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Digital PCR Conference: Technologies and Tools for Precision Diagnostics - Day 3


Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Download Brochure 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8

7:45 am Sponsored Breakfast Presentation (Opportunity Available) or Morning Coffee

8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Abraham “Abe” Lee, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine

 

8:30 PANEL DISCUSSION WITH TECHNOLOGY VENDORS: Digital PCR Implementation Considerations

Moderator: Ross Haynes, Biological Science Technician, Biochemical Science Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Panelists will include representatives from:

  • Bio-Rad
  • Horizon Diagnostics
  • Life Technologies
  • Sysmex Inostics GmbH
 

ABSOLUTE QUANTIFICATION  

9:30 The Application of Digital PCR to Infectious Disease Detection

Jim Huggett, B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D., Science Leader, Nucleic Acid Metrology, Molecular & Cell Biology, LGC

The use of PCR to the routine detection and quantification of bacterial and viral pathogens represents some of the most advanced clinical application of molecular methods today. The potential ability of digital PCR to perform highly accurate and reproducible measurement makes it well suited to add to this success. This presentation will discuss the potential that dPCR could offer for infectious disease detection, highlight current disadvantages and demonstrate some of the key advantages that absolute quantification has when used for the detection of pathogenic microbes.

10:00 Refreshment Break with Exhibit and Poster Viewing

10:30 dPCR and Beyond: Clinical Utility of Cell-Free Tumor DNA

Frank Holtrup, Ph.D., Head, R&D Service Laboratories,
Sysmex Inostics GmbH

Cell-free tumor DNA is recognized as a promising marker for cancer diagnostics. Mature technologies such as BEAMing dPCR enable non-invasive mutation testing from blood, thus opening the door to a wide range of clinical applications. The presentation will focus on the clinical utility of cfDNA and the next steps beyond dPCR for high-sensitivity mutation detection.

10:45 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

11:00 NGS-Assisted DNA-Based Digital PCR for the Detection and Quantification of Residual Disease in CML Patients with Undetectable BCR-ABL1 Transcripts

Mary Alikian, Imperial Molecular Pathology, Imperial Healthcare Trust, Hammersmith Hospital; Centre for Haematology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

The presentation will describe a DNA-based method of detecting and quantifying low levels of BCR-ABL1 positive disease that improves on previous methodologies in two key areas. First, identifying the patient-specific genomic BCR-ABL1 fusion junctions using targeted next-generation sequencing allowing the rapid generation of high-performing DNA based qPCR assays. Second, the use of a DNA-based approach by optimizing the technique for use on a digital PCR (dPCR) platform, which provides absolute molecular quantification without the need for standard curve.

11:30 Diagnostic Use of Digital PCR for Liquid Biopsy

Ekkehard Schütz, M.D., Ph.D., CTO, Senior Vice President, Research, Chronix Biomedical, Inc.

Liquid biopsy is an upcoming medical diagnostics tool, which describes the detection of pathologic events, such as cancer progress or organ transplantation rejection through blood testing. Digital PCR is particularly suited to fulfill the needs of precision and reliability, enabling an unprecedented diagnostic sensitivity. This new level of sensitivity allows more detailed monitoring of patients at reasonable costs, which lowers the burden of disease, with health economic implications by earlier intervention options.

12:00 pm Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Lunch on Your Own

12:30 Session Break

EMERGING DIGITAL BIOLOGY TECHNOLOGIES  

1:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Daniel T. Chiu, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle


1:05 FEATURED POSTER PRESENTATIONS

Two posters outlining a new techonology or technique will be selected by the Scientific Advisory Board and the authors will be invited to give a 15-minute presentation on their work.

1:35 On-Chip Integrated Digital PCR Technologies

Abraham “Abe” Lee, Ph.D., William J. Link Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Director, Micro/Nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus (MF3) Center, University of California, Irvine

Digital PCR utilizes microfluidics to generate large numbers of water-in-oil droplets that are monodisperse and with extremely low thermal mass. However, droplet microfluidics can provide numerous functions that make dPCR even more powerful. These include droplet sorting, electrical impedance detection, on-demand multiplexing, and large-array imaging. This talk will present the integration of many of these functions for the automation and multiplexing of dPCR.

2:05 PACS: PCR-Activated Cell Sorting

Adam R. Abate, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), University of California, San Francisco

We have developed a microfluidic system that allows individual cells to be analyzed and sorted based on the outcomes of single-cell PCR reactions. Our system encapsulates each cell in a microdroplet, lyses the cell, and performs RT-PCR to detect gene transcripts, SNPs, or small non-coding RNAs of interest. Unlike FACS, PACS requires no antibodies and can differentiate among cells based on transcriptional variation. The technology has broad applications in basic research and medical diagnostics, including in cancer, immune function, and microbiology.

2:35 The Amplinome Test: A Pan-Cancer Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) Based Assay Panel to Assess Gene Amplification Status in Solid Tumors

Austin P. So, Ph.D., Director, Research & Development, TOMA Biosciences

Despite the high frequency of gene amplifications in cancer, molecular tests that measure such amplification are lacking. The Amplinome Test is a pan-cancer test that measures the amplification status of 12 genes for which FDA-approved drugs exist. By leveraging the high precision and accuracy of ddPCR and its rapid turnaround time, the Amplinome Test offers an invaluable tool for oncologists, providing clinically meaningful results for their patients within an actionable timeframe.

3:05 Close of Conference

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