Canary Center SMASH Rising Program Projects

PI: Parag Mallick, PhD

Project or lab description:

Dr. Parag Mallick is Associate Professor of Radiology at the Canary Center at Stanford. His lab focuses on translating multi-omic discovery into precision diagnostics. They use integrative, multi-omic approaches to model the processes that control proteome dynamics and then use those models to discover cancer biomarkers and mechanisms.

During the internship program, students will work together in small groups, with some of them focusing on experimental studies in the lab and others focusing on computational studies. Students will be mentored by Dr. Mallick as well as by the scientists in his group. Studies will be targeted towards understanding the impact of cancer-type/cell-type and microenvironment on protein expression levels. This is critical for cancer early detection, because part of what makes cancer unique is the diversity of new environments that only exist within tumors.

On the experimental side, the lab has a diverse set of cell lines of spanning cancer types and cell types (epithelial, immune, etc.). The students will work to learn techniques for high-throughput proteomics profiling and then use those techniques to investigate how those cells behave in vitro and in vivo.

Computationally, there exist public proteomics data across a wide range of cell lines. Understanding the variation across these lines provides a baseline for understanding the general variation that exists within the proteome. By first characterizing this variation it becomes possible to quantify the significance of any variation that might be observed in the data of students from the experimental track.

Students from the two tracks will collaborate together to tackle an important question in cancer research and learn aspects of both experimental and computational research.