Department of Systems Biology

Systems Biology is located in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Building.


The Department of Systems Biology at MD Anderson applies systems biology approaches to the many facets of clinical, translational and basic cancer biology. The department is positioned to take advantage of emerging areas in cancer research and systems biology using an integrative approach across large scale data sets and patient samples.  Areas such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, single cell biology, synthetic biology, tumor microenvironment and cancer immunology are all active areas of research.  

The Department places a particular emphasis on using genome-scale biology (network biology and omics) to develop robust predictors for precision cancer therapy and on problems associated with failures in targeted therapies for cancer whereby resistance to targeted therapy can be cell intrinsic, selected, or adaptive (homeostatic feedback loops, cross-talk bypass) or may result from tumor-microenvironmental interactions.  The application of data driven, robust and predictive mathematical models therefore holds promise for the identification of targeted combination therapies, and it is this goal that drives the efforts of much of the department.  The Department has a diverse research portfolio, encompassing basic research of cancer biology, systems biology, and translational research.

The mission of the Department of Systems Biology is to be the world leader in understanding and mathematically modeling cancer with sufficient robustness to be able to predict benefit of therapy and improve patient outcome. This is accomplished through team science approaches to local generation and analysis of data combined with institutional, national, and international collaborations fueled by providing high quality data and opportunities to the community. Additionally, this is accomplished through training the next generation of scientists and physician scientists able to capitalize on team science based on systems biology approaches to cancer.  

Dr. Mills and the Systems Biology Faculty