Due to the fact that many large events and scientific conferences have been cancelled, we want to provide you with an outlet to present your research and learn from others in our community.
A key to scientific exploration is not just getting answers, it’s about formulating the right questions that will make a difference in the world. We want to inspire you to ask questions that make a difference. Because the most important thing you can do is ask another question. Without constant questioning, world-changing discoveries cannot be found.
To this end, we are excited to announce our Applied Biosystems Genetic Analysis Virtual Conference. This is a virtual, online event occurring on September 29-30, 2020, and serves as an opportunity for you to engage with us and other scientists, and to Ask.
We are bringing together experts to present talks and posters across a broad range of genetic analysis fields, including:
Viral testing and molecular diagnostics
Infectious disease research
Clinical oncology and Cancer research
Reproductive health and Inherited disease research
Polygenic risk scores and Population health
Agrigenomics and Animal health
We will also have an Ask an Expert lounge, instrument demonstration hall, and exhibit hall that will showcase our platform technologies such as real-time PCR, next-generation and Sanger sequencing, and microarray analysis. In addition to insights gained in these fields, continuing education credits will be offered to those presentations that qualify.
Ulrich Broeckel, MD, is a leading physician-scientist with over 20 years of experience in genetics and genomics and more than 10 years of experience in clinical diagnostics. He is an expert in translational pharmacogenomics research and is a member of the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) and the NIH initiatives on clinical pharmacogenomics. Dr. Broeckel also serves as Professor of Pediatrics, Section Chief of Genomic Pediatrics, and Associate Director for Pharmacogenomics, Genomic Sciences, and Precision Medicine Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Srinivas Chadaram joined Thermo Fisher Scientific, in 2018, as a Sr. Product Manager, Agrigenomics, in the AgriBusiness Vertical. In this role, he is responsible for the portfolio of products supporting Agrigenomics vertical - including AgriSeq GBS and CE and working with the qPCR and microarrays teams supporting Agrigenomics solutions. Srinivas is based in the Austin, TX. Srinivas brings extensive experience to Thermo Fisher Scientific, with a strong healthcare and life Sciences background. He has been involved in several startups primarily helping in new product & solution development, starting from requirements gathering to commercialization of products. As a product manager at Advanced Liquid Logic, he successfully commercialized and launched Digital Micro fluidics based platform for screening and diagnosis of Rare Diseases and sample-prep platform for next generation sequencing, subsequently acquired by Illumina, Inc.. He also co-founded Aura Life, a natural product healthcare startup; and was in Business Development at MAXIMUS Federal. Srinivas is a graduate of Duke University, Fuqua School of Business with a MBA Degree, PhD in Zoology and Neurobiology from the University of Idaho and DVM from Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, College of Veterinary Science, Hyderabad, India. He has published several peer reviewed scientific papers.
Yuri D'Alessandra, Senior Researcher at Centro Cardiologico Monzino in Milan, Italy. He obtained his PhD in Genetic and Molecular Sciences at the University of Milan then moved to his current location in 2006. Since then, Yuri has been studying the role of microRNA in cardiovascular diseases. While the initial focus of his research was the regulation of cellular miRNAs upon hypoxic stimuli. Since 2008, Yuri shifted his interests on the presence of small non-coding RNAs in plasma. From then on, he has been analysing the possible role of plasma miRNAs as markers of heart disease such as myocardial infarction and heart failure. In 2014, thanks to the achievement of a national grant, he began to work on a project aimed at the molecular characterization of cardiotoxicity induced by anthracyclines. This led to the analysis of different models and samples taken from patients of the role of coding and non-coding RNAs in the response to anti-cancer treatments.
Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak is Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Glasgow; Honorary Consultant Physician and Non-Executive Member of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board; and Health Innovation Champion for the Medical Research Council. In 2016, she was awarded a DBE for services to cardiovascular and medical science.
Recognised as a world-leading cardiovascular scientist and clinical academic, her major research interests are in hypertension, cardiovascular genomics and precision medicine, where she not only publishes extensively in top peer-reviewed journals (over 500 publications), but also excels in large scale research funding for programmes and infrastructure (with a total value in excess of £100M over the last eight years).
