New Computational Cancer Community (C3) Provides Forum for Feedback, Collaborations

Q&A with Franklin Huang, MD, PhD

By Erin Hayes | March 16, 2021

Source: National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2015

The Computational Cancer Community (C3) was recently created to provide a forum for labs focused on cancer genomics and computational cancer biology and oncology to share their work and to get feedback and input. Below, steering committee member Franklin Huang, MD, PhD, offers further details about the current and future plans of the C3 community.

What is the Computational Cancer Community (C3), and how did it come to be?

The C3 community is a group of faculty, labs, and trainees who share their research and work that broadly fits within computational cancer research such as cancer genomics, computational cancer biology, and cancer data science. Computational biologists aim to address fundamental and applied questions in biology and biomedicine, by analyzing and modeling biological datasets using sophisticated theoretical and computational techniques.

C3 arose out of conversations with other faculty and trainees who saw a need for such a community. The UCSF Bakar Institute was also instrumental in launching the community. This meeting was also partly inspired by my experiences in the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute, where a weekly meeting brought together labs across the Boston area in cancer computational research. We are also interested in expanding to other fields such as imaging and areas of cancer and biomedical research that are computational in nature.

What does this group hope to accomplish?

April 5, 2021 | 9:00 am

The next monthly meeting of the Computational Cancer Community (C3) will feature guest speaker Gad Getz, PhD, director of Cancer Genome Computational Analysis Group, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. View event details.

I think we hope to build the community here at UCSF among investigators working in this area, and provide a “home” for faculty, labs, and trainees who are looking for collaborators or who need help with certain analyses. One main idea goal is for cancer biologists looking to work with computational biologists or data scientists and vice versa. I think we hope that that this community will enable new collaborations and research projects. We are planning on starting a Wikipage and utilizing Slack to increase daily interactions among the C3 faculty and trainees.

The C3 has met a few times so far. How has the response been? Do you have any highlights to share from your first few meetings?

We’ve had really great turnout so far and participation from Mission Bay, Parnassus, and Biohub investigators and trainees in our seminars to date, even in the Zoom setting. There’s plenty of outstanding computational cancer research happening in the UCSF community that we often don’t know about and it’s harder to meet faculty serendipitously during the pandemic. We’ve assembled a steering committee and on April 5 we’ll host Dr. Gad Getz from the Broad Institute for a special C3 seminar.

Anything else you’d like the cancer community to know?

As we’re still building this initiative, we’re very interested in other faculty and trainees who want to join the C3 community who want to contribute their ideas and efforts.

C3 Faculty Steering Committee

  • Joe Costello, PhD
  • Hani Goodarzi, PhD
  • Franklin Huang, MD, PhD
  • Adam Olshen, PhD, MA
  • Melissa Reeves, PhD
  • Angela Rizk-Jackson, PhD
  • Marina Sirota, PhD
  • Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD

Related Funding Opportunities

The HDFCCC is requesting applications for projects in the following areas: