Maude Champagne

Commercial Development, Oncology

Illumina

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Maude Champagne

Commercial Development, Oncology

Maude is a specialist in molecular biology applications in oncology, across technologies and platforms. Her experience includes contributing to the FDA- approval of 5 Companion Diagnostic (CDx) molecular assays, creating the global go- to-market strategy for a dozen of CDx at various stages in regulatory approval. Maude has educated pathologists and oncologists in early adoption of technologies that have changed medicine and cancer treatments in the last decade.

Qian Dong

Bioinformatics

QIAGEN

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Qian Dong

Bioinformatics

Dr. Qian Dong joined QIAGEN in 2015 and has since interacted with and enabled a wide range of researchers across different scientific disciplines using QIAGEN’s bioinformatics analysis software applications and services that provide superior –omics data analysis and biological interpretation. She received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Indiana University Bloomington where her research focused on determining the mechanisms of dormant cyst formation in proteobacteria. Currently, Dr. Qian Dong is a Senior Field Application Scientist at QIAGEN bioinformatics.

James Flynn

Scientific Engagement Manager

Illumina

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James Flynn

Scientific Engagement Manager

The professional concerns of James Flynn, PhD center on making improvements to human health. He directs his experience and education in ways to understand the molecular basis of disease and to develop medicines to cure them. Dr. Flynn has over 25 years of research and development experience in Academic, Biotechnology and Software organizations. His current focus is on experimental and computational aspects of Bioinformatics, Integrative and Systems Biology. He continues to learn and educate others on how to better handle the massive amount of information necessary to understand and make positive impacts on human health.

Jim received his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with Dr. Norbert Reich on “DNA Cytosine C-5 Methyltransferases: Insights Into Epigenetic Control From Enzymological Studies.” His favorite topics continue to be Transcriptional Regulation and Epigenetics as it pertains to Cellular, Developmental and Disease-related Biology.

Jim is one of the first employed at NextBio and joined Illumina by way of the acquisition five years ago. Prior to this, he was a Research Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology. Previous positions include Bioinformatics Application Scientist roles with Spotfire and Molecular Mining Corp in Kingston Ontario.

Leeona Galligan

VP UK Operations

Almac Diagnostics

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Leeona Galligan

VP UK Operations

Dr Galligan (PhD, FRCPath) has worked for over 15 years in the field of translational molecular oncology and holds the post of Head of Laboratory Operations at Almac Diagnostics where she has overall responsibility for all laboratory based technologies and services supporting Almac Diagnostics’ biomarker discovery, development and delivery.

Laurie Howard

Vice President, Policy and Payer Relations

LabCorp

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Laurie Howard

Vice President, Policy and Payer Relations

Laurie Howard is Vice President of Policy and Payer Relations for Laboratory Corporation of America in Burlington, North Carolina. Laurie has over 35 years of experience resolving coverage and reimbursement issues on a national level with Government and Commercial Payers. She is an active reimbursement committee consultant for the American Clinical Laboratory Association, and a current board member for the California Clinical Laboratory Association. Most recently, Laurie has been instrumental in representing the lab industry perspective with CMS relative to PAMA and other reimbursement challenges.

Qing Kang

Senior Scientist in Translational Medicine

Syros Pharmaceuticals

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Qing Kang

Senior Scientist in Translational Medicine

Qing Kang, Ph.D., has been in her current role as a Senior Scientist in Translational Medicine at Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since March 2018. She serves as the science lead for an ongoing Phase 2 trial of SY-1425, its first-in-class oral, selective retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARα) agonist, in genomically defined subsets of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Previously she served as a Scientist at Progenity, Inc. from May 2017 to March 2018, where she was responsible for research and development activities associated with oncology and liver disease biomarker discovery and validation, with a focus of utilizing next generation sequencing based technologies to develop diagnostic tests that influence clinical decisions. Prior to joining Progenity she was a research fellow in Dr. Muneesh Tewari’s laboratory at the University of Michigan from October 2013 to May 2017, where she led a multidisciplinary team to study circulating tumor DNA both in blood and urine as a non-invasive approach to detect and monitor cancer patients (both AML and solid tumors). She is also a group member of Cancer Moonshot Blood Profiling Atlas Program since October 2016. She received a B. E. in Bioengineering from China Pharmaceutical University in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Indiana University Bloomington in 2013.

