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Assessment of Physical Sciences and Engineering Advances in Life Sciences and Oncology (APHELION)

 

Sponsors

 

National Cancer Institute


National Science Foundation

 

 

Final Report (pdf)

 

FINAL WORKSHOP

 

A panel of some of America's top experts on the application of physical science concepts to biological systems presented their findings from study tours of top European and Asian labs in a workshop and webcast held at the National Institutes of Health on November 21, 2013.
The study aimed to determine the status and trends of research and development whereby physical sciences and engineering principles are being applied to life sciences, cancer research and oncology in leading laboratories and organizations via an on-site peer review process in Europe and Asia. The panel assesed general progress in the field, and compared the relative positions of nations. .

 

To log in to the archived webcast click here (registration required)

 

Workshop agenda

 

 

PROJECT SUMMARY

 

This document describes a plan to complete the final part of an interagency agreement to conduct an international study led by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with nearly equal co-sponsorship from the NSF and National Cancer Institute (NCI) Office of Physical Sciences – Oncology (OPSO) as well as some support from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which is titled Assessment of PHysical sciences and Engineering advances in LIfe sciences and ONcology (APHELION). The APHELION is aimed at determining the status and trends of research and development whereby physical sciences and engineering principles are being applied to life sciences, cancer research and oncology in leading laboratories and organizations via an on-site peer review process in Europe and Asia. The NSF has an existing cooperative agreement with the World Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC), Inc. under which the study will be conducted. APHELION in Europe was completed in August 2012. The final report is available at: www.wtec.org/aphelion. Also, the findings from Europe were presented at a public workshop, which is viewable at: www.tvworldwide.com/events/nih/120612/. APHELION in Asia is planned to be conducted from April 1, 2013 – March 1, 2014 with support from nearly equal partnerships between the NSF Directorates of Engineering (ENG) and Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) and the NCI OPSO with some support from NIBIB.

 

The NSF has long had a role in maintaining the general health of science and education across a range of universities and other organizations and has been deeply involved in funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. The NCI OPSO serves as a nexus for the development and implementation of physical science-based initiatives to enable progress in cancer research for the NCI and its integration across trans-NCI, trans-NIH, and inter-agency activities. The NSF and OPSO have shared interests in the areas of integration of physical sciences and engineering with life sciences and oncology. In fact, recently, the NSF and OPSO have collaborated on a funding opportunity titled Physical and Engineering Sciences in Oncology (PESO) Awards (also known as the Physical and LIfe sciences Early Research (PLIER) Awards; http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12514/nsf12514.htm). The APHELION study is relevant to program areas in both the NSF and OPSO, and findings from this study can be used to make informative programmatic decisions and also be of use to the scientific research community.

 

The rationale for nearly equal participation by the OPSO in the APHELION study with NSF and partial support by NIBIB is based on the premise that significant advances may be expected as the result of continued investments in inter- and multi-disciplinary research at the intersection of the engineering/physical sciences and the life sciences. The field of cancer biology is one that has been dominated, historically, by researchers with classical training in the basic and clinical life sciences. More recently, the field has expanded to include physical and engineering scientists, whose background and expertise are complementary to those possessed by life scientists, leading to the recognition that significant advancements in the fundamental understanding of cancer diseases are possible through multidisciplinary research that involves experts in chemistry, physics, mathematics, computational physics, materials science, and manifold engineering disciplines. Emerging and burgeoning opportunities for collaborative research at the intersection of the physical/engineering sciences and the life sciences have been identified through several NSF and OPSO workshops over the past few years. In addition to the collaborative funding with NSF for the PESO awards, the OPSO launched a program to bring new perspectives from the physical sciences to cancer biology and oncology in 2009. This Physical Sciences – Oncology Centers (PS-OC) Program is in its fourth year of implementation and the OPSO will use the study to help develop relevant and novel funding concepts to further the mission of the NCI. Specifically, the OPSO seeks novel research concepts at the interface of engineering/physical sciences and the life sciences with a focus on advancing the fundamental understanding of cancer biology to underpin translational research that promotes the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer diseases.

