In recent years, researchers have been making progress on developing treatments that leverage the human immune system to overcome various forms of cancer. The relatively nascent pursuit of cancer immunotherapies holds great promise, but before that promise can be realized scientists must untangle how the immune system—an incredibly complex network of specialized cells and proteins—operates at the most basic level. That requires conducting studies that generate massive amounts of data on everything from the microbiome to the human genome—and developing statistical and analytical methods to make sense of the data.
Earlier this month, the Program in Quantitative Genomics (PQG), led by Coordinating Director Xihong Lin gathered together experts from around the world to share their research and exchange ideas on how best to decipher these complicated data sets. The conference, “Quantitative Challenges in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy,” was chaired by Shirley Liu and drew some 150 attendees.