John Landers

Professor of Neurology

University of Massachusetts Medical School

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John Landers

Professor of Neurology

Dr. Landers has mainly focused on using new and high-throughput technologies for the identification of neurodegenerative disease genes with a particular focus on ALS.  He has developed extensive collaborations with the leaders of ALS genetic research. These collaborations are illustrated through his publications that have led to the identification of several ALS associated genes, including UNC13a and TBK1. His laboratory was a major contributor to the identification FUS gene mutation as a significant percentage of familial ALS.

Through his long-standing interest of novel technologies, his lab is focused on using next-generation sequencing approaches to identify additional genes contributing to ALS. This includes using whole-genome sequencing, RNA-Seq and exome capture/sequencing. This effort has led to the identification of PFN1 mutations in familial ALS.

Alexander Lemenze

Technical Application Scientist

GENEWIZ

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Alexander Lemenze

Technical Application Scientist

Dr. Alexander Lemenze attended the Rochester Institute of Technology for a dual undergraduate degree in Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences before beginning his doctoral work at Rutgers NJMS. There, his thesis was performed in the field of infectious disease (Rickettsia) drug discovery, and he graduated with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences: Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity. Concurrently to his graduate work, Alex worked in the Molecular Resource Facility at Rutgers University, where he focused on both wet and dry lab development for emerging NGS technologies, most notably single-cell RNA-seq. His career continues as a Technical Application Scientist at GENEWIZ, where his passion remains with pursuing cutting-edge technologies, including a special love for single-cell sequencing.

Jim Lund

Director Tumor Product Development

WuXi NextCODE

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Jim Lund

Director Tumor Product Development

Dr. Lund is the Director of Tumor Product Development at WuXi NextCODE and works on applying big data analysis to understanding tumor biology and developing personalized treatments for cancer.  Jim Lund, PhD has over 25 years of experience in genomics and genetics and spent over a decade researching the biology of aging.  Before joining WuXiNextCODE, Jim worked on NGS sequencing applications for ACGT, Inc.

Dr. Lund holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and biochemistry and received his PhD in molecular physiology from the Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Lund did a post doctoral fellowship in developmental biology at Stanford University studying gene expression during aging, and afterward was an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky studying the biological basis of aging.

Cat Lutz

Senior Director, In Vivo Pharmacology

The Jackson Laboratory

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Cat Lutz

Senior Director, In Vivo Pharmacology

Dr. Lutz is Director of the Mouse Repository and the Rare and Orphan Disease Center at The Jackson Laboratory. She has fiscal and managerial oversight of a growing collection of more than 8,500 unique strains, including over 1,700 live colonies for distribution to the scientific community. As part of the Mouse Repository program, Dr. Lutz is the Principal investigator on a number of NIH sponsored resource grants, including the Mutant Mouse Regional and Research Center at JAX, The SMSR grant to support recombinant inbred and Chromosome substitution panels, as well as the NICHD Cytogenetic Resource to support Down Syndrome related strains and research. Dr. Lutz also serves as the Director of In Vivo Pharmacology and Efficacy Testing Program in Bar Harbor, which interfaces with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to pursue novel therapeutics across a variety of therapeutic areas.

A neuroscientist by training, Dr. Lutz conducts research in neurodegenerative diseases, including Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Friedreich’s ataxia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemperal Lobe Dementia (FTD. Her lab works closely with multiple disease foundations and researchers in the development, characterization and validation of mouse models that support their research and drug discovery goals. These organizations include The ALS Association, The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation, Cure SMA, and the Grace Science Foundation.

