From 10:45 to 11:45 in rooms 2301 / 2311 / 2314
"Cancer as a dynamic disease: challenges and opportunities"
Room 2301, UBC Nest | In this talk I will show how my research laboratory is studying the evolutionary properties of cancer under the well accepted rubric that tumour have dynamic properties that change over time. In particular I will show how spatio-temporal analysis of cancers is fundamental to understanding progression. Then I will show how genomic instability and consequences of aberrant DNA repair constitute a ‘genome as a biomarker’ approach to targeting. I will illustrate how whole genome single cell methods provide a direct route to clonal decomposition without significant loss of information, and finally discuss how these approaches pave the way toward population genetic approaches to studying tumor progression as a fundamental basis for treatment resistance, metastasis and immune response.
"Building functional living tissues using a unique 3D bioprinting technology."
Room 2314, UBC Nest | Aspect Biosystems Ltd. is a privately held biotechnology company operating at the leading edge of 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering. Their vision is a future where drugs are developed without the use of animals, where doctors know how a patient will react to a drug before prescribing it, and where lifesaving transplant organs are created, not harvested. The company is built on over 10 years of research and development and formed through a collaboration between world-class research groups in Engineering and Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Aspect’s proprietary Lab-on-a-PrinterTM platform technology is enabling advances in understanding fundamental biology, disease research, development of novel therapeutics, and regenerative medicine. They are focused on strategically partnering with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic researchers, to create physiologically and commercially relevant tissues. These tissues are used to advance and accelerate drug discovery and development, and enable the creation of cutting-edge tissue therapies of the future.
Sam is the Chief Scientific Officer at Aspect and is responsible for their tissue innovation and development. He has over 10 years of experience leading world-class tissue engineering R&D and currently leads the technical efforts in developing bioprinted tissue applications, both internally and with external partners.
Kemp laboratory of cancer biology and functional precision medicine:
Room 2311, UBC Nest | A major goal of precision oncology is to use tumor genomics to guide therapy. However, many commonly mutated cancer genes are difficult to target with drugs and even for genes that might be targetable, it is not clear which one should be prioritized or which drug would be effective for any given patient. Tumors are genetically heterogeneous and the uniqueness of each patient’s tumor can affect drug responses in unpredictable ways. Another challenge is the shortage of drug gable targets and associated therapeutic agents. Even in cases where genome guided targeted therapy works, development of resistance is common, further highlighting the need for additional targeted agents and effective drug combinations.
To address these challenges, we have developed an integrated platform whose main innovation is the use functional profiling in patient-derived tumor models. By combining high throughput functional testing with cancer genomics in the autologous patient derived cells, we can prioritize driver genetic events, discover new synthetic lethal gene targets, and identify effective drug combinations. Prioritized targets are confirmed with orthogonal assays, in increasingly complex patient relevant cancer models, and across tumor types. To date, we have functionally profiled dozens of solid tumors and have identified several high value synthetic lethal gene targets, which have generated drug discovery efforts