New class promotes cross-disciplinary cancer research



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IU professor and mathematician Paul Macklin uses math to chart how cancer spreads through the body. The research's purpose is to guide the development of new therapies that prevent cancer from spreading to different parts of the body in breast cancer survivors. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

IU professor Paul Macklin's research on breast cancer aims to guide the development of new therapies that prevent cancer from spreading to different parts of the body in breast cancer survivors, according to an IU press release. 

Macklin, a mathematician, uses math to chart how cancer spreads in the body. 

"The math part lets you screen ideas and imagine new things long before you can actually try them," Macklin said in the press release. "So when it comes time to build them, you'll be ready to go instead of just blindly trying things."

Macklin is channeling his research into education through teaching E541: Simulating Cancer as an Intelligent System this spring, according to the release. 

The course is open to both undergraduates and graduates from the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences, according to the  release. 

The course brings together students with skills in biology, math, physics, programming and engineering. 

"Instead of traditional pockets of engineering, I like that there's this common theme," he said in the release. "There's different ways we're approaching the same problem, but all under one roof. I think that is what's really unique about this department."

Macklin most recently served as an assistant professor of research medicine at the University of Southern California. 

Since coming to IU over a year ago, Macklin has helped develop the degree map for bioengineering students in the Department of Intelligent Systems Engineering in the school of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. 

He is one of several leaders on the National Science Foundation’s $4 million grant to IU in September 2017. Under the grant, Macklin will contribute to the Engineered nanoBIO Hub established within the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. 

He will share with the project his expertise on the development of software to design cancer-fighting nanoparticles, according to the release. 

"The accumulation of resources, expertise and the right people and place are making this all possible," Macklin said in the release. "I sense a place that wants to try new things, and that makes it a great place to be. I can really feel what we're building here."

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