The Early Detection Summer School is an immersive and engaging program that covers themes relevant to cancer early detection research:
- Cutting edge cancer early detection science and technology
- Challenges and opportunities in cancer diagnostics
- Entrepreneurship and case studies of commercialization of early detection innovations
- The impact of patient and public engagement on early detection
- Precision early detection initiatives at global scale
Presenters include international experts on a variety of early detection related topics. Sessions may include research presentations, panel discussions or debates, members of the public and patient representatives, and opportunities to network with peers from different academic and industry organizations.
The ACED Virtual Summer School is open to anyone interested in cancer early detection including academic, healthcare, corporate, and trainee delegates. The program will provide valuable insight into early detection science and is therefore well suited to trainees from across the U.K. and U.S. member centers.
Day 1: August 30
8am - 11:30am PST
Introduction to gold standard approaches/technologies for early cancer detection
Upon completing her PhD studies, Professor Caroline Dive moved to Aston University’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Birmingham where she established her own group studying mechanisms of drug induced tumour cell death, before moving to The University of Manchester to continue this research. Caroline was awarded a Lister Institute of Preventative Medicine Research Fellowship before joining the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute (CRUK MI) in 2003. Currently, she is Interim Director of the Institute and Director of its Cancer Biomarker Centre, with research spanning tumour biology, preclinical pharmacology, biomarker discovery, biomarker assay validation and clinical qualification to regulatory standards, bioinformatics, biostatistics and most recently, digital clinical trials.
Caroline was awarded the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier International Prize in 2012 for her Biomarker Research, the AstraZeneca Prize for Women in Pharmacology in 2016 and was presented with the 2019 Heine H. Hansen Lectureship Award by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2015), Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (2012) and Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (2011). In 2017, Caroline was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to cancer research. Most recently, she became an elected member of EMBO (2020), received the first inaugural Johann Anton Merck Award in recognition for exceptional contributions to the field of preclinical oncology (2020), and was the recipient of the Mary J. Matthews Pathology/Translational Distinguished Service Award by IASLC (2021). Caroline was the President of the European Association for Cancer Research (2020 – 2022).
nanotechnology-based multidimensional harvesting of the blood-circulating cancerome
Over the past decade, the development of ‘simple’ blood tests that enable cancer screening, diagnosis, or monitoring and facilitate the design of personalized therapies without the need for invasive tumour biopsy sampling has been a core ambition in cancer research. Data emerging from ongoing biomarker development efforts indicate that multiple markers, used individually or as part of a multimodal panel, are required to enhance the sensitivity and specificity of assays for early- stage cancer detection. The discovery of cancer- associated molecular alterations that are reflected in blood at multiple dimensions (genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome) and integration of the resultant multi- omics data have the potential to uncover novel biomarkers as well as to further elucidate the underlying molecular pathways. This talk will discuss the development and utilization of nanotechnology tools for the enrichment and subsequent omics analysis of the blood-circulating cancerome.
Marilena Hadjidemetriou obtained her BSc in Pharmacy at the University of Athens, Greece in 2012. For her final year dissertation she conducted research on the ‘Preparation, physicochemical characterization and study of self-assembly of liposomes incorporating active molecules’. In 2013 she completed with Distinction the MSc in Drug Delivery at the UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London. Her research project focused on the use of peptide nanofibres for the delivery of siRNA. Marilena joined the Nanomedicine Lab at the University of Manchester as a Marie Curie Early Stage Fellow and full-time PhD student under the PATHCHOOSER Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN on the development of the nanoparticle protein corona as a tool for cancer diagnostics. After her PhD, Marilena obtained a postdoctoral fellowship by a Medical Research Council (MRC) Momentum Award to work on the discovery of novel biomarkers in Alzheimers disease. During that time, she was awarded a Manchester Molecular Pathology Innovation Centre (MMPathIC) Pump Priming Grant and the CRUK Pioneer Award to work on the nanoparticle-enabled discovery of blood biomarkers for a variety of pathologies. In December 2018, became Research Fellow and Team Leader in Nano-Omics and in January 2020 was appointed as Lecturer in NanoOmics. Her team aims to develop multi-omics enrichment nanotechnology platforms to explore disease pathways and to uncover molecular biomarkers.
Paul Spellman, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics in the OHSU School of Medicine and co-leader of the Quantitative Oncology Program in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. He uses genetic and genomic approaches to understand the processes by which cancer develops, monitor disease, and to identify therapeutic strategies. He focuses on using population genetics to help determine who is at risk for cancer, how to computationally analyze genomic data to identify early changes in cancers, and how to accurately screen different populations for the disease. He also works to inform the public about the ways that genetics shape cancer risk. Spellman received his Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University.
Current approaches in early detection – where are we now
Utkan Demirci is a tenured professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University and serves as the Interim Division Chief and Director of the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection in the Department of Radiology. Prior to Stanford, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and a faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology division.
