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Plenary Keynote Presentations

Monday, February 10


Keynote Introduction:
Alan WuAlan Wu, M.D., Chief, Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology, San Francisco General Hospital; Professor, Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco


                      Transition from Empiric to Targeted and Personalized Cancer Therapy: Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) as a Model for Addressing Inter- and Intra-Patient Tumor  HeterogeneityDavid Gandara 

David R. Gandara, M.D., Director, Thoracic Oncology Program; Professor and Senior Advisor to Director, UC Davis Cancer Center 

A transition from empiric to targeted and personalized therapy of cancer is well underway, exemplified by NSCLC as a result of extensive efforts in genomic characterization. NSCLC, previously viewed as a single disease, has been “ungrouped”, initially through histologic subtyping, and more recently through recognition of multiple clinically and biologically distinct molecular subsets. Studies have delineated the complexity of NSCLC at the genomic level, differentiating it from less complex cancers as well as pointing out a striking degree of inter- and intra-patient tumor heterogeneity. This presentation will address unmet needs in this transition from empiric to targeted and personalized therapy.   

David R. Gandara, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) School of Medicine, is the Senior Advisor to the Director, and Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine specializing in Medical Oncology. He is currently principal investigator for a number of research projects in lung cancer, pharmacology trials at various phases, and Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) trials. He is the principal investigator for a National Cancer Institute award to the California Cancer Consortium for Early Therapeutic Trials of New Anti-Cancer Agents. He is chair of the SWOG Lung Committee, and a member and prior co-chair of the NCI-directed Investigational Drug Steering Committee (IDSC). He has written over 300 articles, book chapters, abstracts and editorials. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Clinical Lung Cancer, serves on the editorial board of four oncology journals, and is a manuscript reviewer for eight additional journals. He served as president of International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) from 2009 to 2011 and is on the board of directors of IASLC and is a prior board member and secretary-treasurer of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He also is chair of the NCI-directed Lung Correlative Science Committee. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Dr. Gandara was an intern and resident at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma and a fellow at the Letterman Army Medical Center Presidio of San Francisco. 

Tuesday, February 11


Keynote Introduction:
Frank White III, Ph.D., Director, Biology, Product Marketing, Elsevier  


Kimberly BlackwellKimberly L. Blackwell, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology; Director, Breast Cancer Program, Duke Cancer Institute

Dr. Blackwell is the Director of the Breast Cancer Program in the Duke Cancer Institute, where she oversees all basic and translational research programs involving breast cancer patients. She has played a major role in two recently approved breast cancer drugs, lapatinib and T-DM1, both of which were studied in her laboratory and developed in trials in which she served as principal investigator. Because of her work on promising new therapies that target tumor cells selectively, she was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2013. For the past three years, she has served on the national Scientific Advisory Board of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She has reviewed for several grant committees (Department of Defense, Komen for the Cure) and peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, and Cancer. She received her undergraduate degree at Duke University in Bioethics, and her medical degree at Mayo Clinic Medical School. Dr. Blackwell completed an internal medicine internship and residency and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Duke University Medical School. Dr. Blackwell has clinical and research interests in breast cancer angiogenesis, breast cancer in younger women, endocrine therapy, and HER2 targeted therapy for breast cancer. She maintains an active clinical practice focused on young women with breast cancer and has served as the PI or co-PI on more than 50 clinical trials in breast cancer. She is a past recipient of the Duke University Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in breast cancer Young Investigator Award, the Duke Cancer Center Malek Family Award for outstanding cancer investigation, and the Joseph Greenfield Award for Research Mentorship. Dr. Blackwell has authored or co-authored more than 60 articles or book chapters appearing in journals such as Clinical Cancer Research, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Radiation Research, and Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 

Thomas CaskeyDiscovery of Genetic Basis of Autism and Schizophrenia via Genome Sequencing of Families 

C. Thomas Caskey, M.D., FACP, FRSC, Professor, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is caused by the absence of paternally expressed, maternally silenced genes at 15q11-q13. We report four individuals with truncating mutations on the paternal allele of MAGEL2, a gene within the PWS domain. The first subject was ascertained by whole-genome sequencing analysis for PWS features. Three additional subjects were identified by reviewing the results of exome sequencing of 1,248 cases in a clinical laboratory. All four subjects had autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability and a varying degree of clinical and behavioral features of PWS. These findings suggest that MAGEL2 is a new gene causing complex ASD and that MAGEL2 loss of function can contribute to several aspects of the PWS phenotype.
Dr. Caskey was the Director and CEO of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Caskey previously served as Senior Vice President, Human Genetics and Vaccines Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories, West Point and as President of the Merck Genome Research Institute. Dr. Caskey is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Genetics, and Molecular Genetics with 25 years of patient care experience in these specialties. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Royal Society of Canada, member & Chair of the Board on Health Sciences Policy - Institute of Medicine and past President of the American Society of Human Genetics and the Human Genome Organization, and Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science. He is an editor of the Annual Reviews of Medicine. Dr. Caskey has received numerous academic and industry honors. His genetic research has identified the genetic basis of 10 major inheritable diseases and opened up the understanding of triplet repeat diseases (Fragile X, myotonic dystrophy and others). His personal identification patent is the basis of worldwide application for forensic science and he is also a consultant to the FBI in forensic science. His current research is focused on the genetic basis of schizophrenia. Dr. Caskey received his B.S. from the University of South Carolina, his M.D. from Duke University Medical School, and an honorary degree in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina. 

Wednesday, February 12

Plenary Keynote Panel:
Emerging Technologies and Industry Perspectives



Jackson Laboratory 




Michael H. A. Roehrl, M.D., Ph.D., Director, UHN Program in BioSpecimen Sciences, University of Toronto; Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute

Bernard F. Andruss, Ph.D., Vice President, CDx Development & Regulatory Affairs, Asuragen, Inc.

Rudi Pauwels, Ph.D., Executive Chairman & CEO, Biocartis

Yan Yang, Ph.D., Director, Lab Operations, in vivo Services, The Jackson Laboratory

Jeremy Bridge-Cook, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Luminex

David C. Duffy, Ph.D., CTO, Quanterix Corporation

Gary Kennedy, CEO, Remedy Informatics