Speaker Biographies

PROGRAM

Assoc Prof

A Bruce Montgomery Prof

Daniel T. Chiu is the A. Bruce Montgomery Professor of Chemistry, Endowed Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Washington Research Foundation Professor, and Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. He obtained a B.A. in Neurobiology and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1993 and a Ph.D in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1998. He is currently a member of the Center for Nanotechnology and the Neurobiology and Behavior Program at the University of Washington, as well as a member of the Cancer Consortium at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Senior Lecturer

Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern has finished her PhD in the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2006. She completed two postdocs in Systems Biology and Cancer Research. She has received her independent position in the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of the Bar-Ilan University in 2014. Her expertise is in Liquid Biopsy techniques in complex diseases as well as Computational Biology.

CEO

David Ge is CEO and co-founder of Apostle Inc (http://apostlebio.com), a biotechnology company in San Jose, California, focused on innovations related to liquid biopsy. Since Feb 2019, Apostle has entered a global partnership with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences to commercialize its Apostle MiniMax cfDNA isolation technology. In 2018, BioSpace listed Apostle Inc as one of the "Top 20 Life Science Startups to Watch". Apostle has also been selected into the Stanford University StartX program. Prior to Apostle, Dr. Ge was President of BioSciKin Co., Ltd., focused on biomedical incubating, investing and licensing. Between 2011 and 2016, he was Director of Bioinformatics at Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), where he provided leadership to the corporate bioinformatics department and provided strategic input to the precision medicine infrastructure and process. Between 2008 and 2011, he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Medicine, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Duke University School of Medicine, where he was also member of a U.S. NIH NHGRI Special Emphasis Panel. Dr. Ge received his PhD of Biostatistics and Genetic Epidemiology from Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in 2004 and completed his postdoctoral training at Duke University. He discovered the IL28B genetic variants associated with clinical response to interferon treatment. The work was published in Nature in 2009, received over 3000 citations to date. His work includes co-authoring 5 articles in Nature and 1 in Science, and has received over 19,000 citations. Dr. Ge was named by the U.S. Genome Technology magazine as one of the "rising stars" in 2009 and by the U.K. Phacilitate as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential People in Big Data" in 2015.

Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Professor and Chair

Assistant Professor

Alex Greninger is an assistant professor of laboratory medicine and associate director of the clinical virology laboratory at the University of Washington. He received a BS and MS in Biological Sciences and a BA in International Relations from Stanford University, an MPhil in Epidemiology at Cambridge University, and his MD and PhD from the University of California San Francisco, followed by residency in clinical pathology at the University of Washington. His work generally involves genomically-informed approaches to understanding a variety of infectious diseases.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Ctr

Assistant Member

The Ha laboratory is interested in studying the role of genomic alterations in cancer progression and translating this knowledge to expand applications for precision medicine. We combine research in two complementary areas. We develop and apply novel computational methods to comprehensively profile cancer genomes from tumor tissue in large patient cohorts. We also develop approaches to detect tumor-specific alterations from liquid biopsies, such as circulating cell-free DNA from blood plasma. Our lab has a major interest in studying the abnormal structure of the cancer genome more deeply. We apply cutting-edge whole genome DNA sequencing technologies, particularly platforms that generate long-range genomic information such as linked-read and long-read data. These data enhance the reconstruction of genomic rearrangements and enable the study of alterations in non-coding genomic regions. We are also interested in integrating chromosome conformation information to better understand the effects of genomic alterations on the 3D chromosome structure. We leverage insights from the analysis of tumor genomes to inform the design of blood-based applications to monitor patient response to treatment. Our goals are to uncover mechanisms of treatment resistance, to identify blood-based genetic biomarkers, and to translate these findings to help improve clinical decisions. We are actively engaging in new collaborations with members of Fred Hutch, UW Medicine, and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to study other tumor types and various stages of disease. I received my BSc in Microbiology & Immunology and Computer Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2008. In 2014, I completed a PhD in Bioinformatics from the Bioinformatics Training Program at UBC, while working at the BC Cancer Agency under the supervision of Dr. Sohrab Shah and Dr. Sam Aparicio. In my doctoral work, I developed computational algorithms using Bayesian and machine learning approaches to analyze cancer genome data. I applied these methods to help uncover new insights into the aberrant genomes of ovarian and breast cancer. These contributions led to the Lloyd Skarsgard Graduate Research Excellence Award for most outstanding PhD research at the BC Cancer Agency. I then joined the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Meyerson at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institue of MIT & Harvard as a postdoctoral fellow. Here, I worked on developing computational methods for analyzing long-range DNA sequencing technologies Using these approaches, we discovered novel non-coding alterations containing enhancers of the androgen receptor gene in metastatic prostate cancer. Furthermore, I was instrumental in establishing a scalable workflow to study genomes and exomes of cell-free DNA from liquid biopsies.

