The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is exploring new and innovative scientific approaches to better understand and control cancer. The Division of Cancer Biology’s Physical Sciences in Oncology Initiative seeks to establish research projects that bring together cancer biologists and oncologists with scientists from the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and engineering in order to address some of the major questions and obstacles in cancer research.
In 2009, the Physical Sciences – Oncology Centers (PS-OCs) Program was launched, and in the first phase of the program, 12 Centers were established to investigate complex and challenging questions in cancer research, from a physical sciences perspective. To explore how the NCI could continue to support the integration of physical sciences and cancer research, both a Think Tank and series of Strategic Workshops were held in 2012. The workshops served to update opportunities at the interface of physical sciences and cancer research and guide the development of Program Announcements for a second phase of the PS-OC Program and Physical Science – Oncology Projects (PS-OPs) Program that together form the Physical Sciences – Oncology Network (PS-ON).