Professor Dominiczak is the driving force behind the fundraising, development and delivery of the University of Glasgow's clinical academic campus at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, home to a Clinical Innovation Zone from which she leads a triple helix partnership between academia, the NHS and industry to accelerate innovation, maximise patient benefit and stimulate business growth, including a collaboration of four Scottish universities, four NHS Health Boards across Scotland and two major industry partners in a public/private partnership focused on precision medicine.
She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the American Heart Association, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the European Society of Cardiology and the Society of Biology. From 2013 to 2015, she was President of the European Society of Hypertension. She is currently President of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland.
Jami Elliott is part of a clinical business strategy team within Thermo Fisher Scientific's Genetic Sciences Division (GSD) where he directs new platform & test development for diagnostic segments. Jami is actively involved in CE-IVD and U.S.-IVD strategy development; as well as programs focused on Pharmacogenetics enabled medication therapy management, reimbursement and regulatory strategy.
Dr. Philip Empey is the Associate Director of the Institute of Precision Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. He directs the Pharmacogenomics Center of Excellence and leads the PreCISE-Rx and Test2Learn teams to implement pharmacogenomics clinical, research, and educational initiatives. As a clinician-scientist in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics of the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Empey conducts NIH-funded clinical and translational research aimed at understanding the mechanisms of the variability in drug response to improve medication-related outcomes in critically-ill patients. His research interests include large scale population preemptive testing, pharmacogenomics clinical implementation, collection of medication-related phenotype information, genotype-phenotype discovery, and understanding the role/impact of xenobiotic transporters following neurological injury.
Dr. Gaedigk is a Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Mercy in Kansas City where she directs the Pharmacogenetics Core Laboratory in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation. Her work focuses on variation in pharmacogenes in diverse adult and pediatric populations in clinical and basic research. She is also directing the Pharmacogene Variation Consortium and closely works with the Pharmacogenomics KnowledgeBase and the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium to promote the implementation of pharmacogenetics into clinical practice. In addition, she is a leading scientist of the GOLDILOKS program investigating variability in the metabolism and exposure to the ADHD drug atomoxetine.
Dr. Manoj Gandhi received his medical degree and completed his residency in pathology at the University of Mumbai, India. He earned his PhD at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a clinical and molecular pathologist with board certifications from the Medical Council of India. His previous positions were Lecturer and Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine at T.N. Medical College, Mumbai, as well as Instructor at the Division of Molecular Anatomic Pathology at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Currently, Dr. Gandhi is the Senior Medical Director for the Genetic Testing Solutions business at Thermo Fisher Scientific and is part of the team that provides medical strategy, medical and scientific oversight for product development, on-market product support, and customer engagement. He has also held various leadership positions in the medical device and pharmaceutical industry, including at Affymetrix, Amgen, and Abbott Laboratories.
Dr. Yesim Gökmen-Polar is an Associate Research Professor at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. She obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. After completing her postdoctoral work in Cancer Biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, she continued to concentrate on translational cancer biology first at the Department of Hematology & Oncology and then Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University.
The primary focus of her research is the identification and characterization of novel therapeutic targets in breast and thymic cancers that are resistant to standard of care therapy. Her current research uses next generation sequencing (NGS), microarrays technologies, and preclinical models to understand the transcriptional regulation of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that contribute to resistance to endocrine therapies. Her work for the first time described a novel molecular function of a splicing factor (ESRP1) in poor prognostic ER+ breast cancer.
Dr. Yesim Gökmen-Polar has over 50 publications in Journals including EMBO Reports, Cancer Research and JNCI. She is the co-editor of the book entitled “Molecular Pathology of Breast Cancer” and serves as the Section Editor of Breast Cancer for Cancer Treatment and Research Communications (CTARC). She has developed, validated, patented gene signatures for thymoma and breast cancer. The ultimate goal of her research is to prevent development of resistance to therapies and improve the quality of life for patients.
Derek Grillo joined Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2012, as a Global Product Manager with the Animal Health and Food Safety business. In 2017, his role expanded to include qPCR Reagents, focused on managing the 1-Step qPCR master mix portfolio. As a Sr. Global Product Manager, he is responsible for a wide range of qPCR workflow solutions products, including sample preparation products that support the Agribusiness market.
