Cancer: Research, Discovery and Therapeutics

Oct 29-30, 2014
40
4
19,144
 

BioConference Live makes it easier and more cost-effective for the cancer research community to come together online through live video webcasts and real-time networking. BioConference Live attendees learn new concepts, tools and techniques that they can apply to research and diagnosis. BioConference Live requires no travel or time away from the lab or hospital, yet delivers all the benefits of a physical conference. Attendees can earn free CME and CE Credits.

Topics will include Drug Discovery, Clinical Proteomics, Molecular Profiling, Cancer Metabolism: Nutrition and Cancer, Cancer Epigenetics, Therapeutics, Novel trends in cancer detection and screening, Immunotherapy/Harnessing the Immune System for Cancer Therapy, Noninvasive molecular screening for colon cancer, Biomarkers in prostate and bladder cancer, Animal mouse models, Cell signaling, Resistance due to mutations, Kinome profiling, Individualized patient diagnostics, Cancer Therapies & new techniques, Diagnostic testing for clinical decision, Best practices for pregnancy testing prior to cancer therapy, Lactogenic anemia and diagnostic testing: tools for blood conservation in cancer patients and other frail patient, High Dose IL-2 -curative therapy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma, and other topics.

This event will bring together research scientists, post docs, principal investigators, lab directors and professionals from around the world to learn about recent advances in cancer research. This conference offers an amazing opportunity as it is free to participants, and there will be no out-of-pocket expenses for travel. However, participants will still benefit from interacting with a global community of like-minded colleagues, without leaving the comfort of their office or home.

Conference participants will be able to

  • Attend interactive live streaming video sessions
  • Have their questions answered in real-time by industry experts
  • Chat live with peers and speakers
  • Browse a virtual exhibit floor for solution providers

No crowded airports, delayed flights or expensive hotel rooms, but still the look and feel of a first-rate conference with world renowned experts. Participants also benefit from the fact that experts and vendors are more accessible, no more waiting in line to speak to someone. Think it is too good to be true? Checkout the venue and become a believer.

Speakers

(See Agenda)
Director of Computational Sciences and Informatics ...
Senior Lecturer, School of Biomolecular & ...
Director, Research Department, Centro di Ricerche ...
Chief Science Officer, Cynvenio
Deputy Director of Basic Science, Professor and ...
Group Leader - Clinical Proteomics, Cancer ...
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Diagnostic & ...
Scientist BC Cancer Agency's Deeley Research ...
Principal Investigator, Metallo Lab, Assistant ...
Director, Clinical Analytics and Workflow ...
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering ...
Head, Computational Structural Biology Group ...
Director, Clinical Toxicology, Director ...
Chief, Pathology at Lucile Packard Children's ...
Chief Scientific Officer at OncoMark, Professor of ...
Senior Market Manager, Oncology , Illumina
Associate Professor, Neuro-Oncology Research ...
Director, NSF IGERT Nanomedicine Science and ...
Principal Investigator, Structure and Function of ...
Senior Scientist, Product Development, Qiagen
Associate Professor, University of Victoria
Assistant Professor, Nutrition, UNC Gillings ...
Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology , City of Hope ...
Research & Development Scientist, Thermo ...
Director, Head of Biological research content ...
Co-Director, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative ...
Professor of Genome Sciences, University of ...
Business Unit Management, Senior Business Unit ...
Chief Scientific Officer, XTuit Pharmaceuticals ...
Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic ...
Clinical Research Product Manager, DNASTAR
Head, Synthetic Biologics Core, Cancer and ...

Cancer: Research, Discovery and Therapeutics

Agenda

All times are Pacific Time

Keynote-+

Oct 29, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Learning from the Pointillists - Using Big Data Approaches to Embrace the Complexity of Cancer

Kenneth Buetow, PhD, FACMI

Director of Computational Sciences and Informatics Program for Complex Adaptive Systems, Professor, the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

The comprehensive, multidimensional molecular characterization of tumors and the individuals in which they have developed is transforming cancer definition, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. These technologies identify the millions of variants present in normal individuals and thousands of alterations that occur during the course of tumor development. This systems-wide molecular analysis has identified a complex cacophony of inherited and acquired variation. The integration and interpretation of this complex multidimensional information into evidence exceeds raw human cognitive capacity. It presents challenges of contextualizing the data and converting it into actionable information.

Data Science has the capacity to provide the needed tools to tackle this challenge. Arizona State Universitys (ASU) Complex Adaptive Systems team is building a first generation Data Science research platform - the Next Generation Cyber Capability (NGCC). The ASU NGCC composed of hardware, software, and people transforms Big Data to information and creates the evidence necessary to enable personalized medicine. The NGCC permits data points to be evaluated in concert using Big Data analytic frameworks thereby identifying an emergent, coherent whole. Biologic network analysis represents one such promising integrative approach. These networks account for the individual heterogeneity in underlying etiology as well as the interaction of diverse events necessary to generate a complex phenotype such as cancer. Emerging collections of analytic approaches permit analysis using genome-wide data sets and established biologic networks as models.

These approaches are being applied to understand the origins and outcomes of cancer. Big Data approaches are identifying key biologic processes underpinning cancer susceptibility and oncogenesis. Novel analytic approaches are being applied to identify new strategies for intervention.

Oct 30, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Challenges in biomarker testing in non-small cell lung cancer research

Nicola Normanno, MD

Director, Research Department, Centro di Ricerche Oncologiche di Mercogliano (Naples)

Fusion genes play a central role in many cancer types. They have been used to classify malignancy, risk factors, disease prognosis, and companion diagnostic biomarkers for certain approved drugs. More than 1500 fusion transcripts have been published to date, but current practices for fusion transcript detection are hampered by high cost and bias. Typically only the top 1-2 commonly observed fusion transcripts are characterized for most samples.

We have developed a next-generation sequencing solution for highly multiplexed fusion transcript analysis. Using this workflow, hundreds of fusion transcripts can be simultaneously tested in fewer than 24 hours.

In this presentation, Dr Normanno will present an Ion AmpliSeqTM method for fusion detection and analysis from non-small cell lung cancer research samples.

Oct 30, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

A head-to-head comparison of whole blood derived samples (cfDNA vs CTC DNA) for cancer research using next-generation sequencing

Paul W. Dempsey, PhD

Chief Science Officer, Cynvenio

Both cell free DNA (cfDNA) and circulating tumor cells (CTC) represent important possible templates for mutation analysis of clinical samples. Each template has different theoretical advantages for a clinical test. cfDNA is very easy to access and isolate, while CTC can provide both DNA as well as RNA for clinical testing. In addition, the templates may reflect different aspects of cancer biology. Cynvenio has tested head-to-head cfDNA and CTC DNA using LiquidBiopsyTM coupled with Ion TorrentTM next-generation sequencing of normal and tumor samples. Both cfDNA and CTC samples provided sufficient quantity and purity of the limited number of tumor genomes for a direct sequencing clinical research test. No whole genome amplification was involved. The test for comparison purposes consisted of coupling these CTC and cfDNA purification technologies to an amplicon re-sequencing panel of 50 cancer-associated genes using a CLIA-validated sequencing pipeline for SNV mutations with a sensitivity of 1%. Typically, this pipeline can isolate, extract, sequence and analyze blood borne cancer cells in 7 days. In the CLIA setting, the validated DNA sequencing process, when applied to breast cancer tumor samples, has demonstrated useful data. The data suggest that cfDNA and DNA recovered from tumor-derived blood cells are complementary and may represent different aspects of cancer biology.

Cancer Epigenetics-+

Oct 29, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

Reading and disrupting the histone code with chemical agents: making new tools to understand epigenetic methylation pathways in stem-like cancers

Fraser Hof, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Post-translational methylations play central roles in epigenetic gene regulation pathways that are central to stem cell regulation. Lysine methylations are turn-on switches for hundreds of distinct protein-protein interactions among a diverse family of cell regulators called epigenetic reader proteins. In spite of their biological importance and relevance to therapeutic development, there exist few synthetic agents that can help us to study or antagonize these pathways. We have been developing chemicals that can mimic, sense, or antagonize the lysine-methylation-driven biochemistry important to healthy and disease-linked cellular processes. We have created organic macrocycles that can recognize and bind to methylated sites on proteins, including examples that disrupt methylation-driven protein-protein interactions and others that can provide a readout of a proteins methylation state. We have also targeted a family of methylation reader proteins called chromodomains, having created antagonists of the epigenetic master controller Chromobox homolog 7 (CBX7) that is a master controller of stem cell programming. We will report on the impacts of these new inhibitors on the programming of cancer cells and stem-like cancer cells, and discuss implications for developing new treatments for stem-like cancers that tend to have the most aggressive and untreatable clinical manifestations.

Oct 30, 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

Epigenetic Dysregulation in the Pathogenesis of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

Kristin Landis-Piwowar, PhD, MLS

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Sciences , Oakland University

When the BCR/ABL1 fusion protein was identified in chronic myelogenous leukemia and the JAK2 V617F mutation was identified in patients with other myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) such as polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia, tyrosine kinase activation appeared to be the principal driver of MPN pathogenesis. This notion of tyrosine kinase activation was further substantiated as genomic studies revealed multiple recurrent somatic mutations (e.g. MPL and LNK) in MPNs in the last decade. Yet many patients are diagnosed with an MPN lacking those particular driver mutations. Several mutations in molecules have since been identified that modify the epigenome (e.g. ASXL1, TET2, andEZH2) and many are likely to occur prior to JAK2 mutations and contribute to leukemogenesis. Mutant JAK2 has even been implicated as an epigenetic regulator. The relevance of these epigenetic disease alleles remains an important area of investigation. This session will discuss the molecular biology of epigenetics, the pathophysiology and clinical relevance of epigenetics and treatment options that target epigenetic modulators in the context of MPN.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define epigenetics
2. Correlate the impact of somatic mutations and epigenetic control of gene expression with MPNs
3. Identify therapeutic approaches designed for epigenetics

Cancer Metabolism-+

Oct 29, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

Obesity, weight loss, and the microenvironment in basal-like breast cancer

Liza Makowski, PhD

Assistant Professor, Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Obesity is associated with an aggressive subtype of breast cancer called basal-like breast cancer (BBC). Using C3(1)-TAg mice, a genetically engineered mouse model that resembles human BBC, we demonstrated that mice displayed increased tumor aggressiveness when fed obesogenic diets. Obesity induced in the adult window of susceptibility triggered early latency and elevated mammary gland expression and activation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met compared to lean controls, a pro-tumorigenic pathway associated with BBC in patients. HGF secretion was also increased from primary mammary fibroblasts isolated from normal mammary glands and tumors of obese mice compared to lean. Conditioned media from primary tumor fibroblasts from obese mice drove tumor cell proliferation compared to lean controls. In co-culture, neutralization of secreted HGF blunted tumor cell migration, further linking obesity-mediated HGF-dependent effects to in vitro measures of tumor aggressiveness. Using a more severe diet model, we exposed mice to a lifelong diet intervention - C3(1)-TAg mice were weaned onto and maintained on an obesogenic high fat diet. Obese mice displayed significant elevations in tumor progression. Epidemiologic studies estimate that weight loss could prevent a large proportion of BBC. We sought to investigate whether weight loss in adulthood prior to tumor onset would protect mice from the accelerated tumorigenesis observed in obese mice. Indeed, tumor progression was significantly reversed when obese mice were induced to lose weight by switching to a control low fat diet prior to tumor onset compared to mice maintained on obesogenic diet. Obesity-elevated HGF/c-Met expression in normal mammary glands and c-Met in tumors was significantly reversed with weight loss. Other mediators associated with oncogenesis such as hyperinsulinemia and a high leptin/adiponectin ratio were also elevated by obesity and reduced with weight loss. In sum, weight loss significantly blunted the obesity-responsive pro-tumorigenic HGF/c-Met pathway and improved several metabolic risk factors associated with BBC, which together may have contributed to the dramatic reversal of obesity-driven tumor progression. Future research aims to evaluate the role of obesity, the mammary microenvironment, and the HGF/c-Met pathway in basal-like cancer progression.

Learning Objective:


After completing this activity the learner will be able to understand how obesity and weight loss affect the normal mammary gland and tumor in a murine model of basal like breast cancer.


Links to human studies and ongoing outreach programs will be discussed.

Oct 29, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Protein phosphatase 2A in cell survival upon metabolic stress

Mei Kong, PhD

Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology , City of Hope National Medical Center

Tumor cells often display fundamental changes in metabolism and increase their uptake of nutrients to meet the increased bioenergetic demands of proliferation. Glucose and glutamine are two main nutrients whose uptake is directly controlled by oncogenic mutations and are essential for tumor cell survival and proliferation. During tumor growth, increased uptake of nutrients and rapid accumulation of cells can outstrip the supply of essential nutrients, including glucose and glutamine. How tumor cells survive these temporary periods of nutrient deprivation is unclear, but is necessary for tumorigenesis to persist. The major goal of our laboratory is to delineate the strategies used by tumor cells to survive periods of nutrient deprivation and then to develop novel therapies targeting nutrient-sensing pathways of neoplastic cells. We recently discovered that protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A)-associated protein, α4, plays a conserved role in glutamine sensing. α4 promotes assembly of an adaptive PP2A complex containing the B55α regulatory subunit via providing the catalytic subunit upon glutamine deprivation. Moreover, B55α is specifically induced upon glutamine deprivation in a ROS-dependent manner to activate p53 and promote cell survival. B55α activates p53 through direct interaction and dephosphorylation of EDD, a negative regulator of p53. Importantly, the B55α-EDD-p53 pathway is essential for cancer cell survival and tumor growth under low glutamine conditions in vitro and in vivo. Our studies provided not only deeper understanding of the survival pathway used by cancer cells when glutamine metabolism is blocked, but also provides important evidence that protein phosphatase complexes are actively involved in signal transduction.

Oct 30, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

The metabolic microenvironment in tumors and its impact on T-cell mediated immunity

Julian J. Lum, PhD

Scientist BC Cancer Agency's Deeley Research Centre, Assistant Professor Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria

It has become widely accepted that the presence of intraepithelial CD8+ T cell correlate with improved patient survival. In contrast, tumors largely devoid of immune infiltrations or infiltrates skew towards a suppressive phenotype are associated with poor outcomes. In this talk, I will discuss the metabolic constraints imposed by the tumor microenvironment and how this may impact T cell responses against tumors. Specific emphasis will be placed on the condition of hypoxia, its role in the regulation of T cell differentiation, effector function and survival. Initially using ovarian cancer as a disease site, our recently work shows that the tumor microenvironment plays a significant role in dictating the presence and function of T cells. We used a multi-parameter immunohistochemical staining system to co-identify markers of the tumor vasculature and the relative expression of T cells within these regions. We find few T cells co-localizing to areas of hypoxia, whereas most T cells are present in areas of high vascularity. Moreover, there was an association towards improved survival when T cells were detected in vascular environments of the tumor. These observations are consistent with our in vitro work showing that T cells undergoing hypoxia-induced autophagy have impaired cytolytic activity. Overall, this indicates that a T cell response requires overcoming the barriers of the metabolic tumor environment and this may have important implications for T cell-based therapies for the treatment of cancer.

Oct 30, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Probing cancer metabolism using isotope tracers to identify therapeutic targets

Christian Metallo, PhD

Principal Investigator, Metallo Lab, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego

Oncogenic mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) or 2 (IDH2) compromise their normal activity and induce NADPH-dependent (D)2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) production within the cytosol or mitochondria. Given the critical functions of these enzymes in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) metabolism and cellular redox homeostasis, such mutations are likely to cause metabolic reprogramming in tumors. To identify metabolic abnormalities in cells harboring IDH mutations we applied 13C metabolic flux analysis (MFA) to isogenic cells with heterozygous IDH1 mutations. MFA results indicate that IDH1 mutant cells exhibit increased oxidative TCA metabolism and oxygen consumption under hypoxia relative to parental cells. This metabolic phenotype occurs independently of 2HG accumulation and renders IDH1 mutant cells more sensitive to electron transport chain (ETC) inhibition compared to IDH wild-type and IDH2 mutant cells. These data suggest that targeting mitochondrial metabolism may be synthetically lethal in tumors expressing mutant IDH1 and can be combined with strategies that selectively inhibit its neomorphic activity.
In addition, we have exploited the NADPH-dependent 2HG production by mutant IDH1 and IDH2 to characterize the function of compartmentalized cofactor cycles that occur in cancer cells. Importantly, pathway segregation in distinct organelles has prevented traditional MFA approaches from accurately measuring fluxes within specific compartments. By applying 2H isotope tracers that specifically label NADPH and inducibly expressing IDH1-R132H or IDH2-R172K in the cytosol or mitochondria, respectively, we can reliably quantify NADPH metabolism in each compartment. Using this approach we have elucidated the directionality of metabolic cycles coordinated between the cytosol and mitochondria that are critical for tumor growth.

Learning objectives:


Why are mitochondria important for cancer cell growth?
Why would some cancers be more susceptible to cancer targeting than others?

Cell Signaling-+

Oct 30, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Dissecting cancer signaling pathways with chemical scalpels

Nadya Tarasova, PhD

Head, Synthetic Biologics Core, Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute

Advances in genomic research have led to identification of the majority of the drivers of tumor progression. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms propelling tumor growth is progressing much slower. Incomplete knowledge of oncoproteins regulatory mechanisms results in unexpected detrimental effects of targeted therapy. Obliteration of the protein expression is the most commonly used approach in characterization of protein function. However, the majority of proteins have multiple functions and many interacting partners. Genetic eradication of proteins does not inform on the function of particular protein-protein interactions and cannot detect essential self-inhibitory mechanisms. Chemical biology tools are much more informative in that sense. However, generation of selective chemical probes is a labor-intense process. In addition, the majority of protein-protein interactions cannot be inhibited by small molecules and thus are considered undruggable. Peptides are well suited for targeting protein-protein interactions, but their use is hampered by conformational flexibility, poor membrane penetration, low stability in circulation and rapid clearance from the body. We and others we have succeeded recently in developing metabolically stable cell permeable peptide analogs with rigid and predictable structures amenable to rational design. The approach developed in our group is based on structural stabilization of protein fragments by membrane anchoring. General applicability of this straightforward method was confirmed by generation of selective and highly potent dominant negative inhibitors of RAS oncogenes, ?-catenin, STAT1, STAT3 and STAT5 N-domains, and other non-druggable targets. Much simplified generation of selective chemical biology tools allows for effective interrogation of protein-protein interactions leading to uncovering of mechanistic details of molecular signaling that could not be obtained with the help of genetic approaches.

Learning objectives:


Learn simple ways of developing chemical biology tools (no sophisticated chemistry is required)
Learn how to uncover the roles of a certain protein-protein interaction.

Clinical Proteomics-+

Oct 29, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Antibody-based Proteomics: Fast-Tracking Molecular Diagnostics and Target Discovery in Oncology

Darran O'Connor, PhD

Senior Lecturer, School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Co-Director, Cancer Biology & Therapeutics Laboratory, University of Dublin

The effective implementation of personalised cancer therapeutic regimens depends on the successful identification and translation of informative biomarkers to aid clinical decision-making. Antibody-based proteomics occupies a pivotal space in the cancer biomarker discovery and validation pipeline, facilitating the high-throughput evaluation of candidate markers. Although the clinical utility of these emerging technologies remains to be established, the traditional use of antibodies as affinity reagents in clinical diagnostic and predictive assays suggests that the rapid translation of such approaches is an achievable goal. Furthermore, in combination with, or as alternatives to, genomic and transcriptomic methods for patient stratification, antibody-based proteomics approaches offer the promise of additional insight into cancer disease states. Here, the current status of antibody-based proteomics will be covered, as will its contribution to the development of new assays that are crucial for the realisation of individualised cancer therapy. Moreover, the utility of the digital pathology, particularly pertaining to automated assessment of tissue-derived biomarker expression, will also be described.

Drug Discovery-+

Oct 29, 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

Nanotechnologies for Precision Medicine

Srinivas (Sri) Sridhar, PhD

Director, NSF IGERT Nanomedicine Science and Technology Program, Director, Electronic Materials Research Institute, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics, Lecturer on Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School

The modern era of Precision Medicine requires targeted delivery of molecular inhibitors that control key processes in disease pathways. PARP (Poly ADP Ribose Polymerase) plays a crucial role in the DNA repair pathways in a cell, rendering it the Achilles Heel specifically in cancer cells. We have developed novel injectable nanoformulations of PARP inhibitors that have superior bioavailability and tumor accumulation compared with available oral formulations. Extensive in vitro and in vivo studies have been carried out in ovarian, breast and prostate cancer models. These results imply an important role for the PARPi nanoformulations as chemo and radio-sensitizers enabling mono- and combination nanotherapeutic approaches for several cancers.

Theranostic nanoplatforms combine multiple functionalities including multi-modal imaging, targeting to the disease site, and delivery of the drug payload through sustained as well as triggered drug release. We discuss the applications of these nanoplatforms in local chemotherapy with INCERT implants, and MR/SPECT/optical multi-modal imaging using iron oxide nanoparticles.

Supported by the National Science Foundation, National Cancer Institute, DoD CDMRP, Mazzone Foundation and CIMIT.

Oct 29, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Targeting the oncogene eIF4E in leukemia reveals a new form of drug resistance

Katherine LB Borden, PhD

Principal Investigator, Structure and Function of the Cell Nucleus research unit, Full Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Universit de Montreal, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer

The eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E is an oncogene elevated in an estimated 30% of cancers. The traditional view is that eIF4E drives proliferation and survival by increasing the translation of a subset of mRNAs encoding proteins involved in these processes. eIF4E also promotes the nuclear cytoplasmic mRNA export of a subset of growth promoting transcripts. This enables eIF4E to elevate the cytoplasmic concentration of these transcripts and thus their protein levels without a priori altering their translation. Indeed, the mRNA export function of eIF4E contributes to its oncogenic potential. eIF4E requires specific mRNA elements and co-factors to act in mRNA export and also modulates the nuclear pore complex to enable this activity. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the nuclear localization and mRNA export function of eIF4E is highly elevated. NMR, mass spectrometry and other biophysical studies demonstrate that ribavirin directly binds and inhibits eIF4E. In the first two clinical studies to ever target eIF4E, ribavirin led to molecular targeting of eIF4E activity, and substantial responses including remissions in relapsed and refractory AML patients. Eventually all responding patients relapsed, analysis of patients specimens revealed a novel form of drug resistance: Gli1 inducible drug glucuronidation. Indeed, this form of resistance was also relevant to the standard of care for AML, cytarabine. New clinical studies targeting eIF4E and this form of drug resistance using Gl1i inhibitors are planned.

