The 1st SABPA Frontiers in Therapeutics and Diagnostics (FTD) Forum 2017

Del Mar CA

Feb 4, 2017

Introduction:  SABPA is excited to bring you the first Frontiers in Therapeutics and Diagnostics (FTD) Forum. In this inaugural FTD Annual Forum, we will cover three hot research areas including Immuno-Oncology (IO), the NGS companion diagnostics test, and big data genomics. Our IO session will provide a focused look at how researchers are applying new science and technology in the development of the next generation of effective and safe immunotherapies. Our technology expert speakers will offer an update on the development of the game-changing NGS companion diagnostics test that leads to a paradigm shift of future Precision Medicine.  We will also learn how big data genomics can help us gain greater understanding of the human genome and how to use big data for the advancement of genetic research. Leaders from industry and academia will share recent progresses in science and technology for diagnostic and drug development. Our audience will also have the great opportunity to share ideas, to network with their peers and to learn from the experts. 



Morning session: Immuno-Oncology (IO) 

Chair: Hua Gong, MD, PhD. Chair, FTD Committee

8:20am   Breakfast and Registration

8:45am   Welcome by Stephanie Shi, PhD. President SABPA

8:50am   Opening Remarks by Hua Gong, MD, PhD. Chair, FTD    

                 Committee, Sr. Director, Genoptix/Novartis

9:00am   Keynote Presentation, Carl Barrett, PhD. VP   

                 Translational Science in Oncology AstraZeneca.  

                 Osimertinib (AZD9291, Tagrisso)- A Science Driven,                  

                 Translational Approach to Rapid Drug Design and                    



9:30am   Presentation, Michael Karin,  PhD. Professor, UCSD.

                 Immune Control of Liver Tumorigenesis

9:55am   Presentation, Michael Wong, MD. Professor, Cancer 

                 Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Novel Seismic 

                 Shifts in Clinical Practice and Expectations in the  New

                 Era of Cancer Immunotherapy

10:20am Coffee Break


Chair: Hui Wang, PhD, Co-Chair,  FTD Committee

10:40am Presentation, Hua Yu, PhD. Professor City of Hope.

                 Novel Antibody-based Drugs for Most Challenging          

                 and Critical Intracellular Targets

11:00am Presentation, Alessandra Cesano, MD. Chief Medical

                 Officer, NanoString Technologies. Bring the Next

                 Generation of Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers into

                 the Clinic

11:20am Panel Discussion (IO): What Have We Achieved with

                 Cancer Immunotherapy and Where Are We Going?

                 Alessandra Cesano (Moderator)

                 Sandip Patel, MD.  Assistant Professor,  Cancer 

                 Immunotherapy Program,  UCSD

                 Jeffrey Su PhD. EVP and COO  

                 Sorrento Therapeutics

                 Peter(Peizhi) Luo, Founder, CEO of Adagene

12:30pm Lunch Break 


Afternoon session: NGS CDx and Genomics Big Data

Chairs:  Guang Chen, MD, PhD, Co-Chair,  FTD Committee  

1:45pm  Keynote Presentation, Jim Godsey, PhD. VP, R&D, Clinical

                Sequencing Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

                Development of a Universal Test NGS-Based                     

                Companion Diagnostic to Support Multiple Drug  

                Development Programs


2:15pm Presentation, John Millholland, PhD. Director, Novartis

               Oncology Precision Medicine. A Novel Game-Changing

               Paradigm to Accelerate Oncology Drug Development:

               Oncomine Universal Dx Assay

2:40pm Coffee Break


Chair: Howard Pan, PhD, Co-Chair,  FTD Committee

3:00pm Presentation, Fengzhu Sun, PhD. Professor USC.  

               New Development in Alignment-free Genome and  

               Metagenome Analysis

3:25pm Panel Discussion (Big Data): Harnessing Genomic Big

               Data for Patient Care: A Panel of Experts Elucidate  

               Data Challenges and Propose Key Strategic Solutions.

