Seminars

Past Seminars

Precision Medicine Seminar Series

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April 2024 - Sana Syed

Dr. Sana Syed is a physician-scientist specializing in pediatric gastroenterology, as well as an Associate Professor in both the University of Virginia School of Medicine and School of Data Science. The Syed Lab focuses on improving global health and combating childhood undernutrition by using cutting-edge molecular and data science techniques to study intestinal structure and function of inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and environmental enteric dysfunction. Dr. Syed co-founded and directs the multi-disciplinary Gastroenterology Data Science Lab, which develops and applies these novel computational approaches to better understand disease and change clinical paradigms.

Artificial Intelligence in Precision Medicine: Improving the Diagnosis of Pediatric Enteropathies”

March 2024 - Adrian Lee

Dr. Adrian Lee is Director of the Institute for Precision Medicine, a joint effort by UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh to move biomedical research into personalized well-being and clinical care.

Dr Lee has published over 120 peer reviewed research articles. His laboratory is also supported by funding from the Department of Defense, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and other sources. Dr. Lee is on the Scientific Advisory Council for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Dr. Lee serves on numerous national peer-review committees, and is on the Editorial Board’s of several journals.

Implementing precision medicine in a large healthcare system”

March 2024 - Michael Wangler

Dr. Wangler is a physician-scientist and pediatrician at the Texas Children’s Hospital and co-director of the Model Organism Screening Center (MOSC) of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN). His lab studies rare human disease phenotypes in order to gain insight into general principles of human health. Methods include clinical studies in rare disease, genomics and model organism genetics particularly Drosophila melanogaster.

“Model Organism Screening in Undiagnosed Disease”

 

 

February 2024 - Veronica Rodriguez-Bravo

Veronica Rodriguez-Bravo, Ph.D., and her laboratory team investigate mechanisms coordinating genome integrity, stability and function and consequences of dysregulation in cancer. Her team studies how advanced tumors, such as hormone-driven cancers including prostate adenocarcinomas, reprogram themselves to become more aggressive through rewiring of their genome and adaption to high levels of chromosomal defects. The overarching goal of the laboratory is to identify vulnerabilities to attack aggressive tumors.

“Dissecting genome organization and stability dysregulation in metastatic prostate cancer”

November 2023 - Pranesh Chakraborty

Dr. Pranesh Chakraborty is a physician certified by the Royal College in medical biochemistry and pediatrics, with a subspecialty in biochemical genetics. He joined the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in 2003 as a clinician seeing patients with inborn errors of metabolism (IEM). In 2006, he led the transition of Ontario’s newborn screening program to Ottawa, leading to the establishment of Newborn Screening Ontario at CHEO. In 2008, he was instrumental in the founding of the Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN Ontario) at CHEO as a prescribed registry in Ontario. Dr. Chakraborty is a principal investigator for the Canadian Inherited Metabolic Disease Research Network, which recently was awarded a $1.5M CIHR Emerging Teams grant for rare disease research. Throughout his career, he has been involved in clinical and translational research related to IEMs.

“What’s on the horizon for newborn screening?”

October 2023 - Teresa Davoli

Dr. Davoli’s lab focuses on dissecting the causes and consequences of chromosome gains and losses in solid tumors, including oral, colorectal, breast cancer and melanoma. Dr. Davoli proposed for the first time that recurrent chromosome gains and losses in cancer act as driver events (Davoli et al., Cell 2013; Sack, Davoli et al. Cell, 2018). Dr. Davoli recently found that tumors with a high level of aneuploidy tend to be immune cold and to be refractory to immunotherapy (Davoli et al., Science 2017). More recently, through a collaborative effort, her lab found that tumors bearing 9p loss tend to be immune cold and to be refractory to immunotherapy (William et al., PNAS 2021 and Zhao et al., submitted). Her long-term goals are to decipher how aneuploidy can be utilized as a biomarker for therapy response and as a potential target for novel cancer treatments that take advantage of synthetic lethalities associated with the aneuploid state.

“Dissecting the role of aneuploidy in human cancer”

September 2023 - Alison Taylor

Dr. Taylor received her PhD from Harvard University working in the laboratory of Dr. Leonard Zon, studying ribosomal protein mutations in blood development and disease. For her postdoctoral fellowship, she entered the field of cancer genomics in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Meyerson, located at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute. The goal of the Taylor lab is to understand the role of aneuploidy, whole chromosome or chromosome arm imbalance, in the development of cancer. Using functional genomics, genome engineering methods, and analysis of patient genomic data, her lab studies the effects of aneuploidy on signaling and cell fate.

“Functional and computational approaches to uncover selection advantages of cancer aneuploidy”

July 2023 - Daniel Bauer

Bauer is a Principal Investigator and Staff Physician at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. His honors have included the American Society of Clinical Investigation Young Physician-Scientist Award (2014), NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (2016), Society for Pediatric Research’s Young Investigator Award (2017), and Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists Finalist (2018).

