Department Seminar

Overcoming Adaptive Resistance and Fractional Response of Cancer Cells to Therapy

Speaker Details:

Mohammed Fallahi-Sichani
Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard University

Lecture Details:

February 11, 2016
12:30-1:20 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


This talk will address drug adaptation in melanomas and other cancers driven by different oncogenic pathways and how it limits therapeutic effectiveness and appears to promote the emergence of cells carrying resistance mutations resulting in resurgent disease. Being able to understand and effectively target resistance mechanisms is needed to increase the durability of therapeutic response. I will describe a systems pharmacology approach combining multiplex biochemical measurements, single-cell analysis and computational modeling to characterize drug-induced adaptive responses and their consequences for cancer cell fate. This approach helps to identify potential strategies to enhance drug maximal effect and to overcome drug resistance.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Mohammad Fallahi-Sichani is a Life Sciences Research Foundation (LSRF) Postdoctoral Fellow, working with Prof. Peter Sorger in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2012 from the University of Michigan under the joint supervision of Prof. Jennifer Linderman and Prof. Denise Kirschner. His postdoctoral research currently funded by an NCI K99 Pathway to Independence Award is focused on understanding mechanisms of adaptive resistance and fractional response of cancer cells to anti-cancer drugs. His doctoral thesis combined multi-scale modeling approaches with experiments on mouse models of tuberculosis to the study of mechanisms by which TNF signaling determines immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. His postdoctoral and doctoral research were awarded the 2015 Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association for Cancer Research and the 2011 Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding PhD Research from the University of Michigan.