Professor Demirci received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering in 2005 and holds M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Management Science and Engineering. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, 24 book chapters, 7 edited books, and several hundred abstracts and proceedings, as well as having over 25 patents and disclosures pending or granted. He has mentored and trained hundreds of successful scientists, entrepreneurs, and academicians and fostered research and industry collaborations around the world. Dr. Demirci has been humbled by such honors as the NSF CAREER Award, and IEEE EMBS Early Career Award. He is currently a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and Distinguished Investigator of the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research and serves as an editorial board member for a number of peer-reviewed journals.
The Demirci Lab group focuses on developing innovative extracellular vesicle isolation tools, point-of-care technologies, and creating microfluidic platforms for early cancer detection with broad applications to multiple diseases including infertility and HIV. Dr. Demirci’s lab has collaborated with over 50 research groups and industry partners around the world. His seminal work in microfluidics has led to the development of innovative FDA-approved platform technologies in medicine and many of his inventions have been industry-licensed. He holds several FDA-approved and CE-marked technologies that have been widely used by fertility clinics with assisted reproductive technologies leading to thousands of live births globally and in the US.
Dr. Demirci is a serial academic entrepreneur and the co-founder of DxNow, Zymot, Levitas Bio, Mercury Bio, and Koek Biotech and serves as an advisor to multiple early-stage companies.
Dr. Nitzan Rosenfeld is a leader and pioneer of the field of cancer liquid biopsies. He trained in Physics and Systems Biology before leading a Computational Biology team in a biotech company. His research group at the CRUK-Cambridge Institute develops methods and proof-of-concept applications of liquid biopsies for cancer precision medicine. Their work was recognised by multiple academic awards. In 2014 he co-founded Inivata, a cancer genomics company unlocking liquid biopsies to transform the care of cancer patients.
Ruth Etzioni is a biostatistician whose research centers on addressing evidence gaps that inevitably arise in medical decision making and health policy development. She is a full member of biostatistics at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle and affiliate faculty in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington. Her population models of cancer progression and survival have been used to project long-term harms and benefits of prostate cancer screening, reconcile apparently conflicting clinical studies, and demonstrate that most published estimates of overdiagnosis in breast and prostate cancer screening cannot be trusted. Her current research focuses on risk stratification as a path to making early detection sustainable as an approach to a cancer control. She is a member of three national panels on early detection in cancer, a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the chair of its Health Policy Statistics Section. Ruth Etzioni earned her Ph.D. in statistics from Carnegie-Mellon University.
Compare/contrast early cancer detection career opportunities in the US and UK
Vik Bajaj is a managing director at Foresite, evaluating and pursuing investments at the intersection of technology and life sciences, including in personalized and precision healthcare. Prior to joining Foresite Capital, Vik was the chief scientific officer of GRAIL, a life sciences company working to detect cancer early when it can be cured, and remains on its Scientific Advisory Board. He is also the co-founder and former chief scientific officer of Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) and served as chair of its Scientific Advisory Board. A former academic principal investigator, Vik retains appointments as associate professor (consulting) at the Stanford School of Medicine, and as an affiliate scientist of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, for which he serves on the advisory board of the College of Chemistry. He is an advisor to the Department of Defense through the Defense Science Board’s Task Force on Biology. He holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Vik’s scientific and engineering awards include the Anatole Abragam Prize (2012), the R&D 100 Award for the most promising commercialized technologies (2011 and 2013), and the Department of Energy’s LBL Innovation Grant (2013). In 2011, he was named as a Visiting Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Jafi Lipson is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Radiology, Breast Imaging Division. As a clinician, translational scientist and biotechnology professional, Dr. Lipson works in both academia and industry at the intersection of data science, healthcare, and clinical trials.
After graduating from Harvard College in 1995 with an A.B. in the History of Science, she completed medical school and diagnostic radiology residency at the University of California San Francisco, and a breast imaging fellowship at Stanford. In 2010, she joined the Stanford faculty as an Assistant Professor of Radiology, dividing her time between clinical breast imaging, teaching, and research focused on informatics applications in breast imaging, and imaging biomarkers of breast cancer risk, burden and treatment response.
In 2017, after 7 years in academic medicine, eager to broaden her experience and make a global impact on cancer through early detection, Dr. Lipson joined GRAIL, Inc. as a Medical Director, to lead population-scale clinical studies to develop and validate the Galleri Test, a cfNA-based multi-cancer early detection blood test. In 2020, leveraging her clinical expertise in radiology and industry experience in molecular diagnostic product development, she joined Genentech/Roche as a Senior Medical Director to lead a team focused on the strategic application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to longitudinal radiologic imaging data. Since 2021, Dr. Lipson has been Head of Imaging at a stealth start-up developing a platform to support oncology clinical trials at the point of care.
Phil Crosbie is a Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at the University of Manchester. His main clinical and research interest is lung cancer with a specific focus on early detection and screening. He is a member of the UK's national Targeted Lung Health Checks Expert Advisory Group. He is also Early Detection co-lead for Cancer Research UK’s Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, co-chief investigator of the Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial and research lead for the Manchester Lung Health Check Programme.
