Prospects in Theoretical Physics 2019: Great Problems in Biology for Physicists


PiTP 2019 is titled 'Great Problems in Biology for Physicists,' and will cover topics ranging from virology, cancer, and immunology to machine learning and neural networks. Recent technologies have generated enormous amounts of hitherto unseen biological/genetic data. The tools of modern physics have enabled novel approaches to exploration and interrogation of such data, allowing physicists to draw conclusions that will result in leaps of the fundamental understanding of evolution and basic biological processes. Because physicists are now reaching out to explore problems in biology, PiTP 2019 will focus on some of the great questions in biology that are being explored.

Some quantitative problems in the evolution and heterogeneity of human cancers


In this lecture we will study how genomics has enabled the characterization of the genetic lesions that are associated with the initiation and development of human cancers. We will focus on four different open questions where quantitative approaches are needed:

  • What are the genes that are responsible for the development of human cancers?

  • Can we reconstruct the mutational history of human cancers?

  • Can we infer the mutational processes leading to cancer?

  • What is the role of tumor heterogeneity and the surrounding cells in the progression of cancers?

Below students can find some references and datasets associated with this lecture series.


(1) Identifying driver genes in cross-sectional cancer studies


Papers

Datasets

(2) Reconstructing the evolutionary history of tumors in longitudinal cancer genomic studies


Papers

Datasets

(3) Archeology of human cancers: mutational signatures


Papers

Datasets

(4) Studying cancer and stromal heterogeneity using single cell data


Papers

Tools

Datasets


Other References