 

PROJECT BACKGROUND

 

The NSF currently has an umbrella cooperative agreement awarded to WTEC, Inc. to facilitate the assessment of research in engineering and science worldwide with the aim of maintaining U.S. leadership in these areas. WTEC is a non-profit research institute, which conducts international research assessment studies for the NSF, NIH, DOD, and other Federal agencies--more than 60 to date.  Recent related studies include APHELION in Europe, Stem Cell Engineering, Nanotechnology Research Directions for Societal Needs in 2020, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Catalysis by Nanostructured Materials, Simulation-Based Engineering and Science, Rapid Vaccines Manufacturing, Tissue Engineering, and Systems Biology.

 

In a strategy to bring different, yet complementary, insights to cancer research by applying approaches and perspectives from the physical sciences and engineering, the NSF, in collaboration with OPSO, recently awarded the PESO research projects, which lie at this interface. Also, the OPSO launched an initiative in 2009 teaming physical scientists with cancer researchers where twelve teams formed the Physical Sciences – Oncology Center (PS-OC) Network with a common goal of integrating physical science perspectives to address important questions in cancer research. Besides bringing advanced technologies and tools, which has been their major contribution to cancer research in the past, physical scientists formulate and approach problems in a unique way, potentially providing an opportunity for this perspective to shed complementary insight into the disease.

 

Examples of concepts being explored by the NSF through the PESO awards are cancer cell mechanics to study cancer phenotyping, matrix mechanics to study cancer cell migration, engineering approaches to understand cancer metabolism, and engineered platforms to test the seed/soil hypothesis of cancer metastasis. Additional examples of related concepts being pursued by OPSO through its PS-OC Program are: (1) Applying physics and engineering laws and principles to cancer by defining the role of thermodynamics and mechanics in metastasis and determining how this knowledge might be employed in new intervention strategies; (2) Applying evolution and evolutionary theory to cancer by developing a comprehensive theoretical inclusive construct that would provide a foundation for understanding and predicting cancer heterogeneity; (3) Applying information theory to cancer by pursuing theoretical and supportive experimental approaches that define what information is and how it is decoded and managed in terms of cell signaling and contextual information translation in cancer; and (4) Deconvoluting cancer’s complexity by pursuing theoretical and experimental approaches from the physical sciences to cancer complexity that will inform a new fundamental level of understanding of cancer that may facilitate prediction of viable pathways to develop novel interventions.

 

PURPOSE

 

The objective of this joint study with the NSF, NCI OPSO, and NIBIB is to utilize an expert panel consisting of prominent scientists in the field of applying physical sciences and engineering perspectives/principles to oncology and other biomedical areas to conduct site visits at overseas institutions. The study is titled Assessment of PHysical sciences and Engineering advances in LIfe sciences and ONcology (APHELION). The findings of the APHELION will result in briefings to the sponsors, public workshops and final reports that will collectively provide a comprehensive, peer-reviewed set of evaluations of physical sciences-oncology research overseas in comparison to research being conducted in the U.S.

 

SCOPE OF WORK

 

WTEC shall conduct the international assessment of the current status and trends of the application of physical sciences and engineering concepts to cancer biology, oncology and other biomedical research areas.  The objectives of an international assessment would be to:

 

  • Guide and justify U.S. research investments
  • Look for good ideas abroad (technology transfer, improving U.S. programs)
  • Look for opportunities for cooperation and collaboration
  • Compare U.S. R&D with that abroad.

 

The study panel, under the guidance of the sponsors, will be instrumental in helping to develop a definitive scope of the study. Among these objectives related to the proposed study are:

 