Derek has worked in a variety of functional areas, prior to joining Thermo Fisher including engineering, operations, and finance in the medical device industry. As a product manager he has successfully managed multiple product portfolios and successfully launched several, novel product innovations including the Applied Biosystems™ VetMAX™ Xeno™ Internal Positive Controls and MagMAX™ CORE Nucleic Acid Purification Kits. Most recently he has been involved in Thermo Fisher Scientific's global response to COVID-19 testing by providing product support for the company's end-to-end qPCR workflow solutions.
Derek is a graduate of Auburn University, with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and completed his graduate studies in Bioengineering from Clemson University. Derek is based in Austin, TX with his wife and three children.
George Hii is a well-rounded clinical business and life sciences commercial leader with over twenty years of deep experience covering Asia Pacific and global markets. He is currently the Director of Global Market Development for the Reproductive Health business of Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Prior to this, he held the role of Commercial Leader for Reproductive Health in the Asia Pacific region. George's career includes over 6 years of experience at Illumina in the management of field applications and technical support, as well as five years as the Technical Director of the qPCR Core Facility at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1998 with a B.Sc. in biochemistry and a minor in microbiology. He successfully completed the executive education program at Wharton School of Business. George has an insatiable desire to improve human health through genetics. His career path has and continues to fulfill this goal every day.
Dr. Hunicke-Smith joined Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL) January 2017 as Scientific Director after serving as the Vice President, Molecular R&D at the affiliated Sonic Reference Lab since September 2015. He manages test implementation, data science, and project management at CPL. Prior to joining Sonic, Dr. Hunicke-Smith was Director of the Genomic Sequencing and Analysis Facility (GSAF) at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined UT in August of 2008 to start next-generation sequencing (NGS) activities at UT and was instrumental in developing the bioinformatics curriculum at UT. Prior to joining UT, Dr. Hunicke-Smith was VP and General Manager of the molecular biology services' division of Asuragen, a spin-out of Ambion. He joined in Ambion in July of 2003 as Director of Business Development, Instrumentation. He was promoted to Vice President, Business Development in March of 2004 and to Vice President, Ambion Services in September of 2005. Prior to joining Ambion, Dr. Hunicke-Smith served as founder and CEO of GeneMachines, a molecular biology equipment firm, from 1997 through March of 2003. Dr. Hunicke-Smith also served on the Board of Directors of Silicon Genetics, a bioinformatics software firm, from 1998 until acquired by Agilent in 2004 and on the Board of Directors of Bioo Scientific from 2010 until its acquisition in 2016. He received his Ph.D. in 1997 from Stanford University in the DNA Sequence and Technology Center run by Ron Davis, and is an inventor on seven issued US patents.
Dr. Jackson has over 10 years of experience in genetic analysis technologies. As a senior member of the Content Engine R&D team at Thermo Fisher Scientific, he helps develop solutions for the research and healthcare markets, leveraging varied technologies such as capillary electrophoresis, digital PCR, next-generation sequencing, and microarray analysis. Before Thermo Fisher Scientific, he was at Nanostring Technologies running the Field Applications Specialist (FAS) team. He was also an Acting Assistant Professor at University of Washington, Department of Genome Sciences, investigating developmental genetics of Drosophila melanogaster.
Steven J. Knapp (Professor and Director of the University of California, Davis Strawberry Breeding Program) is an expert on plant breeding, quantitative genetics, and the application of genomics in plant breeding. His current research focuses on the breeding, genetics, and genomics of strawberry. His laboratory has been engaged in the development of genomic resources for octoploid strawberry, in addition to the development of cultivars for short-day, day-neutral, and summer-plant production systems worldwide. His previous research focused on the breeding, genetics, and genomics of sunflower, peanut, and industrial oilseeds. He was previously Global Director of Breeding Technology for the Vegetable Division at Monsanto (2009-2015), Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics at the University of Georgia (2004-2009), and Professor and Paul C. Berger Endowed Chair at Oregon State University (1985-2004).
1999-2004 - Ph.D. studies at the Weizmann Institute for Science, Rehovot, Israel. Thesis: Developing photodynamic-based drugs for cancer therapy.
2004-2008 - Joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) as a research scientist and took part in the study that aimed at developing AChE as an organophosphate bioscavenger.
2008-Present - Head, the antibody engineering group that focus on the development of recombinant therapeutic antibodies against toxins and bio-threat pathogens
2017-present - Head, the Department of Infectious diseases, IIBR
Dr. Laila O. Mnayer is the Division Director of Molecular Pathology and Cytogenetics within the Department of Pathology at Hartford Hospital-Hartford Healthcare. She has been in this role since May 2006.