Learning objectives:



The learner will be able to explain that targeting the oncogene eIF4E with ribavirin has clinical benefits in at least some patients
The learner will be able to describe that there is a new form of drug resistance, inducible drug glucurondiation, which is targetable and is like relevant beyond ribavirin and cytarabine

Oct 29, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

miRNA Biomarker Discovery: Technologies, workflows, and data analysis solutions for discovering your unique signature

Jonathan Shaffer, PhD

Senior Scientist, Product Development, Qiagen

Circulating miRNAs have great potential as biomarkers due to their aberrant expression in cancer and other diseases. However, miRNAs from body fluids are hard to obtain in amounts sufficient for detailed miRNome profiling. This webinar presents an integrated, PCR-based system that reduces the amount of sample required for full miRNome profiling by several orders of magnitude and provides unparalleled reproducibility and precision. Detailed protocols will be shared regarding RNA isolation, real-time quantification, and data analysis for the assessment of serum, plasma, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid samples. This system enables accurate miRNA analysis on the smallest of samples and opens up new possibilities for biomarker development.

Objectives Attendees will learn about:


Sample preparation and real-time PCR technologies for miRNA biomarker discovery
Developing a miRNA biomarker signature using a three stage process
Workflows for quantification of miRNA from common body fluids such as serum, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and urine
Normalization strategies for real-time PCR data derived from body fluid samples

Oct 30, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Genomics in the Clinic: Promises and Challenges

John Carpten, PhD

Deputy Director of Basic Science, Professor and Director Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, TGen

Uncovering the genetic lesions underpinning cancer through genomic profiling in a clinical setting could provide insights into possible treatment options for oncologists and their patients. Next generation sequencing platforms are now paving the way to make numerous genomic and transcriptomic measurements including point mutations, copy number alterations, translocation mapping, and exon/allele specific transcriptome profiling with a single technology. We hope to apply this technology and build it out in a clinical setting to help oncologist determine the best course of treatment, currently for end-stage cancer patients. It is our hope that these technologies will be incorporated early in the clinical management of cancer to improve overall outcomes for patients.

Oct 30, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Clinical Shotgun Proteomics in Cancer Biomarker and Drug Target Research/Discovery

Josip Blonder, MD

Group Leader - Clinical Proteomics, Cancer Research Technology Program (CRTP), Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL), Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.

Mass spectrometry (MS)-based profiling of clinical specimens has been increasingly used in cancer research to characterize changes in protein expression between tumor and healthy tissue or between the blood of diseased and healthy individuals. These molecular profiles may lead to distinct insights that are not readily evident using in vitro cultured cells or animal models and may facilitate discovery of clinically applicable biomarkers and novel drug targets. However, the discovery of valid cancer biomarkers and drug targets using MS-based proteomics has proven difficult, primarily due to the analytical challenges exemplified in the wide dynamic range of human plasma protein levels (i.e., > 10 orders of magnitude) and the fact that the 10 most abundant proteins constitute ~ 90% of the total plasma protein mass. Analytical challenges related to MS-based profiling of clinical samples obtained from diverse patient populations are complex, different from those in basic cancer research characterized by controlled experimental conditions employing in vitro cultured cells or transgenic animals. Therefore, experimental design and sample preparation represent the most challenging steps within a clinical proteomic workflow aimed at the development of reproducible and high-throughput methods for cancer biomarker and drug targets discovery. This presentation focuses on our recent advances in experimental design and method development using high resolution/accuracy MS-based proteomics for molecular profiling of clinical specimens in the context of cancer biomarker and novel drug targets research/discovery.

Molecular Profiling and Biomarkers-+

Oct 29, 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

Expanding the scope of RNA-Seq to archival FFPE samples

Kelli Bramlett, M.S.

Research & Development Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

As next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms advance in their speed, ease-of-use, and cost-effectiveness, many translational researchers are transitioning from microarrays to RNA sequencing (or RNA-seq) for their gene expression analysis needs. RNA-seq goes beyond differential gene expression to provide fundamental insights into how genomes are organized and regulated. New RNA-seq solutions now offer higher sensitivity, increased sample number flexibility, and the ability to analyze highly degraded or rare samples from as little as 10 ng of input RNA. Dr. Bramlett will discuss how NGS and RNA-seq can be applied for the discovery of new tumor biomarkers in archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples.

Oct 29, 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Making Clinical NGS possible

Vikram Devgan, PhD, MBA

Director, Head of Biological research content, Qiagen, Inc.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized extraction of genomic information, facilitating rapid advances in the fields of clinical research and molecular diagnostics. However, certain bottlenecks still pose challenges in implementing NGS for clinical research. To meet these challenges, QIAGEN introduced 14 panels for targeted enrichment of up to 570 clinically-relevant genes, the largest portfolio of panels for assessing cancer genes in a clinical research setting. GeneRead DNAseq Gene Panel V2 integrates with bioinformatics solutions, allowing customization of assays and streamlined data analysis and interpretation for fast generation of valuable insights. This webinar will discuss the utilization of these panels highlighting their analytical performance and applicability in a clinical research setting.

Oct 29, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

What's wrong with biomarker development for cancer

Anna Barker, PhD

Co-Director, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Director, National Biomarker Development Alliance, Director, Transformative Healthcare Networks, Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

Although robust and clinically meaningful biomarkers are key to achieving the current vision for precision (molecularly based), cancer medicine (patient stratification, early diagnosis, drug development), few ever successfully advance beyond discovery to the clinic. For example, protein biomarkers have received FDA approval at a rate of less than 1 per year since the mid 1990's. Numerous publications report the discovery of hundreds of thousands of cancer biomarkers, yet fewer than 100 are routinely used in the clinic. The staggering costs and dismal success rate of cancer clinical trials and the lack of development of the molecular diagnostics industry are tied to this history of biomarker failures.

Achieving robust, reproducible and clinically important cancer biomarkers is one of the great "value propositions" in biomedicine. Realizing this value will require systemic changes which recognize that achieving success will require standards-based end-to-end systems approaches. Biomarker discovery and development occurs in overlapping but discrete phases; but there are currently no broadly accepted or applied standards (guidelines, best practices, standard operating procedures, etc.) to support evidence-based transition of a biomarker through these phases - much less robust systems-based models. Although complex, these problems can be solved.
The National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA) is a non-profit, trans-sector network-based organization whose mission is to create/assemble the "standards" needed to support systems based approaches to biomarker development. The NBDA will partner with all affected stakeholders and the regulators to ensure that high value, robust standards are broadly employed to create the systems based approaches to biomarker development so desperately needed to transition precision medicine from a vision to reality for all cancer patients.

Oct 29, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

Improving the Robustness and Reproducibility of Quantitative Proteomics

Michael MacCoss, PhD

Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, School of Medicine

Proteomics technology has improved dramatically over the last decade. The technology developments have largely been directed around instrument hardware, where instruments have been developed that scan faster, are more sensitive, and have greater mass measurement accuracy. However, the basic workflow has remained largely unchanged -- mass spectrometers are directed toward the acquisition of tandem mass spectra on the most abundant molecular species eluting from a chromatography column. More recently, efforts have been focused on the acquisition of mass spectrometry data on target peptides of interest. With improvements in instrument hardware and instrument control software, the practical experimental difference between a targeted and discovery proteomics is beginning to become blurred. These analyses are a significant change from the traditional proteomics workflow and have required the development of novel computational strategies to analyze, visualize, and interpret these data. We will present work illustrating our efforts in the development of targeted proteomics and provide a vision for challenges that still need to be overcome before these analyses become routine and replace more traditional discover proteomics methodology.

Oct 29, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

PDX Tumor Models for Oncology Research and Preclinical Prediction

Walter Ausserer, PhD

Business Unit Management, Senior Business Unit Manager, The Jackson Laboratory

Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models can recapitulate patient tumor histopathology, mutational status, gene expression patterns, and drug response with remarkable fidelity. At The Jackson Laboratory, we have established a repository of more than 350 well-characterized PDX tumor models and are working with leading cancer centers on translational studies at the forefront of personalized medicine. This presentation will explore recent progress toward the use of PDX and humanized mouse models for predictive oncology treatment.

Oct 29, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Molecular Prognosis in the Management of Early Stage Lung Cancer

Michael J Mann, MD

Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Director, Cardiothoracic Translational Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco

Survival rates for early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain unacceptably low compared to other common solid tumors. This mortality reflects a weakness in conventional staging, as 30-45% even of stage I patients harbor undetected metastasis. The need for better discrimination of high-risk patients in both stages I and II NSCLC is underscored by the documentation that adjuvant chemotherapy offers the possibility of cure for occult metastasis of NSCLC. Despite this possibility to improve survival through early intervention, however, many stage II and nearly all stage I patients with occult metastasis still forgo adjuvant chemotherapy because there has been no well-validated means of identifying those patients at highest risk.

Gene expression profiles have become the gold standard for delineating risk and improving clinical decisions in early stage breast cancer. Previous efforts to develop a similarly practical and effective means of improving decision-making in the management of early stage NSCLC, however, have lacked both a clinically relevant approach and adequate large-scale validation. A PCR-based, 14-gene expression assay that uses paraffin-embedded tissue was recently reported to discriminate high- and low-risk patients with non-squamous NSCLC, and has been validated in ~1,500 patients in two large scale, international, independent, blinded studies (Lancet 2012;379:823, JAMA 2012;308:1629). The molecular profile outperforms all conventional risk criteria and staging methods at identifying patients at the highest risk of mortality after an attempt at curative surgery, even within individual staging groups. Published guidelines already recommend adjuvant chemotherapy for high-risk stage I and stage II patients; this molecular assay therefore represents a more effective means of implementing the current standard of care and of improving clinical decision-making in patients with early stage non-squamous, NSCLC. Recent early data with prospective use of the assay in clinical practice suggest that it impacts clinical decision making substantially, and that it may improve the implementation of current guidelines and ultimately improve outcomes for the increasing numbers of early stage lung cancer patients.

Oct 30, 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

A platform for combining the results of WES and RNA-seq analysis

Naomi Thomson

Director, Clinical Analytics and Workflow Products, CLC Bio, a Qiagen company

Cancer research is being revolutionized by targeted gene panels, whole exome sequencing (WES), whole genome sequencing (WGS), and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq).

Many analyses, such as comparison of tumor and normal cells, include comparison of variant calls. In this webinar, we will illustrate the benefits of leveraging read mappings in the comparison of WES and RNA-seq data using CLC Cancer Research Workbench.

The CLC platform provides a number of tools, together building up a workflow, for analyzing WES and RNA-seq reads and for comparing the results. From this webinar you will learn how to analyse and compare variants from two patients using built-in workflows in CLC Cancer Research Workbench; Analysis steps include filtering results for tumor-specific variants, identifying variants from both WES and RNA-seq data, searching RNA-seq read mappings for variants previously called from exome data, and recovering previously detected variants in the WES data directly from the RNA-seq read mappings.

Oct 30, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Development of molecularly targeted imaging agents and identification of novel targets in cancer

Kimberly Kelly , PhD

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia

The era of omics has ushered in the hope for personalized medicine. Proteomic and genomic strategies that allow unbiased identification of genes and proteins and their post-transcriptional and -translation modifications are an essential component to successful understanding of disease and the choice of imaging targets. However, the enormity of the genome and proteome and limitations in data analysis make it difficult to determine the targets that are particularly relevant to human disease and will be good targets for molecular imaging. Methods are therefore needed that allow rational identification of targets based on function, relevance to disease, and suitability for molecular imaging.

Screening methodologies such as phage display, SELEX, and small-molecule combinatorial chemistry have been widely used to discover specific ligands for cells or tissues of interest. Those ligands can be used in turn as affinity probes to identify their cognate molecular targets when they are not known in advance. In addition, those ligands can be developed into molecularly targeted drug delivery and imaging agents.

Through this lecture, we will explore one clinical scenario: pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) as an application for target identification, imaging and therapeutic agent development. PDAC is among the most lethal of human cancers due to its marked resistance to existing chemo- and radiotherapies. Unlike a number of other solid tumors, which have robust methods for early detection, there have been no significant improvements in PDAC survival over the past 40 years despite a large number of clinical trials of both conventional and targeted therapies. Like other solid cancers, early detection that allows complete surgical resection offers the best hope for longer survival, unfortunately, most patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease due to the lack of specific symptoms and absence of suitable biomarkers for early detection.

Oct 30, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Structural Pathways of Cancer

Ruth Nussinov, PhD

Head, Computational Structural Biology Group, Senior Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Structural pathways are important. They are essential to the understanding of how oncogenic mutations work and to figuring out alternative parallel pathways in drug resistant mutants. Structural pathways also help to understand the inter-relationship among linked phenomena, as in the case of inflammation and cancer. Cell biology provides a global overview of the behavior of the cell, tissue and the organism under different sets of conditions; the structures of single proteins and their coherent interactions provide insight into the dynamic changes in the proteins, such as those taking place through post-translational modifications, binding events and mutations, and into their interactions. Nonetheless, beyond the challenging construction of structural pathways, there is also a need to obtain a mechanistic insight into single proteins, their modifications, interactions and broadly, their changing landscapes. Why is insight into the dynamic landscape of single proteins important? Perceiving proteins. behavior can help to forecast allosteric transitions, and regulation, and it can help relate oncogenic mutations to their constitutive consequences. The talk will largely focus on structural pathways related to cancer, and oncogenic mutations mapped on these to figure out their mechanisms. These are some of the ways through which computational structural biology can help cancer research.

Therapeutics; Cancer Therapies & New Techniques-+

Oct 29, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

A Next-Gen Sequencing Software Workflow for Cancer Gene Panel Analysis

Kerri Phillips

Clinical Research Product Manager, DNASTAR

DNASTAR offers an integrated suite of software for assembling and analyzing sequence data from all major next-generation sequencing platforms. The software supports a variety of key workflows on a desktop computer and on the Cloud. A new Somatic/Cancer Gene Panel workflow supports several types of data sets, including Ion Torrent AmpliSeqTM Comprehensive Cancer Panel, Illumina TruSight Cancer Panel, as well as custom gene panels.
The workflow will be demonstrated, illustrating how both normal and tumor sample data are input to the system in a single step. The pipeline analyzes the two samples separately calling small indels and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in each sample separately. Upon completion of the variant calling, just a few data filtering steps make comparison between the tumor and normal control sample a straight-forward and efficient process.

Learning objectives:


Have a better understanding of sequence assembly and analysis software for cancer gene panels.
Learn how to conduct tumor/normal sequence data analysis.

Oct 29, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Metabolic therapy for the adjuvant treatment of malignant brain tumors

Adrienne C. Scheck, PhD

Associate Professor, Neuro-Oncology Research, Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, Barrow Neurological Institute

Human malignant glioma is a uniformly fatal disease, causing over 14,000 deaths in the US this year. Adults diagnosed with malignant brain tumors have a median survival of approximately 15 months, regardless of currently available treatments which include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Improvement in the survival of these patients requires the design of new therapeutic modalities that take advantage of common phenotypes. One such phenotype is the metabolic dysregulation that is a hallmark of cancer cells. This dysregulation causes them to rely preferentially on glucose as an energy source. It has therefore been postulated that one approach to treating brain tumors may be by metabolic alteration such as that which occurs through the use of the ketogenic diet (KD). The KD is high-fat, low-carbohydrate and protein diet that causes a reduction in blood glucose and an increase in blood ketones. It has been utilized for the non-pharmacologic treatment of refractory epilepsy and has a long safety record. We and others have shown that this diet enhances survival in a mouse model of malignant brain tumors when used alone, and we have shown that the KD potentiates the antitumor activity of both temozolomide (TMZ) and radiation. In addition to improvements in survival, the KD appears to reduce peritumoral edema, inflammation, angiogenesis, and cell invasion. Our preclinical data have led to the opening of a clinical trial at the Barrow Neurological Institute using the KD for the upfront treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme in addition to radiation and TMZ.

While the mechanisms through which the ketogenic diet enhances survival have not been fully elucidated, a broad range of gene expression changes have been demonstrated, providing a framework for future studies. An understanding of the mechanisms through which the ketogenic diet exerts its effects will facilitate its use for the treatment of brain tumors in combination with current and future therapeutics.

Learning objectives:


Understand the potential of metabolic alteration in the treatment of malignant brain tumors.
Understand some of the mechanisms through which the ketogenic diet alters brain tumor growth.

Oct 29, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Transforming the future of oncology with genomics

Jennifer Stone, PhD

Senior Market Manager, Oncology , Illumina

Illumina next-generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray technologies are revolutionizing cancer research, enabling cancer variant discovery and detection and molecular monitoring.

Join us for a review of Illuminas areas of focus for development of sample-to-data solutions, including whole-genome and targeted sequencing approaches. Learn how these solutions are now delivering relevant oncological information into the hands of translational and clinical researchers. Hear about groundbreaking developments in cancer genomics from around the world, including:


Whole-genome and targeted sequencing of DNA
Germ line investigations
Deep sequencing of circulating nucleic acids as non-invasive bio markers

Oct 30, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) in Cancer Chemotherapy: A Tool for Optimizing Drug Management

William Clarke, PhD, MBA, DABCC

Director, Clinical Toxicology, Director, Point-of-Care Testing, Associate Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Many drugs currently used for anti-cancer therapy demonstrate significant inter-individual variability that cannot be normalized using body weight or body surface area. There is an increasing amount of evidence in the scientific literature describing the use of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) to inform dosing of these drugs can lead to more effective treatment. This presentation will discuss the scientific literature addressing inter-individual variability of these drugs, the concept of maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and why an approach using maximum tolerated exposure (MTE) might be a better way to manage some chemotherapeutic drugs. Specific examples of TDM in oncology will be discussed including 5-fluorouracil, taxanes, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Oct 30, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

What is best practice for testing for unexpected pregnancy in pediatric and adult patients prior to cancer diagnostics, imaging and therapy?

Sharon M. Geaghan, MD

Chief, Pathology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Stanford University

Female cancer patients in the reproductive years face a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures which pose teratogenic hazards to an unexpected pregnancy. Ionizing radiation, diagnostic biopsy and surgical resection procedures, anesthesia, chemotherapeutic agents and nuclear medicine scans are commonplace interventions which are contraindicated in the presence of a pregnancy, yet may be required for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Woman facing such procedures are tested for pregnancy so that decision-making regarding pregnancy and the need for cancer treatment can be made prospectively, and to avoid potential iatrogenic harm, emotional distress for the patient, and liability for the physician. There are substantial knowledge gaps amongst physicians regarding the limitations of the different tests. It is critically important that the physician understand the types of available human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) tests; the differences in sample types (urine or serum); and the locations where the tests can be performed. Analytical sensitivities differ between urine and blood HCG tests, which yield differences of several days in pregnancy detection. Reasons for erroneous urine HCG results will be examined. Variability between measurements, test interferences and HCG variants will be discussed. The clinical impact of using the right test on the right sample at the right time on sexually active female cancer patients in their reproductive years will be highlighted.

Cancer Epigenetics

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

Reading and disrupting the histone code with chemical agents: making new tools to understand epigenetic methylation pathways in stem-like cancers

Fraser Hof, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Post-translational methylations play central roles in epigenetic gene regulation pathways that are central to stem cell regulation. Lysine methylations are turn-on switches for hundreds of distinct protein-protein interactions among a diverse family of cell regulators called epigenetic reader proteins. In spite of their biological importance and relevance to therapeutic development, there exist few synthetic agents that can help us to study or antagonize these pathways. We have been developing chemicals that can mimic, sense, or antagonize the lysine-methylation-driven biochemistry important to healthy and disease-linked cellular processes. We have created organic macrocycles that can recognize and bind to methylated sites on proteins, including examples that disrupt methylation-driven protein-protein interactions and others that can provide a readout of a proteins methylation state. We have also targeted a family of methylation reader proteins called chromodomains, having created antagonists of the epigenetic master controller Chromobox homolog 7 (CBX7) that is a master controller of stem cell programming. We will report on the impacts of these new inhibitors on the programming of cancer cells and stem-like cancer cells, and discuss implications for developing new treatments for stem-like cancers that tend to have the most aggressive and untreatable clinical manifestations.

Cancer Metabolism

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

Obesity, weight loss, and the microenvironment in basal-like breast cancer

Liza Makowski, PhD

Assistant Professor, Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Obesity is associated with an aggressive subtype of breast cancer called basal-like breast cancer (BBC). Using C3(1)-TAg mice, a genetically engineered mouse model that resembles human BBC, we demonstrated that mice displayed increased tumor aggressiveness when fed obesogenic diets. Obesity induced in the adult window of susceptibility triggered early latency and elevated mammary gland expression and activation of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met compared to lean controls, a pro-tumorigenic pathway associated with BBC in patients. HGF secretion was also increased from primary mammary fibroblasts isolated from normal mammary glands and tumors of obese mice compared to lean. Conditioned media from primary tumor fibroblasts from obese mice drove tumor cell proliferation compared to lean controls. In co-culture, neutralization of secreted HGF blunted tumor cell migration, further linking obesity-mediated HGF-dependent effects to in vitro measures of tumor aggressiveness. Using a more severe diet model, we exposed mice to a lifelong diet intervention - C3(1)-TAg mice were weaned onto and maintained on an obesogenic high fat diet. Obese mice displayed significant elevations in tumor progression. Epidemiologic studies estimate that weight loss could prevent a large proportion of BBC. We sought to investigate whether weight loss in adulthood prior to tumor onset would protect mice from the accelerated tumorigenesis observed in obese mice. Indeed, tumor progression was significantly reversed when obese mice were induced to lose weight by switching to a control low fat diet prior to tumor onset compared to mice maintained on obesogenic diet. Obesity-elevated HGF/c-Met expression in normal mammary glands and c-Met in tumors was significantly reversed with weight loss. Other mediators associated with oncogenesis such as hyperinsulinemia and a high leptin/adiponectin ratio were also elevated by obesity and reduced with weight loss. In sum, weight loss significantly blunted the obesity-responsive pro-tumorigenic HGF/c-Met pathway and improved several metabolic risk factors associated with BBC, which together may have contributed to the dramatic reversal of obesity-driven tumor progression. Future research aims to evaluate the role of obesity, the mammary microenvironment, and the HGF/c-Met pathway in basal-like cancer progression.

Learning Objective:


After completing this activity the learner will be able to understand how obesity and weight loss affect the normal mammary gland and tumor in a murine model of basal like breast cancer.


Links to human studies and ongoing outreach programs will be discussed.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Protein phosphatase 2A in cell survival upon metabolic stress

Mei Kong, PhD

Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology , City of Hope National Medical Center

Tumor cells often display fundamental changes in metabolism and increase their uptake of nutrients to meet the increased bioenergetic demands of proliferation. Glucose and glutamine are two main nutrients whose uptake is directly controlled by oncogenic mutations and are essential for tumor cell survival and proliferation. During tumor growth, increased uptake of nutrients and rapid accumulation of cells can outstrip the supply of essential nutrients, including glucose and glutamine. How tumor cells survive these temporary periods of nutrient deprivation is unclear, but is necessary for tumorigenesis to persist. The major goal of our laboratory is to delineate the strategies used by tumor cells to survive periods of nutrient deprivation and then to develop novel therapies targeting nutrient-sensing pathways of neoplastic cells. We recently discovered that protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A)-associated protein, α4, plays a conserved role in glutamine sensing. α4 promotes assembly of an adaptive PP2A complex containing the B55α regulatory subunit via providing the catalytic subunit upon glutamine deprivation. Moreover, B55α is specifically induced upon glutamine deprivation in a ROS-dependent manner to activate p53 and promote cell survival. B55α activates p53 through direct interaction and dephosphorylation of EDD, a negative regulator of p53. Importantly, the B55α-EDD-p53 pathway is essential for cancer cell survival and tumor growth under low glutamine conditions in vitro and in vivo. Our studies provided not only deeper understanding of the survival pathway used by cancer cells when glutamine metabolism is blocked, but also provides important evidence that protein phosphatase complexes are actively involved in signal transduction.