  • Information Transfer in Cancer and other Biomedical research areas through an Evolutionary Lens
    • Can novel therapeutic strategies be developed based on increasing the genetic load of mutations in diseased cell population (e.g. cancer) that will lead to extinction of this population?
    • What genetic and epigenetic features define a cancer stem cell?
    • Do oncogenic mutations confer self-renewal to cells?
    • What is a gene and how is it regulated in time and space?
  • Time Domain of Cancer Metastasis and other Diseases with Therapy
    • Is the fluid phase biopsy of solid tumors an accurate real-time representation of the disease over the course of the patient’s lifetime?
    • How does the heterogeneity of a tumor or other diseased tissue impact drug response?
  • Mechanics in Health and Disease
    • Is Mechano-therapy of disease such as cancer possible?
    • “Follow the genes” is the dominant paradigm. Can we develop a complementary “follow the physics” approach?
    • What is role of forces in cancer metastasis?
    • Can lessons learned from the roles that cell and tissue mechanics play in developmental biology be applied to disease initiation and progression (e.g. in cancer)?
  • Physical Parameters of Cells, Microenvironment, and Host
    • How does a cell change its genetic, epigenomic and metabolomic signature, as it becomes "successful" e.g. invasive, metastatic?
    • How do physical cues derail a cell’s evolution into disease (e.g. cancer, heart, lung)? 
    • Can approaches used in tissue engineering such as decellularized tissues be used as in vitro or in vivo model systems to study disease (e.g. decellularized tumors to study cancer or metastasis)?
    • Is the transport oncophysics of the microenvironment what really matters?
    • What is the energy budget of a diseased cell (e.g. cancer) compared to a developing cell and a mature normal cell?
  • Understanding Physical Emergent Properties During Pathogenesis of Disease
    • How can we change the physical microenvironment (selective pressures) to prevent cancer?
    • Is cancer curable? Can it be controlled through manipulation of the microenvironment?
    • Why do tumors ultimately make a phase transition to a metastatic phenotype?
    • Could physical science tools be used to understand the molecular mechanisms of cellular collective behaviors in disease initiation and progression? The oscillatory dynamics? Pattern formation? Instability and fluctuations of biological phenomena?
  • Heart and Lung Disease – Connections to Cancer
    • What are the effects of shear stress from blood flow on the development of cardiovascular disease? How do patterns of shear stress, flow, and flow rates affect cell movement throughout the circulation?
    • What are the effects of pressure on lung epithelium in health and disease? Do changes in lung pressure affect cancer metastasis to the lung?
    • Can computational models of flow patterns of circulating tumor cells be used to predict sites of cancer metastasis?

 

The above list of topics were refined by the panel members in consultation with the sponsors from NSF, NCI OPSO and NIBIB at the study kick-off meeting that was held on February 1, 2012 at the NIH and are reflected in the APHELION Europe 2012 final report (www.wtec.org/aphelion)

 

TASKS

 

Task 1
WTEC, in consultation with study sponsors, shall select a panel of up to eight (8) U.S. experts (including the panel chair) in the field, who are familiar with international activities in the field.  The panel chair shall have sufficient stature in this field to command respect in recruitment of panelists, and make presentations of results to peers.  The chair also will have the necessary skills at leading a panel to efficiently conduct the study. 

 

Task 2
WTEC shall finalize a travel itinerary by April 30, 2013. A fact-finding trip to Asia shall be organized for the panel to visit centers of excellence in physical sciences and engineering applied to oncology and other biomedical research areas. The sites will include sponsoring organizations, as well as top labs.  Government observers will accompany the expert panel, to assist and gather information first hand. If the panel, in coordination with the study sponsors, deems that additional sites in Europe or continents other than Europe and Asia should be included in the study, WTEC shall attempt to generate further sponsorship to make the report as complete as possible. Due to the inability to travel to all countries where there is ongoing research in this area (such as India and Australia), per request by the study sponsors WTEC shall coordinate with other entities that are conducting similar fact-finding tours or workshops so that those countries identified as being important will be included in the final report.

 

Task 3
WTEC shall plan the site visits in Asia to be conducted on June 1-8, 2013.

 

Task 4
WTEC shall provide template site visit reports for each site visited to the study panel members and obtain draft site visit reports from the panel by July 2013.

 

Task 5
WTEC shall organize a workshop in the Washington, DC area for the presentation of the results by the beginning of November 2013.  Approximately 50 key participants from government and the private sector would be expected to attend a one-day discussion of the results.  Each panelist will make a 30-minute presentation with visual aids, and the chair will give an overall summary.  The workshop will be webcast to broaden its dissemination, including posting of the video for at least three years. 

 

Task 6
WTEC shall provide a template analytical report to the study panel members and obtain a comprehensive draft analytical report from the panel by December 2013.

 

Task 7
WTEC shall produce a final written report by February 2014, print and distribute 100 full color, bound hardcopies to study participants, hosts, and sponsors, and post the full report in color on the WTEC website.

 

Task 8

WTEC shall provide a Financial Status Report for the Asia study tour by February 2014.  The Financial Report shall indicate the total cost at completion of the Asia study tour and include the breakdown of costs for labor, travel, meetings, and other relevant categories. Additionally, WTEC shall disclose all co-sponsorship information for the APHELION study.

 

DELIVERABLES

 

The schedule for the study will be determined via teleconference by mutual agreement of the sponsors, the WTEC staff, and the panel members. The timeline shall be driven by a bound report deadline of February 1, 2014 for the study that will be conducted in Asia.

