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Premier Sponsors:  

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences 

Boston Healthcare


Charles River Discovery




Silicon Biosystems   




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Final Agenda 


Pathway-Targeted Therapies in Cancer 

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Download Brochure 

Recommended Pre-Conference Short Courses * 

(SC1) Finding a Safe Passage through the Quagmire of High Throughput Screening-Based Biomarker Discovery   

(SC6) Applying Next Generation Sequencing Technologies to Research: Introduction to New Technologies and Application in Research  


*Separate Registration Required. 



Wednesday, February 23 

7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee

8:00 Plenary Keynotes - Details 

9:40 Grand Opening Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall



KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS: Key Pathways in Cancer  

11:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

John McDonaldJohn McDonald, Ph.D., Professor, Biology, CSO, Ovarian Cancer Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology





11:10 The Paradigm of Targeted Drugs for the Treatment of Cancer: Inhibiting the BCR-ABL Pathway in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Paul ManleyPaul W. Manley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Oncology Department, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

In the 10 years that imatinib has been approved for the treatment of CML, the natural history of the disease has been transformed and we have learned much about targeting the BCR-ABL oncogenic signaling pathway that has also been translatable to other malignancies.


11:40 Future of Pathway-Driven Therapies

Neil GibsonNeil W. Gibson, Ph.D., CSO, Pfizer Oncology


12:10 pm Personalizing Cancer Care – In Search of Durable Responses 

David HeimbrookDavid C. Heimbrook, Ph.D., Global Head of Discovery Oncology, Pharma Research and Early Development, Roche

The recent successes of targeted therapies highlight both the opportunities and the challenges of personalizing cancer care. The combination of diagnostic tools with targeted agents can provide dramatic patient benefits, but improving the durability of clinical responses requires juxtaposition of clinical and pre-clinical studies to address the underlying disease biology. The opportunity provided by this paradigm is exemplified by our ongoing studies with RG7204, an inhibitor of V600E-BRAF.

Sponsored by
12:40 Contextual Drug Discovery and Development via High-Content Analysis of Cellular Networks    
John K. Westwick, Ph.D., President and CEO, Odyssey Thera, Inc.We have developed an integrated platform comprised of a diverse panel of live cell, protein complex-based high-content signal transduction assays, semi-automated cell culture, automated liquid handling, high throughput automated confocal microscopy, and the requisite automated image analysis, IT infrastructure and data mining capabilities. This platform enables system-wide signaling analysis and definition of compound mechanisms, selectivity and safety. The technology platform has been validated to expedite success rates of preclinical drug discovery and development programs.

1:10 Luncheon Presentations (Sponsorship Opportunities Available) or Lunch on Your Own

1:45 Dessert in the Exhibit Hall


Markers of Metastasis and EMT/MET 


2:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

Michael R. Briggs, Ph.D., Sr. Director, Head, Biology, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


2:20 Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Metastasis

George Vande Woude, Ph.D., Director & Distinguished Scientific Investigator, Van Andel Institute


2:50 Modeling and Targeting Mesenchymal-Epithelial-Transition (MET) as an Essential Process for Tumor Re-Initiation and Metastasis

Fredika RobertsonFredika M. Robertson, Ph.D., Professor, Experimental Therapeutics, Director of Translational Research, The Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Inflammatory breast cancer is the most metastatic variant of locally advanced breast cancer, and displays rapid metastasis by cell aggregates defined as tumor emboli. IBC tumor emboli express abundant E-cadherin, and have distinct gene, protein, and microRNA signatures consistent with the process of mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), which is a program that supports accelerated metastasis and tumor re-initiation at sites distant from the primary tumor.

3:20 Overexpression of miR-429 Induces Mesenchymal-to-Epithelial Transition (MET) in Metastatic Ovarian Cancer Cells

John McDonaldJohn McDonald, Ph.D., Professor, Biology, CSO, Ovarian Cancer Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology

Molecular profiling of ovarian cancer (OC) cells with differing metastatic potentials identified significant differences in epithelial/mesenchymal cell biomarkers. Overexpression of miR-429 in mesenchymal ovarian cancer cells, resulted in reversal of the mesenchymal phenotype. Our results indicate that miR-429 may not only be a useful biomarker of EMT in ovarian cancer, but also of potential therapeutic value in reducing OC metastasis.

