIC is led by an outstanding group of scientists from Canada, Europe and the United States and engages in ambitious cross-disciplinary collaborations to tackle some of the most important obstacles to human health.
IRIC opened its doors in spring 2005 and it is expected to double in size over the coming years, bringing together some 40 research teams—for a total of some 500 scientists, postdoctoral trainees, graduate students and professionals—by the end of the decade.