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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Planet Fitness Award

Area(s) of Focus

David Agus , MD

Professor of Medicine and Engineering
Keck School of Medicine and
Viterbi School of Engineering
Director, USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine
Director, USC Westside Cancer Center
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California

Current Research

Computational modeling has shown promise in explaining aspects of cancer, but it has not yet demonstrated its potential in helping clinicians and patients in making treatment decisions. Progress has been slowed in part by lack of a common language to exchange data between experiments, computer models and patient health records. The research of Drs. Agus and Macklin is focused on creating a state-of-the-art computer-based platform that will allow clinical teams to create automated, patient-tailored cancer simulators using patient’s health records and tumor characteristics to predict response to a variety of treatment options. An exciting part of this project is the creation of digital cell lines, which will allow computer modelers to conduct virtual experiments, much the way laboratory scientists use living breast cancer cell lines to study cancer and test new drugs. Ultimately, this work will help advance patient care towards a long-term goal where clinical teams will tailor versatile computer models to individual patients, simulate breast cancer progression under a variety of treatment options, and choose the treatment plan that best meets the patient’s needs.


Dr. David B. Agus is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering and heads the USC Westside Cancer Center and the USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. Dr. Agus leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers dedicated to the development and use of technologies to guide doctors in making health-care decisions tailored to individual needs, and directs a National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences in Oncology Center at USC.  He is a medial oncologist, and the co-founder of two personalized medicine companies, Navigenics and Applied Proteomics. Dr. Agus is an international leader in new technologies and approaches for personalized healthcare. Dr. Agus’ first book called "The End of Illness" was published in 2012 and is a New York Times #1 and international best seller and was the subject of a PBS series, and his most recent book "A Short Guide to a Long Life" is also a New York Times and international bestseller.