 

Deliverable

Deadline

Task 1: Selection of chair, panel members, and scientific advisors

April 2013

Task 2: Finalize the travel itinerary including sites and hotels

April 30, 2013

Task 3: Fact-finding trip to Asia

June 1-8, 2013

Task 4: Draft site reports from study in Asia

Early to mid-July 2013

Task 5: Final workshop APHELION Asia

November 2013

Task 6: Draft analytical report from study in Asia

December 2013

Task 7: Final written report from study in Asia

February 1, 2014

Task 8: Financial Report

February 1, 2014

 

Previous Content:

 

Cancer Institute
National Science Foundation
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

 


Final Report (pdf)


PROJECT SUMMARY

This document describes a plan for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Office of Physical Sciences – Oncology (OPSO) to participate in and co-sponsor a study led by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct an international Assessment of Physical sciences and Engineering advances in Life sciences and Oncology (APHELION). The APHELION is aimed at determining the status and trends of research and development whereby physical sciences and engineering principles are being applied to cancer research and oncology in leading laboratories and organizations via an on-site peer review process in Europe and Asia. The NSF has an existing contract with the World Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC), Inc. under which the study will be conducted.

The mission of the NCI is to conduct and foster cancer research; reviewing and approving grant-in-aid applications to support promising research projects on the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer; collecting, analyzing, and disseminating the results of cancer research conducted in the United States and in other countries; and providing training and instruction in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Over the years, NCI has evolved into the world's pre-eminent cancer research organization.

Under the leadership of the NCI Deputy Director, the Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives (CSSI) coordinates several efforts both within and outside of NCI to carry-out its function of supporting timely execution and implementation of activities that have trans-NCI benefit. Within the NCI, the CSSI houses (1) The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Program Office; (2) Office of Cancer Nanotechnology Research; (3) Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research; (4) Office of Physical Sciences-Oncology; (5) Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research; (6) Office of Cancer Genomics; (7) Knowledge Management and Special Projects Branch; (8) Center for Global Cancer Health Research. These offices support extramural research programs and lead standards and policy development initiatives with the goal of accelerating advances in biomedical technology and furthering the vision of personalized medicine.

The NCI Office of Physical Sciences-Oncology (OPSO) (1) serves as a nexus for the development and implementation of physical science-based initiatives to enable progress in cancer research for NCI and its integration across trans-NCI, trans-NIH, and inter-agency activities; (2) enables the development of discoveries and new fields of study based on the application of aspects of the physical sciences approaches to cancer research; (3) and facilitates the exploration of novel and innovative approaches to advance our understanding of the physical laws and principles that shape and govern the emergence and behavior of cancer at all scales.

The NSF has long had a role in maintaining the general health of science and education across a range of universities and other organizations and has been deeply involved in funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. Recently, the NSF and the NCI have collaborated on a funding opportunity titled Physical and Engineering Sciences in Oncology (PESO) Awards [also known as the Physical and Life Sciences Early Research (PLIER) Awards].

The rationale for the NCI OPSO participation in the APHELION with NSF is based on the premise that significant advances may be expected as the result of continued investments in inter- and multi-disciplinary research at the intersection of the engineering/physical sciences and the life sciences. The field of cancer biology is one that has been dominated, historically, by researchers with classical training in the basic and clinical life sciences. More recently, the field has expanded to include physical and engineering scientists, whose background and expertise are complementary to those possessed by life scientists, leading to the recognition that significant advancements in the fundamental understanding of cancer diseases are possible through multidisciplinary research that involves experts in chemistry, physics, materials science, and manifold engineering disciplines. Emerging and burgeoning opportunities for collaborative research at the intersection of the physical/engineering sciences and the life sciences have been identified through several NSF workshops over the past few years. Furthermore, the NCI launched a program to bring new perspectives from the physical sciences to cancer biology and oncology in 2009. The Physical Sciences – Oncology Centers (PS-OCs) Program is in its third year of implementation and the OPSO will use the study to help develop relevant and novel funding concepts to further the mission of the NCI. Specifically, the OPSO seek novel research concepts at the interface of engineering/physical sciences and the life sciences with a focus on advancing the fundamental understanding of cancer biology to underpin translational research that promotes the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer diseases.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