Dr. Mnayer holds a Bachelor's degree in medical technology and biological sciences and a Master's degree in Embryology and Histology from the University of Jordan in Amman-Jordan. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics from the School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami-Florida. She also completed postdoctoral fellowships in Clinical Molecular Genetics at the University of Miami and in Clinical Cytogenetics at Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. She is board certified in Clinical Molecular Genetics and in Clinical Cytogenetics from the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG).
Dr. Mnayer and her team provide molecular pathology and cytogenetics testing services for the entire Hartford Healthcare (HHC) Hospital System and Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC). She has designed, developed, and clinically validated numerous molecular and cytogenetic assays. Early on, she introduced and validated chromosomal microarrays for use in HHC molecular pathology labs. More recently she designed and validated multiple next-generation sequencing (NGS) panels in oncology and for germline testing that are offered across the HHC and CCMC systems. She has extensive expertise in test design, interpretation and reporting. She is also actively involved in teaching the residents and fellows in pathology at Hartford Hospital.
Dr. Mnayer serves on several corporate advisory boards, has published multiple journal articles and book chapters, and has been the recipient of several awards.
Hello, I am Ronny Nienhold, head of the molecular pathology lab at Cantonal Hospital Baselland in Switzerland. Our focus is on cancer diagnostics and the pathology of infections.
Before starting my academic career, I worked in the Pharma industry for three years as a lab technician. After my success at establishing a molecular cloning pipeline for proof-of-principle experiments in early drug development, I left industry to study Biology. During my PhD, I developed custom NGS workflows to elucidate the molecular background of myeloproliferative diseases.
In molecular pathology, we routinely utilize NGS to characterize solid tumors, and PCR-based analyses to detect specific pathogens in human biopsies. In parallel to routine diagnostics, our lab performs molecular biological experiments to support translational research. Currently we are developing a metagenomics assays to screen for and identify pathogens hidden between thousands and thousands of human cells present in patient tissue samples.
Andy Peterson is currently the Chief Scientific Officer for MedGenome.
He obtained his PhD in Genetics at Harvard University and did Postdoctoral work at University of California at San Francisco where genetics in somatic cells and in model organisms was his major research theme. In subsequent career stages, in faculty appointments at Duke University and UCSF, mouse genetics was used as an approach to understanding neural development and behavior. After joining Genentech in 2006, first as a Senior Scientist and eventually as Head of the Department of Molecular Biology, Dr Peterson led research infrastructure efforts in mouse genetics, next generation sequencing and genome engineering. He also led drug discovery efforts in Metabolic Disease and successfully introduced three molecules into Genentech's portfolio in that therapeutic area. Dr Peterson has over 30 years of research experience and a passion for helping individuals, organizations and societies use genetics to plan for good health.
Dr. Hannah Pezzi received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has a strong background in molecular diagnostics and brings years of experience in nucleic acid extraction and qPCR. As R&D Scientist in the Genetic Testing Solutions business unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Hannah is responsible for system integration and translating manual processes into automated workflows.
Saiju Pyarajan Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Data and Computational Sciences at the VA Boston Healthcare System. He oversees the generation and curation of for the Million Veteran Program (MVP). Dr. Pyarajan completed his post-doctoral training from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the NYU School of Medicine and obtained his Ph.D. in Immunology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Fabien Ramos joined Thermo Fisher Scientific, in 2014, as a Team Leader Manufacturing and QC, in the AgriBusiness Vertical. Now in a role of Manufacturing Supervisor and Site Leader, he is responsible for the manufacturing and supply of Veterinary Diagnostics qPCR kits supporting AgriBusiness vertical – including VetMAX kits – and coordination of site activities including R&D, Supply Chain, Quality, Regulatory Affairs, Program Management and Sales & Support. Fabien is based in the Lissieu site, France.
Fabien brings broad experience to Thermo Fisher Scientific, with a strong combined R&D and Manufacturing background on Molecular Biology and Infectious diseases. He has developed qPCR kits within the VetMAX range of products and has been involved in ERP implementation activities, brand transition projects and site development projects. As a Manufacturing Supervisor, he successfully drive the growth of Manufacturing capacity in answer to customer demand, while ensuring Quality and Regulatory compliance.
