The Cancer Forum acts as the conceptual driver for the entire Center, and provides a resource for the PS-OC network and the wider scientific community. In the spirit of the national PS-OC program, the Forum harnesses expertise from the physical sciences and directs it to the problem of understanding and controlling cancer in radically new ways. A key feature of the Forum’s philosophy is to critically question the hidden assumptions that underpin our current understanding of cancer and its role in biology, and spotlight the foundational issues that require elucidation. The Forum’s deliberations follow the highly successful model of ASU’s Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, whose motto is “Confronting the Big Questions”.
Workshops form a key part of our Cancer Forum. Emphasis is on bringing together scientists from different disciplines and different cultures to trigger the creative synergy that so often results from such encounters. A notable feature of the workshops is the hand-picked mix of scientists with roughly one-third coming from outside the cancer community. We put special emphasis on seeking the involvement of astrobiologists, physicists, mathematicians and information scientists.
These cutting-edge invitation-only meetings are designed to stimulate radically new thinking about the nature of cancer, by focusing on foundational and conceptual questions. Some of them zero-in on specific hypotheses, others openly challenge existing assumptions and paradigms in cancer research. The format discourages set-piece presentations in favor of intensive brainstorming to encourage creative synergy. The goals are always to identify new lines of research, both theoretical and experimental, and encourage new collaborations.
- Cancer Latency and Dormancy, February 28th
- ASU PSOC Workshop, Wednesday March 21st – Friday March 23rd 2012
- ASU PSOC Workshop, Monday March 19th – Wednesday March 21st 2012
- ASU PSOC Workshop, Thursday February 9th – Friday February 10th 2012
- ASU PSOC Workshop, Thursday May 19th – Friday May 20th 2011
- ASU PSOC Workshop, Friday January 14th – Saturday January 15th 2011
- ASU PSOC Workshop, Monday October 25th – Friday October 27th 2010
- Cellular Differentiation and Response to Stress: Modeling Cancer Initiation and Progression – August 29 to September 1 2010, Sedona
- Cancer as a Dynamical System – June 2nd to June 4th 2010, Tempe
- Atomic Force Microscopy: ‘hands-on’ – April 15th to 16th 2010, ASU Tempe and Agilent
For a fuller description of our philosophy, read this article by Paul Davies, Rethinking Cancer, which appeared in the June 2010 edition of Physics World.