REFS platform will look to evaluate RAS-MAPK and PI3K cancer pathways.

Gene Network Sciences (GNS) and the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Center (UCSF) are working together to further cancer research. This collaboration will combine UCSF’s clinical and research expertise with the company’s REFS™ (reverse engineering and forward simulation) platform.

UCSF has already utilized the REFS technology to discover and validate mediators of cell-cycle transition, which is a determinant of the rate of cancer-cell proliferation and tumor growth. The parties will continue with research to elucidate the RAS-MAPK and PI3K cancer pathways, which are critical for initiation and progression of many cancers.

The REFS technology will be used to turn combinations of genetic, genomic, and clinical measurements from ongoing research at UCSF into models of breast, pancreatic, and esophageal cancer. This process of determining through billions of calculation how molecules interact with on another in a complete system is called reverse engineering. These computer-assembled models are then queried rapidly through billions of in silico experiments (forward simulation) to discover targets for drug intervention and genetic markers of drug response.

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