Cyriac Roeding is a Silicon Valley-based German-American entrepreneur and angel investor. He serves as the Co-founder and CEO of Earli, an early cancer detection and treatment firm based in South San Francisco. Earli is based on Synthetic Biopsy technology from Stanford, and is funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Casdin Capital, Sands Capital, Menlo Ventures, ZhenFund (China) and Marc Benioff. Cyriac is also a Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Rewind Co, a diabetes type 2 reversal company. Through his venture initiative Roeding Ventures, he is invested in 20 startups in Silicon Valley, China, India and Europe, and in some of the world’s leading venture capital funds, including Founders Fund, Greylock, Bond, Andreessen Horowitz, DST, Kleiner Perkins, ZhenFund, IVP, Breakthrough Ventures, SV Angel. Roeding is the co-founder and former CEO of Silicon Valley-based shopkick, initially backed by Reid Hoffman/Greylock and Kleiner Perkins with its Apple iFund, which reached 20M users and drives $1B in sales for its partners annually. The company was acquired in 2014 by South Korean SK Telecom/SK Planet (Fortune 100) for $250 M. Shopkick was ranked one of America’s 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies by Inc. Magazine, and one of the world’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail by Fast Company. Shopkick’s partners include Best Buy, TJMaxx, Home Goods, P&G, Kraft, Unilever, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Nestle, Revlon, L’Oreal, HP, Ford, Visa and MasterCard. Prior to shopkick, Cyriac spent a year at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the investors behind Google and Amazon.com, as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. At CBS, the largest U.S. television network, Cyriac built their mobile division as EVP of CBS Mobile, across entertainment, sports and news. In 1999, Cyriac co-founded mobile marketing firm 12snap in five countries in Europe, with Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, L’Oreal, adidas and MTV as partners. Prior at McKinsey & Company, he worked with global media and software players in Europe and Silicon Valley. Cyriac received the first Cannes Lion Awards for mobile in 2003/4. In 2007/8, Cyriac received the first Emmy Award nominations for mobile. He is the co-author of the Harvard Business School Press Book Secrets of Software Success. Fortune named him a 40 Under 40 Mobilizer.
Cyriac has two little sons and a daughter and is married to American TV and online producer Angel Roeding.
Dr. Wei Liang obtained his bachelor degree in biology from Peking University, and PhD degree in biostatistics from USC. In the last 10 years, he devoted his time to designing novel clinical trials and analyzing clinical trial data, across a wide range of companies in medical devices, rare disease drug, targeted therapy, immuno-oncology therapy and early cancer detection technology. For most part of the last 10 years he was working in the west coast US, but in 2021 he moved to London to take the opportunity of working on one of the largest clinical trials in cancer screening and early detection (NHS-Galleri trail), sponsored by GRAIL and partnered with NHS England. He would like to share his experience and discuss the similarities and differences of the early cancer detection careers between the US and UK.
Day 2: August 31
8am - 11:00am PST
Clinical/molecular imaging modalities basics for cancer screening
Dr. Edward “Ted” Graves is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and, by courtesy, Radiology at Stanford University. He trained in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco before performing a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital. Joining Stanford in 2003, he has built a research program focused on the development and application of novel molecular imaging methods to study tumor and normal tissue radiation biology and to improve clinical radiotherapy. He works within the Divisions of Medical Physics and Radiation and Cancer Biology and also collaborates extensively with the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford. Dr. Graves also serves as the first program director of the newly created Biomedical Physics PhD program sponsored by the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Radiology. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense.
Dr. Kanyi Pu is an Associate Professor in School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CCEB) and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University. He is a Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) Investigator, a highly cited researcher listed by Clarivate Analytics, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), and the associate editor for ACS Applied Polymer Materials and Biomaterials Research. He did his MS (2007) at Fudan University in China, and his PhD (2011) at National University of Singapore in Singapore. He moved to Stanford University School of Medicine for his postdoctoral study in 2011. With a h-index of 98, he has won several awards for his creative work, including 2020 Biomaterials Science Lectureship Award, 2019 distinguished lectureship award from the Chemistry Society of Japan, 2018 Wiley award for contribution in bioscience, 2017 young innovator award in nanobiotechnology by Nano Research, and young investigator travel award by WMIC. He is the member of board of directors of Chinese American Society of Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology (CASNN). He also sits on the editorial advisory board of many top journals such as Advanced Functional Materials, Biomaterials, Small, Bioconjugate Chemistry, ACS Applied Bio Materials, Journal of Nanobiotechnology, ChemNanoMat, Translational Oncology, View and Analysis & Sensing etc.
Shonit Punwani is Professor of Magnetic Resonance and Cancer Imaging and Consultant Radiologist at UCLH. His medical training, undertaken at UCL, was supplemented with a PhD in MRI Physics. He completed post-graduate training in Medicine at Northwick Park, before training as a radiologist at UCLH. He was awarded a Walport NIHR Clinical Lectureship, before being appointed as a Senior Lecturer at UCL and Consultant Radiologist at UCLH.
He leads the 3T MRI research facilities that provide the infrastructure for imaging trials at UCLH. He is the research and development lead for radiology at UCLH, responsible for the provision of imaging services for clinical trials at UCLH. He is chair of the National Cancer Imaging Translational Accelerator (a multi-institutional collaboration dedicated to the support of clinical trials involving new/novel imaging methods).
