Physicists working on Cancer

During the past decade quite a few theoretical physicists became interested in cancer research. As is the case when physicist “invade” a field, the pursued research goals cover a very wide spectrum of topics and approaches. These include applying physics - based techniques and mathematical methods to physics problems that have possible relevance for cancer biology; modeling various processes that take part in the initiation, progression and metastasis of tumors; effects of chemotherapy and immunotherapy and the response to it; developing methods for analysis of high-throughput data and their application to cancer.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together 20 - 25 senior Physicists who are working on cancer and about 10 students or postdocs, to share their views, sharpen research questions relevant to this community, and to learn from each other as well as from guest biologists. The main topics are:

  • Tumor initiation and primary tumor growth
  • Metastasis: Cell Motility, ECM interactions, initiation of new growth
  • Chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy - efficacy versus resistance
  • Omic studies of high throughput data

We plan to have 2 lectures per day, allowing a lot of time for informal discussions. During the workshop we also plan to have 4 - 5 minicourses of 2 – 3 lectures, and a two day conference, to be held early, that will allow participants to present their work and to be exposed to lectures by leading Israeli cancer biologists.

The ITP will provide office space and services to enable the participants to work as if at home. Participation is by invitation only.


  • Eytan Domany, Weizmann Institute, Israel
  • Herbert Levine, Rice University, USA
  • Caterina La Porta and Stefano Zapperi, University of Milan, Italy