In 1971 President Nixon declared war on cancer, and much effort has been invested in learning more about this complex system of diseases, and in developing treatments. However, despite considerable progress in treatment of certain forms of cancer, progress in reducing its mortality by conventional biomedical approaches is disappointing. Thus, in addition to new biomedical approaches, such as those based on the human genome, some researchers are using concepts from the physical sciences. In the U.S. much of the research that applies physical sciences and engineering concepts to cancer biology and oncology is supported by the Office of Physical Sciences – Oncology (OPSO) at the National Cancer Institute. The OPSO is exploring innovative new approaches to better understand and control cancer by encouraging the convergence of the physical sciences with cancer biology and oncology. Building on stunning progress in the molecular sciences, it supports new research themes based on the application of physical sciences concepts and approaches to the major barriers in cancer reearch.

Examples of concepts being explored by the OPSO through its Physical Sciences – Oncology Centers (PS-OCs) Program are: (1) Applying physics and engineering laws and principles to cancer by defining the role of thermodynamics and mechanics in metastasis and determining how this knowledge might be employed in new intervention strategies; (2) Applying evolution and evolutionary theory to cancer by developing a comprehensive theoretical inclusive construct that would provide a foundation for understanding and predicting cancer heterogeneity; (3) Applying information theory to cancer by pursuing theoretical and supportive experimental approaches that define what information is and how it is decoded and managed in terms of cell signaling and contextual information translation in cancer; and (4) Deconvoluting cancer’s complexity by pursuing theoretical and experimental approaches from the physical sciences to cancer complexity that will inform a new fundamental level of understanding of cancer that may facilitate prediction of viable pathways to develop novel interventions.

The NSF currently has an umbrella contract awarded to the World Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC), Inc. to facilitate the assessment of research in engineering and science worldwide with the aim of maintaining U.S. leadership in these areas. WTEC is a non-profit research institute, which conducts international research assessment studies for the NSF, NIH, DOD, and other Federal agencies--more than 60 to date. Recent related studies include Nanotechnology Research Directions for Societal Needs in 2020, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Catalysis by Nanostructured Materials, Simulation-Based Engineering and Science, Rapid Vaccines Manufacturing, Tissue Engineering, and Systems Biology.

PURPOSE

The objective of this joint study with the NCI OPSO and the NSF is to utilize an expert panel consisting of prominent scientists in the field of applying physical sciences and engineering perspectives/principles to oncology and other biomedical areas to conduct site visits at overseas institutions to conduct an international Assessment of PHysical sciences and Engineering advances in LIfe sciences and ONcology (APHELION). The findings of the APHELION will result in briefings to the sponsors, public workshops and a final report that will collectively provide a comprehensive, peer-reviewed set of evaluations of physical sciences-oncology research overseas in comparison to research being conducted in the United States.

AUTHORITY

This agreement is entered into under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 as amended (42 USC 1861 et seq, specifically 1873(f) and section 241A and 301 of the Public Health Services Act, as amended.

These authorizations for these agencies, together with the internal policies and procedures of each agency, define the authority of the agencies to enter Into this agreement and to manage this joint program focused on physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences or some combination of such the biological sciences.


SCOPE OF WORK

WTEC shall conduct the international assessment of the current status and the trends of the application of physical sciences and engineering concepts to cancer biology, oncology and other biomedical areas. The objectives of an international assessment would be to:
• Guide and justify U.S. research investments
• Look for good ideas abroad (technology transfer, improving U.S. programs)
• Look for opportunities for cooperation and collaboration
• Compare U.S. R&D with that abroad

The study panel, under the guidance of the sponsors, will be instrumental in helping to develop a definitive scope of the study. Among these objectives related to the proposed study are:

• Information Transfer in Cancer and other Biomedical research areas through an Evolutionary Lens
o Can novel therapeutic strategies be developed based on increasing the genetic load of mutations in diseased cell population (e.g. cancer) that will lead to extinction of this population?
o What genetic and epigenetic features define a cancer stem cell?
o Do oncogenic mutations confer self-renewal to cells?
o What is a gene and how is it regulated in time and space?

• Time Domain of Cancer Metastasis and other Diseases with Therapy
o Is the fluid phase biopsy of solid tumors an accurate real-time representation of the disease over the course of the patient’s lifetime?
o How does the heterogeneity of a tumor or other diseased tissue impact drug response?

