Virginia Tech's Yue (Joseph) Wang, who currently leads a $5.5 million research effort to improve the outcome for breast cancer patients, dreams of a more personalized medicine in which doctors can precisely determine how a patient's cancer will behave. Then, based on the expected outcomes the physician can target a precise treatment plan.
Researchers are now studying disease at molecular levels and need the analytical skills of engineers to aid in both discovery and understanding of biological systems, Wang, a member of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said.
"Personalized medicine requires a quantitative-plus-molecular equation, in which intelligent computing tools can play a major role. However, many difficulties need to be overcome before a molecular signature-based computer-aided diagnosis can be developed. Yet, prognosis and monitoring therapy are all among our future tasks," he said.
"We are working with physicians to analyze cancer data from all levels: the entire body, the cellular, the molecular, and the genetic," he said. "We are seeking to understand how disease starts, how it progresses, and which biomarkers can be used for therapeutic purposes," he explained "Not all molecules in the body are responsible for a disease; only a certain subset are. If we can accurately identify the responsible molecules and determine appropriate biomarkers, we can develop rational treatments."
He stressed that, since cancer progression is a process of acquisition of multiple and alternative mutations, molecular imaging must be able to imag
Contact: Lynn Nystrom