               Adrian Benjamin (Moderator), PhD. Market Development

               Manager Oncology, Illumina

               Stuart  Heilsberg, MBA. VP of Product Experience, 

               WuXi NextCODE

               Joyce Peng, PhD. Global Marketing Director and          

               General Manager, Novogene

               Yuan (Gary) Gao, PhD. Co-founder, Med data Quest

4:30pm Closing Remarks by Peter Huang, PhD

4:45pm Cocktail Hour & Poster Contest Award Presentation

SABPA eCorner: The SABPA entrepreneur corner is a place during the FTD Forum to present your business ideas, inventions and technology platforms in a poster format to attract collaborators and investors. Please visit SABPA website eCorner for detailed information and submission guidelines. 

SABPA-WuXi AppTec Poster Contest: The contest is for scientific exchange and to reward those in their early career development in life sciences at the FTD forum. For the eligibility, preparation guidelines, and submission, please visit SABPA website ( under poster contest.

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Adrian Benjamin

Manager, Market Development, Oncology and Cell Biology, Illumina

Bio: At Illumina, Adrian Benjamin leads a Field Market Development team focused on Oncology and Cancer Research. He has been in the biotech industry for 14 years, working in oncology and cancer research over the past 8 years. At Illumina, his group focuses on genomic applications in oncology, and cancer research, working with internal partners to meet the customer needs of this dynamic and complex market.

Alessandra Cesano

CMO, NanoString Technologies, Inc.

Bio: Alessandra Cesano, M.D., Ph.D. is the Chief Medical Officer of nanoString Inc since July 2015. Prior to joining nanoString, Dr. Cesano was Chief Medical Officer at Cleave Biosciences, Inc. From 2008 to 2014, she served as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operations Officer at Nodality, Inc., where she built and led the R&D groups, while providing the overall clinical vision for the organization. In addition, Dr. Cesano has held various management positions at Amgen, Biogen Idec and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, where she helped to advance various oncology drugs through late stage development and FDA approvals. Dr. Cesano spent 12 years researching tumor immunology, including nine years at the Wistar Institute, an NCI Basic Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds membership in several professional and scientific societies, and has been an author on over 100 research publications. Dr. Cesano received an M.D., a Board Certification in Oncology and a Ph.D. in Tumor Immunology from the University of Turin. She holds a B.S. in Science and Economics from Istituto Tecnico Commerciale.

Carl Barrett

VP Translational Science in Oncology, AstraZeneca

Bio: Dr. J. Carl Barrett is Vice President of Translational Science in the Oncology Innovative Medicines Division at AstraZeneca. His responsibility is to develop and execute biomarker strategy and translational sciences efforts to support compound development from research through early and full development in oncology. From 2005-2011, he was Global Head of Oncology Biomarkers and Imaging at Novartis. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Barrett was the founding Director of the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR), which is the NCI intramural center for translation medicine and novel technologies. He was also the Scientific Director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where his efforts focused on integrating new approaches to toxicogenomics, molecular toxicology, and the Environmental Genome Project. Dr. Barrett’s research focused on the discovery of the critical genetic and epigenetic changes in the cancer cell, in particular the discovery of genes involved in breast cancer (BRCA1). Trained as a chemist at the College of William and Mary, he received his Ph.D. degree in Biophysical Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University. He has published over 600 research articles and reviews. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, an elected member of the Ramazini Foundation, an honorary member of the Japanese Cancer Association, and a recipient of multiple NIH awards and Keynote lectures.

Fengzhu Sun

Professor, University of Southern California

Bio: Dr. Fengzhu Sun is Professor of the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics group within the Department of Biological Sciences at USC with joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics. His Bachelors in Mathematics is from Shandong University, Masters in Probability and Statistics is from Peking University, and PhD in Applied Mathematics is from University of Southern California (USC). He has published over 140 papers in the field of computational biology and bioinformatics and has been cited over 6500 times according to Google Scholar. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) and American Statistical Association (ASA), elected member of International Statistical Institute (ISI), and a program chair of RECOMB2013. He received the USC Provost’s Mellon Mentoring award in 2012.