Max Ma

Director, Medical Affairs

Roche Sequencing Solutions

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Max Ma

Director, Medical Affairs

Dr. Ma joined Roche in 2008 and held a number of positions with increasing responsibility in various business areas. He joined Genentech as an Oncology Biomarker Scientist discovering predictive biomarkers for various targeted therapies. In 2011, he moved to Roche Diagnostics as a team lead in Roche Molecular Diagnostics (RMD) developing oncology IVD assays. Early 2016, he joined Roche Sequencing Solutions (RSS), devoting his effort to building oncology sequencing assays and conducting clinical research after launching AVENIO assays globally. Max holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester, New York, followed by his postdoctoral training in Cancer Biology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Max holds multiple patents on molecular technologies and publishes as a lead author in prestigious journals including EMBO, Nature Reviews and Cell.

John Mudgett

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

JsM BioScience, LLC

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John Mudgett

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Mudgett is a pharmaceutical scientific director and BioPharma consultant with over 30-years’ experience across biopharmaceuticals, technology platform and CRO companies, national laboratories, and academic institutions.  Dr. Mudgett began his BioPharma career at Merck Research Laboratories where he headed a laboratory responsible for establishing new technology platforms and applying them to drug discovery and development. He became a founding member of the Genetically-Engineered Models department, tasked with taking an entrepreneurial approach to partnering with external research organizations to create an inception-to-impact return on investment with external providers in the US and EU arenas.  Dr. Mudgett then became External Lead – Pharmacology, a position with increasing responsibilities responsible for the execution of scientific, business development, managerial, financial, Lean Sigma, and IT delivery for translational BioPharma support of a diverse portfolio of programs in the global CRO arena (EU, US, CH) for Merck Research Laboratories. In 2016 Dr. Mudgett established JsM BioScience, LLC, successfully providing science and business development consultation services to Academic, Biotech/Technology Platform, CRO, and Scientific Conference Planning business.  In late 2018 he merged his BioPharma consulting business to become Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Regional Pharma Consulting, LLC, with offices in Lebanon, NJ.

He currently is Adjunct Professor and Department Advisory Board chair, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, and member College of Science and Health Advisory Board at William Paterson University.  

Dr. Mudgett serves as a Scientific Advisor to the Panel of Scientific Consultants for the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), funded by the NIH Common Fund, as well as Scientific Advisory Board member for PHENOMIN, the French National Infrastructure for Mouse Phenogenomics.

In addition, John is a member of the BioPharma Research Council committee for helping to organize speakers and conference sessions for upcoming events focused on new technologies and their application to drug discovery and development.  

Lastly, John has an established business providing custom wood-crafted products from historic woods to customers throughout the US and Europe (JsM Woodcraft) (www.JMWoodcraft.com

Zonghui Peng

Application Scientist

BGI Americas

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Zonghui Peng

Application Scientist

Zonghui Peng serves as the Application Scientist of BGI Americas, the commercial subsidiary of BGI that provides next generation sequencing and bioinformatics solutions for the scientific community. In the past 8+ years, Zonghui worked with research team initiated and engaged in a number of collaboration and commercial projects with top 20 pharma and biotech on target/ biomarker discovery, clinic assay development, neoantigen prediction, high affinity antibody sequencing & screening and others using multi-omics approach. Zonghui Peng received his M.S. degree from South China University of Technology in 2010.

Laura Reinholdt

Associate Professor

The Jackson Laboratory

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Laura Reinholdt

Associate Professor

Broadly, Dr. Reinholdt’s research interests are in the development and application of genetic approaches for understanding the etiology of genome variation and for understanding the role of genome variation in health and disease.

Dr. Reinholdt’s interests in the role of genetic variation in disease led her to focus her research efforts on an exceptional resource of laboratory mouse strains with proven Mendelian disorders with unknown genetic etiology, strains stewarded by the Mouse Mutant Resource at The Jackson Laboratory for over 50 years. Taking advantage of this resource, her laboratory was one of the first to apply exome sequencing at scale for the discovery of naturally occurring genetic variants (mutations) that cause Mendelian disease in mice. Her laboratory is now focusing on the significant proportion of mutations that escape detection by exome sequencing to further understand the nature of these mutations and to improve computational approaches mutation discovery. Using reverse genetic approaches, Dr. Reinholdt’s laboratory is also working closely with the human genetics community to create new strains of mice carrying human Mendelian disease mutations.