Clinical Proteomics

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Antibody-based Proteomics: Fast-Tracking Molecular Diagnostics and Target Discovery in Oncology

Darran O'Connor, PhD

Senior Lecturer, School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Co-Director, Cancer Biology & Therapeutics Laboratory, University of Dublin

The effective implementation of personalised cancer therapeutic regimens depends on the successful identification and translation of informative biomarkers to aid clinical decision-making. Antibody-based proteomics occupies a pivotal space in the cancer biomarker discovery and validation pipeline, facilitating the high-throughput evaluation of candidate markers. Although the clinical utility of these emerging technologies remains to be established, the traditional use of antibodies as affinity reagents in clinical diagnostic and predictive assays suggests that the rapid translation of such approaches is an achievable goal. Furthermore, in combination with, or as alternatives to, genomic and transcriptomic methods for patient stratification, antibody-based proteomics approaches offer the promise of additional insight into cancer disease states. Here, the current status of antibody-based proteomics will be covered, as will its contribution to the development of new assays that are crucial for the realisation of individualised cancer therapy. Moreover, the utility of the digital pathology, particularly pertaining to automated assessment of tissue-derived biomarker expression, will also be described.

Drug Discovery

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

Nanotechnologies for Precision Medicine

Srinivas (Sri) Sridhar, PhD

Director, NSF IGERT Nanomedicine Science and Technology Program, Director, Electronic Materials Research Institute, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics, Lecturer on Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School

The modern era of Precision Medicine requires targeted delivery of molecular inhibitors that control key processes in disease pathways. PARP (Poly ADP Ribose Polymerase) plays a crucial role in the DNA repair pathways in a cell, rendering it the Achilles Heel specifically in cancer cells. We have developed novel injectable nanoformulations of PARP inhibitors that have superior bioavailability and tumor accumulation compared with available oral formulations. Extensive in vitro and in vivo studies have been carried out in ovarian, breast and prostate cancer models. These results imply an important role for the PARPi nanoformulations as chemo and radio-sensitizers enabling mono- and combination nanotherapeutic approaches for several cancers.

Theranostic nanoplatforms combine multiple functionalities including multi-modal imaging, targeting to the disease site, and delivery of the drug payload through sustained as well as triggered drug release. We discuss the applications of these nanoplatforms in local chemotherapy with INCERT implants, and MR/SPECT/optical multi-modal imaging using iron oxide nanoparticles.

Supported by the National Science Foundation, National Cancer Institute, DoD CDMRP, Mazzone Foundation and CIMIT.

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Targeting the oncogene eIF4E in leukemia reveals a new form of drug resistance

Katherine LB Borden, PhD

Principal Investigator, Structure and Function of the Cell Nucleus research unit, Full Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Universit de Montreal, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer

The eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E is an oncogene elevated in an estimated 30% of cancers. The traditional view is that eIF4E drives proliferation and survival by increasing the translation of a subset of mRNAs encoding proteins involved in these processes. eIF4E also promotes the nuclear cytoplasmic mRNA export of a subset of growth promoting transcripts. This enables eIF4E to elevate the cytoplasmic concentration of these transcripts and thus their protein levels without a priori altering their translation. Indeed, the mRNA export function of eIF4E contributes to its oncogenic potential. eIF4E requires specific mRNA elements and co-factors to act in mRNA export and also modulates the nuclear pore complex to enable this activity. In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the nuclear localization and mRNA export function of eIF4E is highly elevated. NMR, mass spectrometry and other biophysical studies demonstrate that ribavirin directly binds and inhibits eIF4E. In the first two clinical studies to ever target eIF4E, ribavirin led to molecular targeting of eIF4E activity, and substantial responses including remissions in relapsed and refractory AML patients. Eventually all responding patients relapsed, analysis of patients specimens revealed a novel form of drug resistance: Gli1 inducible drug glucuronidation. Indeed, this form of resistance was also relevant to the standard of care for AML, cytarabine. New clinical studies targeting eIF4E and this form of drug resistance using Gl1i inhibitors are planned.

Learning objectives:



The learner will be able to explain that targeting the oncogene eIF4E with ribavirin has clinical benefits in at least some patients
The learner will be able to describe that there is a new form of drug resistance, inducible drug glucurondiation, which is targetable and is like relevant beyond ribavirin and cytarabine

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

miRNA Biomarker Discovery: Technologies, workflows, and data analysis solutions for discovering your unique signature

Jonathan Shaffer, PhD

Senior Scientist, Product Development, Qiagen

Circulating miRNAs have great potential as biomarkers due to their aberrant expression in cancer and other diseases. However, miRNAs from body fluids are hard to obtain in amounts sufficient for detailed miRNome profiling. This webinar presents an integrated, PCR-based system that reduces the amount of sample required for full miRNome profiling by several orders of magnitude and provides unparalleled reproducibility and precision. Detailed protocols will be shared regarding RNA isolation, real-time quantification, and data analysis for the assessment of serum, plasma, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid samples. This system enables accurate miRNA analysis on the smallest of samples and opens up new possibilities for biomarker development.

Objectives Attendees will learn about:


Sample preparation and real-time PCR technologies for miRNA biomarker discovery
Developing a miRNA biomarker signature using a three stage process
Workflows for quantification of miRNA from common body fluids such as serum, plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and urine
Normalization strategies for real-time PCR data derived from body fluid samples



Keynote

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Learning from the Pointillists - Using Big Data Approaches to Embrace the Complexity of Cancer

Kenneth Buetow, PhD, FACMI

Director of Computational Sciences and Informatics Program for Complex Adaptive Systems, Professor, the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

The comprehensive, multidimensional molecular characterization of tumors and the individuals in which they have developed is transforming cancer definition, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. These technologies identify the millions of variants present in normal individuals and thousands of alterations that occur during the course of tumor development. This systems-wide molecular analysis has identified a complex cacophony of inherited and acquired variation. The integration and interpretation of this complex multidimensional information into evidence exceeds raw human cognitive capacity. It presents challenges of contextualizing the data and converting it into actionable information.

Data Science has the capacity to provide the needed tools to tackle this challenge. Arizona State Universitys (ASU) Complex Adaptive Systems team is building a first generation Data Science research platform - the Next Generation Cyber Capability (NGCC). The ASU NGCC composed of hardware, software, and people transforms Big Data to information and creates the evidence necessary to enable personalized medicine. The NGCC permits data points to be evaluated in concert using Big Data analytic frameworks thereby identifying an emergent, coherent whole. Biologic network analysis represents one such promising integrative approach. These networks account for the individual heterogeneity in underlying etiology as well as the interaction of diverse events necessary to generate a complex phenotype such as cancer. Emerging collections of analytic approaches permit analysis using genome-wide data sets and established biologic networks as models.

These approaches are being applied to understand the origins and outcomes of cancer. Big Data approaches are identifying key biologic processes underpinning cancer susceptibility and oncogenesis. Novel analytic approaches are being applied to identify new strategies for intervention.

Molecular Profiling and Biomarkers

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

Expanding the scope of RNA-Seq to archival FFPE samples

Kelli Bramlett, M.S.

Research & Development Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

As next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms advance in their speed, ease-of-use, and cost-effectiveness, many translational researchers are transitioning from microarrays to RNA sequencing (or RNA-seq) for their gene expression analysis needs. RNA-seq goes beyond differential gene expression to provide fundamental insights into how genomes are organized and regulated. New RNA-seq solutions now offer higher sensitivity, increased sample number flexibility, and the ability to analyze highly degraded or rare samples from as little as 10 ng of input RNA. Dr. Bramlett will discuss how NGS and RNA-seq can be applied for the discovery of new tumor biomarkers in archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples.

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Making Clinical NGS possible

Vikram Devgan, PhD, MBA

Director, Head of Biological research content, Qiagen, Inc.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized extraction of genomic information, facilitating rapid advances in the fields of clinical research and molecular diagnostics. However, certain bottlenecks still pose challenges in implementing NGS for clinical research. To meet these challenges, QIAGEN introduced 14 panels for targeted enrichment of up to 570 clinically-relevant genes, the largest portfolio of panels for assessing cancer genes in a clinical research setting. GeneRead DNAseq Gene Panel V2 integrates with bioinformatics solutions, allowing customization of assays and streamlined data analysis and interpretation for fast generation of valuable insights. This webinar will discuss the utilization of these panels highlighting their analytical performance and applicability in a clinical research setting.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

What's wrong with biomarker development for cancer

Anna Barker, PhD

Co-Director, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Director, National Biomarker Development Alliance, Director, Transformative Healthcare Networks, Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

Although robust and clinically meaningful biomarkers are key to achieving the current vision for precision (molecularly based), cancer medicine (patient stratification, early diagnosis, drug development), few ever successfully advance beyond discovery to the clinic. For example, protein biomarkers have received FDA approval at a rate of less than 1 per year since the mid 1990's. Numerous publications report the discovery of hundreds of thousands of cancer biomarkers, yet fewer than 100 are routinely used in the clinic. The staggering costs and dismal success rate of cancer clinical trials and the lack of development of the molecular diagnostics industry are tied to this history of biomarker failures.

Achieving robust, reproducible and clinically important cancer biomarkers is one of the great "value propositions" in biomedicine. Realizing this value will require systemic changes which recognize that achieving success will require standards-based end-to-end systems approaches. Biomarker discovery and development occurs in overlapping but discrete phases; but there are currently no broadly accepted or applied standards (guidelines, best practices, standard operating procedures, etc.) to support evidence-based transition of a biomarker through these phases - much less robust systems-based models. Although complex, these problems can be solved.
The National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA) is a non-profit, trans-sector network-based organization whose mission is to create/assemble the "standards" needed to support systems based approaches to biomarker development. The NBDA will partner with all affected stakeholders and the regulators to ensure that high value, robust standards are broadly employed to create the systems based approaches to biomarker development so desperately needed to transition precision medicine from a vision to reality for all cancer patients.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

Improving the Robustness and Reproducibility of Quantitative Proteomics

Michael MacCoss, PhD

Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, School of Medicine

Proteomics technology has improved dramatically over the last decade. The technology developments have largely been directed around instrument hardware, where instruments have been developed that scan faster, are more sensitive, and have greater mass measurement accuracy. However, the basic workflow has remained largely unchanged -- mass spectrometers are directed toward the acquisition of tandem mass spectra on the most abundant molecular species eluting from a chromatography column. More recently, efforts have been focused on the acquisition of mass spectrometry data on target peptides of interest. With improvements in instrument hardware and instrument control software, the practical experimental difference between a targeted and discovery proteomics is beginning to become blurred. These analyses are a significant change from the traditional proteomics workflow and have required the development of novel computational strategies to analyze, visualize, and interpret these data. We will present work illustrating our efforts in the development of targeted proteomics and provide a vision for challenges that still need to be overcome before these analyses become routine and replace more traditional discover proteomics methodology.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

PDX Tumor Models for Oncology Research and Preclinical Prediction

Walter Ausserer, PhD

Business Unit Management, Senior Business Unit Manager, The Jackson Laboratory

Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models can recapitulate patient tumor histopathology, mutational status, gene expression patterns, and drug response with remarkable fidelity. At The Jackson Laboratory, we have established a repository of more than 350 well-characterized PDX tumor models and are working with leading cancer centers on translational studies at the forefront of personalized medicine. This presentation will explore recent progress toward the use of PDX and humanized mouse models for predictive oncology treatment.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Drug-tailored, efficacy-predictive and prognostic biomarker approaches for proper patient selection

Peter Blume-Jensen, MD, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer, XTuit Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Over the last decade we have witnessed tremendous advances in our understanding of the underlying molecular alterations in human cancer. This has stimulated excitement for our ability to develop effective targeted therapies and diagnostic tests based on genetic information. However, there have been only limited successes, to a great extent due to the challenges of matching inferred signaling pathway alterations based on specific genetic mutations with often inferred effects of a particular drug. The presentation will provide an example of a functional, pathway-based approach for identification of drug-tailored, efficacy-predictive biomarkers based on post-translationally modified proteins involved in the aggressive, metastatic cancer phenotype. Moreover, we will describe the de novo development and clinical validation of a novel proteomics prostate cancer biopsy test for intact tissue based on quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence and image analysis. The described approaches enable development of powerful prognostic and efficacy-predictive, protein-based, quantitative biomarkers for better clinical treatment decisions and outcome.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Molecular Prognosis in the Management of Early Stage Lung Cancer

Michael J Mann, MD

Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Director, Cardiothoracic Translational Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco

Survival rates for early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain unacceptably low compared to other common solid tumors. This mortality reflects a weakness in conventional staging, as 30-45% even of stage I patients harbor undetected metastasis. The need for better discrimination of high-risk patients in both stages I and II NSCLC is underscored by the documentation that adjuvant chemotherapy offers the possibility of cure for occult metastasis of NSCLC. Despite this possibility to improve survival through early intervention, however, many stage II and nearly all stage I patients with occult metastasis still forgo adjuvant chemotherapy because there has been no well-validated means of identifying those patients at highest risk.

Gene expression profiles have become the gold standard for delineating risk and improving clinical decisions in early stage breast cancer. Previous efforts to develop a similarly practical and effective means of improving decision-making in the management of early stage NSCLC, however, have lacked both a clinically relevant approach and adequate large-scale validation. A PCR-based, 14-gene expression assay that uses paraffin-embedded tissue was recently reported to discriminate high- and low-risk patients with non-squamous NSCLC, and has been validated in ~1,500 patients in two large scale, international, independent, blinded studies (Lancet 2012;379:823, JAMA 2012;308:1629). The molecular profile outperforms all conventional risk criteria and staging methods at identifying patients at the highest risk of mortality after an attempt at curative surgery, even within individual staging groups. Published guidelines already recommend adjuvant chemotherapy for high-risk stage I and stage II patients; this molecular assay therefore represents a more effective means of implementing the current standard of care and of improving clinical decision-making in patients with early stage non-squamous, NSCLC. Recent early data with prospective use of the assay in clinical practice suggest that it impacts clinical decision making substantially, and that it may improve the implementation of current guidelines and ultimately improve outcomes for the increasing numbers of early stage lung cancer patients.

Therapeutics; Cancer Therapies & New Techniques

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

A Next-Gen Sequencing Software Workflow for Cancer Gene Panel Analysis

Kerri Phillips

Clinical Research Product Manager, DNASTAR

DNASTAR offers an integrated suite of software for assembling and analyzing sequence data from all major next-generation sequencing platforms. The software supports a variety of key workflows on a desktop computer and on the Cloud. A new Somatic/Cancer Gene Panel workflow supports several types of data sets, including Ion Torrent AmpliSeqTM Comprehensive Cancer Panel, Illumina TruSight Cancer Panel, as well as custom gene panels.
The workflow will be demonstrated, illustrating how both normal and tumor sample data are input to the system in a single step. The pipeline analyzes the two samples separately calling small indels and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in each sample separately. Upon completion of the variant calling, just a few data filtering steps make comparison between the tumor and normal control sample a straight-forward and efficient process.

Learning objectives:


Have a better understanding of sequence assembly and analysis software for cancer gene panels.
Learn how to conduct tumor/normal sequence data analysis.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Metabolic therapy for the adjuvant treatment of malignant brain tumors

Adrienne C. Scheck, PhD

Associate Professor, Neuro-Oncology Research, Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, Barrow Neurological Institute

Human malignant glioma is a uniformly fatal disease, causing over 14,000 deaths in the US this year. Adults diagnosed with malignant brain tumors have a median survival of approximately 15 months, regardless of currently available treatments which include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Improvement in the survival of these patients requires the design of new therapeutic modalities that take advantage of common phenotypes. One such phenotype is the metabolic dysregulation that is a hallmark of cancer cells. This dysregulation causes them to rely preferentially on glucose as an energy source. It has therefore been postulated that one approach to treating brain tumors may be by metabolic alteration such as that which occurs through the use of the ketogenic diet (KD). The KD is high-fat, low-carbohydrate and protein diet that causes a reduction in blood glucose and an increase in blood ketones. It has been utilized for the non-pharmacologic treatment of refractory epilepsy and has a long safety record. We and others have shown that this diet enhances survival in a mouse model of malignant brain tumors when used alone, and we have shown that the KD potentiates the antitumor activity of both temozolomide (TMZ) and radiation. In addition to improvements in survival, the KD appears to reduce peritumoral edema, inflammation, angiogenesis, and cell invasion. Our preclinical data have led to the opening of a clinical trial at the Barrow Neurological Institute using the KD for the upfront treatment of patients with glioblastoma multiforme in addition to radiation and TMZ.

While the mechanisms through which the ketogenic diet enhances survival have not been fully elucidated, a broad range of gene expression changes have been demonstrated, providing a framework for future studies. An understanding of the mechanisms through which the ketogenic diet exerts its effects will facilitate its use for the treatment of brain tumors in combination with current and future therapeutics.

Learning objectives:


Understand the potential of metabolic alteration in the treatment of malignant brain tumors.
Understand some of the mechanisms through which the ketogenic diet alters brain tumor growth.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Transforming the future of oncology with genomics

Jennifer Stone, PhD

Senior Market Manager, Oncology , Illumina

Illumina next-generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray technologies are revolutionizing cancer research, enabling cancer variant discovery and detection and molecular monitoring.

Join us for a review of Illuminas areas of focus for development of sample-to-data solutions, including whole-genome and targeted sequencing approaches. Learn how these solutions are now delivering relevant oncological information into the hands of translational and clinical researchers. Hear about groundbreaking developments in cancer genomics from around the world, including:


Whole-genome and targeted sequencing of DNA
Germ line investigations
Deep sequencing of circulating nucleic acids as non-invasive bio markers

Cancer Epigenetics

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

Epigenetic Dysregulation in the Pathogenesis of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

Kristin Landis-Piwowar, PhD, MLS

Assistant Professor, Biomedical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Sciences , Oakland University

When the BCR/ABL1 fusion protein was identified in chronic myelogenous leukemia and the JAK2 V617F mutation was identified in patients with other myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) such as polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia, tyrosine kinase activation appeared to be the principal driver of MPN pathogenesis. This notion of tyrosine kinase activation was further substantiated as genomic studies revealed multiple recurrent somatic mutations (e.g. MPL and LNK) in MPNs in the last decade. Yet many patients are diagnosed with an MPN lacking those particular driver mutations. Several mutations in molecules have since been identified that modify the epigenome (e.g. ASXL1, TET2, andEZH2) and many are likely to occur prior to JAK2 mutations and contribute to leukemogenesis. Mutant JAK2 has even been implicated as an epigenetic regulator. The relevance of these epigenetic disease alleles remains an important area of investigation. This session will discuss the molecular biology of epigenetics, the pathophysiology and clinical relevance of epigenetics and treatment options that target epigenetic modulators in the context of MPN.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define epigenetics
2. Correlate the impact of somatic mutations and epigenetic control of gene expression with MPNs
3. Identify therapeutic approaches designed for epigenetics

Cancer Metabolism

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

The metabolic microenvironment in tumors and its impact on T-cell mediated immunity

Julian J. Lum, PhD

Scientist BC Cancer Agency's Deeley Research Centre, Assistant Professor Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria

It has become widely accepted that the presence of intraepithelial CD8+ T cell correlate with improved patient survival. In contrast, tumors largely devoid of immune infiltrations or infiltrates skew towards a suppressive phenotype are associated with poor outcomes. In this talk, I will discuss the metabolic constraints imposed by the tumor microenvironment and how this may impact T cell responses against tumors. Specific emphasis will be placed on the condition of hypoxia, its role in the regulation of T cell differentiation, effector function and survival. Initially using ovarian cancer as a disease site, our recently work shows that the tumor microenvironment plays a significant role in dictating the presence and function of T cells. We used a multi-parameter immunohistochemical staining system to co-identify markers of the tumor vasculature and the relative expression of T cells within these regions. We find few T cells co-localizing to areas of hypoxia, whereas most T cells are present in areas of high vascularity. Moreover, there was an association towards improved survival when T cells were detected in vascular environments of the tumor. These observations are consistent with our in vitro work showing that T cells undergoing hypoxia-induced autophagy have impaired cytolytic activity. Overall, this indicates that a T cell response requires overcoming the barriers of the metabolic tumor environment and this may have important implications for T cell-based therapies for the treatment of cancer.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Probing cancer metabolism using isotope tracers to identify therapeutic targets

Christian Metallo, PhD

Principal Investigator, Metallo Lab, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego

Oncogenic mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) or 2 (IDH2) compromise their normal activity and induce NADPH-dependent (D)2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG) production within the cytosol or mitochondria. Given the critical functions of these enzymes in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) metabolism and cellular redox homeostasis, such mutations are likely to cause metabolic reprogramming in tumors. To identify metabolic abnormalities in cells harboring IDH mutations we applied 13C metabolic flux analysis (MFA) to isogenic cells with heterozygous IDH1 mutations. MFA results indicate that IDH1 mutant cells exhibit increased oxidative TCA metabolism and oxygen consumption under hypoxia relative to parental cells. This metabolic phenotype occurs independently of 2HG accumulation and renders IDH1 mutant cells more sensitive to electron transport chain (ETC) inhibition compared to IDH wild-type and IDH2 mutant cells. These data suggest that targeting mitochondrial metabolism may be synthetically lethal in tumors expressing mutant IDH1 and can be combined with strategies that selectively inhibit its neomorphic activity.
In addition, we have exploited the NADPH-dependent 2HG production by mutant IDH1 and IDH2 to characterize the function of compartmentalized cofactor cycles that occur in cancer cells. Importantly, pathway segregation in distinct organelles has prevented traditional MFA approaches from accurately measuring fluxes within specific compartments. By applying 2H isotope tracers that specifically label NADPH and inducibly expressing IDH1-R132H or IDH2-R172K in the cytosol or mitochondria, respectively, we can reliably quantify NADPH metabolism in each compartment. Using this approach we have elucidated the directionality of metabolic cycles coordinated between the cytosol and mitochondria that are critical for tumor growth.

Learning objectives:


Why are mitochondria important for cancer cell growth?
Why would some cancers be more susceptible to cancer targeting than others?


