Chicago Center for Physical Science-Oncology Innovation and Translation

Type of Award: Lever
Award Number:
Award Period: May 2015 -
Amount Awarded: $ 1,487,992.00
PI(s): Vadim Backman, NU; Lucy Godley, UChicago; Jack Kaplan, UIC;

Abstract: The CBC's sixth Lever Award provides support for the Chicago Center for Physical Science-Oncology Innovation and Translation. Principal Investigators on the Lever are Vadim Backman (NU), Lucy Godley (UChicago) and Jack Kaplan (UIC). The $1.5 million CBC Lever was awarded in conjunction with a $10 million U54 grant from the National Cancer Institute to fund the Chicago Region Physical Science-Oncology Center (CR-PSOC). The goal of CR-PSOC is to advance the understanding of carcinogenesis by examining the role of physical and chemical forces involved in the transformation of a normal cell into a cancerous one. Specifically, the studies will focus on interrogating changes in both the epigenome and the metallome (the metal ion content of the cell) that contribute to the development of cancer.

The CR-PSOC, led by Thomas V. O'Halloran and Jonathan D. Licht, is composed of a multi-disciplinary team of 12 physical scientists and 8 cancer researchers from fields encompassing physics, chemistry, biomedical engineering, biophysics, biochemistry, pharmacology, and hematology-oncology from the three CBC institutions as well as experts in the physical sciences and chromatin fields from outside Chicago, namely MIT, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Designed around the theme of "Spatio-Temporal Organization of Chromatin and Information Transfer in Cancer," the CR-PSOC consists of three interrelated project areas, each focused on different aspects of chromatin structure and function, plus two core facilities, and pilot project, education and outreach programs.

The CBC Lever funds will support the Center's new instrumentation and shared resources:

1. Nanocytometry Core (Northwestern)
Leader: Vadim Backman
It will include Partial Wave Spectroscopy (PWS) and Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) for high resolution microscopy

2. PDX Core (Northwestern)
Leader: Andrew Mazar
a. Patient-derived xenografts will provide meaningful models of human cancer and enable translation of PSOC innovations
b. Includes funding for investigator pilot studies using PDX models

3. New high precision methylation analysis capabilities through acquisition of an Illumina NextSeq500, to be used in the University of Chicago's Genomics Core
Leader: Lucy Godley

4. New ultra-sensitive IC-ICP-mass spectrometer capability to be used in the Quantitative Bioelement Imaging Center at Northwestern
Leader: Thomas O'Halloran