He has a specialist clinical and research interest in the application and development of local and whole-body quantitative and functional MRI methods for imaging prostate cancer.
Recent advances in clinical/molecular imaging
Heike Elisabeth Daldrup-Link, MD, PhD, is a tenured Professor of Radiology, Director of the Pediatric Molecular Imaging Program, Co-Director of the Cancer Imaging Program and Associate Chair for Diversity in the Department of Radiology at Stanford University. Dr. Daldrup-Link is a Pediatric Radiologist with sub-specialization in cancer imaging. Her research program focuses on the development of novel imaging techniques for the detection and treatment monitoring of cancer in children. As a physician-scientist, she uncovered basic science principles in a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded basic science lab and brought the most promising medical imaging innovations to her patients' bedside. Dr. Daldrup-Link has published over 170 peer-reviewed research articles, 20 book chapters and editorials, six textbooks, and six patents, pending or granted. Dr. Daldrup-Link is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI, honor society for clinician-scientists), fellow-elect of the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) and fellow-elect of the the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
Dr. Daldrup-Link significantly contributed to the diversification of the biomedical sciences through her tireless advocacy, mentorship and support of women and underrepresented minorities in the STEM field. She is widely known for her powerful reflections and opinion pieces on women in STEM (e.g. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11307-017-1124-4, Altmetric 90th percentile of 278,392 tracked articles of similar age in all journals). Among her many activities as Associate Chair for Diversity in the Radiology Department at Stanford University, she provides training on cultural competence, she mentors and sponsors racial/ethic minorities and she identifies diverse candidates for career opportunities. She publishes a diversity newsletter, which educates interested readers on important topics related to diversity in the field of biomedical imaging (http://raddiversity.stanford.edu/news/). In 2020, she was awarded the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award from the Stanford Biosciences Program. On a national level, Dr. Daldrup-Link is member of the diversity initiatives of the Society for Pediatric Radiology and the World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS), she advances diversity in STEM through her LinkedIn discussion platform with more than 2,000 members and she organizes an annual conference on diversity in the biomedical sciences (https://www.wmislive.org/) with more than 1,000 participants from 30 Universities. She significantly influenced the career of her many underrepresented minority mentees at Stanford and many other Universities around the world, who are leading scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs in North America and around the world today.
Jeremy Dahl, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Stanford University, School of Medicine. His research focuses on diagnostic ultrasound technology, exploring novel beamforming technology to enhance imaging. Recently, he has been developing a novel ultrasound molecular imaging that enables high-sensitivity, high-specificity imaging of breast and kidney cancer through the use of B7-H3 targeted microbubbles combined with real-time non-destructive contrast-enhanced imaging techniques.
Sarah Bohndiek completed her PhD in Radiation Physics at University College London in 2008 and then worked in both the UK (at Cambridge) and the USA (at Stanford) as a postdoctoral fellow in molecular imaging. Sarah joined the University of Cambridge in 2013, where she is jointly appointed as a Professor of Biomedical Physics in the Department of Physics and at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.
The broad mission of Sarah’s interdisciplinary team, the VISIONLab, is to advance our understanding of tumour evolution using next-generation imaging sciences. They are particularly interested in the study of blood vessel formation in early cancer. The VISIONLab are also active in translating their findings into first-in-human clinical trials. Sarah was recently awarded the CRUK Future Leaders in Cancer Research Prize and SPIE Early Career Achievement Award in recognition of her interdisciplinary research innovation.
In addition to her research programme, Sarah also takes an active role in teaching and mentoring the next generation of scientists. She has acted as an ambassador for public engagement and interdisciplinary research training throughout her career and acknowledging her generosity in this regard, Sarah has received the MSCA Award for Nurturing Research Talent and been invited to deliver numerous talks on career development at both national and international workshops.
Patient and public engagement
A breast cancer survivor since 2000, Vivian Lee applies her personal experience as a patient and professional experience as a life science industry consultant to her cancer advocacy work. Vivian collaborates with research investigators at academic institutions across the US and abroad to provide patient perspective in shaping grant applications to, and research projects funded by, US Department of Defense (DoD), California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP), Susan G. Komen, Sidney Kimmel Foundation, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)’s Conquer Cancer Foundation and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She is an Advocate Advisor to the University of California’s Athena Breast Health Network, providing patient input for its WISDOM Study on personalized breast cancer screening, for which Athena has been awarded a $14 million Pragmatic Clinical Studies grant by PCORI. Vivian has served as a Consumer Reviewer for the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program, and as a Peer Reviewer for Komen grants on the national and local levels. She has served as an Advocate Observer on the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) Community Impact Review Panel. Vivian serves on the Volunteer Leadership Council of the American Cancer Society’s California Chinese Unit and is a member of Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS), mentoring newly diagnosed patients. Vivian is a member of Komen’s Advocates In Science program and a graduate Research Advocacy Network’s Focus on Science scholar program, as well as National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD Institute, where she subsequently served as mentor, and has participated in its Advanced LEAD programs and Artemis Project.
