Dr. Andrea Califano is the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology in the departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics and of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University. He is currently the founding director and chair of the Columbia Department of Systems Biology, which includes the Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center and the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (C2B2). He also serves as Associate Director for Bioinformatics in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Califano serves on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards, including the Board of Scientific Advisors of St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Sanford-Burnham Institute, MD Anderson Genomic Medicine department, and the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Califano received a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Florence in 1985. Following a postdoc at MIT, he joined the IBM TJ Watson Research Center, where in 1990 he formed a computational biology group and later became the program director of the IBM Computational Biology Center. In 2000 he co-founded First Genetic Trust, Inc., and in 2008 he co-founded Therasis, Inc., a company dedicated to the development of combination therapy approaches.
Dr. Califano’s interests reside in the assembly and interrogation of gene regulatory models for the elucidation of mechanisms presiding over cell physiology and their dysregulation in disease, with specific applications to cancer, stem cells, and neurodegenerative disease. His lab, which integrates both experimental and computational research, has pioneered the first genome-wide regulatory model of human cells and a variety of methods for the identification of master regulators of aberrant transformation and physiological differentiation/maturation events and their controlling genetic alterations. These approaches have led to the discovery of several new genes in glioma, leukemia, lymphoma, and prostate cancer that can be targeted pharmacologically to abrogate tumorigenesis. He has also pioneered network-based methods for the elucidation of mechanisms of action of drugs, drug synergy, and drug sensitivity.