Phylomics: A new approach to understand pancreatic cancer development at the molecular level

Bioinformatics Internship Presentation

Mukta Joshi (Mentor: Dr. Sona Vasudevan, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Georgetown University)

August 11th, 2015, 2:00pm-2:30pm, Room 239, Basic Science Building.

Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the fourth leading cause of death in the US. Even though all the key players in PC development are known the treatment options for PC have remained the same for over 30 years. Hence, newer approaches are needed to identify other genes that may be involved in PC development. Cancer is known to be an evolutionary disease and hence we are proposing to apply the laws of phylogenetics to understand the early events in PC development at molecular level. The main focus of this project is to analyze the OMIC data using a completely new approach and identify new genes that are expressed at different stages during PC development. Using methodology described in Abu-Asab et al [2006], we built a Phylogenetic tree from the gene expression data. Using this method we identified new genes and pathways that may be involved in PC. Also we were able to divide these genes into various stages (Normal, Pan Lesions and PC) of pancreatic cancer development. 

Abu-Asab et al (2006), ‘Phyloproteomics: What Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals about Serum Proteomics’, J Proteome Res. 2006 September; 5(9): 2236–2240.