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Informatics Research Seminar: Advancing Personalized Medicine through Analysis of Large Cohort Genomic Data
February 19 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
Speaker: Victor Weigman, PhD, Jeran Stratford, MS, PhD
Presented from UNC-Chapel Hill
Broadcast Link: Seminar
Personalized medicine is the data-driven, patient-specific tailoring of a therapy to an individual with the aim of maximizing efficacy and safety. By focusing care on the unique characteristics of each individual patient, personalized medicine has the potential to predict an individual’s susceptibility to certain diseases as well as their response to available therapies. As a result, individual patient care could improve via focused preventative monitoring or access to second-and-third-line therapies that are better suited to the individual than traditional first-line approaches. Genetic variation plays a lynchpin role in personalized medicine approaches. The role of genetic variation in disease susceptibility and drug response has been established in numerous therapeutic contexts. However, understanding the catalog of genetic variants which govern the progression of a specific disease or alter response to given therapeutic is an ongoing effort. Accessibility to large datasets of genetically profiled patients with associated clinical outcomes is critical to this effort. The Genomics England research environment is one such resource, encompassing over 100,000 sequenced genomes and clinical annotations from >85,000 participants. A multitude of cancers and rare diseases are represented in the database with information for both probands and relatives. This seminar will discuss the benefits provided and challenges posed to informaticists working with Genomics England data.
Victor Weigman, PhD, is the Director of Translational Genomics at Q² Solutions, a Quintiles Quest Joint Venture, with a goal of continued facilitation of pre-clinical drug development through biomarker identification. Ongoing research revolves around the genomic profiling of solid tumors, both DNA and RNA approaches including the development of robust assays that can be leveraged as laboratory developed tests. Dr. Weigman has more than 10 years of biomarker discovery research with genomics. He’s published 14 papers on biomarker identification and assay development and contributed to the development and launch of several genomic CLIA Assays. He is involved in pharma partnerships for clinical trial development using genomic profiling technologies. Dr. Weigman obtained his PhD at UNC-CH in Biology and Bioinformatics.
Jeran Stratford, MS, PhD, is a Senior Bioinformaticist at Q² Solutions. Dr. Stratford’s work focuses on performing analyses of next generation sequencing targeted panels. He develops and improves bioinformatics tools to analyze NGS data and collaborates with research and development to develop custom analysis for new products. Dr. Stratford earned a PhD in Pharmacology and a Masters in Biostatistics from UNC-CH.