The USC Physical Sciences in Oncology Center (PSOC) is a broad, multi-institutional team of oncologists, biologists, physical scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who have come together to find new physical science-based approaches to understanding and fighting cancer. Our techniques include state-of-the-art measurement platforms, new mechanistic mathematical and computational models, and novel integrative in vitro and in vivo experiments designed to inform and test the models. It is our mission and obligation to develop new ways of thinking that will change how we treat cancer, and will lead to better tools to support physicians and their patients as they make treatment decisions. Our center's work uses a lymphoma model (as this was the best we could find to answer our questions), but our advances are broadly applicable to many cancer types.
About the PSOC Program
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded multiple institutional grants to establish 12 Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PS-OC) as part of its Physical Sciences in Oncology initiative to better understand the physical laws and principles that shape and govern the emergence and behavior of cancer. The goal of the five year initiative is to engage trans-disciplinary scientific teams from fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry and engineering to examine new, non-traditional approaches to cancer research.
NCI is exploring new and innovative approaches to better understand and control cancer. For the first time, this effort will include a systematic convergence of the physical sciences with cancer biology. By partnering with scientists from various non-biology disciplines, the NCI envisions novel approaches to help generate answers to some of the major questions and barriers in cancer research.
NCI's initial goal is to join these often disparate areas of science by building a collaborative network that is composed of Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PS-OCs). Working in cross-disciplinary teams, the PS-OCs will explore the physical laws and principles that shape and govern the emergence and behavior of cancer at all scales, in an effort to open up new areas and support the development of clinical advances.
More information about the broader PSOC network can be found at the NCI Office of Physical Sciences in Oncology.