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Tumor ecosystem evolution - Schaefer

Tumor ecosystem evolution

Tumors form ecosystems, communities in which tumor cells interact with other tumor cells, microbiota and non-cancer host cells (such as immune cells). As cancer cells evolve (via genetic or epigenetic mutations and selection acting on them), they have the capacity to adapt to their environment. The projects in my lab will aim to better understand the tumor ecosystem composition, how the composition contributes to tumor progression, and to identify selective forces driving tumor (epi-)genome evolution. In particular, there will be two PhD projects available:
1. Application of machine learning techniques to predict clinicopathological characteristics of tumors (eg patient survival) by integrating molecular features with ecosystem composition information
2. Development of population genetics methods to understand selection acting on epigenetic alterations in response to (micro-)environmental exposure