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Nanotechnology Seminar Series

"NanoSystems Biology & Cancer"
March 8, 2005

"NanoSystems Biology & Cancer"

Speaker Bio:
James R. Heath, Ph.D.
Gilloon Professor and Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology

NanoSystems Biology & Cancer

As we enter the 21st century, we stand at a major inflection point for biology and medicine-the way we view and practice these disciplines is changing profoundly. These changes are being driven by systems biology, a new, data driven approach to biology, and which will increasingly transform medicine from disease-driven and reactive to health-driven and predictive and preventative. Systems biology and predictive and preventative medicine are both data driven and, accordingly, both require new tools for making large numbers of measurements. Microfluidics, chemical, and nanotechnologies will revolutionize our ability to generate comprehensive data sets that span from individual cells to patients, and will allow us to build multiparameter analysis tools for cancer diagnosis and molecular imaging probes for spatially localizing specific cancers. The diagnostic tools are being designed so that they can eventually move from the clinic to the home. I will describe a systems biology approach toward disease, using cancer as the model, and I will describe nano-, micro-, and fluidics technologies designed toward achieving the early stage detection and the molecular imaging of various cancers.