Therapeutic gene editing of hematopoietic stem cells for hemoglobinopathies and bone marrow failure disorders”

May 2023 - Luis Carvajal-Carmona

Dr. Luis Carvajal-Carmona is the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Academic Diversity and a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. He holds the Auburn Community Cancer Endowed Chair in Basic Science in the University of California Davis (UCD). He is also the Associate Director for the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEAL) Office, and the Founder Director of the Latinos United for Cancer Health Advancement (LUCHA) Initiative and of the Center for Advancing Cancer Health Equity at the UCD Comprehensive Cancer Center. At the UCD Clinical and Translation Science Center, he co-directs of the Community Engagement Program. Dr. Carvajal-Carmona specializes on cancer genetics, epidemiology, health disparities and global health. He has discovered multiple cancer susceptibility genes and variants and has published over 100 manuscripts in influential journals such as Nature Genetics, Gastroenterology, American Journal of Human Genetics, Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology and PNAS.

“Advancing gastric cancer genomic disparities in Latinos”

April 2023 - Emily Mrig

Dr. Emily Hammad Mrig is an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco Department of Clinical Pharmacy and at the Center for Translational and Policy Research on Precision Medicine (TRANSPERS); she is also an affiliate faculty member at the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Emily completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Yale University School of Public Health. Emily is an interdisciplinary scholar with diverse training and experience in public health, health policy, and social science that she applies to investigate inequities in access to health care, especially in the context of precision medicine, cancer, and end-of-life care. Her research engages qualitative and quantitative approaches that integrate diverse perspectives on key health policy and insurance coverage issues to promote equitable access to health and healthcare. Current projects include investigating barriers to genomic medicine among individuals with hereditary conditions and examining state-based consumer assistance programs.

“Challenges and opportunities to paving the path to broad and equitable implementation and clinical adoption of precision medicine”

March 2023 - Paraic Kenny

Dr. Paraic Kenny is the Director of the Kabara Cancer Research Institute of the Gundersen Medical Foundation, and is a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. The KCRI also houses the CAP-accredited Gundersen Cancer Biobank with more than 15,000 solid tumor specimens.

Precision Oncology Research & Practice at the Gundersen Health System

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February 2023 - Subhajyoti De

Dr. Subhajyoti De is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at Rutgers University. His research group uses systems biology approaches to identify fundamental principles of evolvability of tumor genomes and tumor-microenvironment interactions, and applies that knowledge to advance precision medicine. Dr. De received his PhD from University of Cambridge, UK and did his postdoctoral research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute with Human Frontier Sciences Program fellowship, before starting his own group. Dr. De is also an educator, mentor, and inventor. He is a Fellow of the Rutgers Leadership Academy and an Associate Editor for NAR – Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal from the Oxford University Press.

Multi-dimensional interactions modulate pancreatic tumor microenvironment

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November 2022 - Robin Hayeems

Dr. Hayeems is a Scientist in Child Health Evaluative Sciences (CHES) at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and an Associate Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. Dr. Hayeems is trained in genetic counselling (ScM, Johns Hopkins University), public health and bioethics (PhD, University of Toronto), health policy research (University of Toronto, IHPME Postdoctoral Fellowship) and health services research (University of Toronto, Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship).

Hayeems’ research focuses on the development and implementation of high-quality genomic screening and diagnostic tools for the maternal-child health context. Using applied health services and policy research methods, her work focuses on the delivery, evaluation and governance of genomic screening and diagnostic tools in the prenatal, newborn and early childhood periods. As a member of several provincial advisory committees, her work informs and is informed by policy development in this area.

Genome diagnostics: Novel strategies for measuring value

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October 2022 - Matt Anderson

Matt Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity at Ohio State. His work focuses on the role of microbial eukaryotes to health and disease in humans. More recent investigations have expanded to define the composition of microbial eukaryotes in the human microbiome and their contributions to autoimmunity in partnership with a Lakota nation in South Dakota. He currently serves as the co-director of the Summer internship of INdigenous peoples in Genomics (SING USA) program and as co-director and founder of the Indigidata program.

Empowerment through Indigenous research and data management capacity

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October 2022 - David Bick

David Bick MD is the Principal Clinician for the Newborn Genomes Programme at Genomics England. Prior to his work in England, he was the Chief Medical Officer and a faculty investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Dr. Bick also served as the Medical Director of the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine located on the campus of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the Laboratory Director of the HudsonAlpha Clinical Services Laboratory.

He is a leader in the field of genomic medicine and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and reviews. Dr. Bick’s laboratories at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin were the first in the world to offer whole genome sequencing as a clinical test. He also developed the first Genomic Medicine Clinic in the United States.