Hua Gong

Sr. Director, Genoptix/Novartis

Bio: Dr. Hua Gong serves as Director, Clinical Trial Testing, Biopharma at Genoptix, a Novartis Company. Dr. Gong has more than 16 years of experience in the development of drugs and diagnostics. Previously, she was Executive Director of IVD & CDx at Premier Research Group. At Prometheus Therapeutics & Diagnostics, she was Associate Director, Medical Diagnostics and responsible for leading the development of companion diagnostics for pharmaceutical companies and overseeing multiple clinical studies. Additionally, she worked at Pfizer for 10 years in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility. In her last position at Pfizer, Dr. Gong managed a multi-disciplinary team including in-vitro/vivo biology, PDM, drug safety and biomarker research groups. She was a key contributor for an antibody drug that entered clinical development. Dr. Gong received her medical training in China and a doctorate in cancer biology in the US.

Eleanor Hua Yu

Professor, City of Hope

Bio: Dr Hua Yu is Billy and Audrey Wilder Endowed Professor and Co-Leader of Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. She received BA and PhD in Molecular Biology from Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Yu’s pioneering work in discovering the importance of STAT3 in cancer, cancer inflammation and tumor immune evasion has changed our views on oncogenic pathways in the tumor stroma, on tumor immunobiology and cancer immunotherapy. For these accomplishments, Dr. Yu received the prestigious Humboldt Research Prize, which is granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to "outstanding academics at the peak of their careers, whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future." She has also developed targeted siRNA delivery technology for silencing desired genes in tumor cells and tumor-associated myeloid cells and B cells. The siRNA delivery technology is scheduled for clinical trials to target STAT3 in glioma and lymphoma. More recently, her laboratory has created a platform to enable cell-penetration of antibodies and peptides in vitro and in vivo. Both local and systemic administrations of the cell-penetrating antibodies at low dosages effectively inhibit intended targets and downstream genes inside tumors, resulting in tumor cellular apoptosis and tumor regression in multiple tumor models. This technology also allows detection of intracellular molecules including cytokines in living cells. Together with Sorrento Therapeutics/LA Cell, this platform is being developed for clinical testing in the near future.

James H. Godsey

VP, R&D, Clinical Sequencing Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Bio: Jim Godsey, Ph.D., is Vice President of R&D for the Clinical Next Generation Sequencing Division (CSD) of Thermo Fisher Scientific. In this role, Dr. Godsey is responsible for driving development of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s next generation of life science, transitional medicine and IVD products, including establishing a best in class companion Dx program as the centerpiece for CSDs Oncology Portfolio. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of Product and Technology Development at Roche Tissue Diagnostics/Ventana Diagnostics, where he was responsible for leading the technology strategy, product development and on-market support. In this role, Dr. Godsey, built Ventana’s CDx program supporting Genentech, as well as external pharma partners such as Pfizer. Prior to Roche, Dr. Godsey led R&D Teams at Digene, Veridex, Gen-Probe and Dade-Behring. Dr. Godsey has had the privilege of launching a number of molecular Dx industry firsts, including the first FDA approved auto matched, molecular Dx asseys for blood screening, STD Screening and CTCs. Dr. Godsey also brings general management experience to any new challenge he takes on. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from St. John’s University.

Jianda Yuan

Director, Translational Immuno-Oncology Research, Early Clinical Oncology Development. Merck

Bio: Dr. Yuan’s research interest is translational medicine, precision oncology and biomarker discovery for immune checkpoint blockade cancer immunotherapy. From 2002 to 2016, He established and led translational biomarker research at Immune Monitoring Facility, as part of Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Some accomplishments of note include the establishment of the state-of-the-art Immune Monitoring Facility involving the immunological monitoring of more than 130 clinical trials at MSKCC, the completion of the immune monitoring for DNA vaccine, dendritic cell vaccine, anti-GITR, CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1 blockade antibodies. His group first reported several potential biomarkers such as Absolute Lymphocyte Counts (ALC), CD4+ICOShi T cell, NY-ESO-1 antigen-specific immunity, cytokine IL-17, Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and mutational load for advanced cancer patients received immune checkpoint blockade therapy. He introduced the concept of polyfunctional tumor antigen-specific T cell response monitoring into the cancer vaccination and cancer immunotherapy field in 2008. He served as a consultant for the design of the correlative studies for optimal innovative immunologic assessment . Currently Dr. Yuan is Director of Translational Immuno-Oncology (I-O) Research at Merck & Co. Inc. and responsible for translational I-O research to meet the need of clinical I-O drug development. He has approximately 65 peer-reviewed articles, including publications in Science, NEJM, Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology, PNAS, Blood, Journal of Immunology, Cancer Immunology Research and Clinical Cancer Research. He is a member of SITC, AACR and ASCO. Dr. Yuan is an Associate Editor of the Journal Immunotherapy of Cancer. He served as a Member of the steering committee for the CRI-CIC from 2006 to 2011. He is Group Chair of the SITC Biomarker Task Force.