CEO

Dr. Hongzhang (Simon) He is the CEO and co-founder of Captis Diagnostics Inc. He is now visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University as well. Dr. He is interested in developing extracellular vesicles-based non-invasive liquid biopsy technology along with new DNA sequencing technology. He graduated from TechCelerator program in the Pennsylvania State University and NIH I-Corps program.

Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Professor

Hyungsoon Im is Assistant Professor at the Center for Systems Biology (CSB), Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. His lab develops novel devices and applications to bridge the fields of engineering and medicine for next-generation diagnostic technologies and their clinical translation.

Sr Dir Strategic Collaborations & Tech Affairs

Greg Jones is currently an employee of Inivata, Inc where he is responsible for coordinating external strategic collaborations and is the technical subject matter expert for the company. Greg has 35 years of experience as the project lead in the development of IVDs including multiple BLA, PMA, 510K and LDT assays. In his career he has been responsible for assuring that the assays developed meet all regulatory requirements for the satisfactory validation and transfer to manufacturing or to the testing laboratory. He has worked at MDxHealth, BioMerieux and Organon Teknika in various product development and management roles.

Univ of Missouri Columbia

Chief

As a surgeon scientist Dr. Kaifi's overarching goal is to translate basic science discovery into improved clinical care for patients suffering from lung cancers. He has spent his career studying liquid biomarkers, including circulating tumor cells (CTCs), disseminated tumor cells (DTCs), and circulating tumor (ct)DNA. His efforts in this field of translational cancer research have resulted in multiple peer-reviewed and high-ranked publications. He led an investigator-initiated clinical trial on innovative detection techniques of CTCs (NCT01722903). Dr. Kaifi has initiated investigator-initiated clinical trials on biomarkers at the University of Missouri (NCT02838836) and the Truman VA (NCT03551951).

Roche Molecular Diagnostics

VP & Head

Walter H. Koch, Ph.D. has served as Vice President and Head of Global Research for Roche Molecular Systems since 2005. He is responsible for all research and early development activities, including biomarker discovery and validation, the development of new molecular technologies with diagnostics potential, and expanding the use of real time and digital PCR for clinical applications in the areas of infectious diseases, genetics, Oncology companion diagnostics and "liquid Biopsy" cancer monitoring tests. Prior to joining Roche he held several positions at the US FDA, including Acting Lab Chief of Immunochemistry in CBER's Division of Transfusion Transmitted Disease. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Memphis State University, a Ph.D. in Toxicology and Pharmacology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Asst Prof & Assoc Dir

Dr. Konnick is an Associate Director of the Genetics and Solid Tumors Laboratory and Director of Genetics Preanalytical Services at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, and is board certified in Molecular, Anatomic, and Clinical pathology. He is vice chair of the Association for Molecular Pathology's (AMP) Professional Relations Committee and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Genomic Medicine Committee. He has over 20 years of clinical laboratory experience and 8 years of experience in regulatory matters.

University of Washington

Nik Krumm is a Clinical Pathology resident in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington. His focus is the development of infrastructure, algorithms and clinical tests within the Divisions of Genetics and NGS analytics.

Assoc Prof & Dir

Dr. Lockwood is Director of the Genetics and Solid Tumors Laboratory and an associate professor of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center. She is board-certified in clinical molecular genetics and clinical chemistry and received her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Lockwood completed clinical postdoctoral fellowship training at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where she was also a faculty member. Dr. Lockwood's clinical expertise is the application of molecular methods to advance precision medicine for prenatal screening, genetic disorders, and molecular oncology. Her research focuses on the development and implementation of innovative genomic methods to guide patient care. She has most recently fostered clinical deployment of cell-free DNA diagnostics in pregnancy and oncology.

Assoc Prof

Dr. Alarice Lowe received her BS in Biology from MIT, and completed medical school at UCSD and AP/CP residency and Cytology fellowship at UCLA. Her clinical focus is on Cytology and her research focus is on Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) and the application of CTC technology to Cytology and Surgical Pathology. She recently transitioned to Stanford University after serving as an attending at Brigham and Women's Hospital since 2011.

University of Toronto

Research Fellow

Dr. Reza Mohamadi is a biomedical engineer with 10 years experience managing and conducting research in developing miniaturized devices for liquid biopsy. He has invented a novel method for phenotypic profiling of circulating tumour cells and exosomes. He has served as project manager and director of R&D at Cellular Analytics, a Toronto based liquid biopsy start-up. He is a research fellow at University of Toronto and has authored and co-authored several papers and patents.

