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ICR Hosts Meeting of Top Network Biologists


Wednesday 12 May 2010


Experts from around the world will this week discuss the exciting new research area of network biology at a meeting hosted by Europe’s top cancer research institute.


The Integrative Network Biology and Cancer Symposium will be held at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in Chelsea, London, on the 14th and 15th of May.


Network biology involves using cutting-edge technology to conduct large scale analysis of biological building blocks, such as DNA and proteins, and constructing computer models that predict the way they interact. Scientists expect that these models will be used to find new drug targets, design drugs that attack multiple points in the biological networks of disease development and match personalised treatments to patients’ specific molecular defects.


Symposium organiser Dr Rune Linding, Leader of the ICR’s Cellular and Molecular Logic Team, says: “Network biology spans disciplines such as computational biology, systems genetics, tumour biology, cell-cell interactions and molecular pathology, so collaborative meetings such as these are crucial to advancing this emerging field. We are very excited by the calibre of researchers this meeting has attracted.”

Co-organizer Dr Chris Bakal, Leader of the ICR’s Dynamical Cell Systems Team, adds: “The symposium will focus on new experimental and computational approaches to studying communication between cells, and how models of these interactions can be applied to the study of complex diseases, such as cancer.”

Keynote speakers include biochemist and cell biologist Wendell Lim from the University of California San Francisco and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and chemist Don Hunt from the University of Virginia. The symposium is sponsored by PerkinElmer, SGI, Thermo Scientific, illumina and AB SCIEX.

The symposium marks the launch of ICR’s large-scale network biology initiative, which aims to boost the organisation’s cancer investigations through systems-level modelling of cellular networks. A reception will be held at Science Museum in London on May 14 at 19.30.

For more information and a detailed programme visit



Media Contact: ICR Science Press Officer Jane Bunce at [email protected] or 0207 153 5106

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

• The ICR is Europe’s leading cancer research centre
• The ICR has been ranked the UK’s top academic research centre, based on the results of the Higher Education Funding Council’s Research Assessment Exercise
• The ICR works closely with partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to ensure patients immediately benefit from new research. Together the two organisations form the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe
• The ICR has charitable status and relies on voluntary income, spending 95 pence in every pound of total income directly on research
• As a college of the University of London, the ICR also provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction
• Over its 100-year history, the ICR’s achievements include identifying the potential link between smoking and lung cancer which was subsequently confirmed, discovering that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer and isolating more cancer-related genes than any other organisation in the world

For more information visit

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