APR 29, 2021 12:05 PM +08

A clinical-research-industry collaboration to bring blood genomics to cancer patients in New Zealand

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Professor, University of Auckland
    Biography

      Cris graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Auckland in 1989 and began research while working as a house surgeon in Dunedin, NZ. A PhD in the University of Auckland led to a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia before six years in Cambridge University, UK, where he was a Fellow of St Edmunds College and developed a deep interest in genomics and bioinformatics. While there he co-founded a bioinformatics company that became listed on the Tokyo stock exchange in 2007. In 2005 he returned to the University of Auckland where he leads a cross-disciplinary research team of clinicians, cell biologists and data scientists who use genomics, systems biology and bioinformatics to better understand human disease, especially cancer. He leads the Genomics Into Medicine Strategic Research Initiative in Auckland and Chairs the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank Scientific Advisory Board. He is a Deputy Chair of the NZ Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and a Principle Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre. Previously, he served as President of the NZ Society for Oncology and was Director of the Bioinformatics Institute at the University of Auckland.


    Abstract

    New genomic technologies are changing the face of cancer care, as well as accelerating our biological understanding of cancer. Cris will summarise several parallel cancer initiatives in New Zealand that link blood plasma genomic technologies with solid tumour genomics and traditional pathology. He will discuss his team’s positive experience collaborating across clinical, academic and industry boundaries, the challenges of interpreting ctDNA derived from multiple metastatic tumours in one patient, and challenges of integrating blood plasma genomic information with other more traditional clinical and pathological information. Cris will suggest for discussion a 5-year vision of blood genomic technologies for cancer patients in small countries like New Zealand, and suggest that these technologies may help address health inequities for both Indigenous Peoples and geographically isolated populations.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Be able to confidently discuss the types of genomic “liquid biopsy” technologies used in clinical practice and in research

    2. Be able to describe factors that impact on clinical usefulness of ctDNA technologies and their potential for addressing health inequity


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