The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Stony Brook School of Medicine have embarked on an ambitious and exciting journey to advance engineering-driven medicine. Dubbed by some as the “the third revolution in medicine,” convergence science integrates medicine and engineering to confront some of the big unanswered questions in healthcare, and enables technologies that seek to revolutionize how we deliver healthcare.
Together with the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and School of Medicine convened a gathering of clinicians, scientists and engineers to share ideas and stimulate creative collaboration aimed at some of the toughest challenges in cancer. Following this convergence science workshop , fifteen collaborative proposals were submitted from teams across the entire University integrating a broad range of disciplines and expertise.
Dr. Daifeng Wang from Biomedical Informatics, together with Dr. Flaminia Talos from Department of Urology and pathology, was among the three teams for the seed funding for this initiative, for the project entitled "Identification of gene regulatory networks for direct conversion of fibroblasts into bladder epithelia".
This project integrates computational and experimental efforts to discover the core gene regulatory networks contributing to bladder epithelia development. Like an engineering system, these core regulatory networks are organized based on certain engineering principles, and coordinate as circuits to control bladder development. Any aberrant events in the network will drive the abnormal activities; i.e., bladder cancer. The team will provide the engineering principles of bladder gene circuits to be exploited in tissue reprogramming of fibroblasts into bladder epithelia, for regenerative medicine applications needed for organ rehabilitation post-cystectomy in cancer patients and as a new platform for studies of bladder cancer initiation.