HON 494: Cancer and Evolution

Cancer touches every family on the planet. In spite of decades of research and over a million published papers, progress in controlling cancer remains slow and mortality rates remain high. Yet the study of cancer is providing deep insights into the nature of life itself and no field of study better illustrates the interplay of genetics, molecular biology, nanotechnology and computing. Recently, the National Cancer Institute created 12 new research centers aimed at adding a new dimension to cancer research: physical science.  Cancer cells and tumors are physical objects which change shape, move, invade other organs and manipulate their environment with physical and chemical signals. A whole new field of research is opening up in which these physical properties can be measured and manipulated. The new breed of cancer researcher will be equally at home with physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computing and nanotechnology. The course will be taught by practicing researchers from ASU’s own Physical Science and Oncology research center and clinicians from the Mayo Clinic.  It will cover the basics of the physical and biological aspects of cancer, and showcase the promising opportunities for young scientists to make a difference in understanding and managing this widespread medical condition.

Course semester: 
Spring 2019
Paul Davies