Susie Brain’s involvement as a patient advocate is derived from her personal experience as a breast cancer patient. She has worked with both local and national advocacy organizations and serves on several research committees including risk-reduction/prevention, quality of life, and survivorship committees. She is an experienced and well-trained research advocate and a graduate of multiple cancer science and advocacy training programs, including the AACR Scientist↔Survivor Program and Research Advocate Network’s Advocate Institute. In addition, she has completed the National Breast Cancer Coalition cancer science training programs: “Project LEAD Institute”, “Clinical Trials Project LEAD” and “Quality Care Project LEAD”. She has served as a Stakeholder Reviewer for the American Cancer Society, a Consumer Grant Reviewer for the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program, and as a Komen “Advocate in Science” grant reviewer.
Susie has been a member of the UCSF Breast Science Advocacy Core since 2009 and is active on the Quality of Life/PRO Working Group for the I-SPY 2 Clinical Trial. She is a Patient Advisor for BreastCancerTrials.org and also serves on the Consumer and Community Advisory Committee of the ATHENA Breast Health Network and The WISDOM Study.
At the Stanford Cancer Institute Susie is a patient advocate on the Scientific Review Committee and the Community Advisory Board. She has participated in breast cancer-related observational trials and strongly supports clinical trials that represent the diverse communities of the United States. She provides direct support to breast cancer patients as a Helpline Volunteer with Living Beyond Breast Cancer and as a volunteer with the UCSF Cancer Center’s Peer Support Program. These experiences allow her to advocate for improved patient care and outcomes and to share important patient perspectives and quality of life concerns with scientists.
Susie received a B.Sc. in Biology and a post-graduate teaching credential from the University of Wales, Swansea, Great Britain.
As an active and highly trained volunteer research, patient and policy breast cancer advocate, Diane Heditsian combines her experience as a four time breast cancer survivor, her interest in science, and her expertise as a communications professional with her passion to improve healthcare, especially for those facing breast cancer.
She holds leadership roles in both local and national advocacy organizations and is a sought after speaker on healthcare topics for audiences ranging from physicians and researchers to advocates and patients to legislators, regulators and payers.
Since 2009 Diane has served as a research advocate at the University of California, San Francisco, Breast Oncology Program and at Stanford Health, helping researchers move advances in breast cancer imaging and diagnosis, treatment and prevention to the clinic. She currently serves as a research advocate for two nationwide clinical trials.
For twenty years she has served as a peer counselor for patients at all parts of their cancer experience, helping to support, educate and empower women across the country to advocate for their own healthcare.
Diane serves on the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship’s Cancer Policy and Advocacy Steering Committee, helping to guide the organization’s efforts to advance the survivor agenda. She is secretary of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Healthcare Association of the Bay Area.
Professionally, Diane is founder and CEO of deClarity, a 40-year global communications consultancy serving the life sciences.
Bella Starling is Director of Vocal www.vocal.org which creates opportunities for people to find out about, and have a voice in, health research in Greater Manchester. She is a Clinical Chair in Inclusive Research for the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre; the Public and Patient Involvement and Engagement lead for the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and Clinical Research Facilities, and a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow. Her career has spanned neuroscience, stem cell and genetic research, science writing, biomedical ethics, public engagement, patient involvement and science policy, both as a practitioner and strategic adviser. She is passionate about inclusion in, and democratisation of, research; her Fellowship explored how public engagement with research can act as a catalyst for social and scientific change.
As a Patient Advocate of Inspire2Live Peter Kapitein connects patients, researchers and clinicians to further research, treatments and care; in the Netherlands as well as international. He organizes congresses, lobbies the matrix of public authorities, health care organizations, insurance companies and health research institutes. Peter also gives lectures and talks to help patients and society to fight cancer where possible. He writes blogs, articles and books that contribute to these topics. Peter has studied the Medical Industrial Complex, the complex in which the stakeholders in healthcare work together in a way that does not necessarily benefit the patient. Health care is (without bad intention) distracted from its essence: the patient.
Peter is married to Marjolijn and has 2 sons: Milo and Jaron. He is one of the founders of Alpe d’HuZes, the foundation that is most famous for the annual cycling event on Mount Alpe d’Huez and that raised over 150 million euro for the fight against cancer. He works at the Central Bank of the Netherlands as a program manager and advisor for complex and politically difficult problems. His employer facilitates him in his job as a patient advocate. His job enables Peter to be genuinely independent and to work tirelessly for the interests of all patients globally. Peter was honoured with a doctorate in October 2012 at the Free University in Amsterdam for connecting patients, researchers and clinicians all over the world.
Day 3: September 1
8am - 11:30am PST
Stories of translation – from bench to bedside
Billy Boyle is an engineering graduate from the University of Cambridge. He is one of the original co-founders of Owlstone Inc, spun out of Cambridge in 2004 with the goal of developing the applications of field asymmetric ion mobility spectroscopy (FAIMS).
Billy started to focus on the medical applications of FAIMS technology after his wife, Kate, was diagnosed and later died of colon cancer as a result of a late diagnosis. He worked closely with clinical partners who integrated FAIMS technology across a broad spectrum of research studies.