Cell Signaling

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Dissecting cancer signaling pathways with chemical scalpels

Nadya Tarasova, PhD

Head, Synthetic Biologics Core, Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute

Advances in genomic research have led to identification of the majority of the drivers of tumor progression. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms propelling tumor growth is progressing much slower. Incomplete knowledge of oncoproteins regulatory mechanisms results in unexpected detrimental effects of targeted therapy. Obliteration of the protein expression is the most commonly used approach in characterization of protein function. However, the majority of proteins have multiple functions and many interacting partners. Genetic eradication of proteins does not inform on the function of particular protein-protein interactions and cannot detect essential self-inhibitory mechanisms. Chemical biology tools are much more informative in that sense. However, generation of selective chemical probes is a labor-intense process. In addition, the majority of protein-protein interactions cannot be inhibited by small molecules and thus are considered undruggable. Peptides are well suited for targeting protein-protein interactions, but their use is hampered by conformational flexibility, poor membrane penetration, low stability in circulation and rapid clearance from the body. We and others we have succeeded recently in developing metabolically stable cell permeable peptide analogs with rigid and predictable structures amenable to rational design. The approach developed in our group is based on structural stabilization of protein fragments by membrane anchoring. General applicability of this straightforward method was confirmed by generation of selective and highly potent dominant negative inhibitors of RAS oncogenes, ?-catenin, STAT1, STAT3 and STAT5 N-domains, and other non-druggable targets. Much simplified generation of selective chemical biology tools allows for effective interrogation of protein-protein interactions leading to uncovering of mechanistic details of molecular signaling that could not be obtained with the help of genetic approaches.

Learning objectives:


Learn simple ways of developing chemical biology tools (no sophisticated chemistry is required)
Learn how to uncover the roles of a certain protein-protein interaction.

Drug Discovery

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Genomics in the Clinic: Promises and Challenges

John Carpten, PhD

Deputy Director of Basic Science, Professor and Director Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, TGen

Uncovering the genetic lesions underpinning cancer through genomic profiling in a clinical setting could provide insights into possible treatment options for oncologists and their patients. Next generation sequencing platforms are now paving the way to make numerous genomic and transcriptomic measurements including point mutations, copy number alterations, translocation mapping, and exon/allele specific transcriptome profiling with a single technology. We hope to apply this technology and build it out in a clinical setting to help oncologist determine the best course of treatment, currently for end-stage cancer patients. It is our hope that these technologies will be incorporated early in the clinical management of cancer to improve overall outcomes for patients.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT

Clinical Shotgun Proteomics in Cancer Biomarker and Drug Target Research/Discovery

Josip Blonder, MD

Group Leader - Clinical Proteomics, Cancer Research Technology Program (CRTP), Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL), Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.

Mass spectrometry (MS)-based profiling of clinical specimens has been increasingly used in cancer research to characterize changes in protein expression between tumor and healthy tissue or between the blood of diseased and healthy individuals. These molecular profiles may lead to distinct insights that are not readily evident using in vitro cultured cells or animal models and may facilitate discovery of clinically applicable biomarkers and novel drug targets. However, the discovery of valid cancer biomarkers and drug targets using MS-based proteomics has proven difficult, primarily due to the analytical challenges exemplified in the wide dynamic range of human plasma protein levels (i.e., > 10 orders of magnitude) and the fact that the 10 most abundant proteins constitute ~ 90% of the total plasma protein mass. Analytical challenges related to MS-based profiling of clinical samples obtained from diverse patient populations are complex, different from those in basic cancer research characterized by controlled experimental conditions employing in vitro cultured cells or transgenic animals. Therefore, experimental design and sample preparation represent the most challenging steps within a clinical proteomic workflow aimed at the development of reproducible and high-throughput methods for cancer biomarker and drug targets discovery. This presentation focuses on our recent advances in experimental design and method development using high resolution/accuracy MS-based proteomics for molecular profiling of clinical specimens in the context of cancer biomarker and novel drug targets research/discovery.

Keynote

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM PT

Challenges in biomarker testing in non-small cell lung cancer research

Nicola Normanno, MD

Director, Research Department, Centro di Ricerche Oncologiche di Mercogliano (Naples)

Fusion genes play a central role in many cancer types. They have been used to classify malignancy, risk factors, disease prognosis, and companion diagnostic biomarkers for certain approved drugs. More than 1500 fusion transcripts have been published to date, but current practices for fusion transcript detection are hampered by high cost and bias. Typically only the top 1-2 commonly observed fusion transcripts are characterized for most samples.

We have developed a next-generation sequencing solution for highly multiplexed fusion transcript analysis. Using this workflow, hundreds of fusion transcripts can be simultaneously tested in fewer than 24 hours.

In this presentation, Dr Normanno will present an Ion AmpliSeqTM method for fusion detection and analysis from non-small cell lung cancer research samples.

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PT

A head-to-head comparison of whole blood derived samples (cfDNA vs CTC DNA) for cancer research using next-generation sequencing

Paul W. Dempsey, PhD

Chief Science Officer, Cynvenio

Both cell free DNA (cfDNA) and circulating tumor cells (CTC) represent important possible templates for mutation analysis of clinical samples. Each template has different theoretical advantages for a clinical test. cfDNA is very easy to access and isolate, while CTC can provide both DNA as well as RNA for clinical testing. In addition, the templates may reflect different aspects of cancer biology. Cynvenio has tested head-to-head cfDNA and CTC DNA using LiquidBiopsyTM coupled with Ion TorrentTM next-generation sequencing of normal and tumor samples. Both cfDNA and CTC samples provided sufficient quantity and purity of the limited number of tumor genomes for a direct sequencing clinical research test. No whole genome amplification was involved. The test for comparison purposes consisted of coupling these CTC and cfDNA purification technologies to an amplicon re-sequencing panel of 50 cancer-associated genes using a CLIA-validated sequencing pipeline for SNV mutations with a sensitivity of 1%. Typically, this pipeline can isolate, extract, sequence and analyze blood borne cancer cells in 7 days. In the CLIA setting, the validated DNA sequencing process, when applied to breast cancer tumor samples, has demonstrated useful data. The data suggest that cfDNA and DNA recovered from tumor-derived blood cells are complementary and may represent different aspects of cancer biology.

Molecular Profiling and Biomarkers

6:00 AM - 7:00 AM PT

A platform for combining the results of WES and RNA-seq analysis

Naomi Thomson

Director, Clinical Analytics and Workflow Products, CLC Bio, a Qiagen company

Cancer research is being revolutionized by targeted gene panels, whole exome sequencing (WES), whole genome sequencing (WGS), and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq).

Many analyses, such as comparison of tumor and normal cells, include comparison of variant calls. In this webinar, we will illustrate the benefits of leveraging read mappings in the comparison of WES and RNA-seq data using CLC Cancer Research Workbench.

The CLC platform provides a number of tools, together building up a workflow, for analyzing WES and RNA-seq reads and for comparing the results. From this webinar you will learn how to analyse and compare variants from two patients using built-in workflows in CLC Cancer Research Workbench; Analysis steps include filtering results for tumor-specific variants, identifying variants from both WES and RNA-seq data, searching RNA-seq read mappings for variants previously called from exome data, and recovering previously detected variants in the WES data directly from the RNA-seq read mappings.

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Development of molecularly targeted imaging agents and identification of novel targets in cancer

Kimberly Kelly , PhD

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia

The era of omics has ushered in the hope for personalized medicine. Proteomic and genomic strategies that allow unbiased identification of genes and proteins and their post-transcriptional and -translation modifications are an essential component to successful understanding of disease and the choice of imaging targets. However, the enormity of the genome and proteome and limitations in data analysis make it difficult to determine the targets that are particularly relevant to human disease and will be good targets for molecular imaging. Methods are therefore needed that allow rational identification of targets based on function, relevance to disease, and suitability for molecular imaging.

Screening methodologies such as phage display, SELEX, and small-molecule combinatorial chemistry have been widely used to discover specific ligands for cells or tissues of interest. Those ligands can be used in turn as affinity probes to identify their cognate molecular targets when they are not known in advance. In addition, those ligands can be developed into molecularly targeted drug delivery and imaging agents.

Through this lecture, we will explore one clinical scenario: pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) as an application for target identification, imaging and therapeutic agent development. PDAC is among the most lethal of human cancers due to its marked resistance to existing chemo- and radiotherapies. Unlike a number of other solid tumors, which have robust methods for early detection, there have been no significant improvements in PDAC survival over the past 40 years despite a large number of clinical trials of both conventional and targeted therapies. Like other solid cancers, early detection that allows complete surgical resection offers the best hope for longer survival, unfortunately, most patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease due to the lack of specific symptoms and absence of suitable biomarkers for early detection.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

Structural Pathways of Cancer

Ruth Nussinov, PhD

Head, Computational Structural Biology Group, Senior Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Structural pathways are important. They are essential to the understanding of how oncogenic mutations work and to figuring out alternative parallel pathways in drug resistant mutants. Structural pathways also help to understand the inter-relationship among linked phenomena, as in the case of inflammation and cancer. Cell biology provides a global overview of the behavior of the cell, tissue and the organism under different sets of conditions; the structures of single proteins and their coherent interactions provide insight into the dynamic changes in the proteins, such as those taking place through post-translational modifications, binding events and mutations, and into their interactions. Nonetheless, beyond the challenging construction of structural pathways, there is also a need to obtain a mechanistic insight into single proteins, their modifications, interactions and broadly, their changing landscapes. Why is insight into the dynamic landscape of single proteins important? Perceiving proteins. behavior can help to forecast allosteric transitions, and regulation, and it can help relate oncogenic mutations to their constitutive consequences. The talk will largely focus on structural pathways related to cancer, and oncogenic mutations mapped on these to figure out their mechanisms. These are some of the ways through which computational structural biology can help cancer research.

Therapeutics; Cancer Therapies & New Techniques

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM PT

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) in Cancer Chemotherapy: A Tool for Optimizing Drug Management

William Clarke, PhD, MBA, DABCC

Director, Clinical Toxicology, Director, Point-of-Care Testing, Associate Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Many drugs currently used for anti-cancer therapy demonstrate significant inter-individual variability that cannot be normalized using body weight or body surface area. There is an increasing amount of evidence in the scientific literature describing the use of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) to inform dosing of these drugs can lead to more effective treatment. This presentation will discuss the scientific literature addressing inter-individual variability of these drugs, the concept of maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and why an approach using maximum tolerated exposure (MTE) might be a better way to manage some chemotherapeutic drugs. Specific examples of TDM in oncology will be discussed including 5-fluorouracil, taxanes, and tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

Breast-Predict: Leveraging the Power of Systems Medicine Towards Personalized Cancer Therapy

William M. Gallagher, BSc PhD CBiol MSB

Chief Scientific Officer at OncoMark, Professor of Cancer Biology, University of Dublin

Although the incidence of breast cancer is steadily increasing, mortality rates are decreasing. This means that the majority of women with breast cancer now survive, making it even more important to tailor therapy appropriately, reducing toxicity and long-term side-effects. Some patients still succumb despite early intervention, and improved stratification approaches and more diverse treatment options are required.

This presentation will outline the benefits of a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach to address key challenges in breast cancer, in particular in relation to the personalisation of therapy. A working case model will be provided of a virtual Collaborative Cancer Research Centre, BREAST-PREDICT (www.breastpredict.com), which tackles clinical needs with respect to the development of more individualised therapies for breast cancer. The BREAST-PREDICT model incorporates the diverse skill sets of several disciplines, including biological, mathematical, computational, pharmaco-epidemiological and systems medicine approaches, in order to determine how to treat individual breast cancer patients according to the particular characteristics of their own cancer.

BREAST-PREDICT is consolidating existing breast cancer biobank and data resources, and making these available for research projects. Pharmaco-epidemiology approaches are being employed to determine the effects of previous drug exposures on outcome, and multi-omic analyses are being performed on longitudinal samples from primary and metastatic tumours, in order to map the molecular evolution of breast cancer. The group is also leveraging these resources in order to identify new therapeutic targets and combinatorial treatment strategies for specific subtypes, and to develop new tools for improved prediction of patient outcome and response to treatment. The presentation will outline the benefit of this approach and how it can be used to fast-track progress towards personalised therapy in breast cancer.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

What is best practice for testing for unexpected pregnancy in pediatric and adult patients prior to cancer diagnostics, imaging and therapy?

Sharon M. Geaghan, MD

Chief, Pathology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Stanford University

Female cancer patients in the reproductive years face a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures which pose teratogenic hazards to an unexpected pregnancy. Ionizing radiation, diagnostic biopsy and surgical resection procedures, anesthesia, chemotherapeutic agents and nuclear medicine scans are commonplace interventions which are contraindicated in the presence of a pregnancy, yet may be required for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Woman facing such procedures are tested for pregnancy so that decision-making regarding pregnancy and the need for cancer treatment can be made prospectively, and to avoid potential iatrogenic harm, emotional distress for the patient, and liability for the physician. There are substantial knowledge gaps amongst physicians regarding the limitations of the different tests. It is critically important that the physician understand the types of available human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) tests; the differences in sample types (urine or serum); and the locations where the tests can be performed. Analytical sensitivities differ between urine and blood HCG tests, which yield differences of several days in pregnancy detection. Reasons for erroneous urine HCG results will be examined. Variability between measurements, test interferences and HCG variants will be discussed. The clinical impact of using the right test on the right sample at the right time on sexually active female cancer patients in their reproductive years will be highlighted.

Cancer: Research, Discovery and Therapeutics

Continuing Education (CME/CE/CEU) Credits

The speakers below have been approved for CME, CE, or CEU credits. To redeem your credits, locate the presentation you watched and click on the CME/CE/CEU buttons for further direction. For more general information regarding continuing education, the processes to receive credits, and the accreditation bodies, click here.

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Expanding the scope of RNA-Seq to archival FFPE samples
10.29.2014 | 06:00:00 AM PT
Kelli Bramlett, M.S.
Research & Development Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Nanotechnologies for Precision Medicine
10.29.2014 | 06:00:00 AM PT
Srinivas (Sri) Sridhar, PhD
Director, NSF IGERT Nanomedicine Science and Technology Program, Director, Electronic Materials Research Institute, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics, Lecturer on Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
CME
Antibody-based Proteomics: Fast-Tracking Molecular Diagnostics and Target Discovery in Oncology
10.29.2014 | 07:30:00 AM PT
Darran O'Connor, PhD
Senior Lecturer, School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Co-Director, Cancer Biology & Therapeutics Laboratory, University of Dublin
CME
Making Clinical NGS possible
10.29.2014 | 07:30:00 AM PT
Vikram Devgan, PhD, MBA
Director, Head of Biological research content, Qiagen, Inc.
CE
Targeting the oncogene eIF4E in leukemia reveals a new form of drug resistance
10.29.2014 | 07:30:00 AM PT
Katherine LB Borden, PhD
Principal Investigator, Structure and Function of the Cell Nucleus research unit, Full Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Universit de Montreal, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
CME
miRNA Biomarker Discovery: Technologies, workflows, and data analysis solutions for discovering your unique signature
10.29.2014 | 09:00:00 AM PT
Jonathan Shaffer, PhD
Senior Scientist, Product Development, Qiagen
CE
Reading and disrupting the histone code with chemical agents: making new tools to understand epigenetic methylation pathways in stem-like cancers
10.29.2014 | 09:00:00 AM PT
Fraser Hof, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Victoria
CME
What's wrong with biomarker development for cancer
10.29.2014 | 09:00:00 AM PT
Anna Barker, PhD
Co-Director, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Director, National Biomarker Development Alliance, Director, Transformative Healthcare Networks, Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
CME
Learning from the Pointillists - Using Big Data Approaches to Embrace the Complexity of Cancer
10.29.2014 | 10:30:00 AM PT
Kenneth Buetow, PhD, FACMI
Director of Computational Sciences and Informatics Program for Complex Adaptive Systems, Professor, the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
CME
A Next-Gen Sequencing Software Workflow for Cancer Gene Panel Analysis
10.29.2014 | 12:00:00 PM PT
Kerri Phillips
Clinical Research Product Manager, DNASTAR
Improving the Robustness and Reproducibility of Quantitative Proteomics
10.29.2014 | 12:00:00 PM PT
Michael MacCoss, PhD
Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, School of Medicine
Obesity, weight loss, and the microenvironment in basal-like breast cancer
10.29.2014 | 12:00:00 PM PT
Liza Makowski, PhD
Assistant Professor, Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
CME
Metabolic therapy for the adjuvant treatment of malignant brain tumors
10.29.2014 | 13:30:00 PM PT
Adrienne C. Scheck, PhD
Associate Professor, Neuro-Oncology Research, Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, Barrow Neurological Institute
CME
PDX Tumor Models for Oncology Research and Preclinical Prediction
10.29.2014 | 13:30:00 PM PT
Walter Ausserer, PhD
Business Unit Management, Senior Business Unit Manager, The Jackson Laboratory
CE
Protein phosphatase 2A in cell survival upon metabolic stress
10.29.2014 | 13:30:00 PM PT
Mei Kong, PhD
Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology , City of Hope National Medical Center
CE
Drug-tailored, efficacy-predictive and prognostic biomarker approaches for proper patient selection
10.29.2014 | 15:00:00 PM PT
Peter Blume-Jensen, MD, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, XTuit Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Molecular Prognosis in the Management of Early Stage Lung Cancer
10.29.2014 | 15:00:00 PM PT
Michael J Mann, MD
Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Director, Cardiothoracic Translational Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco
Transforming the future of oncology with genomics
10.29.2014 | 15:00:00 PM PT
Jennifer Stone, PhD
Senior Market Manager, Oncology , Illumina
A platform for combining the results of WES and RNA-seq analysis
10.30.2014 | 06:00:00 AM PT
Naomi Thomson
Director, Clinical Analytics and Workflow Products, CLC Bio, a Qiagen company
CE
Epigenetic Dysregulation in the Pathogenesis of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
10.30.2014 | 06:00:00 AM PT
Kristin Landis-Piwowar, PhD, MLS
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Sciences , Oakland University
CME
Challenges in biomarker testing in non-small cell lung cancer research
10.30.2014 | 07:30:00 AM PT
Nicola Normanno, MD
Director, Research Department, Centro di Ricerche Oncologiche di Mercogliano (Naples)
A head-to-head comparison of whole blood derived samples (cfDNA vs CTC DNA) for cancer research using next-generation sequencing
10.30.2014 | 09:00:00 AM PT
Paul W. Dempsey, PhD
Chief Science Officer, Cynvenio
Development of molecularly targeted imaging agents and identification of novel targets in cancer
10.30.2014 | 10:30:00 AM PT
Kimberly Kelly , PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia
CE
Genomics in the Clinic: Promises and Challenges
10.30.2014 | 10:30:00 AM PT
John Carpten, PhD
Deputy Director of Basic Science, Professor and Director Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, TGen
CME
Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) in Cancer Chemotherapy: A Tool for Optimizing Drug Management
10.30.2014 | 10:30:00 AM PT
William Clarke, PhD, MBA, DABCC
Director, Clinical Toxicology, Director, Point-of-Care Testing, Associate Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
CME
Breast-Predict: Leveraging the Power of Systems Medicine Towards Personalized Cancer Therapy
10.30.2014 | 12:00:00 PM PT
William M. Gallagher, BSc PhD CBiol MSB
Chief Scientific Officer at OncoMark, Professor of Cancer Biology, University of Dublin
CME
The metabolic microenvironment in tumors and its impact on T-cell mediated immunity
10.30.2014 | 12:00:00 PM PT
Julian J. Lum, PhD
Scientist BC Cancer Agency's Deeley Research Centre, Assistant Professor Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria
CME
What is best practice for testing for unexpected pregnancy in pediatric and adult patients prior to cancer diagnostics, imaging and therapy?
10.30.2014 | 12:00:00 PM PT
Sharon M. Geaghan, MD
Chief, Pathology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Stanford University
CME
Dissecting cancer signaling pathways with chemical scalpels
10.30.2014 | 13:30:00 PM PT
Nadya Tarasova, PhD
Head, Synthetic Biologics Core, Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute
CME
Structural Pathways of Cancer
10.30.2014 | 13:30:00 PM PT
Ruth Nussinov, PhD
Head, Computational Structural Biology Group, Senior Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute
CME
Clinical Shotgun Proteomics in Cancer Biomarker and Drug Target Research/Discovery
10.30.2014 | 15:00:00 PM PT
Josip Blonder, MD
Group Leader - Clinical Proteomics, Cancer Research Technology Program (CRTP), Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL), Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.
CME
Probing cancer metabolism using isotope tracers to identify therapeutic targets
10.30.2014 | 15:00:00 PM PT
Christian Metallo, PhD
Principal Investigator, Metallo Lab, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego
CME

Cancer: Research, Discovery and Therapeutics

Speakers

Kenneth Buetow, PhD, FACMI
Director of Computational Sciences and Informatics Program for Complex Adaptive Systems, Professor, the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

Dr. Ken Buetow is a human genetics and genomics researcher who leverages computational tools to understand complex traits such as cancer, liver disease, and obesity.  Dr. Buetow currently serves as Director of Computational Sciences and Informatics program for Complex Adaptive Systems at Arizona State University (CAS@ASU) and is a professor in the School of Life Sciences in ASUs College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Buetow previously served as the Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology within the National Institutes of Healths National Cancer Institute (NCI).  In that capacity he initiated and oversaw the NCIs efforts to connect the global cancer community through community-developed, standards-based, interoperable informatics capabilities that enable secure exchange and use of biomedical data. Buetow designed and built one of the largest biomedical computing efforts in the world. He was responsible for coordinating biomedical informatics and information technology at the NCI. The NCI center he led focused on speeding scientific discovery and facilitated translational research by coordinating, developing and deploying biomedical informatics systems, infrastructure, tools and data in support of NCI research initiatives. 

Darran O'Connor, PhD
Senior Lecturer, School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Co-Director, Cancer Biology & Therapeutics Laboratory, University of Dublin

I obtained my PhD from Trinity College Dublin in 2000. Subsequently, I conducted my postdoctoral training in cancer biology at Columbia University, New York and at the University of Glasgow under the supervision of Prof Nick La Thangue, FRSE. Afterwards, I returned to Ireland as a HRB Career Development Fellow and, in 2009, was employed in a permanent capacity as a Research Fellow in Cancer Biology at UCD within the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and appointed as Senior Lecturer in Cancer Biology within SBBS in 2013. At present, I lead a team of 3 postdoctoral fellows and 3 PhD students (with 4 previous PhD students graduated) funded by the European Commission, Science Foundation Ireland, The Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. My group has extensive experience in the discovery of molecular determinants of cancer progression (via transcriptomic/proteomic profiling and functional genomic screening) and their clinical translation through the development and automated analysis of tissue microarrays, in addition to their functional analysis using in vitro models and xenograft studies in nude mice. As such, we have established an integrated workflow for the molecular and clinical analysis of central tumourigenic processes that we are currently applying to a number of different tumour types. Based on this work I was elected to the council of the Irish Association for Cancer Research in 2011 and was awarded the 9th St Luke's Young Investigator award in 2012 and an EACR Young Scientist Award in 2009. Additionally, I have been awarded a number of prestigious fellowships, notably from the Health Research Board, the European Molecular Biology Organisation and the Human Frontiers Science Programme and have spent additional time as a Visiting Fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School and the Netherlands Cancer Institute where I joined the group of Prof Rene Bernards. I have published 33 articles to date in Nature Cell Biology, Nature Reviews Cancer, Oncogene, EMBO Reports, Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research among others.

