IICD Newsletter February 2020

Editor's note:

IICD Newsletter

February 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues, 
I'm delighted to report that the Institute initiated its second year with several achievements.

On November 21, 2019, the Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics (IICD) hosted its inaugural symposium as part of the IICD Seminar Series. Researchers from various fields of biology, mathematics and statistics gathered to listen to talks from Elham Azizi, Sohrab Shah and Andrew Blumberg. We are excited to announce our next seminar series on March 6, 2020.
IICD, in partnership with the Data Science Institute (DSI) awarded two seed grants for the 2019/2020 call. The goal of the DSI Seed Funds program is to support new collaborations among faculty members in different disciplines across campus for novel projects that no individual team member could achieve alone, supporting research personnels working at the intersection of data science and other domains, ultimately improving the understanding of cancer biology, origins, treatment and prevention through data-driven methods. Several outstanding proposals were submitted in the fall 2019 and two of them were selected for funding (more info). Stay tuned for more funding opportunities!
We are also very excited to announce the launch of our new postdoctoral program, geared towards scientists interested in developing independent and novel research in an environment that fosters multi-disciplinary, collaborative research. See announcement section for more info.
Finally, we have an ongoing faculty recruitment search, where we are partnering with the Biological Sciences and Statistics departments to recruit our next Herbert and Florence Irving Professors in Cancer Data Research. For more information visit  our website

With best wishes from IICD,

Simon Tavaré
Herbert and Florence Irving Director,
Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics

Probability and Society: a symposium

Understanding and controlling randomness is a unifying goal that connects faculty across Columbia and is crucial to solving global challenges. This half day Probability and Society symposium will focus on applications of probability in biological research, including some innovative new uses in cancer research. This event is co-organized by the Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics and the Probability and Society Initiative.

Date: March 6, 2020
Time: 1:00 - 5:00 PM
Location: Schermerhorn Hall, Suite 603, 1190 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027
Details can be found at this link.

Upcoming IICD talks

Wesley Tansey
Date: March 5, 2020 
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Title: Modeling and testing in high-throughput cancer drug screenings
Location: Columbia School of Social Work -Room 1025

Sevin Turcan 
Date: March 10, 2020
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Title:  Uncovering the epigenomic alterations and therapeutic vulnerabilities in IDH mutant brain tumors
Location: Fairchild Hall -Room 601 

Pau Creixell
Date: March 12, 2020 
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Title: Rewiring signaling specificity and its applications in precision cancer medicine
Location: Fairchild Hall -Room 601

IICD inaugural symposium

The symposium had a grand opening on November 21, 2019, with our own Dr. Elham Azizi presenting her work on understanding the evolution of T cell states during donor lymphocyte infusion and resistance. Following questions and discussion from the audience, Dr. Sohrab Shah shared his fascinating work on applications of a new single-cell whole-genome sequencing platform for infering clonality and estimating selective pressure in tumors. Dr. Andrew Blumberg closed the proceedings with an equally stimulating talk describing the mathematics behind the thorny issue of how to align and match disparate types of genomic data. Dr. Tom Maniatis' presence at the symposium elevated the excitement of the young scientists in the audience! 


Postdoc opening for the Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics Postdoctoral Program
Position: 2 postdoctoral research scientist positions
Expected candidates: Recent PhD graduates or with some postdoctoral experience
Mentors: At least 2 faculty members, one of whom should be from the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University, to be identified through interaction with the candidate.
Deadline: March 15, 2020

To apply: http://pa334.peopleadmin.com/postings/5095 

For further information, please write to: IICD ([email protected]) 

Joint Postdoctoral opening ZMBBI/IICD
Position: 1 postdoctoral research scientist
Expected candidate: PhD graduate with prior experience with advanced microscopy and opto-mechanical integration, as well as image processing and analysis
MentorsSimon Tavaré and Darcy Peterka 
Project: Application and development of advanced optical imaging instrumentation and methods for spatially resolved tissue imaging and -omics primarily in tumors to interrogate the tumor microenvironment with single-cell resolution 
To apply:

For further information, please write to: IICD ([email protected]) and Darcy Peterka

([email protected]).

Postdoc Opening in the Azizi lab 

Position: 1 postdoctoral research scientist
Expected candidate: PhD graduate with strong background in machine learning, statistics, or bioinformatics
MentorElham Azizi
Project: Developing novel methods and/or applying computational techniques in cancer biology and immunology
To apply and for more information write to: Elham Azizi ([email protected])

Joint Postdoc Opening in the Azizi and Gaublomme labs

Position: 1 postdoctoral research scientist
Expected candidate: PhD graduate, competent in at least one component (experimental or computational) with a strong interest in acquiring training in the other
Mentors: Elham Azizi and Jellert Gaublomme
Project: Characterizing heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment through a combination of statistical machine learning techniques and cutting-edge spatial transcriptomic technologies.
To applyhttp://pa334.peopleadmin.com/postings/5093.

For further information, please write to: Elham Azizi ([email protected]) and Jellert Gaublomme ([email protected]).