Positive results helped to spin-out, and secure initial funding for, Owlstone Medical. With ongoing clinical and commercial success, Billy led this process and became the founding CEO upon the close of a $7M investment in March 2016. The mission of Owlstone Medical is to save 100,000 lives and $1.5B in healthcare costs. As of 2021, the company has secured over $150M of investment.
Owlstone Medical has developed Breath Biopsy with the goal of creating non-invasive breath tests to support early detection and precision medicine of diseases including cancer, asthma, COPD and liver disease. The company works with leading academic institutions and industry leaders such as Astra Zeneca, J&J and GSK.
Rebecca Fitzgerald MACantab. MD FMedSci EMBO is Professor of Cancer Prevention and Director of the Early Detection Institute at the University of Cambridge. She leads the Cambridge Early Detection Programme of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre which is part of the International Alliance in Early Detection (ACED) and practices medicine as Hon. Consultant in Gastroenterology and Cancer Medicine at Addenbrooke's Hospital. The focus of her own research group is to investigate the steps in malignant transformation in the oesophagus and stomach and to use this information to improve clinical early detection strategies. Her work to develop and implement the Cytosponge and related biomarker assays for detection of Barrett's oesophagus and associated dysplasia has been awarded a number of prizes including the Westminster Medal, the BMJ Gastro team of the year, an NHS Innovation prize, the CRUK Jane Wardle Early Detection Prize and the Don Listwin Early Detection Prize. In 2013, she was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in 2021 elected a Member of EMBO. Rebecca has contributed to evidence reviews and policy work around screening including for the Department of Health in the UK and recently for the European Commission. Rebecca is committed to teaching and is a Fellow of Medical Sciences at Trinity College Cambridge.
Dr. Wang is the Leland T. Edwards Professor in the School of Engineering, Stanford University. He is a Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and jointly a Professor of Electrical Engineering, and by courtesy, a Professor of Radiology (Stanford School of Medicine). He directs the Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology and is a leading expert in biosensors, information storage and spintronics. His research and inventions span across a variety of areas including magnetic biochips, in vitro diagnostics, cancer biomarkers, magnetic nanoparticles, magnetic sensors, magnetoresistive random access memory, and magnetic integrated inductors. He has over 320 publications and holds 70 issued or pending patents in these and interdisciplinary areas. He was named an inaugural Fred Terman Fellow and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a Fellow of American Physical Society (APS), and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his seminal contributions to magnetic materials and nanosensors. His team won the Grand Challenge Exploration Award from Gates Foundation (2010), the XCHALLENGE Distinguished Award (2014), and the Bold Epic Innovator Award from the XPRIZE Foundation (2017).
Dr. Wang cofounded five high-tech startups in Silicon Valley, including MagArray, Inc., Nvigen, Inc., and Flux Biosciences, Inc. Nvigen has produced high performance magnetic nanoparticle kits for extracting cell free DNA and rare cells from blood samples. In 2018 MagArray launched a first of its kind lung cancer early diagnostic assay based on protein cancer biomarkers and support vector machine (SVM), which is now covered by Medicare. In 2019, Flux Biosciences launched a human trial to offer at-home testing of fertility based on hormones and magneto-nanosensors. Through his participation in the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (as co-PI of the CCNE) and the Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP), he is actively engaged in the transformative research of healthcare and is developing emerging memories for energy efficient computing.
Dr. Wang obtained his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993, MS in Physics from Iowa State University in 1988, and BS in Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1986.
Leveraging AI and integrated diagnostics
Dr. Olivier Gevaert is an associate professor at Stanford University focusing on developing machine-learning methods for biomedical decision support from multi-scale data. He is an electrical engineer by training with additional training in artificial intelligence, and a PhD in bioinformatics at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He continued his work as a postdoc in radiology at Stanford and then established his lab in the department of medicine in biomedical informatics. The Gevaert lab focuses on multi-scale biomedical data fusion primarily in oncology and neuroscience. The lab develops machine learning methods including Bayesian, kernel methods, regularized regression and deep learning to integrate molecular data or omics. The lab also investigates linking omics data with cellular and tissue data in the context of computational pathology, imaging genomics & radiogenomics.
Yipeng Hu is an associate professor with the UCL Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering. His research is also affiliated with the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC) and the Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional & Surgical Sciences (WEISS). He also holds a visiting fellowship in the Department of Engineering Science at University of Oxford. He previously received his PhD and MSc degrees from UCL (2013, 2007) and a BEng degree from Sichuan University (2005). His research area is computer assisted navigation, diagnosis and intervention, with a current interest in translating modern machine learning methods in medical image analysis and image-guided medical procedures.
