Alessandra Romano Francesco Gonella

Exploring Cancer Patterns Behavior by Systems Thinking

Alessandra Romano, SIES fellow at DSMN, Ca' Foscari University

Francesco Gonella, DSMN, Ca' Foscari University

1 February 2019, 14:00


Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer due to uncontrolled proliferation of neoplastic plasma cells. Myeloma behaves as a dynamic complex system exhibiting self-organization, and this represents a major obstacle in the understanding of how the disease is able to overcome the current therapies. Starting from a systems thinking approach, we propose to build-up a systemic diagram of the disease and of the plasma cell as its functional subsystem, to develop a simulator of the cancer behavior, with the final aim at identifying possibly targetable leverage points. The seminar will be introduced by a short overview of Systems Thinking approach to the study of complexity.

Bio sketches

Alessandra Romano

Hematologist, PhD in Stem Cells and Molecular Medicine at the University of Catania in 2011. A.R. worked as Research Assistant at George Mason University, USA, Post-doc fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA, and then Post-doc fellow at the Ospedale San Raffaele, Milano. She is currently at the Dipartimento di Chirurgia Generale e Specialità Medico-Chirurgiche, Università di Catania, to take care of blood cancer patients. Thanks to an Italian Society of Hematology grant fellowship, A.R. joined Ca’ Foscari to study systemic approaches and tailored therapies to multiple myeloma, a currently incurable form of blood cancer.

Francesco Gonella

PhD in Physics, full professor of Physics at Ca’ Foscari University, with 25 years of research activity in the experimental study of silicate glasses. In recent years, his research interests has shifted to Systems Thinking and Emergy (spelled with “m”) analysis. F.G. worked as visiting professor/scientist in Canada (Université Laval), United States (Vanderbilt University, University of Florida), Japan (Tokyo Institute of Technology). He is currently guest lecturer at the Normal Beijing University in China.