Jim Godsey

VP, R&D, Clinical Sequencing Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Bio: Jim Godsey, Ph.D., is Vice President of R&D for the Clinical Next Generation Sequencing Division (CSD) of Thermo Fisher Scientific. In this role, Dr. Godsey is responsible for driving development of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s next generation of life science, transitional medicine and IVD products, including establishing a best in class companion Dx program as the centerpiece for CSDs Oncology Portfolio. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of Product and Technology Development at Roche Tissue Diagnostics/Ventana Diagnostics, where he was responsible for leading the technology strategy, product development and on-market support. In this role, Dr. Godsey, built Ventana’s CDx program supporting Genentech, as well as external pharma partners such as Pfizer. Prior to Roche, Dr. Godsey led R&D Teams at Digene, Veridex, Gen-Probe and Dade-Behring. Dr. Godsey has had the privilege of launching a number of molecular Dx industry firsts, including the first FDA approved auto matched, molecular Dx asseys for blood screening, STD Screening and CTCs. Dr. Godsey also brings general management experience to any new challenge he takes on. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from St. John’s University.

Joyce Peng

General Manager, Novogene

Bio: Dr. Joyce Peng has established herself as a prominent voice for the application of state-of-the art technologies in the life sciences field. Joyce has been promoting bioinformatics and related products at various organizations and is now General Manager & Global Marketing Director for Novogene Corporation, a leading provider of genomic services with cutting edge NGS and bioinformatics expertise and one of the largest sequencing capacities in the world.    Previously, Joyce helped define the product line for Oracle in life sciences as a senior product manager. Subsequently, Joyce established proteomics product directions for Rosetta Biosoftware (a subsidiary of Merck) and managed bioinformatics product sales for North America at Life Technologies. In her position as the Strategic Alliance Growth Manager at Illumina, Joyce managed the partnership with BGI and advanced the application of various sequencing technologies. Joyce also served as Marketing Director for BGI Americas. Now, in her role as General Manager & Global Marketing Director of Novogene Corporation, Joyce leads the commercial team to actively promoting collaborations and alliances with academic, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology organizations for the application of Novogene’s world-renowned sequencing services in North and South Americas. Joyce holds a Ph.D. in Biology from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a B.S. in Life Sciences from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.

Louis Masi

VP, Founding CEO, FDSonics, Inc

Bio: As a Bioengineer, Mr. Masi has seen much advancement within the continued efforts to bridge diagnostic activities to therapeutic benefits. From his time as Unit Manager of Surgical Products at Genzyme Corporation; to the serial acquisitions post technology portfolio expansions while Senior Director of Technology at Inamed, sold to Allergan; and his role as Director of Competitive Intelligence and Technology at Mentor Corporation, sold to Ethicon/JnJ. Louis is the co-founder, founding CEO, and currently the Executive Vice President at FDSonics leading technology and business expansion. Mr. Masi has authored 11 granted patents in the utilization of acoustics as an alternate to filter and centrifuge systems. FDSonics’ acoustic force field technology gained the attention of Pall Corporation, resulting in a limited license and partnership. The Pall relationship has been extremely beneficial to FDSonics, but Mr. Masi now focuses R&D efforts in a vast Cell Therapy field, outside of Pall Corp’s license. Louis provides FDSonics navigating guidance in cell therapy research areas including Immuno-Oncology, diagnostics, and others. Mr. Masi’s acoustic technology overview will point to specific areas where innovative and this advanced technology might best serve within manufacturing cell-based platforms. These enabling tools could provide researchers robust options in applying new science and technology in the development of the next generation diagnostics and therapeutics.