Nicola Normanno, MD
Director, Research Department, Centro di Ricerche Oncologiche di Mercogliano (Naples)

Dr. Normanno earned his medical degree in 1988 at the Medical School of the University of Naples (Italy) Federico II. He received his specialization in Medical Oncology in 1991, and in Hematology in 2001, at the same university. Between 1990 and 1993, Dr. Normanno completed a postdoctoral fellowship studying tumor growth factors at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Since 1993, Dr. Normanno's areas of research have been the study of the role of growth factors and receptors of the EGF family in the pathogenesis of solid tumors; the use of antisense oligonucleotides and inhibitors of receptors in experimental models of molecular therapy of carcinomas; and identification of markers of response or resistance to anti-EGFR agents. Dr. Normanno is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the Italian Tumor Society, and the Italian Cancer Society. He is the author of over 140 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. After serving as Senior Investigator, and later, Acting Chief (20042005) at the Experimental Therapy Section, INT -Fondazione Pascale, Naples, Dr. Normanno is currently Chief of the Cell Biology and Biotherapy Unit at the same hospital , and has also been the Director of the Research Department since 2006.

Paul W. Dempsey, PhD
Chief Science Officer, Cynvenio

Dr. Dempsey is an immunologist by training with more than 25 years of experience in biomedical research. Before joining Cynvenio, Dr. Dempsey was an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He brings extensive hands-on research experience in life sciences, molecular biology, and reagent development.

Dr. Dempsey was a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow from 2000 to 2003, has published 20 scientific articles and abstracts, and holds patents in technologies designed to amplify the immunogenicity of vaccines and rare-cell recovery.

Dr. Dempsey holds a BS in Microbiology and Virology from the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

John Carpten, PhD
Deputy Director of Basic Science, Professor and Director Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, TGen

Dr. Carpten received his Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University in 1994. Prior to joining TGen, Dr. Carpten was an intramural tenure track investigator with the Cancer Genetics Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NIH, a group that pioneered a number of innovative technologies and methods to study the underlying genetics of cancer. Dr. Carpten, has made a number of seminal discoveries in cancer genetics and genomics.  While a fellow and later a tenure track investigator at NHGRI/NIH, he co-led the first published genome wide scan for prostate cancer susceptibility genes published in 1996 in Science. His lab subsequently discovered germ-line mutations in the RNASEL gene in HPC1-linked hereditary prostate cancer families. His contigs of the 1q24-q31 region of the human genome became the framework and template for sequencing of that 20 megabase region by the Human Genome Project. Also mutations in the HRPT2 gene, which maps to 1q31, were discovered in the Carpten lab and lead to hyperparathyroidism jaw-tumor syndrome.Dr. Carpten also has an intense focus on understanding the role of biology in disparate cancer incidence and mortality rates seem among minority populations. Through his leadership, the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study (AAHPC) Network was conceived.  This study has become a model for genetic linkage studies in underrepresented populations and led to the first genome wide scan for prostate cancer susceptibility genes in African Americans.  More recently, his group has discovered a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, which confer increased risk of developing prostate cancer.  He has recently led and co-authored a series articles describing the roles of genetic variants in prostate cancer risk in Genome Research, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Josip Blonder, MD
Group Leader - Clinical Proteomics, Cancer Research Technology Program (CRTP), Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL), Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.

Dr. Blonder leads the Clinical Proteomics Group at the CRTP/FNL. FNL is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., for the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  In 1978, Dr. Blonder received his M.D. at the Rijeka University School of Medicine, Croatia. In 2000, through Associated Western Universities, Dr. Blonder was awarded a post-doc fellowship in proteomics at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (Advisor: Dr. Richard D. Smith). At the PNNL, his research was focused on studying cell surface proteins using mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. In 2002, Dr. Blonder joined FNL (formerly NCI-Frederick) where he continues to develop and apply MS-based proteomics to cancer research. Since 2006, he has led the Clinical Proteomics Group, extending his research on development of shotgun proteomics for in-depth profiling of membrane proteins found at the cell surface of cancer cells. In parallel, he worked on methodology for cancer biomarker and drug target discovery using precision proteomics for targeted profiling of clinical tissue and blood specimens. His group was the first to optimize the immunodepletion of abundant proteins from clinical tissue homogenates.Currently, Dr. Blonder is leading the effort towards molecular mapping of the KRAS cell surface as a part the RAS program. This program is spearheaded by the FNL as a national mission to attack RAS-driven cancers. Dr. Blonder brings unique combination of his expertise in medicine, clinical proteomics, and pathway analysis, focusing his research on the development of innovative approaches for molecular profiling of cancer cell lines, body fluids and tissue specimens. He is an editor of BMC Cancer and a lecturer at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at NIH. Since 2002, Dr. Blonder has authored over 50 scientific publications in areas of biological mass spectrometry, clinical proteomics and cancer research. 

Kristin Landis-Piwowar, PhD, MLS
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Sciences , Oakland University

Kristin Landis-Piwowar is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. She earned a bachelors degree from Ferris State University in Medical Technology, a Masters degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Michigan State University and a PhD in Cancer Biology from Wayne State Universitys School of Medicine in the laboratory of Q. Ping Dou.  Landis-Piwowar was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, Department of Pathology, where she conducted research to understand CD30 signaling to NFkB in anaplastic large cell lymphoma.  Landis-Piwowar joined the faculty at Oakland University in Rochester, MI where she currently holds rank as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences. Landis-Piwowar has published more than 25 peer-reviewed journal articles on cancer therapeutics, prevention, and mechanisms of disease and has authored numerous book chapters.  Her research interests are centered on the physiologic effects of gold-peptidomimetics in cancer cells, and deciphering a familial relationship among chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia.

Julian J. Lum, PhD
Scientist BC Cancer Agency's Deeley Research Centre, Assistant Professor Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria

Dr. Julian J. Lum graduated with a PhD in Immunology from the University of Ottawa. He spent five years training at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of cancer biology with special emphasis on tumor metabolism. There he studied how cells adapt to nutrient stress and the role of autophagy in promoting cancer cell survival. In 2008, Dr. Lum returned to Canada and joined the Deeley Research Centre at the BC Cancer Agency, as a Scientist where his current research interest is in autophagy and metabolism of clear cell ovarian adenocarcinoma. He hopes the information gained from this work will enable a better understanding of how the tumor microenvironment influences the immune response to cancer.Dr. Lum is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria. He is also the recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award. His work is funded by the BC Cancer Foundation, CIHR and Genome BC.  

Christian Metallo, PhD
Principal Investigator, Metallo Lab, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego

Christian Metallo joined the University of California, San Diego in 2011 and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering. He received his bachelors in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 before joining Merck Research Laboratories to conduct bioprocess engineering research.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2008 and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Christian was the recipient of the Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award in 2012 and is a 2013 Searle Scholar.Dr. Metallo is also the Principal Investigator at the Metallo laboratory which conducts research in the area of systems biology applied to cancer and stem cell metabolism. They utilize stable isotope tracers, mass spectrometry, and computational tools for metabolic flux analysis (MFA) to study the function of metabolism in disease models. Their work aims to characterize the dynamic interplay between metabolism, signal transduction, and cellular fate choices by understanding how intracellular signals and the microenvironment regulate metabolic fluxes. 

Naomi Thomson
Director, Clinical Analytics and Workflow Products, CLC Bio, a Qiagen company

Naomi is greatly experienced within the field of bioinformatics from where she has gained a tremendous amount of customer, product, and sequencing experience through the past 15 years. Naomis pre-business experience is loaded with nucleic acids and oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb and The Wistar Institute, along with an MBA from La Salle University. Naomi has also been working 10 years as a Product Manager and nearly five years as an NGS Key Account Manager before heading the product management of Clinical Analytics and Workflow products at QIAGEN.

Kimberly Kelly , PhD
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia

Dr. Kimberly Kelly is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy in the School of Pharmacy and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. She received her MS (1998) and PhD (2000) in social and health psychology from Rutgers University, her MS (2002) in genetic counseling from Indiana University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer control and behavioral science at the University of Kentucky (2002-2004). Before joining West Virginia University, Dr. Kelly was a member of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, and was also affiliated with the Department of Psychology, Health Behavior and Health Promotion in the College of Public Health, the Primary Care Research Institute, and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University.Three overlapping themes emerge from Dr. Kellys research: (1) cancer risk perception/communication, (2) health behavior (e.g., cancer screening, genetic testing), and (3) elevated risk populations (e.g., Appalachians, those with a family history of cancer). Her work relies on behavioral theory from psychology (health, social, cognitive), as well as communication and information sciences. She mixes qualitative and quantitative methods, utilizing clinic-based and community-based approaches. Most of her research has focused on how risk is communicated in the context of cancer genetic counseling and how risk perceptions differ from objective estimates of risk. She also examines the role of risk perception in cancer screening. Through her research, Dr. Kelly hopes to understand how best to enhance appropriate decision-making about health behaviors in elevated risk populations to accomplish optimal health outcomes. 

Ruth Nussinov, PhD
Head, Computational Structural Biology Group, Senior Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Ruth Nussinov is a Professor in the Department of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978 Israel, and a Senior Principal Scientist and Principal Investigator at the National Cancer Institute. She has received her B. Sc degree in Microbiology from the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington) and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Rutgers University (NJ). She was a Fellow at the Weizmann Institute, and a visiting scientist at the chemistry department at Berkeley and at the Biochemistry department at Harvard. She joined the Medical School at Tel Aviv University in 1985 as an Associate Professor. In 1990 she became a Full Professor. Her association with the NIH started in 1983, first with the NICHHD and since 1985 with the NCI. Currently, she has a large group of graduate students in Tel Aviv, in collaboration with Prof. H. Wolfson, from the School of Computer Science. Additionally, she has a group at the NCI. She is an author of over 470 scientific papers. Dr. Nussinov's 1978 paper proposed the dynamic programming algorithm for RNA secondary structure prediction (e.g. in wikipedia/encyclopedia/course lectures, etc.)

William Clarke, PhD, MBA, DABCC
Director, Clinical Toxicology, Director, Point-of-Care Testing, Associate Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Dr. Clarke received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 2000, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, ending in 2002. In addition, he received an MBA focused on medical services management from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins in 2007. Following his post-doctoral fellowship, he has remained at Johns Hopkins, where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, as well as the director of both Point-of-Care Testing and TDM/Toxicology for the hospital. Dr. Clarke is board certified in Clinical Chemistry by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry, and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. His research interests include method development and evaluation for therapeutic drug monitoring, clinical toxicology, point-of-care testing, and development/validation of biomarkers for use in drug management. Dr. Clarke has published 45 papers in journals such as Analytical Chemistry, Journal of Chromatography, Clin Chim Acta, and Annals of Surgery, as well as 22 book chapters. He is also the editor of Contemporary Practice in Clinical Chemistry, published by AACC Press. Dr. Clarke was the recipient of the 2004 George Grannis Award from the NACB for excellence in research and publication by a young investigator, and also the 2005 AACC TDM/Toxicology Division Young Investigator Award.    

Sharon M. Geaghan, MD
Chief, Pathology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Stanford University

Dr. Geaghan is Chief, Pathology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, and Co-Director of Clinical Laboratories at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. She also directs the Bass Pediatric Cancer Center Laboratory at the Lucile Packard Hospital; is Director of the Point of Care Testing Program for the women and children's hospital and is Director of Stanford Clinical Laboratory at Mary L. Johnson Pediatric Ambulatory Care CenterShe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and in Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, teaching medical students, residents, fellows and post-graduate continuing medical education programs.Dr. Geaghan received her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and MD at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her training, including two residencies in Anatomic and Surgical Pathology and in Laboratory Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco, where she also served as Chief Resident and was the first Hematopathology Fellow. Dr. Geaghan holds four board certifications: in Anatomic Pathology; Hematopathology; Clinical Pathology and Pediatric Pathology.Dr. Geaghan is Chair-elect of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry Division of Pediatric Maternal Fetal Division, the largest organization of laboratory medicine professionals (2012-2014). Dr. Geaghan was recently named to the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry's Task Force on Pediatric Laboratory Medicine, and the College of American Pathologists Point of Care Testing Committee.Dr. Geaghan serves on numerous Executive Boards, including the Medical Executive Board at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and also serves on Advisory Boards as an avid advocate for children's health, in various national Pediatric Clinical and Laboratory Medicine Associations. She has recently been named in Top Doctors of the Year by San Jose Magazine, and in the American Registry of Outstanding Professionals.  

William M. Gallagher, BSc PhD CBiol MSB
Chief Scientific Officer at OncoMark, Professor of Cancer Biology, University of Dublin

Prof. Gallagher originally graduated from the Department of Biochemistry, UCD in 1993 with a 1st Class Joint Honors degree in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry. Subsequently, he obtained a PhD in Molecular Oncology from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories in Glasgow. In 1997, he moved to Paris to undertake a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (currently Sanofi-Aventis). Afterwards, he returned to Ireland upon receipt of an Enterprise Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellowship (1999-2000) and, subsequently, a Marie Curie Return Fellowship (20002001). In 2001, he was employed in a permanent capacity as College Lecturer at UCD within the former Department of Pharmacology. In 2005, he was appointed Senior Lecturer within the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, promoted to Associate Professor of Cancer Biology in 2006 and Full Professor in 2014. From September 2009-August 2011, Prof. Gallagher was the Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation at the UCD College of Life Sciences. He is also a Conway Fellow at the UCD Conway Institute. In 2007, he co-founded OncoMark Ltd., which is a private company centred on the development and application of biomarker panels and associated technologies, on both tissues and biological fluids (www.oncomark.com).Prof. Gallagher is currently the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at OncoMark. A major focus of his research work is the identification and validation of candidate biomarkers of breast cancer and melanoma, with particular emphasis on translation of transcriptomic and proteomic datasets into clinically relevant assays.   Prof. Gallagher has received a number of awards based on his research work to date, including the BACR/AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award in 2004, the St. Lukes Silver Medal Award in 2008 and the NovaUCD 2011 Innovation Award. Prof. Gallagher has had productive collaborative interactions with a variety of other industrial partners throughout his research.   

Jennifer Stone, PhD
Senior Market Manager, Oncology , Illumina

Dr. Jennifer Stone joined Illumina in 2009 and is responsible for market development for the oncology business.  Before joining Illumina, Dr. Stone held a post-doctoral fellowship position at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital, with a focus on complex disease genetics and large-scale study design and analysis.  She earned a bachelors in chemistry from The College of William and Mary in Virginia, and an PhD in Human Genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles..

Adrienne C. Scheck, PhD
Associate Professor, Neuro-Oncology Research, Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, Barrow Neurological Institute

Adrienne C. Scheck, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and an Associate Investigator in the Cancer Biology Program at the Arizona Cancer Center of the University of Arizona. Dr. Scheck received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester in NY and her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. After a postdoctoral fellowship in viral oncology at the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania she moved to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to study AIDS-related dementia. She began her studies of brain tumors while at Sloan-Kettering and moved to the Barrow Neurological Institute in 1989. Current work in her laboratory has 2 major goals. The first is to devise novel therapeutic regimens to improve survival and minimize side effects for patients with malignant brain tumors. To this end, her laboratory has been studying the use of the ketogenic diet (KD) for the treatment of malignant brain tumors. Their work has shown that the KD reduces the growth of malignant brain tumors through a variety of mechanisms, and it potentiates the effect of radiation and temozolomide chemotherapy (the standard of care for patients with grade IV brain tumors). These preclinical studies have led to a clinical trial for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT02046187). The second main goal of her research is to identify markers that improve on the current methods of diagnosis and prognosis for this devastating disease. In addition to her love for horses, one of Adriennes pet projects comes from her interest in science education. She directs a program that places high school students in research laboratories and gives Cancer Biology lectures to area high school students, and she was a co-principal investigator on a Science Education grant with the Arizona Science Center.

Srinivas (Sri) Sridhar, PhD
Director, NSF IGERT Nanomedicine Science and Technology Program, Director, Electronic Materials Research Institute, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics, Lecturer on Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School

Srinivas Sridhar is Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, and Visiting Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School. He is the Director and Principal Investigator of Nanomedicine Science and Technology, an IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training) program funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Science Foundation. He is the founding director of the Electronic Materials Research Institute, an interdisciplinary center with research and education thrusts in nanophotonics and nanomedicine. From 2004 to 2008 he served as Vice Provost for Research at Northeastern University, overseeing the Universitys research portfolio. An elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, Sridhars current areas of research are nanomedicine and nanophotonics. He has published more than 160 articles on his work in nanomedicine, nanophotonics, metamaterials, quantum chaos, superconductivity and collective excitations in materials.

Katherine LB Borden, PhD
Principal Investigator, Structure and Function of the Cell Nucleus research unit, Full Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Universit de Montreal, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer

Dr Borden is a full professor at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer at University of Montreal. She obtained her PhD with Fred Richards at Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and trained in NMR and cell biology in London with Andrew Lane at the National Institute for Medical Research and with Paul Freemont at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK). She has a long standing interest in combining structural, biophysical and cell biological methods to better understand how dysregulated mRNA metabolism can contribute oncogenesis. Currently, she studies the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E with particular emphasis on its mRNA export functions. Her biophysical and cell biological studies have identified an inhibitor of eIF4E, ribavirin. Ribavirin has been shown to target eIF4E activity in leukemia patients where this correlates with clinical responses including remissions.

Jonathan Shaffer, PhD
Senior Scientist, Product Development, Qiagen

Dr. Shaffer joined QIAGEN in 2009 and has since worked with various technology development groups, the most recent being miRNA technologies. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular genetics from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2008 where his research focused on determining the mechanisms that regulate non-receptor tyrosine kinase expression and activity. Dr. Shaffer did his postdoctoral training at SABiosciences Corporation, now part of QIAGEN. Currently, Dr. Shaffer is a Senior Scientist in product development at QIAGEN .

Fraser Hof, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Fraser was born in 1976, raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and got his start in chemistry with a B.Sc. at the University of Alberta. In 1998 he moved to warmer climes at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California to study supramolecular chemistry with Julius Rebek, Jr. After obtaining his Ph.D. at Scripps, he was a Novartis Foundation (2003) and Human Frontier Science Program (2004) post-doctoral fellow studying medicinal chemistry in the labs of Franois Diederich at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich). Finally returning home to western Canada, he took up his position at the University of Victoria in 2005. Frasers research program creates new chemical tools for studying and disrupting epigenetic stem cell regulation, with the goals of understanding the basic mechanism of epigenetic programming of stem cells, and of creating new treatments for the most aggressive, stem-like cancers of prostate, breast, and blood.

Liza Makowski, PhD
Assistant Professor, Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Liza Makowski is an assistant professor of Nutrition, Division of Nutrition Biochemistry in the Departments of Nutrition and Medicine at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC School of Medicine. She earned a Ph.D. in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and a Masters in Medicine concurrent with her Ph.D. studies as a Lucille P. Markey Fellow from Harvard Medical School. Liza completed postdoctoral studies in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at the Duke University Stedman Center for Nutrition and Metabolism. Dr. Makowski has expertise in metabolism, inflammation, mouse models, macrophage biology, and nutrient sensitive signaling pathways. The research focus of the Makowski Lab (http://makowskilab.web.unc.edu/) is to understand metabolic reprogramming of immune cells wherein the goal is to identify novel pathways to manipulate substrate metabolism in immune cells in efforts to limit the pathogenesis of complex diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Dr. Makowski has received multiple grants including a Pathway to Independence NIH K99/R00 award to investigate macrophage mitochondrias role in metabolism and inflammation. She is currently PI on an NIH R21 Provocative Question Grant and a Mary Kay Foundation grant to study obesity and breast cancer risk, and an American Heart Association grant to study substrate metabolism in macrophage biology. Her ultimate aim is to find relevant metabolically sensitive pathways in her model systems, observe parallels in human populations, and identify targets to reprogram immune cells that will restore tissue homeostasis thereby reducing progression of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cancer.

Mei Kong, PhD
Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology , City of Hope National Medical Center

Mei Kong, Ph.D.  is an assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope Cancer Center. She  received her Ph.D. at McGill Univeristy in Canada in Cell Biology.  She then studied cell signaling and cancer metabolism at University of Pennsylvania as an American Association for Cancer Research postdoctoral fellow and then later as a Leukemia Lymphoma Society special fellow.  Dr. Kong is a recepient of the Innovative Research Grant from Stand up to Cancer. She is also a Pew Scholar, Sidney Kimmel Scholar, and V Scholar in Cancer Research.  Dr. Kong studies the oncogenic signal transduction pathways, focusing on the metabolic stress response in tumor cells.

Kelli Bramlett, M.S.
Research & Development Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

   Dr. Bramlett leads the RNA Sequencing Applications Team at Life Sciences Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific. She guides the Research & Development effort focused on creating innovative sequencing and data analysis solutions for the detailed analysis of RNA. Prior to joining Thermo Fisher Scientific, Dr. Bramlett was a drug development scientist at Eli Lilly and Company, where she led a team of scientists specializing in gene regulation and nuclear receptor biology to identify novel drug targets. Dr. Bramlett built her background and experience in gene regulation through prior academic positions at Baylor College of Medicine and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Kelli holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a masters degree in Pharmacology from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Vikram Devgan, PhD, MBA
Director, Head of Biological research content, Qiagen, Inc.

Vikram Devgan is the head of Biological Research Content (BRC) Business at QIAGEN, developing and executing the product roadmap for the BRC portfolio. He is a trained marketer and received his MBA from the University of Wurzburg in Germany. A scientist at heart, Dr. Devgan spent more than 7 years as a scientist in technology and product development in the life sciences. Dr. Devgan received his Ph.D. in molecular biology and conducted post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School before moving to the biotechnology industry.

Anna Barker, PhD
Co-Director, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Director, National Biomarker Development Alliance, Director, Transformative Healthcare Networks, Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

 As Co-Director of Complex Adaptive Systems at ASU and Director of the National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA), Dr. Barker designs and implements transformative networks to enable the convergence of knowledge, innovative teams and novel funding approaches to address major problems in biomedicine.  The NBDA is an example of this network construct.   Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Barker served for several years as Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Deputy Director for Strategic Scientific Initiatives.  At the NCI she developed and led or co-led a number of trans disciplinary programs including the: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA); Nanotechnology Alliance for Cancer; Clinical Proteomics Technologies Initiative for Cancer; and the Physical Sciences- Oncology Centers (PS-OCs).  She co-chaired the NCI-FDA Interagency Task Force (IOTF) and was founding co-chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium (FNIH-BC).    She served as a research scientist and a senior executive at Battelle Memorial Institute for 18 years; and subsequently co-founded and served as the CEO of a public biotechnology company.  Examples of her public service include: the National Coalition of Cancer Research; Partner and Member of the Board of Directors of C-Change; Chairperson, Member, Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) and Chairperson of the Integration Panel;  American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), examples  include member of the Board of Directors and chairperson, Science Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee;  member of NCIs Board of Scientific Counselors, Division of Cancer Etiology; and Chairperson, NCI Cancer Center Support Review Study Section.  Dr. Barker has received a number of awards for her efforts in science and advocacy for cancer research. Dr. Barker completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at The Ohio State University, where she trained in immunology and microbiology.   