Creating an early detection startup – insights from founders
Dr. Ryan Spitler is the Deputy Director of the Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center (PHIND), Deputy Director of the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection, and the Program Manager for the International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) at Stanford University. He completed his Post Doctorial Research Fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, conducting research in the field of Magnetogenetics for remote-controlled cellular reprogramming and developed smart MRI diagnostics tools for oncology. Additionally, Dr. Spitler has served as teaching faculty for the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign and completed executive training programs at Stanford school of business and Biodesign. He has developed a number of new approaches working across several scientific areas ranging from medical devices to gene therapies. Prior to his position at Stanford, Dr. Spitler received his Ph.D. in Cellular and Developmental Biology at the Beckman Laser Institute at the University of California, Irvine. His research at the Beckman Laser Institute included developing and characterizing new nitric oxide-based drugs, as well as laser, and LED-based multimodal wound healing therapies. Dr. Spitler earned his B.S. in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he worked in the areas of structural biology and biochemistry. Over the past two decades he has held a number of academic and industrial positions and has served as an investor, co-founder, board member and/or advisor for a number of Bay Area companies. Dr. Spitler is the recipient of the Top 25 Voices in Precision Medicine award from BIS research, Stanford Radiological Sciences Laboratory Innovation Challenge Award, the Stanford Cancer Imaging Fellowship Training Award, the Biophotas Research Fellowship, and the Stanford Center for Biomedical Imaging Achievement Award. He has numerous scientific articles and books across many different disciplines.
Sadik Esener, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) center and Wendt Family Endowed Chair at the Biomedical Engineering Department at OHSU. Prior to joining OHSU, Esener served in several leadership roles at the University of California, San Diego, in which he achieved results by bringing together scientists and technology across disciplines. He served as the director and principal investigator of the NanoTumor Center, a Nanotechnology Center of Excellence funded by the National Cancer Institute. He has also served as the director of the Center for Heterogeneously Integrated Photonics Systems (CHIPS) as well as the Opto-Electronic Stacked Processors (OESP) and the Fast Read-out Optical Data Storage Industrial Consortium, which were funded by DARPA. His research focus has involved projects in multiple scientific fields relevant to bioengineering, including electrical and optical engineering, nano-engineering and material sciences for biomedical applications.
Specifically, Professor Esener has been a pioneer in developing important capabilities to detect, manipulate and deliver biological components for both in vitro and in vivo applications. He has successfully applied forces generated by electrical, optical, and ultrasound means to detect, separate, sort, and position micron and nanoscale components including biological ones. His work has led to the demonstration of various types of biochips for in vitro diagnostics. He has successfully transferred these techniques developed in his laboratory to several successful start-ups including Nanogen (NGEN: Nasdaq) and Genoptix (GXDX:Nasdaq).
More recently he has developed various techniques to fabricate smart nanoscale delivery vehicles for in vivo applications. These vehicles can be activated on desired location by ultrasound to deliver their therapeutic payloads. They can be propelled at high speed like bullets; or they can be injected to disease areas to deplete locally nutrients that the disease needs to survive; or they can be made to adsorb toxins like a sponge while in circulation. These techniques have been successfully transferred to several start-ups. Most recently with collaborators he has demonstrated sensitive detection by ultrasound of ROS in deep tissue using surface modified echogenic particles, as well as delivery of payloads such as siRNA using silica cloaked virus. Since 2017, Prof. Esener has been hard at work establishing CEDAR as a major center of excellence with the mission to precisely detect and treat lethal cancers early.
AbulKalam M. Shamsuddin, MD, PhD is a Founder and Vice-President for Research at Early Detection, Inc. (www.cancer.us) and President of IP-6 Research, Inc. (www.ip-6.net). He was a Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, till June 2020.
Prof Shamsuddin graduated from Dhaka Medical College, University of Dhaka in 1972. Following Internship in Massachusetts and Residency training in pathology in Maryland, he was certified by the American Board of Pathology in 1977. In 1980, he received Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland for his work on colon carcinogenesis. He joined the faculty of the University of Maryland as an Instructor in 1977 and rose through the ranks of Assistant Professor and Associate Professor with tenure to become a full Professor in 1988.
He had invented a simple test for mass screening of cancers of the colon, breast, lungs, prostate, uterus and pancreas. He also performed pioneering experiments on the anti-cancer property of inositol and inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) - natural constituents of cereals and legumes such as rice, corn, beans etc. to show the efficacy of IP6 and inositol against different cancers in various experimental models. Prof Shamsuddin has written three books on the subject "IP6: Nature's Revolutionary Cancer Fighter" (Kensington Publishing Corporation, New York, 1998); “IP6 + Inositol: Nature’s Medicine for the Millennium” (Amazon.com, 2011); and “Inositol and It’s Phosphates: Basic Science to Practical Applications” (Bentham Science, Sharjah 2015). Aside from these Prof Shamsuddin has contributed numerous book-chapters and published over 200 scientific papers. He is a well sought-after lecturer nationally and internationally.
Marcel Gehrung is co-founder and CEO of Cyted, a company working on digital diagnostic infrastructure to enable the early detection of disease. Marcel holds a PhD in Machine Learning in Healthcare from the University of Cambridge. In 2020, he raised £8.7M for Cyted to develop pipelines of digital and molecular tests for risk stratification to streamline diagnostic and clinical workflows. Cyted is initially focused on the early detection of oesophageal cancer, where the combination of an identifiable at-risk population and excellent therapy options offers a unique opportunity to improve patient outcomes and relieve pressures on healthcare resources.