• Mechanics in Health and Disease
o Is Mechano-therapy of disease such as cancer possible?
o “Follow the genes” is the dominant paradigm. Can we develop a complementary “follow the physics” approach?
o What is role of forces in cancer metastasis?
o Can lessons learned from the roles that cell and tissue mechanics play in developmental biology be applied to disease initiation and progression (e.g. in cancer)?

• Physical Parameters of Cells, Microenvironment, and Host
o How does a cell change its genetic, epigenomic and metabolomic signature, as it becomes "successful" e.g. invasive, metastatic?
o How do physical cues derail a cell’s evolution into disease (e.g. cancer, heart, lung)?
o Can approaches used in tissue engineering such as decellularized tissues be used as in vitro or in vivo model systems to study disease (e.g. decellularized tumors to study cancer or metastasis)?
o Is the transport oncophysics of the microenvironment what really matters?
o What is the energy budget of a diseased cell (e.g. cancer) compared to a developing cell and a mature normal cell?

• Understanding Physical Emergent Properties During Pathogenesis of Disease
o How can we change the physical microenvironment (selective pressures) to prevent cancer?
o Is cancer curable? Can it be controlled through manipulation of the microenvironment?
o Why do tumors ultimately make a phase transition to a metastatic phenotype?
o Could physical science tools be used to understand the molecular mechanisms of cellular collective behaviors in disease initiation and progression? The oscillatory dynamics? Pattern formation? Instability and fluctuations of biological phenomena?

• Heart and Lung Disease – Connections to Cancer
o What are the effects of shear stress from blood flow on the development of cardiovascular disease? How do patterns of shear stress, flow, and flow rates affect cell movement throughout the circulation?
o What are the effects of pressure on lung epithelium in health and disease? Do changes in lung pressure affect cancer metastasis to the lung?
o Can computational models of flow patterns of circulating tumor cells be used to predict sites of cancer metastasis?

The above list of topics will be refined by the panel members in consultation with the sponsors at the study kick-off meeting.



TASKS

Task 1
WTEC, in consultation with study sponsors, shall select a panel of six (6) U.S. experts (including the panel chair) in the field, who are familiar with international activities in the field. The panel chair shall have sufficient stature in this field to command respect in recruitment of panelists, and make presentations of results to peers. The chair also will have the necessary skills at leading a panel to efficiently conduct the study.

Task 2
The Contractor shall organize a sponsor meeting to be held in the Washington, DC metro area in January/February 2012 at which interested sponsors will attend along with the panel chair if they are available.

Task 3
After the sponsor meeting, the Contractor shall organize a kick-off meeting to be held in the Washington, DC metro area in February 2012 at which the expert panel, any scientific advisors, and interested sponsors will attend. At the kick-off meeting, the chair will define the scope of the study (with guidance from all of the agency sponsors) and assign each panelist a section of the final report. During the preliminary study, WTEC shall assist the panelists by conducting electronic literature searches. Password protected and public Web sites will be maintained by the WTEC during the study to facilitate the work of the panel.

Task 4
WTEC shall organize a fact-finding trip to Europe for the panel to visit centers of excellence in physical sciences and engineering for oncology and other biomedical areas. The sites will include sponsoring organizations, as well as top labs. Government observers will accompany the expert panel, to assist and gather information first hand.

Task 5
WTEC shall provide template site visit reports for each site visited to the study panel members and obtain draft site visit reports from the panel by July 2012.

Task 6
WTEC shall organize a workshop in the Washington, DC area for the presentation of the results in a timely fashion such that the final report may be produced in August 2012. Approximately 50 key participants from government and the private sector would be expected to attend a one-day discussion of the results. Each panelist will make a 30-minute presentation with visual aids, and the chair will give an overall summary. The workshop will be webcast to broaden its dissemination, including posting of the video for at least three years.

Task 7
WTEC shall provide a template analytical report to the study panel members and obtain a comprehensive draft analytical report from the panel by the beginning of August 2012.

Task 8
WTEC shall produce a final written report in August 2012, print and distribute 100 B&W bound hardcopies to study participants, hosts, and sponsors, and post the full report in color on the WTEC website.

Task 9
If sufficient funds are available to conduct a subsequent study in another continent, WTEC shall organize a fact-finding trip to Asia in the spring or early summer of 2013 with a second final written report that shall be produced no later than August 2013.