Michael MacCoss, PhD
Professor of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, School of Medicine

Michael MacCoss has been working with mass spectrometry instrumentation since 1994 when he was an undergraduate in a stable isotope geochemistry lab at the University of Vermont.  He became interested in biomedical applications working in Dr. Patrick Griffins protein mass spectrometry lab at Merck Research Laboratories during two summer internships in 1995 and 1996.  In 2001, he completed a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry with Professor Dwight Matthews in the development of stable isotope and mass spectrometry methodologies for the measurement of human amino acid and protein metabolism.  After completing his degree, Dr. MacCoss moved to The Scripps Research Institute to work with Professor John R. Yates III as a postdoctoral fellow.  During his postdoctoral training, Dr. MacCoss worked on methodology and software for many areas of proteomics, ranging from the improved characterization of post-translational modifications and the quantitative analysis of complex protein mixtures.  Dr. MacCoss moved to the University of Washington in 2004 as an Assistant Professor of Genome Sciences, where his lab has focused on the development and application of mass spectrometry based technologies for the high throughput characterization of complex protein mixtures.  In 2009 he was promoted to Associate Professor and in 2014 he was promoted to full professor.

Walter Ausserer, PhD
Business Unit Management, Senior Business Unit Manager, The Jackson Laboratory

Dr. Walter Ausserer leads the In Vivo Pharmacology Services business unit at The Jackson Laboratory, which specializes in mouse models engrafted with human tissues. Over the past two decades, he has held senior positions at leading bioanalytical technology companies, including ProteinSimple, ForteBio, and Caliper Life Sciences. Dr. Ausserer holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University and received postdoctoral training in Cancer Biology in the laboratory of Robert Sutherland at SRI International.

Peter Blume-Jensen, MD, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, XTuit Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Peter Blume-Jensen has extensive expertise in basic and translational cancer research, oncogenic signaling, and targeted oncology therapeutics drug discovery prior to joining Metamark as CSO in 2010.  From 2001 to 2008 Peter was department head at first Serono, US and later at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co, Inc. where he established novel, integrated oncology drug discovery departments and programs linking therapeutics to patient responder populations. During his tenure he advanced a number of pre-clinical drug programs into the clinic, and provided translational support for clinical programs. Since 2008 he was Exec. Dir. and Vice President for External Scientific Affairs at Daiichi Sankyo Inc., served as the global 'Therapeutic Area Advisor' for Oncology, and was co-responsible for formulating a global oncology R&D strategy. He co-led the scientific M&A and due diligence resulting in the acquisition of Plexxikon (US$935M).  In 2010 he joined Metamark as CSO and 2nd employee.  Here he built and let R&D, a world-class KOL Advisory Board, and a novel, automated proteomics imaging platform for CLIA-certified cancer tests.  He designed and let 4 clinical studies culminating with the successful blinded, clinical validation of ProMark, a prognostic prostate cancer biopsy test for intact tissue.  During the initial commercial launch in Q1-2, 2014 he led Medical Affairs and training of all commercial staff.  Since June 2014, Peter has joined Xtuit Pharmaceuticals, a targeted therapeutics start-up, as CSO, and first employee.  Peter continues to serve as Chief Scientific Advisor and on the SAB for Metamark and also has joined the SAB of Veritas Gene, Inc, a NGS company.

Dr. Blume-Jensen has authored highly-cited original articles, reviews, and book chapters in Personalized Molecular Oncology. His review 'Oncogenic Kinase Signaling' in Nature is a citation classic in 'Clinical Medicine', and his work on genetically engineered cancer and male infertility mouse models has been widely portrayed on CNN and other news channels. His approaches for efficacy-predictive biomarkers have appeared on Nature Biotechnology's 'Hot patents' watch-list and in numerous Editorial highlights for Personalized Oncology. Dr. Blume-Jensen obtained his M.D. from Copenhagen, Denmark, his Ph.D. from Dr. Carl-Henrik Heldin's laboratory at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala, Sweden, and conducted his Post-Doctoral studies in Dr. Tony Hunter's laboratory at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA. He has consulted extensively for Biotech and Pharma on targeted therapeutics and Precision Medicine.

Michael J Mann, MD
Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Director, Cardiothoracic Translational Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco

 Professor Michael J. Mann, M.D. is an internationally respected thoracic surgeon and a leader in the development of innovative genetic and molecular therapies and diagnostics for thoracic and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Mann joined the Thoracic Oncology Program at the University of California, San Francisco in 2003, and was also appointed as an Associate Investigator in the prestigious UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute. He had received an A.B. (suma cum laude) in synthetic chemistry from Princeton University and an M.D. from Stanford University, and was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Research Training Fellowship through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Mann completed his General Surgery residency at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Womens Hospital, where he also served on the Faculty of Cardiovascular Medicine, and subsequently completed his fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCSF.Dr. Mann is widely admired for his teaching skills and is Associate Director of the Thoracic Surgery Training Program at UCSF. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and holds memberships in numerous professional organizations, including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Heart Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Western Thoracic Surgical Association. Dr. Mann has been named to the U.S. News list of "Top Doctors;" his areas of clinical expertise include lung cancer, management of metastatic disease in the chest, sarcoma, mesothelioma, and minimally invasive (video-assisted) thoracoscopic surgery. Over the past decade he has pioneered novel minimally invasive techniques to advance the surgical and multi-modality management of metastatic disease of the lungs and chest.  He has received numerous awards including the Cardiovascular Medicine Award for Excellence in Research and the William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Young Investigators. Dr. Mann also serves as a scientific reviewer for numerous professional journals. 

Kerri Phillips
Clinical Research Product Manager, DNASTAR

Kerri Phillips is a product manager for DNASTAR where she focuses on the needs of the companys clinical research and laboratory customers. Software tools for cancer clinical research must provide efficiencies, support process, and take advantage of an ever growing quantity and variety of data sources. In her role, Kerri helps to bring the end-user perspective into the software development process. Prior to coming to DNASTAR last year, Kerri spent eight years in software development for clinical research administration.

Nadya Tarasova, PhD
Head, Synthetic Biologics Core, Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute

Dr. Tarasova was trained as a bioorganic chemist. She obtained her Ph.D. in chemistry at Lomonosov University, Moscow, Russia in 1981. After post-doctoral training in the lab of Prof. Bent Foltmann at Copenhagen University, Denmark, she established a group working on the chemistry of proteolytic enzymes in the Chemistry Department of Lomonosov University. Dr. Tarasova joined the ABL-Basic Research Program of NCI as Visiting Scientist in 1991 and became a Staff Scientist in NCI Center for Cancer Research in 1999. She was appointed a Head of Synthetic Biologics and Drug Discovery Facility in 2008.

Cancer: Research, Discovery and Therapeutics

Sponsors & Partners

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As a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Life Technologies believes in the power of science to transform lives. To support scientists worldwide, we offer high-quality, innovative life science solutionsfrom everyday essentials to instrumentsfor every lab, every application. All from the most cited product brands.

Founded by research scientists in 1999, Cell Signaling Technology (CST) is a private, family-owned company headquartered in Danvers, Massachusetts with over 400 employees worldwide. Active in the field of applied systems biology research, particularly as it relates to cancer, CST understands the importance of using antibodies with high levels of specificity and lot-to-lot consistency. Its why we produce all of our antibodies in house, and perform painstaking validations for multiple applications. And the same CST scientists who produce our antibodies also provide technical support for customers, helping them design experiments, troubleshoot, and achieve reliable results. We do this because thats what wed want if we were in the lab. Because, actually, we are.

At Illumina, we apply innovative technologies for studying genetic variation and function, making studies possible that were not even imaginable just a few years ago. These revolutionary tools for DNA and RNA analysis are enabling rapid advances in disease research, drug development, and the development of molecular tests in the clinic. Illumina's innovative sequencing and array technologies are fueling groundbreaking advancements in life science research, translational and consumer genomics, and molecular diagnostics.

QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample & Assay Technologies that are used to transform biological materials into valuable molecular information. Sample technologies are used to isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as blood or tissue. Assay technologies are then used to make these isolated biomolecules visible and ready for interpretation. QIAGEN markets more than 500 products around the world, selling both consumable kits and automation systems to customers through four customer classes: Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare), Applied Testing (forensics, veterinary testing and food safety), Pharma (pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies) and Academia (life sciences research).

The Jackson Laboratory is a leading provider of cancer mouse models and in vivo oncology services and a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. Drawing on decades of mouse-based oncology research experience, we provide capabilities around model selection and husbandry and customizable oncology studies to help clients and researchers evaluate novel anti-cancer therapies.Our diverse oncology study protocolsrange from traditional xenograft (subcutaneous and orthotopic) services to patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cancer models and advanced humanized (hu-CD34 NSG or hu-BLT NSG) mouse models for immuno-oncology drug development.We have the flexibility to customize studies and import client-provided mice and cancer cell lines.

From the original PIPETMAN, Gilson enables scientists to reproducibly simplify and advance sample preparation for biomolecule, environmental and food samples. We specialize in continuously adjustable volume pipettes, as well as, automated solutions built upon your applications for protein purification, GPC, and SPEstandard or OEM custom systems. The new PIPETMAX brings reproducibility to qPCR, NGS and cell-based assays allowing you to accelerate the pace of your verifiable science

Leica Microsystems is a world leader in microscopes and scientific instruments. Founded as a family business in the nineteenth century, the companys history was marked by unparalleled innovation on its way to becoming a global enterprise.

Qlucore Omics Explorer has always been very popular for publications as the visual approach makes it simple to generate great results and present them well. A wide selection of plot types and configuration options helps the user to do this.

The publications span a broad number of areas, from different types of human data such as digital gene expression (RNA-seq), gene expression, microRNA, proteins and DNA methylation to data from plants such as potatoes and vines for wine making. Studied diseases include, for example, many types of cancer, diabetes, and tuberculosis.

DNASTAR, Inc. is a global software company headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin USA that has been meeting the needs of life scientists for more than 25 years. We were born out of the E. coli lab of Dr. Fred Blattner, Professor of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, in 1984. Our early products reflected this background and association and we built a strong reputation during the Sanger sequencing years of providing outstanding desktop software for DNA and protein sequence assembly and analysis.

LI-COR first introduced scientific instruments for plant science research and quickly grew to provide scientists tools for such diverse disciplines as atmospheric research and the study of how proteins interact at the cellular level.

LI-COR Biosciences is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of high quality, innovative instruments, software, reagents, and integrated systems for plant biology, biotechnology, drug discovery, and environmental research.

Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Enzo Biochem, Inc. headquartered in Farmingdale, New York.The company is organized to lead in the development, production, marketing, and sales of innovative life science research reagents worldwide based on over 30 years of successful experience in building strong international market recognition, implementing outstanding operational capabilities, and establishing a state-of-the-art electronic information and ordering marketplace. Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. is a recognized leader in labeling and detection technologies across research and diagnostic markets. Our strong portfolio of proteins, antibodies, peptides, small molecules, labeling probes dyes and kits provides life science researchers tools for target identification/validation,high content analysis,gene expression analysis, nucleic acid detection, protein biochemistry and detection, and cellular analysis.

Abgent, a WuXi AppTec company, is a leading manufacturer of primary antibodies with more than a decade of experience. We meet the ever changing demands of research and drug discovery through a thoughtful target selection process and strengthened validation-standards. Moreover, we strive to continuously improve the customer experience through comprehensive technical support, a world class website, and an easy ordering process

Established in 1993, MBL International Corporation (MBLI) is a leading life science company focused on providing high quality, innovative, solutions-based products for both life science research and clinical diagnostics. Our products are used widely in academic research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies as well as hospital and reference laboratories.

Covaris provides tools and technologies to improve pre-analytical sample preparation, enable novel drug formulations, and manage compounds in the drug discovery process. Founded in 1998, Covaris is a privately held technology company headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA. The company is built upon its team’s deep knowledge of fields ranging from acoustic physics and mechanical engineering to biophysics and molecular biology and has over 30 patents granted and pending.

System Biosciences (SBI) develops innovative research tools for MicroRNA research, Exosome research, and Genome Engineering tools, including the CRISPR-Cas9 SmartNuclease system and PrecisionX HR targeting vectors.SBIs ExoQuick Exosome precipitation reagent is the most highly published reagent for exosome isolation in the world, with dozens of product citations in top journals.SBI also specializes in biomarker discovery with our unique Exo-NGS service, offering an end-to-end solution starting with patient samples and delivering comprehensive data analytics on NGS sequencing of exosomal RNA libraries.

Harlan Laboratories is a global provider of non-clinical research products and services to the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, agrochemical and chemical industries, including academic and government organizations.We focus on providing customers with products and services to optimize the discovery and safety of new medicines and compounds.We offer a comprehensive line of immunodeficient and rodent models, laboratory animal diets, and services to help you achieve your oncology research goals.Harlan is the only company that produces both immunodeficient models and lab animal diets that are specifically designed to not interfere with your research results.

GeneCopoeia provides solutions for functional genomics and proteomics research. Products include largest collection of ready-to-express clones for ORF cDNA, shRNA, promoters, microRNA precursors, microRNA inhibitors and microRNA 3' UTR targets; lentiviral clones, packaging kits and pre-made lentivirus; recombinant proteins and antibodies; gene-based and microRNA qPCR arrays; validated primers for microRNAs, human and mouse genes; genome targeting tools includes TALEN, TALE-TF, CRISPR-Cas and Safe Harbor knock-in; custom services include lentivirus production, custom gene synthesis, custom cloning and protein production. Stable cell line services and transgenic mouse services are available.

At Roche we focus on developing medicines and diagnostics that will help patients live longer, better lives. We strive to address unmet medical needs through excellence in sciencefrom early detection and prevention of diseases to diagnosis, treatment and treatment monitoring.

Beckman Coulter develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical testing. Our diagnostic systems are found in hospitals and other critical care settings around the world and produce information used by physicians to diagnose disease, make treatment decisions and monitor patients. Scientists use our life science research instruments to study complex biological problems including causes of disease and potential new therapies or drugs.

Next Advance, Inc. develops and sells innovative, high-value, user-friendly laboratory instruments for molecular biologists. Designed and tested by our multi-disciplined cross-trained staff, our products automate mundane tasks, freeing scientists from repetitive, time-consuming procedures.

Advanced Targeting Systems is dedicated to providing

quality targeting reagents to the scientific research community.

We intend to be a profitable, vibrant, growing organization

with high ethical standards, responsive to the

diverse needs of our customers,

employees, and the community in which we exist.

Advanced Targeting Systems (ATS) is a San Diego-based biotechnology company dedicated to providing quality targeting reagents for scientific research and pharmaceutical development. ATS has applied for patent protection on two of its products for research and therapeutic applications in pain and drug delivery.

For the past ten years, ATS has primarily focused on the development and sale of products for the Neuroscience research community. The Company's current product line includes targeted toxins, antibodies and custom services designed to assist neuroscientists in the study of nervous system function, brain-related diseases and disorders.

The technology that provides the foundation for the Company's products has a broad spectrum of applications, not only in the field of Neuroscience, but in virtually every medical and pharmaceutical research field in practice today. ATS is continuing to develop and expand the existing product line through strategic scientific collaborations with top scientists throughout the world.

Jackson ImmunoResearch Laboratories, Inc. specializes in the production and conjugation of affinity-purified secondary antibodies and purified immunoglobulins. Our products are sold primarily to scientists in universities and research institutes throughout the world who are conducting research in the plant, animal, and biomedical sciences.

Biotium is a biotechnology company specializing in providing innovative fluorescent reagents and related products for life science research, medical research and drug screening. We offer thousands of high quality products, many of which are protected by our growing patent portfolio. Biotium products are available through direct sales from our headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, and through our distributors in the U.S. and worldwide.

Definiens was awarded Frost & Sullivan's 2013 Global Company of the Year for Tissue Diagnostics and Pathology Imaging Solutions.

Definiens is the leading provider of image analysis and data mining solutions for quantitative digital pathology in the life sciences, diagnostic biomarkers and healthcare industries. Definiens software provides detailed readouts from whole tissue slides, cell-based assays and full body scans and allows correlating this information with data derived from other sources. By automating analysis workflows, Definiens helps pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research institutions, clinical service organizations and pathologists to generate new knowledge and supports better decisions in research, diagnostics and therapy. Definiens vision is to open new fields of research, to contribute to development of personalized medicine and to significantly improve the quality of patients lives.

Definiens software frees clinicians and scientists from poring over images, enabling them to focus on the critical work of investigation and interpretation:

Clinicians can provide more accurate and informed patient care based on highly detailed and rich analysis of tissue slides or full body scans.

Scientists can run any size of study and correlate the image data with other types of information, such as experimental conditions or patient outcomes. This allows them to understand the mechanisms of disease, validate targets, identify relevant biomarkers and open new avenues of research.

As the amount of image data grows exponentially, automation of image and data analysis is the only way to reduce the information bottleneck. Definiens revolutionary technology provides unprecedented accuracy in identifying and quantifying biological attributes within images and turning them into knowledge.

Definiens is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and has a North American office in Carlsbad, California.

LabRoots is the leading scientific social networking website and producer of educational virtual events and webinars. Contributing to the advancement of science through content sharing capabilities, LabRoots is a powerful advocate in amplifying global networks and communities.

Aviva Systems Biology provides our customers with an extensive collection of quality antibodies for research and diagnostic applications.Aviva currently offers antibodies to more than 7,000 different protein targets due to our high throughput antibody production releases more than 200 new antibodies every month.Aviva's focus is antibodies to key targets in areas of transcription, epigenetics and cell signaling.Aviva's antibody collection includes unique antibody content to many targets that are not commercially available elsewhere.We place our emphasis on family-oriented antibody production has yielded antibodies to most members of key protein families such as Transcription Factors, Transcription Regulators, RNA Binding Proteins, Ion Channels, and Cell Membrane target proteins.

CHI is the preeminent life science network for leading researchers and business experts from top pharmaceutical, biotech and academic organizations. CHIs portfolio of products includes Cambridge Healthtech Institute Conferences, Insight Pharma Reports, Cambridge Marketing Consultants, Barnett Educational Services, Cambridge Meeting Planners and CHIs Media Group, which includes news websites and e-newsletters including Bio-IT World and Clinical Informatics News.

Biocompare (www.biocompare.com) is the leading resource for up-to-date product information, product reviews, and new technologies for life scientists. Biocompare combines an in-depth knowledge of life science products and new technologies with the power of the Internet to offer scientists the most dynamic, relevant, and innovative media-based marketplace for life science information. Produced by scientists, Biocompare's mission is to provide free, time saving services to life science researchers, allowing scientists to find and learn about the technologies that drive discovery. Biocompare does this by providing specialized search tools, articles, product reviews, webinars, videos and technology spotlights all designed to ensure that Biocompare remains a trusted and comprehensive source of product information. Biocompare continually strives to serve the life science community by providing new and improved online services that facilitate product discovery and technology education.

BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher of 265 peer-reviewed open access journals. The portfolio of journals spans all areas of biology, biomedicine and medicine and includes broad interest titles, such as BMC Biology and BMC Medicine alongside specialist journals, such as Retrovirology and BMC Genomics. All original research articles published by BioMed Central are made freely accessible online immediately upon publication. BioMed Central levies an article-processing charge to cover the cost of the publication process. Authors publishing with BioMed Central retain the copyright to their work, licensing it under the Creative Commons Attribution License which allows articles to be re-used and re-distributed without restriction, as long as the original work is correctly cited. BioMed Central is owned by Springer Science+Business Media, and also hosts the SpringerOpen platform.

Pittcon is the worlds largest annual premier conference and exposition on laboratory science. It is organized by The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, a Pennsylvania not-for-profit educational corporation which is comprised of the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP).

PharmaVOICE.com is a Website for life-sciences executives and other healthcare-service related professionals. PharmaVOICE.com is produced by PharmaLinx LLC, publishers of PharmaVOICE magazine and the VIEWs.

Mendelspod offers a front row seat to the revolution going on in biology, showcasing the people who are changing the world.We produce thoughtful, in depth interviews with scientists who are leaders in their field or with CEOs of high growth companies to explore trends and the latest technologies.Tune in to be informed on the latest FDA action on genetic tests, or listen to George Church talk about viral therapeutics, or find out how the latest developments in next-generation sequencing are helping in the war on cancer.At Mendelspod, we are advancing life science research by connecting people and ideas.

CRC Press, a premier global publisher of scientific, technical, and medical content, provides essential material for academics, professionals, and students. CRC Press products include world-class references, handbooks, and textbooks as well as the award-winning CRCnetBASE eBook collections. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business. Our mission is to serve the needs of scientists and the community at large by working with capable researchers and professionals from across the world to produce the most accurate and up to date scientific, technical, and medical resources.

The Principal Investigators Association (PIA) is an independent organization created for professionals just like you! Our mission is to create a sharing network and community among scientists in all fields of research. Studies reveal that PIs must spend up to half of each day carrying out the many managerial and administrative duties they have as a result of being research leaders. These include such responsibilities as garnering financial support, supervising lab staff, mentoring graduate and postgraduate students, teaching, writing papers, serving on committees, etc.

Founded in 1912, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) was originally created by three independent scientific organizations to provide a forum in which to hold educational meetings, develop publications, and disseminate biological research results. What started as a small group of dedicated scientists has grown to be the nation’s largest coalition of biomedical researchers, representing 27 scientific societies and over 120,000 researchers from around the world. FASEB is now recognized as the policy voice of biological and biomedical researchers.

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Faculty of 1000 is the publisher of four unique services that support and inform the work of life scientists and clinicians. F1000Prime and F1000Trials provide a layer of expert opinion and guidance on published articles, and F1000Research and F1000Posters present original and useful work via open access websites that encourage transparency, sharing and debate.

Cancer: Research, Discovery and Therapeutics

Program Committee

Click here to download the Program Committee brochure

Alan Wright, MD

Dr. Wright is the Chief Medical Officer at Roche Diagnostics Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Prior to joining Roche, Dr. Wright served as Senior Vice President of Health Improvement Strategies for Miraca Life Sciences.   He was the Vice President for Product Strategy and Business Development for Resolution Health, a privately held analytics and intervention company serving the managed care market place.  Until 2005, Dr. Wright was chairman and CEO of Star Pharmaceuticals, a generic pharmaceutical company he founded in 2002, serving the needs of the urological community.  Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer of Caremark .  Dr. Wright also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for AdvancePCS. 

Dr. Wright graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University.  He received his medical doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency in internal medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia.  While at Temple he served as Chief Medical Resident from 1985 to 1986 and completed his Masters of Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.  Dr. Wright is a member of several journal editorial boards.  He is a member of the American Medical Association and American College of Physicians.  He is also certified as a diplomat to the American Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Vincent Mauro, Ph.D.

