A new scientific society seeking a deeper understanding of cancer's fundamental dynamics

  • ISEEC 2017: International society for Evolution, Ecology and Cancer Conference

    December 7-10, 2017

    Tempe, Arizona

    Theme: Resistance, Resilience and Robustness

    Can we target cancer's evolutionary and ecological nature?

    Many biological systems are resilient to shocks, having the ability to return to a previous state following a disturbance. In the case of cancer, this resilience presents a clinical problem of therapeutic resistance. The theme of this year's ISEEC conference is "Resistance, Resilience and Robustness" and will focus on the evolutionary and ecological processes underlying cancer. During cancer progression and treatment, cancer has the capacity to exhibit resistance, resilience and robustness. Further, organisms have evolved defenses against cancer that increase the robustness of bodies to mutations and other perturbations that can increase cancer susceptibility. Considering the cancer and cancer defenses through the lens of resilience and resistance can help identify challenges and opportunities in cancer therapy and new horizons for cancer prevention. ISEEC welcomes scientists from different disciplines, including but not limited to oncology, cell biology, evolutionary biology and mathematics.

    ISEEC 2017 Conference details

    The ISEEC 2017 Conference will take place on the campus of ASU and at the Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe, AZ.

    ISEEC 2017 will begin in the late afternoon on Thursday, December 7 and conclude after lunch on December 10. The opening reception, banquet, networking brunch and Keynote talks will be held at the Mission Palms Hotel. All other conference talks and events will be held on the campus of Arizona State University.



    We have arranged a limited block of rooms at the Mission Palms Hotel, Tempe. You need to book your accommodation personally (we will not book accommodations for participants to the conference).

    To book your rooms at the Mission Palms Hotel with the preferential conference rate, please click here.


    Conference Agenda

    You can find the tentative conference agenda here. Please note that this program is subject to change. Don't hesitate to contact us at evocancer@gmail.com with any questions you might have.

    Registration and Abstract Submission

    Late registration is now open.

    The 2017 ISEEC conference focuses on the theme of resistance, resilience and robustness. We welcome submissions relevant to this theme as well as more general submissions on the topics of evolution and ecology of cancer.


    Late registration is now open. To register for the conference, please click here. Registration includes: welcome reception, banquet/ dinner, breakfasts and lunches, and the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting thinkers working in the areas of cancer and evolution.

    Late registration is open until December 6.


    To see the list of all registration levels and due dates, click here.


    Abstract submission closed on September 15. All participants have been emailed with the acceptance decisions. Please check your inboxes (including spam folders) and let us know if you have any questions.


    Poster Flash Talks
    There will be flash talks prior to the poster session. This will be a fun opportunity to promote your poster. Participants will be given one minute and have the opportunity to present one slide. Specific details on poster flash talks will be provided once abstract is accepted.


    Poster Awards
    The ISEEC 2017 committee is pleased to announce there will be an award and prize money for the best poster presentation. Voting will take place after the poster session. Awards will be announced during the morning of Sunday December 10th.


    Questions? Contact us at: evocancer@gmail.com

  • Keynotes, Public lecture, and WORKSHOP SPEAKERS

    international society for evolution, ecology and cancer conference, 2017

    Cancer Keynote

    Christina Curtis, Ph.D, MSc

    Assistant Professor, Stanford University
    Co-Director, Molecular Tumor Board, Stanford Cancer Institute

    Dr. Curtis is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine (Oncology) and Genetics in the School of Medicine at Stanford University where she leads the Cancer Systems Biology Group and serves as Co-Director of the Molecular Tumor Board at the Stanford Cancer Institute. The Curtis laboratory leverages genome-​scale data derived from clinical samples, coupled with computational modeling and iterative experimentation in order to interrogate the evolutionary dynamics of tumor progression and therapeutic resistance.

    Evolution keynote

    Paul Turner, Ph.D

    Interim Dean of Science

    Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

    Paul Turner is the Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, where he has served as Interim Dean of Science, Departmental Chair and Director of Graduate Studies. He is also a faculty member in Microbiology at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Turner’s research interests include: evolutionary biology, evolutionary medicine, infectious disease, microbiology, phage therapy, RNA viruses, vector-borne disease, and virology. He uses an interdisciplinary approach in his research laboratory, employing techniques from microbiology, population genetics, genomics, molecular biology and mathematical modeling to study hypotheses in ecology and evolutionary biology.

    Public Lecture

    Elizabeth Murchison, Ph.D

    Reader, University of Cambridge

    Elizabeth Murchison is Reader in Comparative Oncology and Genetics at the University of Cambridge, Department of Veterinary Medicine. Elizabeth ​specialises in the genetics and evolution of transmissible cancers. Elizabeth’s laboratory, the Transmissible Cancer Group uses genome sequencing technologies to understand the evolutionary mechanisms, genetic diversity, molecular adaptations and host interactions of transmissible cancers.

    Special Workshop: Writing About Cancer

    George Johnson

    Author of The Cancer Chronicles and The New York Times writer

    George Johnson has written about science for The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, Slate, Scientific American, Wired, The Atlantic, and other publications. He is the author of nine books, including "The Cancer Chronicles," "The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments," "Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order" and "Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics." Three were finalists for the Royal Society Science Book Prize. A two-time winner of the AAAS Science Journalism Award, he is co-founder and co-director of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop and a former Alicia Patterson fellow.