Michael Karin

Professor, UC San Diego

Bio: Dr. Karin is dedicated to investigate stress and inflammation signaling that lead to the activation of AP-1, NF-κB and other transcription factors, and their roles in the pathogenesis of cancer, degenerative and metabolic diseases. The Karin Lab is amongst the first to demonstrate not only innate immune cells but also adaptive immune cells as well contribute to tumorigenesis and cancer progression. Their work has contributed to the foundation of the field of Inflammation and Cancer. Dr. Karin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Tel Aviv University, his Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the Fox Chase Institute for Cancer Research in the laboratories of Drs. Beatrice Mintz and John Baxter at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 1986, where he became a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology. He has received numerous awards, including the Oppenheimer Award for Excellence in Research from the Endocrine Society in 1990, an American Cancer Society Research Professorship in 1999, the C.E.R.I.E.S. Research Award for Physiology or Biology of the Skin in 2000, the Harvey Prize in Human Health in 2011, the Brupbacher Prize in Cancer Research, and the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology, both in 2013. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005, as a Foreign Associate of EMBO in 2007, and to the Institute of Medicine in 2011. He serves on several advisory boards, and was cofounder of Signal Pharmaceuticals (currently Celgene).

Michael Wong

Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Bio: Dr. Wong is a clinician-scientist, clinical trial investigator and a serial biotech company founder. Dr. Wong received his PhD in Experimental Pathology, and MD from the University Of Toronto. He did his Medical Oncology Training at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. He carried out Post-Doctoral studies at the American Red Cross as a National Cancer Institute of Canada Fellow. Dr. Wong started his career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and subsequently moved to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY where he headed up the Immunotherapy Unit and was the Medical Director for Drug Development. He was then recruited to the University of Southern California as Professor of Medicine and served as the Adams Chair in Cancer Research and head of Solid Tumors at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Wong served on NIH SBIR review committees, was an active member of several NCCN Guideline Panels, and leads the national IL-2 registry. Leveraging his discoveries on vascular homing and expertise in drug development, Dr. Wong spun out Vali Nanomedical Inc. from his USC research lab in 2017. Vali is a nanoparticle drug delivery biotechnology company currently based outside of Los Angeles. Dr. Wong is currently Professor of Medicine in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Peter (Peizhi) Luo

Cofounder and CEO, Adagene Inc

Bio: Dr. Luo has extensive experience in designing and studied the folding, stability and activity of biopolymers by applying a broad multi-disciplinary approach that combines methods and ideas of experimental and computational biology, chemistry and physics. His current interest focuses on the structure-function relationship of proteins, and antibodies in particular, involved in cancer and other diseases. In 2000, Dr. Luo co-founded Abmaxis Inc. and serves as its Chief Technology Officer. The company was acquired by Merck in 2006. When served as Merck's Director of Biologics and Head of Antibody Engineering, he has received two Merck Special Achievement Awards for biologics technology and novel drug discovery. Prior to founding Abmaxis, Dr. Luo was the first lead scientist to join the computational protein design laboratory at Xencor, where his work was highlighted under the title of “Better than Mother Nature” by Forbes, regarding novel and improved variants of key pharmaceutical proteins demonstrated high efficacies during in-vitro and in-vivo testing. Dr. Luo received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Arthritis Foundation in studied protein folding & design at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in physical and bioorganic chemistry from The University of Chicago, a M.S. degree in Chemical Physics from The Institute of High Energy Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a B.S. degree in chemistry from Peking University.

Sandip Patel

Assistant Professor, Cancer Immunotherapy Program, Experimental Therapeutics, Thoracic Oncology, UC San Diego Health

Bio: Sandip Patel, MD, is a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in cancer immunotherapy and early phase clinical trials involving immunotherapy across all types of cancer. Dr. Patel is focused on developing personalized therapies that stimulate a patient’s immune system to attack their specific tumor. He believes in offering these promising immunotherapeutics across all tumor types. As an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Patel instructs medical students, residents and fellows. His research focuses on developing biomarkers for personalized immunotherapy to better determine which combination of therapies works best for each individual. Dr. Patel completed a fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at Duke University School of Medicine, Duke Medical Center, and a residency in internal medicine at UC Los Angeles School of Medicine, UCLA Medical Center. He earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine, while performing research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology.

