Head of Molecular Microbiology Unit- Molecular Biology, Jewish General Hospital - McGill University
Dr Ivan Brukner entered into genomic era back in 1989 (ex-Yugoslavia), trying to describe and solve repeating sequence "branching motif problem" in building whole genome sequence. Next 5-10 years, his research was targeting sequence-dependent DNA structural problems, where contradictory puzzle about origin of DNA curvature and bending (crystallographic versus soft biochemistry data) was resolved (Italy, Germany and Canada). In 2000-2007, focus was directed toward design of nucleic-acid-based "ideal" point of care diagnostic device. Robust, multiplex, hybridization-based diagnostic device (which operates at standard "room" temperatures - in spite of ~90% sequence cross-similarity) was constructed and functionally tested. The universal protocol for selection of "robust" hybridization probes was result of this adventure. After joining Jewish General Hospital in Montreal (~2009), his work was becoming more clinically applicable, focusing on high volume molecular assays with strong financial and/or diagnostic impact (MRSA, C.difficile, VRE). He realized the strong need for applicability of new molecular techniques in emergency, including NGS, and definition of technological bottlenecks is subject of his talk in this secession.