Future Diagnostics - Day 1


7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee


8:30 Conference Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Greg WeissGregory A. Weiss, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine

8:40 Forecast for Future Diagnostics Using Bead Array and Single Molecule Detection Technologies

David WaltDavid R. Walt, Ph.D., Robinson Professor of Chemistry, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, Department of Chemistry, Tufts University

The ability to measure many chemical and biochemical species simultaneously has been facilitated by the advent of arrays using advances in micro and nanotechnology. Such arrays offer the potential to create nearly universal sensors that can measure thousands of species simultaneously. Our laboratory and commercial partners have developed functionalized optical fiber arrays as an analytical platform. These arrays can be used for high-density nucleic acid detection and for single molecule protein diagnostics.

9:15 Application of Proteomics to Cancer Diagnostics and Personalized Medicine

Samir HanashSamir M. Hanash, M.D., Ph.D., Program Head, Molecular Diagnostics Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Strategies to achieve personalized medicine and improve public health encompass assessment of an individual’s risk for disease, early detection and molecular classification of disease resulting in an informed choice of the most appropriate treatment instituted at an early stage of disease development. A major contribution of proteomics in this field is the development of blood based tests to achieve the goals of personalized medicine. An integrated cooperative effort is currently under way for the identification of biomarkers of cancer risk, early detection of cancer and identification of altered signaling pathways based on serum and plasma analysis. This is illustrated in proteomic studies of epithelial cancer, notably breast and lung cancer that encompass analysis of specimens collected before onset of symptoms for the identification of risk and early detection markers and elucidation of signatures in plasma for altered signaling pathways in tumors. This overarching effort also benefits from the availability of subject cohorts and from the availability of engineered mouse models and cell lines that inform with respect to proteins involved in altered signaling pathways.

9:50 Applying Future Molecular Diagnostics in the Clinic: Implementation within a CLIA Lab

Wayne GrodyWayne W. Grody, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Divisions of Medical Genetics and Molecular Pathology, Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, and Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

Because clinical molecular diagnostics has always been closely tied to basic molecular biology research, maintaining an adequate firewall between research and service activities remains challenging. Like all clinical laboratories, the molecular diagnostic lab must be licensed under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), yet there is virtually no regulatory language within CLIA that pertains to molecular testing. This presentation will review the many considerations that must be faced in developing, validating, performing and reporting these unique, high-complexity tests, especially as we enter the nanotechnology era. Also considered will be the ethical controversies raised by this new technology, including genetic discrimination and privacy, level of government oversight, gene patent restrictions, and direct-to-consumer testing.

10:25 Dedicated Poster Session, Exhibit Viewing and Coffee Break


11:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

11:20 Development of High Sensitivity Protein Detection Technologies for Early Cancer Detection and Personalized Therapy

Emanuel F. Petricoin, III, Ph.D., Professor of Life Sciences & Co-Director, Center for Applied Proteomics & Molecular Medicine, George Mason University

Detection of aggressive cancers at their earliest stages and identification of biomarkers that can stratify and personalize therapy requires technology that measures some of the lowest abundance protein analytes that exist in vivo. We have originated new types of proteomic technologies such as the reverse phase protein microarray (RPMA) and biomarker harvesting hydrogel nanoparticles to accomplish these elusive aims. Implementation of these platforms has now transitioned from technology development to implementation at the bedside


11:50 NCI Cancer Diagnostics Program

Avraham Rasooly, Ph.D., Program Director, Cancer Diagnosis Program, National Cancer Institute

Cancer is uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer is recognized as a multistep process within the cell, involving multiple genomic alterations that manifest in multiple phases. A trend in cancer treatment is personalized medicine, the tailoring of treatment to the unique "molecular signature" of the patient’s cancer. Personalized medicine and the complexity of cancer demand new diagnostics tools to analyze such molecular signatures. The NCI’s Cancer Diagnosis Program support research and development of new diagnostics technologies for cancer.

12:20 pm Funding and Commercializing Diagnostics
James Datin, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Life Sciences Group, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

12:40 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Lunch on Your Own

1:50 Break

2:05 Featured Poster Presentations (2 posters will be chosen at the meeting for podium presentations)


2:35 Chairperson’s Remarks

2:40 Miniaturized Biochemical Assay Technologies

J. Michael Ramsey, Ph.D., Minnie N. Goldby Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Commercial microfluidics devices have thus far been relatively limited in functionality. Microfluidics technologies may allow the incorporation of rather sophisticated biochemical assays into point-of-care diagnostic devices that accept patient samples. Some potential microfluidic devices that attempt to achieve this goal will be discussed.

3:10 Molecular Profiling of Cancer: A Chemical Biology Approach

Weihong Tan, Ph.D., V. T. and Louis Jackson Professor, Departments of Chemistry, Physiology and Functional Genomics, Moffitt Cancer Center and Center for Research at the Interface of Bio/Nano, Shands Cancer Center, UF Genetics Institute and McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida

We have generated a large group of aptamers for specific recognition of individual cancer cells using whole intact cells as targets for SELEX. The selection process is simple, fast, and reproducible. We will discuss our chemical biology approach in the selection and applications of the selected aptamers for profiling cancer patient samples, targeted therapy with commercially available drugs, and biomarker discovery.

3:40 Chip-Based Sensors for Ultrasensitive Nucleic Acids and Protein Detection

Shana O. Kelley, Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Biochemistry, University of Toronto

The direct detection of proteins and nucleic acids in clinical samples requires very high levels of sensitivity in a multiplexed format. We have developed a microelectrode chip that possesses these features. The precise nanostructuring of sensor elements is essential for attaining clinically-relevant sensitivity, and we have engineered this property to facilitate the direct detection of cancer and infectious disease markers.

4:10 Refreshment Break with Poster & Exhibit Viewing

4:50 Interactive Panel Discussion:


Moderator: Dan Mercola, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Director, Translational Cancer Biology, University of California, Irvine

Thomas H Adams Ph.D., CTO, Iris Molecular Diagnostics

Emanuel F. Petricoin, III, Ph.D., Professor of Life Sciences & Co-Director, Center for Applied Proteomics & Molecular Medicine, George Mason University

  • Advice on translating discoveries Removing barriers to translation
  • Making a plan from bench to bedside
  • Constructive advice for achieving success
  • Structured mechanisms for getting this done

5:45 Networking Cocktail Reception in the Exhibit Hall

6:45 Close of Day

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