  • Plenary Speakers

    international society for evolution, ecology and cancer conference, 2017

    Sunetra Gupta, Ph.D

    Professor, University of Oxford

    Sunetra Gupta is a Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at University of Oxford. Dr. Gupta’s main area of interest is the evolution of diversity in pathogens, with particular reference to the infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, influenza and bacterial meningitis. She uses simple mathematical models to generate new hypotheses regarding the processes that determine the population structure of these pathogens.

    Inigo Martincorena, Ph.D

    Group leader, Sanger Institute

    Inigo is a group leader at the Sanger Institute investigating somatic mutation in cancer and normal cells. With a background in molecular biology, bioinformatics and evolutionary genomics, his research focuses on understanding cancer progression as a result of somatic mutation and selection.

    Deborah Gordon, Ph.D

    Professor, Stanford University

    Gordon studies ant colony behavior and ecology, with a particular focus on red harvester ants. She focuses on the developing behavior of colonies, even as individual ants change functions within their own lifetimes.

    Grazyna Jasienska, Ph.D

    Professor, Jagiellonian University

    Grazyna Jasienska is Professor at the Institute of Public Health, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Dr. Jasienska’s research interests include human reproductive ecology and evolutionary approaches to human health. Together with her colleagues, she is working on identifying factors that have an impact on ovarian function.

    Jacob G. Scott, MD

    Cleveland Clinic, Ohio

    Jake is a physician-scientist studying tumor evolution and novel methods for personalized radiation delivery at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. His lab focusses on building mathematical models of evolution and cancer biology to shed light on the processes driving cancer and the contingencies that this process reveals.

    Pablo Marquet, Ph.D

    Professor, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

    Dr. Marquest’s first research interests lie in the areas of macroecology and ecological complexity, where the the main focus is on the search for the general principles that underlie the seemingly endless complexity, diversity and variability of ecological systems. His second interest is in ecoinformatics and conservation biogeography, with a focus on trying to apply ecological knowledge and available large-scale datasets to help inform conservation policy and management.

    Bruce Tabashnik, Ph.D

    Regents' Professor, University of Arizona

    Bruce Tabashnik is a Regents' Professor at University of Arizona. His research team studies the evolution and management of insect resistance to insecticides and transgenic plants. Current work focuses on evolution of resistance to insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

  • Mission Statement

    The mission of the International Society for Evolution, Ecology and Cancer is to advance cancer research and clinical management by employing evolutionary, comparative and ecological approaches and principles to cancer biology, prevention, and treatment. By bringing together cancer biologists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, quantitative modelers, bioinformaticians and clinicians, the society seeks to enable collaboration at the interface of these fields, the exchange of research findings, novel methodologies and theoretical frameworks across disciplines. ISEEC supports education and outreach efforts to train the next generation of scientists in the evolution and ecology of cancer, as well as engaging the public in fundamental questions about the nature and evolutionary origins of cancer.

  • Previous iSEEC Events and initiatives

    Supporting Conferences and Eduction in Evolutionary, Ecological and comparative approaches to cancer biology and clinical management

    July 11-15, 2016

    Wellcome Genome Campus

    Evolution and ecology are fundamental to both the understanding and clinical control of neoplasms. This summer school will provide an introduction to the basics of cancer evolution and ecology for both cancer biologists and evolutionary biologists. The summer school is aimed at early career scientists, including post-graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and new principle investigators. This summer school will provide cancer biologists with the relevant tools and theory from evolution and ecology. It will also provide evolutionary biologists and ecologists an introduction to cancer biology and demonstration of how their theories and tools can be applied to cancer.


    This summer school is supported by the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, the Wellcome Trust and the International Society for Evolution, Ecology and Cancer. This next summer school will be held in 2018.


    Read Revolutionary biology: Evolutionary biology and ecology of cancer summer school supports a growing field to learn about the 2016 summer school.

    Evolutionary Tradeoffs and Clinical Consequences

    December 10-13, 2015

    Mission Bay Conference Center, UCSF

    Tradeoffs are pervasive in biological systems, and the evolutionary dynamics underlying cancer are no exception. The Third International Biannual Evolution and Cancer Conference (IBECC2015) explores the ways in which tradeoffs have shaped the evolution of cancer suppression systems and the role of tradeoffs in the progression of tumors from benign to malignant. A consideration of evolutionary tradeoffs can also help us to identify challenges and opportunities in cancer therapy and new horizons for cancer prevention. We welcomed scientists from different disciplines, including but not limited to oncology, cell biology, evolutionary biology and mathematics. 


    This conference was supported in part by the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF, the Center for Evolution and Cancer at UCSF and the Biodesign Institute at ASU. Download the official conference poster here.

  • Society Information

    Find out more about ISEEC

    Interim officers

    ISEEC elections will be held in the 2017 calendar year

    • Interim President: Michael Hochberg
    • Interim Vice President: Mel Greaves
    • Interim Treasurer: Leonard Nunney
    • Interim Secretary: Aurora Nedelcu


    ISEEC committees are now forming to help support the mission of the society

    • Conference Planning Chairs: Athena Aktipis & Carlo Maley
    • Membership Chair: Athena Aktipis
    • Fundraising Chair: TBD
    • Education and Outreach Chair: Pamela Winfrey
    • Society Bylaws Chair: Aurora Nedelcu
    • Awards Chair: Amy Boddy
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