Heritable genetic variation is the result of genome instability during germ cell development, instability that arises through mutation, chromosome rearrangement or chromosome mis-segregation during mitosis or meiosis. Germ cells employ a variety of mechanisms to counteract these destabilizing events and these mechanisms can ultimately result in developmental arrest and cell death. However, these mechanisms are still poorly understood and when they fail, aneuploidy and infertility result. Dr. Reinholdt’s post-doctoral work on the discovery of genes required for normal germ line development and fertility led to the discovery that the germ line is exquisitely sensitive to mutations in components of the mitotic spindle that have the potential to lead to aneuploidy. This sensitivity may also extend to embryonic and adult stem cells. Dr. Reinholdt’s laboratory have gone on to show that the sensitivity of the germ line genome instability differs across inbred strains of mice, offering a unique opportunity to use systems genetics approaches to discover the underlying pathways governing cell division and survival across a variety of cell types.

We are interested in the development and application of both forward and reverse genetic approaches for understanding the etiology of genome variation and it’s role in health and disease.

Samuel Rulli

R&D Scientist

QIAGEN

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Samuel Rulli

R&D Scientist

Samuel Rulli is an R&D Scientist in qPCR applications at QIAGEN and has spent three years in the biotech industry as a qPCR specialist developing, evaluating, and teaching different qPCR technologies and applications. Dr. Rulli received his PhD in 2002 from Tulane University studying the gastric proton pump and did post-doctoral research at Johns Hopkins University and the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD. Trained as a molecular biologist, Dr. Rulli has worked on different assay detection technologies for gene expression and nucleic acid analysis.

Julia Schüler

Research Director

Charles River Discovery Research Services

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Julia Schüler

Research Director

Julia Schüler studied veterinary medicine at the Freie Unversität Berlin (Germany) and at the Tierspital Zürich (Switzerland), where she received her DVM. She then joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Heiner Fiebig, founder of Oncotest GmbH, where she worked on orthotopic implantation of solid cancer PDX in immunocompromized mice. After receiving her PhD from the University of Berlin, Dr. Schüler worked in the field of innate immunology at the Max-Planck Institute for Immunobiology, Freiburg, in the group of Dr. Marinus Lamers and Dr. Thomas Böhm, focusing on Toll-like receptor signaling. She later re-joined Oncotest, holding leadership positions in in vivo contract research as well as R&D.

Jonathan Shaffer

Associate Director, NGS Assay Product Development

QIAGEN

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Jonathan Shaffer

Associate Director, NGS Assay Product Development

Dr. Shaffer joined QIAGEN in 2009 and has since worked with various technology development groups, the most recent being miRNA technologies. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular genetics from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2008 where his research focused on determining the mechanisms that regulate non-receptor tyrosine kinase expression and activity. Dr. Shaffer did his postdoctoral training at SABiosciences Corporation, now part of QIAGEN. Currently, Dr. Shaffer is a Senior Scientist in R&D at QIAGEN.

Shanrong Zhao

Director, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Pfizer

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Shanrong Zhao

Director, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

More than twenty years of experience in bioinformatics with strong interdisciplinary skills in computer science, biostatistics, computational biology and chemistry. Shanrong got his Ph.D from The Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a second M.S in computer science from San Diego State University. He is a recognized pioneer in next generation sequencing, big data analysis, cloud computing and machine learning. In the past five years, he published more than 20 papers in the field of RNA sequencing and was invited to speak at more than 30 national and international meetings. Shanrong has led multiple cross-functional teams to successfully implement pipelines and informatics systems, including QuickRNASeq, QuickIsoSeq, QuickMIRSeq, Rainbow, Stormbow and ImmunoPortal, for large-scale genomic data analysis to support drug discovery.