Dr. Mauro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He is also a co-founder and lead scientist of Promosome, a biotechnology company focused on bioproduction enablement and DNA vaccines. In addition, Dr. Mauro is a Senior Fellow in Experimental Neurobiology at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, California.

Prior to moving to The Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Mauro received his Ph.D. at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and continued his studies as a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University in New York City. 

Dr. Mauro studies both fundamental and applied aspects of translational control mechanisms. His basic research is focused on understanding how eukaryotic mRNAs recruit ribosomes, how ribosomes subsequently locate initiation codons, and how ribosomes regulate the translation of specific subsets of mRNAs. Dr. Mauro's applied studies build on his basic research. These applied studies have led to the identification of Translational Enhancer Elements (TEEs) and the generation of synthetic translational enhancers.

Paul Mathews, PhD

Dr. Paul J. Mathews received his bachelors degree from the University of Oregon where he studied invertebrate behavioral plasticity in the lab of Dr. Nathan Tublitz. He received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin under the mentorship of Dr. Nace Golding. Dr. Mathews work focused on understanding how the biophysical properties of specific voltage-gated ion channels in an auditory brainstem nuclei contribute to their capacity to make sub-millisecond computations necessary for low frequency sound localization. For the past several years Dr. Mathews has been working at UCLA under the mentorship of Dr. Tom Otis where he is currently working to uncover the cerebellar circuit mechanisms that underlie motor learning and memory. To do this Dr. Mathews is utilizing a multifaceted approach that includes both in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, advanced optics, histology, and behavioral manipulations to make links between cerebellar circuit activity and motor output in rodent models. He is currently on the job market looking for a tenured track assistant professor position.

Tatjana Matejic, PhD, D(ABMLI)

Dr. Matejic is the founder of Biotech Expertise where she provides scientific and technical consulting services to biotech companies on development of functional assays reflective of mechanisms of drug action in the context of disease pathology, in vivo studies, and biomarkers.  She is an immunologist by training (Ph.D. in immunology, board certification in medical diagnostic immunology by the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology) with more than two decades of industrial experience working in research and development of Biotech/Pharma companies ranging from start-ups to multinational pharmaceutical corporations, Pfizer being the most recent one.  During her long career in industry she led and mentored diverse teams of scientists and contributed to all stages of project and product development from scientific idea to commercial product of diverse portfolio of biologics. She was recognized as a leader in development and implementation of strategies for evaluating biological function of therapeutic candidates. She contributed to efforts of interdisciplinary drug development teams to successfully advance numerous early and late stage clinical programs and a few commercial products across multiple therapeutic areas and disease targets. She also conducted technical diligence for transition of pipeline projects from discovery to development phase, as well as for technology assessment for in-licensing opportunities.

Mark Marzinke, PhD, BABCC

Mark Marzinke, PhD, DABCC earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and subsequently completed a clinical chemistry fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University in 2012. During his clinical fellowship, Dr. Marzinke focused on the development and validation of qualitative and quantitative mass spectrometric assays for the clinical monitoring and quantitation of pain management drugs and anti-neoplastic agents, respectively. Further, he performed large scale proteomics studies aimed at the temporal identification of biomarkers expressed during ovarian cancer progression. Dr. Marzinke is currently an Instructor in the Departments of Pathology and Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM).  He serves as the Director of Preanalytics and General Chemistry in the Core Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he focuses on workflow analysis and test utilization.  Additionally, he is the Associate Director of the Clinical Pharmacology Analytical Lab (CPAL) at the JHUSOM, where he focuses on the development and validation of quantitative mass spectrometric methods in rare matrices to support large clinical trials.   His research interests include the development, validation and implementation of assays focused on personalized medicine, including therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacogenetic testing.  Dr. Marzinke is board certified by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.

Alan Maisel, MD

Dr. Alan Maisel  attended University of Michigan Medical School and did his cardiology training at the University of California at San Diego.  He is currently Professor of Medicine at the University and director of the coronary care unit and the heart failure program at the affiliated Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is considered one of the worlds experts on cardiac biomarkers, and is given credit for ushering in the use of BNP levels in clinical practice around the world. He has over 300 articles in print and a large clinical and basic science lab.  Dr. Maisel is also a fixture at the medical school, where he has won countless teaching awards from medical students as well as interns and residents. Dr Maisel s yearly San Diego Biomarker meeting is considered the most prestigious of its kind. Dr. Maisel is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of American College of Cardiology.  He has published two medical novel and helps to raise five children,  He gave up on sleep five years ago.

C Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, MHS

Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, MHS, is a 2012 TED Fellow and Founder & President of Rare Genomics Institute, the world's first platform to enable any community to leverage cutting-edge biotechnology to advance understanding of any rare disease. Partnering with 18 of the top medical institutions, such as Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford, RGI helps custom design personalized research projects for diseases so rare that no organization exists to help. Dr. Lin is also a medical school faculty member at the Washington University in St. Louis and led the computational analysis of the first ever exome sequenching studies for any human disease at Johns Hopkins. He has numerous publications in Science, Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, and Nature Biotechnology, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.

Agnieszka Lichanzka Ph.D.

Agnieszka is currently a Staff Scientist and Laboratory Manager at TessArae, LLC in Sterling, VA, USA. She obtained her PhD at the University of Queensland in Australia in a field of biochemistry, and subsequently worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Queen's University of Belfast, University of Queensland and Institute for Molecular Biosciences. Since 2005 until 2008 she held a continuing appointment as a lecturer in a School of Dentistry at the University of Queensland and established her own laboratory in area of functional genomics and metabonomics. She has over 10 years of experience in molecular biology, genetics, genomics, biochemistry, microbiology and metabonomics. In addition she has experience as a science writer. Recently Agnieszka served on the Council of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is still active in the society. Currently she is working on novel diagnostic assays for infectious diseases using microarray re-sequencing technology.

Kamisha Johnson-Davis, PhD, DABCC, FACB

Dr. Johnson-Davis is a medical director of the Clinical Toxicology laboratory, Antifungal Testing and Immunosuppressants Testing at ARUP. Dr. Johnson-Davis received her PhD in pharmacology at the University of Utah and is board certified in clinical chemistry by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in clinical chemistry at the University of Utah, Department of Pathology, and was a postdoctoral research associate at the Center of Human Toxicology at the University of Utah. Dr. Johnson-Davis is a member of various professional societies, including the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

Bruce Hollis, PhD

Bruce W. Hollis, Ph.D. received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the Ohio State University and subsequently his Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in 1979. Dr. Hollis then completed an Endocrine Fellowship at The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1982.  Dr. Hollis was then Appointed Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Case Western and remained there until 1986 when he moved to The Medical University of South Carolina where to he is Professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is also Director of Pediatric Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Hollis has studied vitamin D metabolism and nutrition for the past 35 years and has been an NIH grant recipient for the past 30 years. His current work focuses on the vitamin D requirements during pregnancy and lactation. Dr. Hollis has in excess of 200 peer reviewed articles in this area of investigation.

Michael Holick, MD, PhD

Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics; Director of the General Clinical Research Unit; and Director of the Bone Health Care Clinic and the Director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center.

Dr. Holick has made numerous contributions to the field of the biochemistry, physiology, metabolism, and photobiology of vitamin D for human nutrition. Dr. Holick has established global recommendations advising sunlight exposure as an integral source of vitamin D.  He has helped increase awareness in the pediatric and medical communities regarding vitamin D deficiency pandemic, and its role in causing not only metabolic bone disease, and osteoporosis in adults, but increasing risk of children and adults developing common deadly cancers, schizophrenia, infectious diseases including TB and influenza, autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. He also observed the pregnant women who were vitamin D deficient were at increased risk for preeclampsia and requiring a C-section.  He has written more than 300 pier reviewed articles, edited or wrote 12 books including The Vitamin D Solution and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Linus Pauling Prize in Human Nutrition.

Ross J Molinaro, PhD, MT(ASCP), DABCC, FACB

Ross J. Molinaro, PhD, MT(ASCP), DABCC, FACB is an Assistant Professor

in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory

University. He received his PhD in Clinical Chemistry and Molecular

Medicine from Cleveland State University and completed the ComACC

training program at Emory as the first recipient of the AACC

Past-Presidents’ Scholarship. He currently serves as the Medical

Director of the Core Laboratory at Emory University Hospital Midtown and

co-Director of the Emory Clinical Translational Research Laboratory.

Ross also teaches various aspects of laboratory medicine to medical

students, pathology residents and fellows, clinical chemistry fellows,

and medical technology students.

Ross joined the AACC in 2005 and is a member of the Proteomics and

Clinical Translational Science Divisions. Ross is currently a committee

member of the Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians (SYCL). He is

also a member of the Professional Practice Review Course Curriculum

Organizing Committee and the Clinical Chemistry Trainee Council

Executive Committee as the Exam Questions Vault Coordinator. In

addition, Ross serves as an American Society for Clinical Pathology

(ASCP) Board Liaison to the Clinical Chemistry Examination Committee,

and a member of the Board of Governors as the ASCP/AACC Member

Representative. With over 40 publications and book chapters, his

interests reside in the practice and standardization of mass

spectrometry in the clinical laboratory and expanding the knowledge base

of clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine for medical students and

those practicing in different healthcare disciplines.

Howard Morris, PhD, FAACB, FFSc(RCPA)

Professor Howard Morris is Professor of Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia and a Chief Medical Scientist in Chemical Pathology at SA Pathology, Adelaide, South Australia.

He is currently Vice-President of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) and Chair of the IFCC-International Osteoporosis Foundation Working Group on Standardization of Bone Marker Assays. He has over 30 years experience in Clinical Biochemistry largely managing the Endocrinology laboratory of a large public pathology service. Between 2003 and 2009 he was the Director of the Hanson Institute in Adelaide, the major medical research institute in South Australia. His research investigates the pathophysiology of osteoporosis and the effects of hormones including vitamin D and dietary calcium. He was the Louis Avioli Memorial Lecturer at the 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. He is also Chair of the South Australian Department of Health Working Party on Osteoporosis and Fracture Prevention.

John Quackenbush, PhD

John Quackenbush received his PhD in 1990 in theoretical physics from UCLA working on string theory models. Following two years as a postdoctoral fellow in physics, Dr. Quackenbush applied for and received a Special Emphasis Research Career Award from the National Center for Human Genome Research to work on the Human Genome Project. He spent two years at the Salk Institute and two years at Stanford University working at the interface of genomics and computational biology. In 1997 he joined the faculty of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) where his focus began to shift to understanding what was encoded within the human genome. Since joining the faculties of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health in 2005, his work has focused on the use of genomic data to reconstruct the networks of genes that drive the development of diseases such as cancer and emphysema.

Stephanie Willerth, PhD

Dr. Willerth currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Victoria where she is dually appointed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Division of Medical Sciences. Her research group investigates how to engineer neural tissue by combining pluripotent stem cells, controlled drug delivery and biomaterial scaffolds . She has given invited talks at the Till and McCulloch Annual Meeting and at the 1st Annual British Columbia Stem Cell and Regeneration Medicine Initiative Meeting as well as presented at the 9th Annual World Biomaterials Congress in Chengdu, China. She belongs to both the Brain Research Centre (BRC) and the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD) - B.C. based organizations committed to treating brain diseases and disorders and finding long term treatments for the repair of spinal cord injuries respectively. Before accepting her faculty position, Dr. Willerth completed an NIH post doctoral fellowship  at the University of California-Berkeley and graduate studies at Washington University.

Bart C. Weimer, PhD
Sihe Wang, PhD DABCC FACB

Dr. Sihe Wang is Section Head and Medical Director of Clinical Biochemistry and Director of Clinical Biochemistry Fellowship Training Program, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.  He also chairs the clinical chemistry integration effort for the Cleveland Clinic Health System which includes 1 Florida hospital, 8 community hospitals and 18 family health centers in Northeast Ohio. Additionally, he is Clinical Chemistry Professor, Cleveland State University.  Prior to his current position, Dr. Wang was Assistant Professor at Northwestern University; Director, Clinical Chemistry Laboratory and Referred Testing Laboratory, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Wang is a diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry (DABCC) and a fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (FACB).

Dr. Wang is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). He served as chair of AACC Northeast Ohio Section in 2008 and 2009 and the president of North American Chinese Clinical Chemistry Association (NACCCA) 2008-2009. Currently he serves as the historian for NACCCA, the treasurer for the Pediatric and Maternal Fetal Division of AACC, the delegate for AACC Northeast Ohio section, commissioner for The Commission on Accreditation in Clinical Chemistry (ComACC), and a member of AACC's Strategies Online Editorial Advisory Board. The AACC presented him with the 2005, 2008, and 2010 Clinical Chemist Recognition Award. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Lemuel J. Bowie Young Investigator Award for the Chicago Section of the AACC. Dr. Wang has authored over 140 journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts. He also serves on several editorial boards of peer reviewed journals.

Katerina Venderova, PharmD, PhD

Dr. Katerina Venderova obtained her master's and doctorate degrees in pharmacy, and her PhD in Toxicology from Charles University in the Czech Republic. She then received a fellowship from the Parkinson Society Canada and pursued her postdoctoral training at Toronto Western Research Institute (2 years), and subsequently at University of Ottawa in Canada (5 years), where she studied genetics of Parkinson's disease, mechanisms of neuronal death and cell signaling in the basal ganglia. Dr. Venderova joined Pacific in 2011.

Theral Timpson

Theral is the host of Mendelspod, where he interviews thought leaders from around the life science community.  He's a regular blogger at Mendelspod and frequent speaker and emcee at life science conferences and related events.  Theral is an active mentor in Silicon Valley for those seeking careers in science and or media.  He's the President and owner of Theral Timpson Productions where he offers consulting for life science marketing, strategic planning, and conflict resolution.   Mr. Timpson has over 15 years experience establishing and growing companies in the life science industry, including President and Co-Founder of Consumer Genetics and Vice President of Marketing at Medax International.     He received training from the E. Goldratt Institute in Theory of Constraints and holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from the University of Utah.

Deanne Taylor, MS, PhD

Dr. Taylors background is in biophysics, bioinformatics, computational biology and structural biology with emphasis on human genetics and translational medicine. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biophysics from  the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Pfizer in Ann Arbor. She had worked in the pharmaceutical industry at EMD-Serono, transitioning into clinical and basic research by moving to Harvard School of Public Health and then to clinical research at RWJ/Rutgers.  She also served several years as the Program Director of the Graduate Program in Bioinformatics at Brandeis University, where she still occasionally teaches a course in Computational Systems Biology.

Her main areas of research are in the development of mathematical and computational methods to better understand biological variation and the genetic contribution to disease, coupling clinical information with high-dimensional biomedical data from next-gen sequencing, microarray, PCR, and proteomics experiments.  Some of her immediate research interests are in  development of methods to better classify effects of genetic variation within interacting systems through effects in gene function and contributions to disease, developing  mathematical genotype representations of variation in populations,  and using machine-learning techniques to build classifiers in  translational medicine research. Her  scientific contributions were acknowledged with the rest of the Divisions research team at the 2010 ASRM meeting when the REI division received the ASRM Prize Paper Award, where her contribution was in building databases, systems and validated methods for high-throughput genotype analyses .

Leigh Anne Swayne, PhD

Leigh Anne Swayne is a basic cell and molecular neurobiologist. After training in Canada and France, she started her independent research lab in January 2011 in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, BC Canada. Leigh Anne's work focuses on the role of ion channels in shaping postnatal neurogenesis. She combines biochemistry, proteomics, cell biology, electrophysiology, and microscopy to understand how ion channels direct this postnatal developmental process. Her lab's  ultimate goal is to find effective ways of boosting brain repair following injury or disease.

Joely Straseski, PhD, MS, MT(ASCP), DABCC

Dr. Straseski is a medical director of endocrinology at ARUP Laboratories and an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She received her PhD in pathology and laboratory medicine and a Master’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also served as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Straseski completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical chemistry at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland. She has previously been awarded the Past-President Scholarship by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, as well as a Distinguished Abstract Award from the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. Dr. Straseski is board certified in clinical chemistry by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry.

Ahmad Salehi, MD, PhD

Ahmad Salehi, M.D., Ph.D. is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford Medical School and the Director of the Translational Laboratory at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California. He obtained his MD in Tehran, Iran and then moved to the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, in Amsterdam to get his PhD. While he was there, he was selected as the best junior scientist in the field of Alzheimers disease in the Netherlands. After finishing his graduate studies and 3 years of postdoc in Amsterdam, he moved to Stanford Medical School. First as a postdoc, and then as a Senior Research Associate, he worked on mechanisms of failed axonal transport in mouse models of Down syndrome. For almost a decade, he was the Director of Stanford Brain Bank. Since 2009, Dr. Salehi has moved to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. In December 2010, he received the World Technology Award in the field of Biotechnology for his innovative work on the use of mouse models of Down syndrome. During his carrier, Ahmad has been involved in publication of a large number of papers from which several have appeared on the cover of Science, Cell: Stem Cell, Science Translational Medicine, Neuroscience and Bio-behavior Reviews, and Biological Psychiatry (twice).

Amy K Saenger, PhD, DABCC, FACB

Dr. Amy Saenger is an Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Laboratory Medicine in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She is the Director of the Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program and is actively involved in training fellows, pathology residents, and allied laboratory health staff. She also serves as a Director on the Commission on Accreditation in Clinical Chemistry (ComACC) board and is an Associate Editor for the journal Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Saenger received her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Minnesota. She completed her clinical chemistry fellowship training at the University of Washington and is board certified in clinical chemistry (DABCC). 

Her research has focused on cardiac biomarkers such as troponin and natriuretic peptides, as well as novel biomarkers for the detection of oxidative and cardiovascular stress, damage, and heart failure. Dr. Saenger has been honored with the AACC Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator Award, the NACB George Grannis Award for Excellence in Research and Scientific Publication, the Paul E. Strandjord Young Investigator Award from the Academy of Clinical Physicians and Scientists, the Strandjord/Clayson Award for Meritorious Research from the University of Washington, and the AACC Outstanding Speaker Award. She serves on several AACC committees including the Clinical Laboratory News board of editors, the Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians executive committee, and is currently past-chair of the AACC Midwest Section.

Ulrich Hengst, PhD

Dr. Ulrich Hengst studied biochemistry at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, and conducted his graduate research at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, in the group of Prof. Denis Monard. In 2003 he received his PhD from the University of Basel. For his postdoctoral training, Dr. Hengst joined the laboratory of Samie R. Jaffrey, MD, PhD at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY. In Dr. Jaffreys group, he investigated the role of axonally localized mRNAs for axonal development leading to the identification of the first examples of specific mRNAs that are translated in axons in response to extracellular signaling molecules and that mediate growth cone collapse and axon elongation, respectively.

In 2009, Dr. Hengst joined the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimers Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, as an Assistant Professor. He has successfully established new research projects addressing the role of local protein synthesis in Alzheimers disease and neurodevelopment.

Timothy Harris, PhD

Since June 2011, Dr. Harris has served as the Senior Vice President of Translational Medicine at Biogen Idec. Dr. Harris has served as the Director of the Advanced Technology Program at SAIC Frederick since 2007 and Chief Technology Officer for SAIC Frederick since 2008. Prior to holding these positions, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Novasite Pharmaceuticals Inc. from January 2005 to September 2006. Prior to that, he served as Chief Executive Officer for Structural GenomiX, Inc., a drug discovery and development company focused on innovative cancer therapeutics from 2003 to 2004 and as its President and Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2003. Dr. Harris started his career in biotechnology in 1981 as a group leader in Molecular Biology at Celltech Group and from 1989 to 1993 was Director of Biotechnology at Glaxo Group Research in the U.K. From 1993 until 1999, Dr. Harris was Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Research and Development at Sequana Therapeutics Inc. in San Diego, which became Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 1998 and was subsequently acquired by Celera Genomics. During the past five years, Dr. Harris has served on the board of directors of Dendreon Corporationration and he currently serves on the boards of directors of Origen Therapeutics, Inc. and Gyrasol Technologies and is Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Bionomics Inc. in Australia.

Anthony Grace, PhD

Dr. Anthony A. Grace is a Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and a

Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh

in Pittsburgh, PA.  He received his Ph.D. from Yale University School of

Medicine with Dr. Benjamin S. Bunney and had postdoctoral training with

Dr. Rodolfo Llinas in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at

New York University School of Medicine.  Dr. Grace has been involved in

translational research related to the dopamine system for over 30

years.   His early work pioneered the mode of action of antipsychotic

drugs, and the identification and characterization of

dopamine-containing neurons, and was the first to provide a means to

quantify their activity state and pattern in a way that is the standard

in the literature.  His current work involves novel treatments for

schizophrenia and its prevention, the role of dopamine in anhedonia and

affective disorders, and the mode of action of ketamine and novel

antidepressant drugs.  Dr. Grace has received several awards for his

research, including the Paul Janssen Schizophrenia Research Award and

the Lilly Basic Scientist Award from the International College of

Neuropsychopharmacology, the Efron Award from the American College of

Neuropsychopharmacology, as well as a NIMH MERIT award, a Distinguished

Investigator award from the National Alliance for Research in

Schizophrenia and Depression, the Judith Silver Memorial Investigator

Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, a Fellow of the

American Association for the Advancement of Science, and appointment as a

Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at the University of

Pittsburgh.  He is also a past member of the governing council of the

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and is on the editorial

board fornumerous leading journals in the field.

Ariel Louwrier Ph.D.

Dr. Louwrier has successfully brought strategic vision coupled with tactical operational success to positions he has been employed at throughout his career. He is an entrepreneur with a broad range of experience in a variety of scientific fields as well as excelling in executive management in the biotechnology industry. Growing up in Europe gained him the sound knowledge of multiple languages after which he moved to the UK for his undergraduate work at the University of Sussex, specializing in genetics and heat shock. This was followed by doing his PhD in Biochemistry and Biotransformations at the University of Kent at Canterbury, also in the UK. He worked in conjunction with SmithKline Beecham (now GSK) resulting in biosynthetic methods of amoxicillin production that have since been integrated into current manufacturing processes.  Ariel then went on to work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the field of non-aqueous enzymology and protein engineering in the Chemical Engineering Department. Later, returning to the UK he joined ABgene (now a Thermo Fisher portfolio company), in 1995. Shortly thereafter Ariel started StressMarq Biosciences Inc., a new reagent cellular-stress company, which continues to provide researchers worldwide with the highest quality heat shock and cellular stress reagents.

Martin Latterich, PhD

Dr. Latterich has nearly 20 years of academic and commercial and leadership experience and features an accomplished research career focused on the proteomics-based discovery of novel biomarkers in oncology, respiratory disease and neurodegenerative disorders.