Fabien is a graduate of Lyon 1 University, with a Master's Degree, MSc in Cell Genetic and Oncology; and a Master's Degree, MSc in Applied Infectiology
Dr. Timothy Rebbeck is the Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is founding director of the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and leads the Cancer Outreach and Engagement activities for the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. He leads molecular epidemiology studies to address problems of cancer etiology, prevention, outcomes, health disparities, and global health. His work has led to an understanding of the genetic and environmental causes of breast, prostate, skin, endometrial and ovarian cancers as well as interventions intended to reduce the burden of these cancers in individuals and populations. He founded and leads international cancer consortia that study risk and outcomes of 1) cancer in BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers, and 2) prostate cancer in men of African descent in North America and Africa.
Alain Rico is an engineer in biotechnology from the University of Marseilles, France. Member of the French Army Institute of Tropical Medicine, he worked on vaccine development studies in the fight against malaria. In 1997, he joined PE Biosystems now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, a multinational science serving company. In charge of the market development for the Reproductive Health business and Precision Medicine solutions in EMEA, he is coordinating collaborations with key opinion leaders and development of innovative solutions, across all groups and divisions of the company and using the comprehensive offer of systems and reagents available in its portfolio. In 2011, as the scientific leader of the Application Development Team in EMEA, he sequenced the bacterial strain responsible for the EHEC outbreak using NGS (Ion Torrent), a world premiere.
Anthony (Tony) Schweitzer is a Principal Scientist and Director of Bioinformatics for Expression Microarrays at Thermo Fisher Scientific. He provides expertise globally across the organization and has responsibilities in sales, marketing, product support, and R&D. He manages the Expression Bioinformatics Team and designs and develops next generation expression solutions. Tony actively participates in the US FDA SEQC/MAQC-III consortium and educates on the power and limitations of RNA-Seq. He has given lectures and seminars worldwide sharing insights on transcriptomics, biomarker discovery, and clinical use of microarrays for personalized medicine. He has developed a passion for aiding investigators with their research and clinical needs and empowering them with tools and insight normally beyond their capabilities.
Tony began his career in Columbus, Ohio working on large scale genomic efforts including progenitor stem cell research and pathogen detection. In 1997 he relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and worked on clinical target discovery programs for large pharma and biotech in the areas of Asthma and Diabetes. In 1999 Tony became the Director of Bioinformatics and IT for Metabolex Inc. and began working with Affymetrix to develop custom Affymetrix expression arrays. In 2004 he brought his bioinformatics skills and knowledge to Affymetrix, heading up the Expression R&D informatics team and worked extensively on developing whole-transcriptome expression microarrays.
Franz Seefried holds a position as senior geneticist at QUALITAS, the national evaluation center of IT and quantitative animal genetics for Swiss livestock. All through his career, he has been involved in designing pipelines and workflows in the field of genomic selection, especially for cattle. This role enabled his deep knowledge of analyzing large scale genotyping data. With his PhD in Animal Breeding received at TU Munich, he has been publishing and working in the field of applied and translational research. Thereby he has made significant contributions to several collaborative projects in the framework of animal breeding and population genetics.
Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, MS, is the Chief Science Officer at Coriell Life Sciences where he oversees the company's research, education, and clinical programs and leads efforts focused on bridging the gap between genetic science and clinical application. Dr. Shaman brings years of experience in advising cross-functional teams together with his scholarship in genetics, pharmacology, stem cells, and clinical laboratory operations. Along with the CEO, he forges strategic partnerships with worldwide companies, laboratories, academic institutions, public/private self-insured companies, and federal, state, and regional healthcare and employee systems.
Dr. Shaman supports a team of scientists dedicated to precision medicine and pharmacogenomics and who actively research, publish, and present findings in top-tier peer-reviewed journals. He is passionate about educating people from all backgrounds about the power of genetics and pharmacogenomic testing that is integrated with patient health history and clinical decision-support to proactively promote better health.
Dr. Shaman holds a doctoral degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, where his research centered on DNA, epigenetics, and nuclear structure and function. He earned his Master of Science degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Cell & Developmental Biology. Dr. Shaman held a faculty position at the University of Hawai‘i Institute of Biogenesis Research before serving a fellowship at Harvard Medical School and implementing a translational research program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation.
