In 2021, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center joined forces with the University of Miami College of Engineering for Engineering Cancer Cures™, an initiative that empowers the cancer center to work seamlessly with engineering to advance machine learning, artificial intelligence, tissue engineering and nanoparticles.
Sylvester’s Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., and Pratim Biswas, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Engineering, co-created Engineering Cancer Cures™ to develop and deploy innovative technologies for early cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
The initiative is being directed by Shanta Dhar, Ph.D., assistant director for technology and innovation at Sylvester, and Ashutosh Agarwal, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering. Sylvester scientists and engineering faculty are now working to advance 3D tissue printing and organ-on-achip technologies to mimic stages of tumorigenesis and evaluate the efficacy of cancer therapeutics. Cancer center members and engineering faculty are collaborating to optimize and develop new tissue modeling technologies for everyday research in Sylvester labs. In artificial intelligence (AI), a team of clinicians and mathematicians are using AI to integrate and analyze large datasets from genomic sequencing, tissue pathology, and radiologic tissue imaging. Still other projects include developing novel analytical algorithms that advance early detection and cancer cell diagnoses; creating ways to deliver cancer treatments with minimal toxicity to normal tissues and organs; and developing and optimizing drug delivery using nanoparticles.
Engineering Cancer Cures™ aims to find innovative ways to tackle this multidimensional disease which is heterogeneous in biology and disease evolution.
“Through this collaborative partnership, we will be able to integrate cancer biology, clinical outcomes, and new pathways discovered with engineered therapeutics and diagnostics to advance cancer therapeutics and cures,” said Dr. Dhar.