Cancer is a disease driven by genetic changes in the cells of the body that can lead to tumors or blood diseases such as leukemia.
Over time cells acquire the capacity for oncogenic transformation through incremental changes that impact an array of cellular processes including growth, proliferation, and survival. Experts in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences (GGS) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai work across disciplines to dissect the mechanisms that allow for malignant growth and work to develop new approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. Integrating comprehensive approaches including genomic analysis of both inherited and acquired mutations; RNA expression profiling; proteomics; epigenetic studies; imaging; and single cell and spatial sequencing, experts from GGS are working to predict who is at risk from cancer, identify vulnerabilities of tumors, and to develop therapeutic regimens for personalized treatment.
Through the development and application of novel techniques for isolating samples, measuring their molecular and cellular content, and analyzing multi-modal datasets, researchers from GGS have worked to identify critical nodes of tumor dependencies and determine how tumors rewire key pathways in order to drive tumor initiation, hyperproliferative growth, and evade recognition by the immune system. They work collaboratively with experts from diverse departments including those that specialize in oncology, immunology, epidemiology, imaging, pharmacology and clinical trials. Using samples from the Mount Sinai biorepositories and computing power from supercomputers, they have successfully identified the features that drive inherited cancer risk, therapeutic response, and resistance. By pairing these approaches with functional modeling and mechanistic studies, GGS researchers are pursuing biomarkers of response to optimize treatment selection, and developing new therapeutic regimens for patients in the clinic.