Harita Veereshlingam is a Senior Product Application Scientist in the Genetic Sciences Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific. She has over 10 years of experience in product development with an emphasis on real time PCR assays for gene expression and miRNA analysis. In her current role, Harita is responsible for product portfolio growth through the development of novel applications, customer collaborations, technical notes, and webinars. She lives by and is a strong proponent of sustainable living. She has a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of North Texas.
Dr. Paul Walker is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Associate Professor Emeritus at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, where he served as Director of Thoracic Oncology and Director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. He currently is Chief Medical Officer of Circulogene. Published cancer research has focused on immune therapy dating back to IL-2, immune checkpoint blockade in combination with ablative radiation therapy, managing immune toxicities and racial disparities in lung cancer treatment. Current research focus is the clinical utility of liquid biopsies in early stage lung cancers and integrating non-driver co-mutations into cancer treatment decision making.
Professor David C. Whitcomb MD PhD is a pioneer in the use of mathematics, genetics, neurosciences, immunology, epidemiology and clinical sciences to study complex inflammation disorders and cancer risks of the digestive system, and he is among the most-cited authors in the field of pancreatic diseases with multiple landmark papers. He co-founded the Center for Genomic Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh (now part of the Genomics and Proteomics Core Laboratory), and served as Director of the Nutrition Support Service and Director of Gastroenterology for the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System. He served as Chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh from 1999 to 2016, building it into a top-tier Gastroenterology program. With over 25 years of continuous NIH funding, he served as principal investigator on multiple National Institutes of Health-sponsored studies, building one of the top human genetics programs for complex digestive diseases. He as published over 400 papers, reviews and book chapters with nearly 30,000 citations, and h-index of ~ 85 and i10index of ~280. His research, education and organizational innovations in precision medicine continue to be studied and emulated by other leading programs throughout the world. Dr. Whitcomb completed a doctorate in physiology (PhD, 1983) and a medical degree (MD, 1985) at Ohio State University. Postdoctoral training at Duke University included medical residency, gastroenterology fellowship and postdoctoral training under Ian Taylor MD PhD. Dr. Whitcomb joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC as a physician-scientists in 1991. He holds the Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics (endowed chair), Professor of Medicine (with tenure), Professor of Cell Biology & Molecular Physiology, and Professor of Human Genetics. He is also Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. Professor Whitcomb is Editor-in-Chief of Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology, an official journal of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), and Section Editor for Pancreas, UpToDate. Dr. Whitcomb has served as president of the American Pancreatic Association (APA) and Chairman of the Pancreatic Disorders Section of the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA). He co-founded and has led the Midwest Multicenter Pancreatic Study Group, the North American Pancreatic Study Group (NAPS2) and the Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research (CAPER). He started and directs PancreasFest, an annual international translational meeting every July in Pittsburgh. He has been recognized by his peers with four different national and international lifetime achievement, mentoring and/or service awards. Recognizing the failures of effective treatment of chronic pancreatitis, Dr. Whitcomb has championed the idea of precision medicine for complex chronic disorders. Since disruptive technologies are not embraced by established enterprises that do not disrupted, Dr. Whitcomb co-founded Ariel Precision Medicine, an independent, genomic-health information technology company to deliver precision medicine for patients who need it. He serves Ariel Precision Medicine as a consultant, Chair of the medical advisory board and sits on the board of directors.
Steve Williams is the leader of the capillary electrophoresis R&D group at Thermo Fisher Scientific. He has extensive experience in developing and commercializing capillary electrophoresis instrumentation and applications related to genetic analysis. Prior to working at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Steve has experience in the fields of human identification, oncology diagnostics, sample-to-answer devices and microfluidics. Steve holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of York, UK and held post-doctoral positions at Genentech and the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Lixiang graduated from China Agricultural University, receiving his education and carrying out researches on Virology and Immunology. After that, he Joined China Animal Husbandry Group in Jul. 2013, firstly served as an export specialist working on CAHG home produced API(active pharmaceutical ingredients), and then he moved to animal health department as technical manager when CAHG starting cooperation with Thermo Fisher Scientific on animal diseases diagnosis business.
With his strong life science background, Dr. Lixiang have provided extensive technical support to the local laboratories of animal husbandry enterprises, especially after the outbreak of African Swine Fever in China.
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