Assoc Prof

Dr. Sunitha Nagrath is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Michigan. Dr. Nagrath did her Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Sri Venkateswara University College of Engineering, Tirupathi, India. She received her Ph.D. in 2004 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY in Mechanical Engineering. She did her postdoctoral work (2004-2008) at Harvard Medical/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. She later worked as an instructor/junior faculty at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Nagrath is the leading scientist who designed the MEMS based technology, "CTC-Chip" for the sensitive isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from the blood of cancer patients. Her work challenged and changed the then-current paradigm of CTC isolation and concurrently increased the relevance of CTCs in cancer research, thereby accelerating the pace of CTC research. She joined University of Michigan in 2010, where she established her laboratory focused on engineering innovative microfluidic devices and nanomaterials for implementing personalized precision medicine via liquid biopsy. Dr. Nagrath's major focus of research is on understanding cell trafficking in cancer through isolation, characterization and study of circulating cells and exosomes in peripheral blood of cancer patients. Dr. Nagrath co-directs the Single Cell Analysis Core of Rogel Cancer Center at UMICH, where Dr. Nagrath and her laboratory provides innovative microfluidic tools for handling cells at single cell resolution.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Prof & Director

Dr. Balaji Panchapakesan is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA. He invented Nanotube-CTC-Chip microarray technology. He has published over 100 articles in leading journals and conferences. He is a conference chair of the SPIE Nanoscience and Engineering conference. His interests are in enabling nanoscience for a wide variety of applications including the capture of circulating biomarkers, tumor cells, extracellular vesicles, and nucleic acids.

Professor

Lung cancer accounts for the largest number of cancer deaths in the United States. I consider lung cancer's mortality incidence ratio of 85% as a crisis in health care. As a medical oncologist, I am dedicated to reducing mortality from this cancer and attempted to tackle the problems facing the field in a vertically integrated manner, studying the entire spectrum of lung cancer. My scholarly focus can be divided into 2 main areas: (i) ways to improve therapy for lung cancer by manipulating physiological systems (most recently the adaptive immune response) and (ii) understanding blood based predictive biomarkers (including circulating tumor cells, CTCs) that will enable earlier detection of initial disease as well as recurrence. I have formed successful collaborations with other physicians and scientists to enable team science. Specifically, for this venue, I will be discussing the prognostic and predictive role of CTC clusters in lung cancer.

Dir Clinical R&D

Dr. Rao has extensive experience in applying next generation sequencing methodologies in the understanding of human diseases. Previously she has worked on utilizing liquid biopsy-based approaches in understanding diseases such as infections and diabetes and in understanding the effect of spaceflight on human physiology. Currently, as the Director of Clinical R&D at Claret Biosciences, LLC - a startup based in Santa Cruz, she is working on developing NGS technologies that facilitate improved diagnosis and monitoring of cancer.

TwinStrand Biosciences

CEO & CSO

Dr. Salk is a molecular biologist, clinical oncologist, and a Co-Founder of TwinStrand. He invented and developed the Duplex Sequencing Technology with colleagues at the University of Washington and has continued expand its applications at TwinStrand. In addition to his leadership role at TwinStrand, Dr. Salk. is an Affiliate Clinical Faculty member at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and sees cancer patients part time at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle.

Univ of Southern California

Assoc Prof

Dr. Pamela Ward earned her PhD in Experimental Pathology from the University of Wales, Cardiff UK. She is currently an associate professor of clinical pathology and the Scientific Director of molecular pathology, University of Southern California Clinical Laboratories. The laboratory performs a wide range of molecular tests in virology, microbiology and oncology, with a focused interest in developing ccfDNA based testing for longitudinal monitoring of treatment response in patients with solid tumors.

Prof

Dr. Whiteside received both her MA and PhD degrees in Microbiology from Columbia University, New York, NY. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (1979). She was as a Fogarty Senior International Fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne, Switzerland (1984-85). At the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Whiteside rose through the faculty ranks to become Professor of Pathology with secondary appointments as Professor of Immunology and Otolaryngology (1989-present). She served as Director of the Immunologic Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory (IMCPL) at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center for 25 years and is now its Interim Director. Dr Whiteside's research has been focused on mechanisms of tumor-induced immunosuppression, cytokine networks, development of anticancer vaccines, immunobiology of human tumors and the role of natural immunity in the control of cancer progression. She studies mechanisms of tumor escape from the host immune system and the development of therapies designed to eliminate tumor escape. Most recently, she has been investigating tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) and their role in cancer-induced immune suppression. She has authored 615 peer-reviewed papers and 175 chapters and review articles. She received a Honoris causa degree in Medicine from The Poznan Medical University in Poland in 2011 and was awarded a Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award by the Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer in 2012.

Asst Clinical Prof

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