Martin is currently CSO at BioScale, a Lexington, MA, based biotechnology corporation commercializing a novel acoustic biomarker quantification platform. Most recently Martin served as a Professor at the Proteogenomics Research Institute for Systems Medicine in San Diego, where his laboratory used proteomics and genomics to discover novel biomarkers of cancer and degenerative disease though a systems biology approach that includes proteomics. He is also the CSO, co-founder and a board member for the non-profit Nicholas Conor Institute for Pediatric Cancer Research. Martin's work at the institute included designing new technologies to enable the better treatment of children with cancer, using personalized medicine technology to match their unique genetic make-up and tumor physiology to available treatment options. He previously served on the faculty of the University of Montreal, McGill University and the Salk Institute. His grant-funded work has been recognized by the 2003 Tier I Canada Research Chair, the 1998 Pew Scholar Award and the 1997 Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award.

Dr. Latterich also held senior management positions at several biotechnology companies, including Diversa and Illumina, where he headed the proteomics initiatives. He has made significant contributions to the field of cell biology, clinical biomarker discovery, proteomics and genomics. Among his recent discoveries are biomarkers for cancer, respiratory disease and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr Latterich has edited one book on RNAi, is author on over 34 publications in leading scientific journals and is listed on numerous patent applications. Martin is Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Proteome Science. He has served on several national and international study sections. He was a postdoctoral fellow in molecular and cell biology in the laboratory of Dr. Randy Schekman at the HHMI and University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Latterich earned his Ph.D. in cell biology and a B.Sc. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Durham University, U.K.

Fred Russell Kramer, PhD

Fred Russell Kramer is Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the New Jersey Medical School, and has been a Principal Investigator at the Public Health Research Institute for the past 25 years. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1964 and received his doctorate from the Rockefeller University in 1969. He was on the faculty of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons for 17 years and has been a Research Professor and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine for the past 24 years.

Daniel Irimia, MD, PhD

Dr. Irimia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston, and Harvard Medical School.  He is leading a research program that is focused on studying the roles of cellular migration in health and disease.  Dr. Irimia is interested in probing the role of cancer cell migration during cancer invasion and tumor metastasis.  He is also very interested in understanding how the ability of white blood cells to move and protect against microbes is being affected during the systemic inflammation responses after burn and trauma injuries.  For this research, he is employing the most advanced microscale technologies which enable us to design new tools and measure cell migration with better precision than ever before.

Bradley Ford, MD, PhD
David Carpentieri, MD

Dr. Carpentieri is a Medical Staff Member at Large, Pathology, Phoenix Children's Hospital and is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology and Pediatrics, University of Arizona and Assistant Professor of Pathology, Mayo Medical School.  His affiliations are with the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), the Childrens Oncology Group (COG), Society for Pediatric Pathology (SPP), and the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).

Peter Blume-Jensen, MD, PhD

Dr. Peter Blume-Jensen has extensive expertise in basic and translational cancer research, oncogenic signaling, and targeted oncology therapeutics drug discovery prior to joining Metamark as CSO in 2010.  From 2001 to 2008 Peter was department head at first Serono, US and later at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co, Inc. where he established novel, integrated oncology drug discovery departments and programs linking therapeutics to patient responder populations. Since 2008 he was Exec. Dir. and Vice President for External Scientific Affairs at Daiichi Sankyo Inc., served as the global 'Therapeutic Area Advisor' for Oncology, and was co-responsible for formulating a global oncology R&D strategy. He co-led the scientific M&A and due diligence resulting in the acquisition of Plexxikon (US$935M).  In 2010 he joined Metamark as CSO and 2nd employee.  Since June 2014, Peter has joined Xtuit Pharmaceuticals, a targeted therapeutics start-up, as CSO, and first employee.  Peter continues to serve as Chief Scientific Advisor and on the SAM for Metamark and also has joined the SAB of Veritas Gene, Inc, a NGS company.

Dr. Blume-Jensen has authored highly-cited original articles, reviews, and book chapters in Personalized Molecular Oncology. His review 'Oncogenic Kinase Signaling' in Nature is a citation classic in 'Clinical Medicine', and his work on genetically engineered cancer and male infertility mouse models has been widely portrayed on CNN and other news channels. His approaches for efficacy-predictive biomarkers have appeared on Nature Biotechnology's 'Hot patents' watch-list and in numerous Editorial highlights for Personalized Oncology. Dr. Blume-Jensen obtained his M.D. from Copenhagen, Denmark, his Ph.D. from Dr. Carl-Henrik Heldin's laboratory at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala, Sweden, and conducted his Post-Doctoral studies in Dr. Tony Hunter's laboratory at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA.

Josip Blonder, MD

Dr. Blonder is Head of the Clinical Proteomics Group, Laboratory of Proteomics & Analytical Technologies (LPAT), Cancer Research Technology Program, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. at NCIs, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNL). In 1978, Dr. Blonder received his M.D. at the Rijeka University School of Medicine, Croatia. He completed a residency in emergency medicine in 1984 and assumed the position of head of Emergency Medicine, Medical Center Mostar. In 1989, he completed a fellowship in cardiology at the German Heart Institute in Berlin. In 2000, through Associated Western Universities, Dr. Blonder was awarded a post-doc fellowship in proteomics at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (Advisor: Dr. Richard D. Smith). During the stay with Dr. Smith, his research focused on proteome-wide analysis of membrane proteins using high-accuracy and high-resolution mass spectrometry. In 2002 at the PNNL, he developed a shotgun proteomic method for profiling membrane proteins that resulted in an offer to join Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. (formerly SAIC-Frederick Inc.), LPAT at NCI-Frederick. At the FNL, he extended the application of his method to global quantitative profiling of lipid raft and plasma membrane cell surface proteins resulting in significant discoveries subsequently confirmed in follow-up investigations using orthogonal molecular biology techniques [i.e., PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51356; J Immunol. 2013 Jul 15;191(2):892-901.]. In 2006, Dr. Blonder was appointed as the head of Clinical Proteomics, extending his research to technology development that would allow in vivo molecular profiling of clinical tissue specimens and body fluids to facilitate a better understanding of cancer biology and cancer biomarker development. His group was the first to optimize the immunodepletion of tissue homogenates in the context of tissue directed proteomics for cancer biomarker discovery. This effort resulted in the publication [i.e., Anal Chem. 2010; 82(5):1584-8.] of a method that relies on concomitant analysis of tissue and blood specimens to unambiguously detect genuine tumor proteins in the blood of a patient diagnosed with non-metastatic cancer for biomarker discovery. Dr. Blonder brings a unique combination of his expertise in medicine, clinical proteomics, and bioinformatics to cancer research where he promotes the use of qualitative/quantitative shotgun proteomics and systems biology to better understand cancer biology. He leads active translational research focused on developing and applying advanced proteomics to directly profile cell surface proteins, solid tumors and body fluids in the context of molecular discovery/phenotyping using systems biology and pathway analysis. He is a lecturer at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at NIH where he teaches a course on Clinical Proteomics and Biomarker Discovery. Since 2002, Dr. Blonder has authored over 50 scientific publications in areas of advanced mass spectrometry and clinical proteomics. He is an associate editor of BMC Cancer and a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

Antonio Baines, Phd

Dr. Antonio T. Baines is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and an adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill. He earned a bachelors degree in biology from Norfolk State University and a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona. Afterwards, Dr. Baines accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at UNC in pharmacology and radiation oncology under Drs. Channing Der and Adrienne Cox.  His research focused on understanding the role of the Ras oncogene as a molecular target in pancreatic cancer oncogenesis. In August 2006, Dr. Baines accepted a tenure-track faculty position at NCCU where he currently teaches and conducts research as a cancer biologist. Also, he mentors high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in his laboratory.

  

Pancreatic cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States with a high mortality rate and very limited treatment options. The overall focus of Dr. Baines research program is to identify and validate novel molecular targets in pancreatic cancer which can be targeted by potential cancer therapeutics.  Additionally, his lab aims to understand the role of these molecular targets in the development and progression of normal cells transforming into cancer cells of the pancreas. Currently, Dr Baines studies the functional significance of the oncogenic Pim kinase family in pancreatic cancer growth and development. He hypothesizes that inhibition of these enzymes will be an effective approach for antagonizing the aberrant growth of pancreatic carcinoma. In addition to working with colleagues in academia, he collaborates with various pharmaceutical companies that are developing Pim inhibitors. Results from his studies will allow for critical validation of these kinases as novel therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancer treatment. Dr. Baines research has been funded by NIH and other grant sources. He has presented his research at various national scientific meetings such as the Society of Toxicology and the American Association for Cancer Research. In addition, Dr. Baines has given invited research seminars at universities such as Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University, Indiana University, North Carolina State University, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

R. Claudio Aguilar, Ph.D.
Judd Moul, MD, FACS

Dr Judd W. Moul is James H. Semans, MD Professor of Surgery, Division of Urologic Surgery, and Director of the Duke Prostate Center, Duke Cancer Institute at Duke University Medical Center.  Prior to joining Duke, he was Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland and an attending Urologic Oncologist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington, DC.  In addition, he was Director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR); a Congress-mandated research program of the Department of Defense based at USUHS and WRAMC.  In 2004, he completed a 26-year U.S. Army career, retiring as a full Colonel in the Medical Corps, and became Chief of the Division of Urologic Surgery at Duke.  Serving as Chief from 2004 to 2011, he brought innovation and growth to the program.  Most notably, he started the Duke Prostate Center, expanded the urology residency training program through a novel collaboration with the Department of Defense and was able to maintain Duke Urology as a top 10 program in the nation throughout his tenure.

Dr Moul completed his Urologic Oncology Fellowship at Duke University and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pennsylvania State University.  He earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha.

Dr Moul currently serves on the editorial boards of Prostate Cancer, Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, BJU International, American Journal of Mens Health, Brazilian Journal of Urology, World Journal of Urology, and Oncology REALTIME.  He has published over 500 medical and scientific manuscripts and book chapters and has lectured at national and international meetings.  He has appeared on ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, and other media as a prostate cancer authority.  Honors and awards received have included the American Medical Associations Young Physicians Section Community Service Award for his national involvement in prostate cancer patient support groups, the Sir Henry Welcome Research Medal and Prize from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, the prestigious Gold Cystoscope Award by the American Urological Association, the Baron Dominique Jean Larrey Military Surgeon Award for Excellence, the Order of Military Medical Merit from the Surgeon General at the US Army, and the Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year award.

Kathryn Wellen, PhD

Dr. Kathryn Wellen received a PhD from Harvard University in 2006 and performed postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania from 2006-2011.  In 2011 she joined the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor.  She is a 2012 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and is a recipient of a 2012 Forbeck Scholar Award.  Her laboratorys research focuses on elucidating links between cellular metabolism and signaling, with a current emphasis on metabolic regulation of the epigenome.

Ottavio Arancio MD, Ph.D

Dr. Ottavio Arancio received his Ph.D and M.D. from the University of Pisa (Italy).   From 1981 to 1986 he took residency training in Neurology at the University of Verona (Italy).  Dr. Arancio has held Faculty appointments at Columbia University, NYU School of Medicine and at SUNY HSCB.  In 2004 he became Faculty member of the Dept of Pathology & Cell biology and The Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University.  His honors include the “G. Moruzzi Fellowship” (Georgetown University), the “Anna Villa Rusconi Foundation Prize” (Italy), the “INSERM Poste vert Fellowship” (France), the AHAF centennial Award (2007), the Zenith Award (2007),  the Margaret Cahn Research Award (2008), and the Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award.

Dr Arancio is a cellular neurobiologist who has contributed to the characterization of the mechanisms of learning in both normal conditions and during neurodegenerative diseases.   During the last ten years he has pioneered the field of mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr. Arancio’s laboratory has focused primarily on events triggered by amyloid protein.  These studies, which have suggested new links between synaptic dysfunction and amyloid protein, are of a general relevance to the field of Alzheimer’s disease both for understanding the etiopathogenesis of the disease and for developing therapies aiming to improve the cognitive symptoms. 

Eric Gluck, MD, JD

Dr. Eric H. Gluck received his doctoral degree in medicine from New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. He completed his residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and a pulmonary fellowship at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Gluck currently serves as the director of Critical Care Services at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and as a professor of medicine at Finch University of Health Sciences at the Chicago Medical School. Dr. Gluck is a fellow of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, American College of Chest Physicians, and the Chicago Institute of Medicine. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society, Society of Sigma Xi, Alpha Omega Alpha, and the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. He has delivered numerous lectures and co-authored many articles in the field of pulmonary critical care.

Pierre-Antoine Gourraud, PhD, MPH

Pierre-Antoine Gourraud is a former student of the Ecole Normale Suprieure de Lyon in France. After receiving an M.P.H. from University Paris XIII in 2002, he got his Ph.D. in Immunogenetic Epidemiology and Public Health from Toulouse University in 2005. He relocated to the United States to do his postdoctoral research in Neuroimmunogenetics of multiple sclerosis at UCSF in 2009 and joined the UCSF faculty in 2011. Dr Gourraud has established numerous research collaborations with investigators from all over the world: He develops bioinformatics resources at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (Immunogenetics markers: HLA, KIR, Microsatellites). At UCSF, he performs new generation of MS genetic association studies using massive sequencing technologies in various genetic ancestry backgrounds and continues developing software dedicated to translational digital medicine. His recent efforts have focused on the MS Bioscreen, a tablet-based navigation-system that integrates multiple dimensions of patient information including clinical evolution, therapeutic treatments, brain imaging, genomics and biomarker data.

Wieslaw Furmaga, MD

Director, Clinical Chemistry Laboratory University Hospital

Director, General Laboratory Cancer Treatment Research Center

Director, Proteomics Laboratory UTHSC at San Antonio

Interim Director, Molecular Laboratory UTHSC at San Antonio

Associate Director, Mycology Laboratory UTHSC at San Antonio

I graduated from the Collegium Medicum at Jagiellonski University in

Poland, and subsequently completed residency program in anatomic,

clinical pathology and clinical chemistry. I have been practicing

pathology in the University of Texas Health Science Center at San

Antonio, Texas as a staff pathologist and medical director of clinical

chemistry and molecular laboratory.

I have been serving the Instrumental Resource Committee of the

College of American Pathologist (CAP) since 2008. Since 2009 I have

served for the Pharmacogenomics Committee, Educational subcommittee

working on Pharmacogenomics Educational Course. I was actively involved

in the CLSI on a project “Method Validation by using patient’s sample”.

The main scientific interest is in biomarkers for aggressive prostate

cancer as well as biomarkers for monitoring the trauma patients with

hemorrhagic shock.

George Fritsma, MS, MT

George Fritsma is an associate professor in Laboratory Medicine of the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Prof. Fritsma manages www.fritsmafactor.com, “The Fritsma Factor, Your Interactive Hemostasis Resource,” a clinical coagulation educational resource and blog. The Fritsma Factor is sponsored by Precision BioLogic, Inc, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Prof. Fritsma is the continuing education editor for the Clinical Laboratory Science Journal and a member of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry publications committee. He is co-editor of Hematology Clinical Principles and Applications, 4th edition, 2012, and he is and co-author of Quick Guide to Renal Disease Testing, 2011; Quick Guide to Venipuncture, 2010; Quick Guide to Coagulation 2nd Edition, 2009; and Quick Guide to Hematology Testing, 2007, all available from the ASCLS bookstore.

Prof. Fritsma is a 40-year member of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science and a member of the International Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Masters in Medical Technology from Wayne State University, Detroit, and advanced course work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Charles Cantor, PhD

Dr. Charles Cantor is a founder, and Chief Scientific Officer at SEQUENOM, Inc., which is a genetics discovery company with tools, information and strategies for determining the medical impact of genes and genetic variations.

He is also the founder of SelectX Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company, Retrotope, an anti-aging company, and DiThera, a biotherapeutic company.

Dr. Cantor is professor emeritus of Biomedical Engineering and of Pharmacology and was the director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University.  He is currently adjunct professor of Bioengineering at UC San Diego, adjunct professor of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Institute for Research, and distinguished adjunct professor of Physiology and Biophysics at UC Irvine. Prior to this, Dr. Cantor held positions in Chemistry and then in Genetics and Development at Columbia University and in Molecular Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. Cantor was educated in chemistry at Columbia College (AB) and at the University of California Berkeley (PhD).

Dr. Cantor has been granted more than 60 US patents and, with Paul Schimmel, wrote a three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry. He also co-authored the first textbook on Genomics titled 'The Science and Technology of the Human Genome Project'.  In addition, he sits on the advisory boards of numerous national and international biotechnology firms, has published more than 450 peer-reviewed articles, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Cynthia Bowman MD

Dr. Cynthia Bowman has been a broad based general pathologist for over 30 years. She graduated with a BA in Chemistry from St. Olaf College, received her MD from Vanderbilt University Medical School, and trained for 6 years at the University of California, San Francisco as a surgery intern and then anatomic and clinical pathology resident. She worked as an emergency room physician during training and has always had a clinical perspective in her practices. She has worked in California, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Australia as an anatomic and clinical pathologist and laboratory medical director in small, mid-sized, tertiary and academic  medical centers. She is currently Medical Director at Enzo Clinical Laboratories, a commercial reference laboratory and bioscience company in the NY metropolitan area, and in that capacity collaborates with the development and integration of molecular services into clinical testing.  She has been active in national laboratory organizations, especially the College of American Pathologists, where she was chair of the Point of Care Testing Resource Committee. In that capacity she guided the introduction and was the senior editor of a web-based POCT toolkit as a resource for laboratory director leadership in POCT.  She has also written and edited multiple educational pieces for the laboratory community as part of the CAP Excel Survey program and in 2012 she was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award by the CAP. She has spoken at AACC and CAP meetings and currently serves on several CLSI document development committees. She is currently chair of an International Federation of Clinical Chemistry POCT task force work group addressing the use of glucose  meters in critical care patients.  Her professional commitment has always been to integrate and translate pathology and laboratory medicine services into effective clinical care. She has dedicated her efforts in POCT as part of that vision to collaborate with all stakeholders and involve laboratory services as part of the continuum of care. She enjoys evaluating technology and integrating it into laboratory services.

Joan W Bennett, PhD

Joan W. Bennett has been Professor II of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University since 2006. Prior to coming to Rutgers, she was on the faculty at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, for over thirty years. The Bennett laboratory studies the genetics and physiology of filamentous fungi. In addition to mycotoxins and secondary metabolites, the focus is on the volatile organic compounds emitted by fungi. These low molecular weight compounds are responsible for the familiar odors associated with the growth of molds and mushrooms. Some of them function as semiochemicals for insects while others serve as developmental signals for fungi. The Bennett lab has tested individual fungal VOCs in model systems, with the intent of providing a physiological basis for the hypothesis that volatile mold metabolites might be involved in “sick building syndrome.” For example, 1-octen-3-ol (“mushroom alcohol”) functions as a neurotoxin in Drosophila melanogaster and causes growth retardation in Arabidopsis thaliana. In other studies, we have demonstrated that living cultures of Trichoderma, a known biocontrol fungus, can enhance plant growth in the absence of physical contact between the plant and the fungus. In addition, we are investigating the potential use of fungi and their volatiles in bioenergy research. Dr. Bennett also has an active interest in fungal genomics and has been involved in genome projects for Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus and A. oryzae.

In addition to running a laboratory, Dr. Bennett is Associate Vice President for the Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (“SciWomen”), charged with promoting the welfare of women in science, engineering, mathematics and the health professions across the three campuses of Rutgers University at Camden, New Brunswick and Newark.

Christoph H. Borchers, Ph.D.

Dr. Borchers received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Konstanz, Germany.  After his post-doctoral training and employment as a staff scientist at NIEHS/NIH/RTP, NC and he was the director of the Duke – UNC Proteomics Facility and held a faculty position at UNC Medical School in Chapel Hill, NC (2001-2006).  Since then Dr. Borchers is Associate Professor at University of Victoria (UVic), Canada and the Director of the UVic – Genome Proteomics Centre.  His research is centred around the improvement, development and application of proteomics technologies with major focus on techniques for quantitative targeted proteomics for clinical diagnostics.

Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, MD, PhD

Dr. Bayrak-Toydemir is the medical director of the Molecular Genetics and Genomics Laboratories at ARUP and an associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Bayrak-Toydemir received her MD from the Ankara University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey, where she also received her PhD in human genetics. Subsequently, she completed her fellowship in clinical molecular genetics at the University of Utah. She is board certified in medical genetics.

Dr. Bayrak-Toydemir has focused her research efforts on understanding the molecular genetic characteristics of the Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) disease, an autosomal dominant vascular dysplasia. Her research aims to identify additional gene(s) that can cause HHT disease, to determine the roles of regulatory region mutations of known HHT genes, and to describe the genotype-phenotype correlation. In addition to HHT,  her research aims to identify gene(s) that cause various inherited vascular malformations.   She is also interested in application of next generation sequencing to molecular diagnostics.

Szczepan Baran, VMD, MS

Dr. Szczepan Baran is President and Chief Operating Officer of the Veterinary Bioscience Institute, which provides online surgical and biomethodology education to laboratory animal science and veterinary communities.  He also serves in the following capacities: Course Director at Drexel University College of Medicine for the online Masters of Laboratory Animal Science Program in Philadelphia; Adjunct Faculty in the Office of Research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine; and as a member of Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute’s Document Development Committee.  Past experiences include: Chair and Co-chair on various laboratory animal science program committees; special volunteer position at the National Cancer Institute Laboratory of Genomic Diversity; and faculty at Delaware Valley College.

Dr. Baran earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Washington, a Veterinary Medical Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of Delaware. His research interests include embryonic stem cells, the development and validation of online surgical training programs, and the development and validation of rodent laparoscopic procedures. Dr. Baran has established a freezing protocol for Nonhuman Primate Embryonic Stem cells, which has increased their survival from 5% to over 90%. Additionally, he was a contributing team member in the development of one of the first canine embryonic stem cell lines. He has pioneered new territory by demonstrating the effectiveness of online surgical training in the laboratory animal medicine field.

Sharon Geaghan, MD

Dr. Geaghan is Chief, Pathology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, and Co-Director of Clinical Laboratories at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. She also directs the Bass Pediatric Cancer Center Laboratory at the Lucile Packard Hospital; is Director of the Point of Care Testing Program for the women and children's hospital and is Director of Stanford Clinical Laboratory at Mary L. Johnson Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and in Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, teaching medical students, residents, fellows and post-graduate continuing medical education programs.

Dr. Geaghan received her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and MD at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her training, including two residencies in Anatomic and Surgical Pathology and in Laboratory Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco, where she also served as Chief Resident and was the first Hematopathology Fellow. Dr. Geaghan holds four board certifications: in Anatomic Pathology; Hematopathology; Clinical Pathology and Pediatric Pathology.

Dr. Geaghan is Chair-elect of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry Division of Pediatric Maternal Fetal Division, the largest organization of laboratory medicine professionals (2012-2014). Dr. Geaghan was recently named to the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry's Task Force on Pediatric Laboratory Medicine, and the College of American Pathologists Point of Care Testing Committee.

Dr. Geaghan serves on numerous Executive Boards, including the Medical Executive Board at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and also serves on Advisory Boards as an avid advocate for children's health, in various national Pediatric Clinical and Laboratory Medicine Associations. She has recently been named in Top Doctors of the Year by San Jose Magazine, and in the American Registry of Outstanding Professionals.

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