Dr. Kim Vanderlinden entered medicine after seeing his mother overcome a terminal Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis when he was a teenager. Then several years later, and only months after graduating as a Naturopathic physician (ND), his mother died of lung cancer. It is said that loss can lead to purpose, which it truly did for him, and ultimately led to him becoming one of the founders of Early Detection Inc. (EDI) and its CEO. Their technology can screen for several of our most deadly cancers. Outstanding accuracy, both in terms of sensitivity and specificity, has been demonstrated in more than 20 published clinical trials in 7 countries with more than 10,000 patients.
Dr. Vanderlinden also has degrees in Business and Chinese medicine. He practiced functional medicine for almost two decades in Vancouver BC.
He is also the founder of Hope Science (www.HopeScience.com), which is a supplement company with clinically proven products for pain (Active Again) and also IP6 (inositol hexakisphosphate), which is a vitamin-like product for general health. Dr. Vanderlinden is the author of a book on IP6 called "Too Good To Be True?
Day 4: September 2
8am - 11:00am PST
Efforts in longitudinal cancer monitoring at scale
Jimmy Lin, MD, Ph.D., MHS was the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Oncology at Natera (NASDAQ: NTRA), where he lead the development of new diagnostic technologies for cancer. Dr. Lin is also a 2016 Senior TED Fellow and Founder & President of Rare Genomics Institute, the world's first platform to enable any community to leverage cutting- edge biotechnology to advance understanding of any rare disease. Previously, Dr. Lin led the ClinOmics program in the Genetics Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI). Before this, he led the computational analysis of the first-ever exome sequencing studies of cancer at Johns Hopkins and was a research instructor at Washington University in St. Louis. He has numerous publications in Science, Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, and Nature Biotechnology, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, TIME, and the Huffington Post.
Johannes Reiter is an Assistant Professor at the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford University. For the last year, he has also been leading Natera's Early Cancer Detection Bioinformatics team. His NCI and ACED funded laboratory has been focusing on the evolutionary dynamics of cancer to improve the detection and treatment of tumors. He is a trained computer scientist and obtained a PhD in Computational & Mathematical Biology from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria.
Vali Barsan, MD is an oncologist and bioengineer focused on the clinical development and implementation of novel diagnostics in early cancer detection and personalized medicine approaches. Dr. Barsan obtained his BS in Bioengineering at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and joined Illumina as a process development engineer to optimize next generation sequencing tools. He earned his MD at Baylor College of Medicine where he studied the biology of cancer metastasis through molecular techniques at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Barsan completed residency in Pediatrics at UC San Diego where he was a member of the weekly Molecular Tumor Board at Moores Cancer Center. He then completed fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Stanford University School of Medicine where his research focus spanned biomarkers for Phase 1 CAR T cell therapy, molecular monitoring in leukemia therapy, and clinical CRISPR/Cas safety workflows. Dr. Barsan continues to develop and translate molecular technologies in oncology to implement personalized therapy at commercial scale and reveal mechanisms of effective cancer immunity. Since 2017 as a consultant to SoftBank, Dr. Barsan has led numerous life science investments in life science tools, molecular diagnostics, and next generation medicines including Umoja Biopharma, Neuron23, Arsenal Bio, Guardant, InterVenn, Synthego, Tessera Therapeutics, Vividion, Repertoire Immune Medicines, Lumicks, Leyden Labs, EQRx, and Pacific Biosciences / Omniome.
Debate on what's next and close
Dr. Parag Mallick is an Associate Professor at Stanford University. Originally trained as an engineer and biochemist, his research spans proteomics, computational and experimental systems biology, cancer biology and nanotechnology. Dr. Mallick received his B.S. in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. He then obtained his Ph.D. from UCLA in Chemistry & Biochemistry, where he worked with Dr. David Eisenberg. He completed his post-doctoral studies at The Institute for Systems Biology with Dr. Ruedi Aebersold. Dr. Mallick’s group has been pioneering systems-biology approaches towards understanding disease mechanisms, discovering biomarkers and enabling personalized medicine. Most recently, his group has been developing model-based and physics-based approaches to machine learning that enable learning over domains that span a wide range of time and length scales. Dr. Mallick has over 100 publications and holds patents in the fields of artificial intelligence, proteomics technology, biomarker development, and nanotechnology. Additionally, he is a co-founder of Nautilus Biotechnology and advisor to numerous biotechnology and diagnostics companies.
Jamie Blundell is a UKRI future leaders fellow at the University of Cambridge and a research group leader in the CRUK Early Cancer Detection Programme in Cambridge. He obtained his PhD in theoretical physics at Cambridge before moving to Stanford for 5 years to undertake postdoctoral research with Daniel Fisher and Dmitri Petrov. His lab studies the somatic evolution that occurs in healthy tissues as we age and how this evolution is altered at the earliest stages of cancer. Jamie’s lab develops ultra-sensitive sequencing technologies and applies these to large cohorts of longitudinal blood samples collected before cancer diagnosis. Analyzing these data using quantitative principles from evolutionary theory, his lab aims to develop personalized “forecasts” of future cancer risk and identify those most in need of intervention. The lab also has an active interest in adaptive immune repertoire dynamics in cancer and other diseases.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Ryan Spitler, Stanford Program Manager.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) as well as each member center: Cancer Research UK, the Canary Center at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, University College London and The University of Manchester.