Title:  Computational methods for inferring tumor evolution and heterogeneity
Abstract:  Tumors are typically comprised of heterogeneous cell populations exhibiting diverse phenotypes. This heterogeneity, which is correlated with tumor aggressiveness and treatment-failure, confounds current drug screening efforts to identify effective candidate therapies for individual tumors. In the first part of the talk I will present a modeling-driven statistical framework that enables the deconvolution of tumor samples into individual subcomponents exhibiting differential drug-response, using standard bulk drug-screen measurements. In the second part of the talk I will present some efforts towards obtaining insights about tumor evolution from standard genomic data. In particular, we analyze the site frequency spectrum (SFS), a population summary statistic of genomic data, for exponentially growing tumor populations, and we demonstrate how these results can in principle be used to develop estimators for tumor evolutionary parameters.