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Winning the Translational Race: Making Good Choices in Biomarker Assay Development for the Clinic

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Winning the Translational Race: Making Good Choices in Biomarker Assay Development for the Clinic

Recorded 09 October 2013

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In an effort to develop more tailored approaches to managing disease, there has been a surge in biomarker research aimed at providing truly personalized medicine. The increase in interest over the past 20 years suggests great promise that biomarkers will transform patient treatment. However, despite the optimism and intense research, relatively few are in routine clinical use today. Attention has now turned to actively translating actionable biomarkers and biomarker signatures into clinical utility—not an easy task. The major reasons for clinical failure of biomarkers are poor experimental design and inappropriate choice of assay. It is therefore critical to carefully construct biomarker discovery and validation studies using the most appropriate assays, and to develop these into validated analytical methods suitable for clinical practice. This webinar will review the unprecedented range of technology choices, and provide insight into the challenges confronting researchers when selecting the right biomarker to pursue and the best assay to develop for the clinic.

During this webinar, our expert panel will:

  • Describe best practices in study design to ensure clinical success of biomarkers
  • Describe how best to select the most appropriate technology for biomarker assay development
  • Share their experiences in successfully validating and deploying biomarker tests in the clinic
  • Answer your questions live during the event!

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Speaker bios

Richard Kennedy M.D., Ph.D.

Almac Diagnostics
Craigavon, UK

Dr. Kennedy (M.D., B.S., Ph.D., FRCP) is the McClay Professor in Experimental Cancer Medicine at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University of Belfast and the Medical Director at Almac Diagnostics. He graduated in medicine from Queen’s University Belfast in 1995 and in 2004 was awarded a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the same institution. From 2004 to 2007 he worked as an instructor in oncology at Harvard Medical School in the U.S. where he identified novel biomarkers and drug targets for cancer treatment. He joined Almac Diagnostics in 2007, and is currently responsible for the internal research programme which so far has led to the commercialisation of two biomarkers for clinical use. He also heads a CLIA compliant diagnostics laboratory that supports patient stratification for clinical trials on behalf of several large pharmaceutical companies. In June 2011, he joined the faculty at Queen’s University, Belfast where he has established a laboratory and hospital-based research group focused on various aspects of stratified medicine. He is also a medical oncologist at Belfast City Hospital and continues to manage cancer patients.

James A. Timmons, Ph.D.

Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK

Dr. Timmons obtained his medical undergraduate degree from the University of Glasgow and his Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham. He spent eight years working in the pharmaceutical industry, including at Zeneca and Pfizer, as a team leader in lead identification and lead development projects. In 2003, Dr. Timmons moved to the Karolinska Institute where he worked at the Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics and in 2007 he was appointed chair of Exercise Biology and director of the Sports and Exercise Degree Program at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh. Following three years as chair of Systems Biology at the Royal Veterinary College, Dr. Timmons was appointed chair of Systems Biology at Loughborough University. His work there focuses on translational medicine projects to cover a variety of age-related diseases including type II diabetes, cancer cachexia, osteoarthritis, and muscle aging, specifically the evaluation and development of informatics strategies to integrate genomic and clinical data to yield biomarkers and predictors for personalized medicine. Dr. Timmons has published over 80 articles, book chapters, and patents and his work has been featured on the renowned documentary program, BBC Horizon.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Science/AAAS
Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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