Stephanie Shi

Head, Oncology External Research, Pfizer

Bio: Dr. Stephanie Shi is Head of Oncology External Research in the Portfolio Management & Business Operations group at Pfizer Oncology R&D, responsible for managing external collaborations in preclinical Oncology research. Prior to joining the Oncology group, she was the Integrated Sourcing Lead at the External Research Solutions group at Pfizer and has been a driver in establishing and managing external collaborations for many therapeutic areas, including Oncology, Inflammation, and Vaccines. Dr. Shi joined Pfizer in 2002 and served as a lead biologist and research project leader in the Oncology and Antiviral disease areas and made significant contributions to several drug discovery projects that progressed into clinical development. Dr. Shi received her BS in Biotechnology from FuDan University and PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Rutgers University. She did her postdoctoral training in virus research at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Southern California. She has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and books. Dr. Shi is currently a board member of SABPA and president of the SABPA San Diego Chapter.

Stuart Heilsberg

Vice President of Product Experience, WuXi NextCODE

Bio: Stu joined WuXi NextCODE in January 2016 as the Vice President of Product Experience. His team’s charter is to identify, validate and build for users, the right experiences to solve the biggest challenges in genomics for the pharmaceutical, clinical and consumer markets. Stu has an extensive background in defining, building and commercializing new products and services in a number of industries. In 2006, connected health and mobile services began to pull him toward healthcare and genomics, and since then his primary focus has been to make genomic data easy-to-use and actionable, and to drive the adoption of innovative products based on sequence information. He has done this through executive business development and product management roles, strategic consulting, advising and collaborating. Prior to joining WuXi NextCODE, Stu built the life sciences practice at Medullan, a design and development agency focused exclusively on healthcare. During that time, leading sequencing, laboratory and genomic testing and pharmaceutical companies were brought on as customers. Stu previously held senior roles at Qualcomm, Intuit, and Motorola. At these firms he launched over 20 new products and services, and managed businesses as large at $450 million in annual sales. He holds a Master’s Degree in Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John Millholland

Director,, Novartis Oncology Precision Medicine

Bio: Dr. Millholland is a Director with Novartis Oncology Precision Medicine, based in Cambridge Massachusetts, and has been with Novartis since 2013. In this role, he oversees the entire biomarker strategy for one of Novartis’ drug programs; from exploratory biomarker studies through FDA approved companion diagnostics. He received his PhD in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2002, where he studied early developmental biology. After a three-year fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania studying mouse models of leukemia, he transitioned to a career in industry, serving in a number of roles at both the bench and in management in early stage biotechnology companies. In these roles, his focus was the development of diagnostic assays for the early detection and diagnosis of cancer. After moving to Novartis, this interest has merged with precision medicine – in order to provide the right therapies to patients at the right time to improve cancer care. Outside of work, he is the proud father of three and husband to a great lady who has been putting up with him for more than 20 years. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, weightlifting, and spending time with his family.

Yuan (Gary) Gao

Co-founder, Med data Quest

Bio: Dr. Yuan Gao is President and CEO of Med Data Quest, Inc. based at San Diego, California. He also co-founded Singlera Genomics at La Jolla with Professor Kun Zhang of UCSD Bioengineering last year. Before venturing into startups, Dr.Gao has served on the faculty of Harvard, Virginia Commonwealth University and Johns Hopkins University. He currently still holds adjunct associate professorship of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gao also worked for four years at IBM T.J.Watson Research Center at Yorktown Heights on his Ph.D. dissertation with the computer vision, linguistics and computational biology group before it became the IBM Computational Biology Center, which later kicked off Blue Gene Project. After his PhD Dr. Gao moved to Harvard for a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor George Church to develop next generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics analysis algorithms. In 2008, collaborating with Professor Dennis Lo from The Chinese University Hong Kong, they jointly developed the ground breaking next generation sequencing based noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of fetal chromosomal aneuploidy using circulating cell free DNA from pregnant mother's plasma. This technology was ranked as 2008 top 10 medical breakthrough by Times Magazine and has become the underlying technologies used by many companies.

Peter(Peizhi) Luo

Cofounder and CEO, Adagene Inc

Jeffrey Su

President, BioServ Corp

Peter Huang


Anne-Marie Martin

SVP, Global Head of Precision Medicine, Novartis

Gary Gao

Co-founder, Med data Quest

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