 

DELIVERABLES

The schedule for the study will be determined at the kick-off meeting by mutual agreement of the sponsors, the WTEC staff, and the panel members. However, the first phase of the timeline shall be driven by a report deadline of August 1, 2012 for study that will be conducted in Europe.


Deliverable Deadline

Task 1: Selection of chair, panel members, and scientific advisors | January 2012

Task 2: Sponsor Meeting | February 2012

Task 3: Kick-off Meeting | March 2012

Task 4: Fact-finding trip to Europe | June 2012

Task 5: Draft site reports from study in Europe | July 2012

Task 6: Final workshop phase | 1 July 2012

Task 7: Draft analytical report from study in Europe | August 2012

Task 8: Final written report from study in Europe | August 2012

Task 9: Fact-finding trip to Asia (if sufficient funds allow) | May 2013
Draft site reports from study in Asia | June 2013
Final workshop phase | 2 July 2013
Draft analytical report from study in Asia | July 2013
Final written report from study in Asia | August 2013

 

THE PANEL
  • Paul Janmey
    (Panel Chair)
    ,
    University of Pennsylvania
    more>

  • Daniel A. Fletcher
    UC Berkeley
    more>

  • Sharon Gerecht
    Johns Hopkins University
    more>

  • Ross Levine Ross D. Levine
    MSKCC
    more>

  • Parag Mallick
    Stanford University
    more>

  • Owen McCarty
    Oregon Health & Science University
    more>

  • Lance Munn Lance L. Munn
    Harvard Medical School
    more>

  • Cynthia Reinhart-King  ,
    Cornell University
    more>

Consultants

  • Antonio Tito Fojo ,
    Medical Oncology Branch and Affiliates
    more>

  • Denis Wirtz ,
    John Hopkin's University
    more>

IMPORTANT LINKS
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 Site Visits

ASIA

The APHELION Asia sites visits will be conducted June 3-7, 2013. The following sites will be visited:

 

SINGAPORE:
--National University of Singapore (NUS)
--Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*Star
--Nanyang Technological University
TAIWAN:
--Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica
--National Tsing Hua University
CHINA:
--East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST)
--Department of Biomedical Engineering, Peking University
--School of Physics, Peking University, Center for Theoretical Biology
--Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
--University of Hong Kong: Centre for Cancer Research
--University of HongKong: Department of Anatomy
--Hong Kong Baptist University, Center for Quantitative Systems Biology
JAPAN:
--Osaka University, Laboratory of Cellular Dynamics
--The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe
--RIKEN, Laboratory for Cellular Systems Modeling, Yokohama
--Kyoto University, Laboratory of Bioimaging and Cell Signaling
--Kyoto University, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences
--Kyoto University, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application

 

EUROPE

The APHELION Europe sites visits were conducted May 7-12, 2012. The following sites were visited:

 

FRANCE:
--Institute Curie, Paris (Daniel Louvard et. al.)
--University of Paris Diderot (Francois Gallet et al.)

GERMANY:
--Max Planck Institute (Dresden) (Guillaume Salbreux)
--Max Planck Institute (Gottingen) (Oskar Hallatschek)
--Technical University of Munich (Andreas Bausch et al.)
--University of Heidelberg (Joachim Spatz et al.)
--University of Leipzig (Josef Kas)
--University of Rostock (Adelinde Uhrmacher)
--University of Freiburg (Jens Timmer)
--The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) (Evgeny Gladilin et al.)
--University of Nurnberg-Erlangen (Ana Suncana Smith)

ISRAEL:
--Weizmann Institute (Sam Safran et al.)
--Technion University (Yoram Palti)
--Ben-Gurion University (Smadar Cohen)
--Novecure (Eilon Kirson)

ITALY:
-- University of Padua (Nicola Elvassore et al.)
--University of Milan (Stefano Zapperi)
--European Institute of Oncology (Alberto d'Onofrio)

The NETHERLANDS:
--The Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht (Johan de Rooij)
--Radboud University Nijmegen (Peter Friedl et al.)
--The University of Leiden (Helmut Schiessel)

SPAIN
--University of Barcelona (Pere Roca-Cusachs et al.)
--University of Basque Country (Jose' M. G. Vilar)

SWITZERLAND:
--Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EPFL) (Jeffrey Hubbell et al.)
--University of Basel (Cora-Ann Schonenberger)

SWEDEN:
--Uppsala University (Karin Forsberg Nilsson et al.)
--The Royal Institute of Technology (Wouter van der Wijngaart et al.)