The NCI Division of Cancer Biology and IBM Research are partnering to build a Community of Accelerated Discovery composed of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers focused on the discovery of biologically informed combination therapies for cancer. The over-arching goal is to bring together clinical, cancer biology, and computational experts and foster the formation of new collaborations, and the sharing of resources, data, and expertise, with the end goal of addressing the biological complexity at the core of combination therapy interventions in cancer that may lead to more effective patient outcomes. To that end, the NCI Division of Cancer Biology and IBM Research are organizing a series of events that complement ongoing efforts at both institutions and add a specific focus on understanding and exploiting the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug response in a collaborative framework. The Community of Accelerated Discovery will be enabled by a platform for access to computational and storage resources, tools, methods, and data. This platform will be designed to foster and empower sharing of ideas, expertise, data, code, results, bench-marking, and collaborations in an agile and friendly manner.

Micro Lab topics

The event series will include some focused discussions (“Micro Labs”) designed to set the stage for a longer more intensive (likely in person) collaboration building event (the “Innovation Lab”) and ultimately to lay the groundwork for a community of discovery on biologically informed, computationally driven and clinically meaningful combination therapy design. To begin to understand which areas are most ready for advancement using a community approach, and to map the resources and expertise needed for success, we plan to hold a series of four, short, virtual Micro Labs focused on three specific areas:

Each Micro Lab will involve group discussions around one of these topics, focusing on identifying how the various fields of expertise and perspectives can work together. For these group discussions to succeed, we have invited inspiring speakers representing three perspectives:

  • cancer biology
  • clinical research
  • computational modeling

By bringing their unique point of view to the topic, these inspirational speakers will rapidly set the stage for open ideation from all attendees. For more details on the Micro Labs’ topics and schedule, please refer to 'Micro Labs’ in the menu bar.

Attendance to the Micro Lab will be capped at 50 discussants. The highlighted discussion should reveal areas of common interest, areas where approaches differ in emphasis, language, etc., and areas where data, theory, and practice could synergize. The topics to be discussed in each Micro Lab are described in more detail in the 'Micro Lab' tab.

If you find this opportunity interesting and would like to contribute to this community effort, we invite you to apply for participation in the next event by completing the mini-application to one or more of the Micro Labs. We look for your support in making this vision a success.

If you would like to join any of the Micro Labs, please click here to apply: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/8cb3788f57344ee9adb244d69acde60f

Application Deadline: August 25, 2021

The Innovation Lab

It is the intention of the organizing team to bring together thirty selected researchers to generate projects on a selected area within the domain of Combination Therapies for Cancer Treatment. Part of the objective of the microlab is to to help define the topic area and scope for the ´Sandpit style´Innovation Lab in January, 2022. The lab will bring together researchers for an intense week of activities. At the Innovation Lab, interdisciplinary teams will form and work together to ideate and develop a roadmap for how to tackle selected challenges in this field. Through the course of the five days, teams will form, pitch and refine plans for interdisciplinary strategies, priorities, projects, campaigns, and innovative approaches that advance scientific questions related to Combination Therapies for Cancer Treatment. At the present time, the organizing team anticipates having funding to finance the most exciting projects unearthed at the Innovation Lab.

Innovation Lab Applications

The Application for the Innovation Lab will be available in early October.