Technology Webinars

Advancing Cancer Genomics:

The Impact of Personalized Genome Sequencing

This event occurred on Monday, February 25, 2013
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High throughput sequencing technologies have proven to be critical tools in understanding the molecular basis of disease, particularly in oncology. Recent advances have enabled characterization of the genetic mechanisms of cancer, revealing variants associated with novel pathways that determine tumor formation and response to treatment. The clinical potential of sequencing technologies in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases has now been demonstrated, but challenges remain, particularly in sample preparation and data interpretation. In this webinar our expert panel will describe recent discoveries in cancer genomics and inherited diseases, and how these advances are enabling personalized medicine and the individualization of treatment. 

During this webinar, viewers will:

  • Gain insight into how mining tumor genomes can lead to better understanding of cancer
  • Learn how technologies are being applied to tumor genome analysis
  • Improve their understanding of the pain points in genome analysis and how they can be overcome
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions of the expert panel, live!
Speaker Bios

Elaine Mardis, Ph.D.

Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

Dr. Mardis graduated with a B.S. in zoology and a Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Mardis spent four years as a senior research scientist at BioRad Laboratories in Hercules, California before joining The Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine. As director of Technology Development, she has helped create methods and automation pipelines for sequencing the human genome. She currently orchestrates the Center’s efforts to explore massively parallel sequencing technologies and to transition them into production sequencing capabilities and new applications. Dr. Mardis has research interests in the application of DNA sequencing to characterize cancer genomes and transcriptomes, and using these data to support therapeutic decision-making. She serves as an editorial board member of Molecular Cancer Research, Genome Research, and Molecular Oncology in addition to serving on the scientific advisory boards of Pacific Biosciences, DNA Nexus, and Edge Biosciences. Dr. Mardis received the Scripps Translational Research award for her work on cancer genomics in 2010, and was named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences for 2011.

Michael Snyder, Ph.D.

Stanford University
Stanford, CA


Dr. Snyder is the Stanford Ascherman Professor and Chair of Genetics, and the director of the Center of Genomics and Personalized Medicine. He received his Ph.D. training at the California Institute of Technology and carried out postdoctoral training at Stanford University. Dr. Snyder’s laboratory was the first to perform a large-scale functional genomics project in any organism, and has launched many technologies in genomics and proteomics, including proteome chips, high resolution tiling arrays, ChIP-chip (now replaced by ChIP-seq), paired-end sequencing, and RNA-Seq, which have been used for characterizing genomes, proteomes, and regulatory networks. Dr. Snyder is a cofounder of several biotechnology companies, including Protometrix (now part of Life Technologies), Affomix (now part of Illumina), Excelix, and Personalis, and he presently serves on the advisory board of a number of companies.

Philip Stephens, Ph.D.

Foundation Medicine
Cambridge, MA

Dr. Stephens studied at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, where he received his Ph.D. Now, as vice president of Cancer Genomics, Dr. Stephens leads research and development at Foundation Medicine. Dr. Stephens is a world-renowned expert in next generation sequencing and cancer genome analysis and has authored numerous publications in high-profile, peer-reviewed journals. Since joining Foundation Medicine in early 2011, Dr. Stephens has overseen the development of FoundationOne™, a comprehensive next generation sequencing diagnostic assay that accurately profiles the entire coding sequence of over 200 cancer-related genes in the CLIA setting. Prior to joining Foundation Medicine, he held various senior research positions during his 11-year tenure with the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK. During this time, Dr. Stephens was a member of the team that sequenced the first two comprehensive melanoma and lung cancer genomes, and was co-lead author in the discovery of BRAF in melanoma, ERBB2 in lung cancer, and identified chromothripsis as a novel oncogenic mechanism.

Moderator: Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

Online Resources

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