NYU Courant Researchers Creating Computer Models of How Cancer Develops

Work Aims to Provide Platform for Understanding Disease Progression

Researchers from New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences are developing cutting-edge computer tools to model the development of pancreatic cancer. The creation of such a model will provide a platform for systematically exploring various cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.

The award, a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation, is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It is part of a larger $10 million grant from NSF’s Expeditions in Computing initiative that also includes researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Maryland, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the City University of New York’s Lehman College, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

The NYU Courant team is comprised of: NYU Principal Investigator Bud Mishra, a professor of computer science and mathematics and head of Courant’s Bioinformatics Group; the Project Deputy Director Amir Pnueli, a professor of computer science; and Computer Science Professor Patrick Cousot.

Scientists have had difficulty finding an appropriate model for the development of pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and Europe. Developing a valid computer model could prove to be crucial in discovering how this cancer develops and how it might be detected at an early, treatable stage.

“In modeling cancer, we will be replicating different types of cancer cells, how these cells communicate with each other, and how they 500

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