        Sponsored by
ariadne new
3:50 Translating Biomarker Discovery to Clinical Utility: A Case Study on Prostate Cancer

Elena Schwartz, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Translational Medicine, Ariadne GenomicsMany potential cancer biomarkers are discovered daily, but only a handful ever makes it through clinical validation. A fast, efficient and accurate bioinformatics method, developed by Ariadne, establishes a much-needed bridge between biomarker theory and practice. To illustrate this powerful integrative knowledge-based approach, an analysis of prostate cancer literature and omics datasets are used to define prostate cancer pathways that can enrich the current understanding of disease mechanism and quickly focus research efforts on identifying potential biomarkers with clinical utility.

4:05 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunities Available) 

4:20 Reception in the Exhibit Hall (Sponsorship Available) 

5:20 Break-Out Discussions in the Exhibit Hall

Concurrent Problem Solving Break-Out Sessions are interactive, problem solving discussions hosted by a moderator to discuss a topic in depth.  The discussions are open to all attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers and provide a forum for discussing key issues and meeting potential partners. Please pick a topic of your choice and join in.  

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Cancer Progression

Moderator: Hirak S. Basu, Ph.D., CSO, Colby Pharmaceuticals

  • Targeting ROS to prevent prostate cancer progression
  • Role of ROS in sugar metabolism in cancer vs. normal cells
  • Targeting hypoxia induced ROS to develop novel cancer therapies
  • Targeting radiation induced ROS to develop chemo-radiation sensitizers

Imaging Methods in Drug Development

Moderator: Mehdi Adineh, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Core Laboratory, ACR

  • Challenges of integrating imaging in clinical trials
  • Using imaging as a window of drug action mechanism
  • Role of an imaging CRO

Modeling and Targeting of the Mesenchymal –Epitheilal Transition (MET) & EMT

Moderator: Fredika M. Robertson, PhD., Professor, Experimental Therapeutics; Director, Translational Research, The Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program, The University of Texas M.D., Anderson Cancer Center

  • Signatures of EMT, MET, and Tumor Plasticity
  • Approaches to Block Metastasis by Targeting EMT and MET
  • MicroRNAs regulating EMT and MET: Potential uses as biomarkers and therapeutics
  • Challenges in Identifying Targeted Therapeutics to Block MET vs EMT

HCA of Cellular Networks – Ready for Prime Time?

Moderator: John K. Westwick, Ph.D., President and CEO, Odyssey Thera, Inc.

  • What is the “wish list” for an optimal merging of HCA and systems analysis?
  • Key Challenges
  • Complexity is both the engine and the challenge
  • Descriptive/functional data –sets can lack mechanistic definition
  • Cell types for analysis
  • Standardization
  • Merging divergent data sets
  • Key opportunities and applications
  • Systems-based discovery
  • Defining target and drug mechanisms, selectivity
  • Toxicology
  • Expediting preclinical development
  • Drug re-positioning
  • Biomarkers

Personalizing Cancer Care – In Search of Durable Responses

Moderator: David C. Heimbrook, Ph.D., Global Head, Discovery Oncology, Pharma Research and Early Development, Roche

  • Access to patient samples – role of mandatory biopsies?
  • Selection of appropriate combinations of targeted therapies – complexity of preclinical modeling
  • Polypharmacy of targeted agents– variable or fixed-dose combinations
  • Regulatory and safety issues – combinations of unregistered drugs
  • Focus on tumor profiling – are we missing opportunities in the tumor stroma?

Label-free Biosensors in Biochemical Assays for Signaling Research:  Present and Future

Moderator: Sriram Kumaraswamy, Ph.D., Product Manager, ForteBio, Inc.

  • Biosensors for monitoring protein-protein interactions – technology round-up
  • Label-free assays on the benchtop vs. in a core facility
  • Microfluidics vs. Microplate-based: What lies ahead for label-free biosensors?

6:20 Close of Day

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