Dr. George Vasmatzis, Mayo Clinic
Title: The Impact of Functional Genomics in Medicine and Clinical Research
George Vasmatzis, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Biomarker Discovery Program, Center of Individualized Medicine
Associate professor, Department of Molecular Medicine
Rochester, Minnesota, USA
Radical improvement in cancer care will be accomplished by individualizing patient management via the integration of genomics and functional model systems. Recent breakthroughs in immunotherapy and targeted therapies has shown that cancer therapy will be become agnostic to the cancer origine (i.e. NTRK inhibitors) arguing for a more individualized approach to patient care. An introduction to genomics technologies, data integration and visualization platforms will first be presented followed by demonstrative translational examples of tests that are clinically being used. An description of the whole process that uses that a combination of comprehensive genomics with 3D organoid-type functional model systems to guide treatment decisions will be presented followed by representative examples.
Dr. Vasmatzis is the co-director of the Biomarker Discovery Program, within the Center for Individualized Medicine. He is also an Associate professor and consultant in the Department of Molecular Medicine and a member of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. His research program consists of bioinformatics specialists, molecular biologists, epidemiologists, and pathologists. By training and experience, Dr. Vasmatzis has a unique set of skills in engineering, computational biology, bioinformatics and genomics. He recognizes the critical importance that each team member plays to the success of a given project or that of a program as a whole. He works tirelessly to maintain a team spirit. This team has demonstrated success in discovery and translation of several biomarkers as well as developing evidence-based models that should help clinicians stratify (cancer) patients in order to provide each individual with the appropriate care. Published papers in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Research and BLOOD further demonstrate the laboratory’s discovery, validation, and translation capabilities. With the recent advances in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies his laboratory have been engaging in massive sequencing to scan the genome of cancer cells for abnormalities that can be used for clinical purposes such as diagnosis and stratification of patients for optimal treatment. He has developed MPseq, an accurate and inexpensive whole genome sequencing platform that has been used to detect structural variants. MPseq is a combination of a protocol and algorisms that can deliver a detailed description of all DNA rearrangements at a resolution that can show how individual genes are disturbed thus providing necessary novel insight for correct clinical interpretation.
Host Faculty: Dr. George Bebis
Saturday, April 20 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm