SP 4

Dynamic Systems Biology Models for Pathway and Drug Discovery

Previous approaches to identify novel therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancers have been only of limited success and therapy-resistance is still one of the major factors contributing to high mortality of PDAC patients. Plausible explanations are the complexity of the mutational landscape of the pancreatic cancer genome and the diversity of the pathways that are altered in different patients (Jones, Science, 2008). We hypothesize that this diversity originates from the existence of PDAC subtypes with different biological properties (Collisson, Nature Medicine, 2011) resulting in subtype-specific drug-resistances.
We here aim for target and biomarker identification strategies that take into account the subtype-specific alterations in PDAC patients. In TP4 we will characterize the differential drug response of PDAC subtypes by a systems biology approach combining experimental studies with dynamic network and pathway modeling.