A talk by Andrea Califano, PhD
Dr. Andrea Califano is the Clyde and Helen Wu professor of chemical systems biology in the Department of Systems Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University Medical Center. He also serves as the founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology, director of the JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center, and associate director for bioinformatics of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. After completing a doctoral thesis in physics at the University of Florence, Italy, Califano worked at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center, where he became involved in computational biology in 1990. In 1997, he became program director of the IBM Computational Biology Center. In 2000, he cofounded First Genetic Trust Inc. to pursue translational genomics research. Finally, he joined Columbia in 2003.
The Califano Lab uses a combination of computational and experimental methodologies to reconstruct the regulatory logic of human cells in genome-wide fashion. He has shown that analysis of this logic can identify master regulator proteins responsible for human disease, including cancer and neurodegenerative syndromes, as well as for normal tissue development. In addition, his lab has developed methods for discovering compounds and compound combinations that can inactivate these proteins, thus providing valuable therapeutic strategies. These findings have been translated into several clinical studies, including a very innovative set of N-of-1 studies where disease master regulators are identified and pharmacologically targeted on an individual patient basis, using a systems biology approach to precision medicine.
Califano is very active nationally, serving on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards, including the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, The MIT Koch Cancer Center, Cancer Genetics Inc., and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., among others. He has served as chair or co-chair of many international conferences and meetings, including the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the RECOMB-ISCB Conference on Regulatory and Systems Genomics, with DREAM Challenges, Keystone Conference.