Newborn screening by whole genome sequencing – opportunities & challenges

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January 2022 - Akinyemi I. Ojesina

Dr. Ojesina headshotDr. Akinyemi I. Ojesina is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and an Associate Scientist in the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He obtained his medical degree with Distinction in Biochemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, received his PhD from Harvard University and completed his postdoctoral work in cancer genomics and pathogen discovery at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

The work in the Ojesina Oncopathogenomics Lab focuses on investigating tumors as an ecosystem in which microbes (viruses, bacteria, etc) synergize with genomic alterations to facilitate cancer. This research lies at the nexus of translational genomics, metatranscriptomics, integrative molecular epidemiology, precision oncology, virology, tumor microbiome, immunotherapy and global health, with the goal of facilitating the development of diagnostic biomarkers and predictive models for early detection, prevention and treatment of cancer.

Dr. Ojesina is a leading expert in the genomics of infection-related cancers, and was one of the leaders of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Cervical Cancer Analysis Working Group.

Of Bugs and Crabs: Interplay of Microbial Influences and Genomic Alterations in Cancer

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Precision Medicine Interest Group

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March 2024 - Adam Bailey

The goal of the Bailey Laboratory is to make meaningful contributions to the fight against global infectious diseases. This includes using patient data and patient specimens to study the pathogenesis of infectious diseases in humans; developing new animal models to explore the pathophysiology of viral diseases; using animal models to evaluate new therapeutics and vaccines; utilizing in vitro technologies and high-throughput screens to investigate molecular mechanisms governing host-pathogen interactions; and developing new tools for the diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases. Current projects focus on a variety of areas including the mechanistic basis of hemorrhage in viral hemorrhagic fever; host factors governing yellow fever virus tropism and pathogenesis; virus discovery; and characterization of the immune evasion mechanisms of several RNA viruses. Providing a culture of curiosity, creativity, respect, and rigor in which the next generation of scientists can maximize their learning potential is also a critical component of the Bailey Lab’s mission.

“Precision pandemic preparedness: counteracting animal viruses before they emerge”

September 2023 - Peter Lewis

Dr. Peter Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry. His research seeks to define the biochemical mechanisms involved in the establishment and maintenance of silent chromatin, also known as heterochromatin.

The goal of the Lewis lab is to understand the biochemical mechanisms involved in establishing and maintaining silent chromatin, also known as heterochromatin. To maintain cellular identity, it is essential to keep genes specific to certain lineages silent, and failure to do so can lead to developmental defects or promote tumor growth. Their research employs various techniques, including highly purified biochemical assays, proteomic and genomic analyses, and genetic screens, to study these processes.

“Dysregulation of Heterochromatin in Human Cancers”

July 2023 - Zachary Morris

Portrait Zachary Morris

Dr. Morris is an associate professor in the Department of Human Oncology and a physician-scientist with a clinical focus on the treatment of patients with sarcomas and melanoma using radiation therapy. His translational research lab is focused on developing novel approaches to improving the treatment of cancer patients by integrating radiation therapy and immunotherapies to achieve curative outcomes.

“Priming and propagating anti-tumor immunity using radiation therapy”

June 2023 - Pallavi Tiwari

In this talk, Dr. Tiwari will focus on her lab’s recent efforts in developing machine learning techniques to capture insights into the underlying tumor biology as observed across non-invasive imaging, histopathology, and omics data. She will focus on applications of this work for predicting disease outcome, recurrence, progression and response to therapy specifically in the context of brain tumors. She will also discuss current efforts in developing new image-based features for post-treatment evaluation and predicting response to chemo-radiation treatment. Dr. Tiwari will conclude her talk with a discussion of some of the translational aspects of her work from a clinical perspective.

May 2023 - Emery Bresnick

The Bresnick group conducts basic and translational research on genomics/epigenomics and normal and malignant hematopoiesis. They have discovered GATA2 enhancers and mechanisms that are essential for hematopoiesis and embryonic development, and their disruption generates a predisposition to develop myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia. Studies on GATA2, DDX41 and other critical determinants of hematopoiesis have unveiled paradigms to explain hematopoietic stem cell generation, progenitor fate decisions, and erythrocyte development as well as clinical genetic diagnostic strategies.

From Human Genetics to Stem Cell and Blood Cancer Mechanisms and Applications”

April 2023 - Jomol Mathew

After receiving a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and doing a post-doctoral fellowship at the NY University School of Medicine, Dr. Mathew’s research and academic service focus has been on development of technological devices, informatics platforms, data analytics and decision support for improving wellness, disease prevention, early diagnosis, and efficient disease management. She has also led development of phenotype registries with metadata and standard vocabulary from EHR data. Most recently she served as Chief Research Informatics Officer at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Mathew became associate dean for informatics and information technology for the School of Medicine and Public Health in October 2021.

 “The Wisconsin Real World Data Collaborative: A project to integrate RWD and improve access to data for RWE at SMPH”

March 2023 - Stephanie Savage

Dr. Savage is certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. Her clinical practice focuses on care of the acute injured patient, the management of emergent general surgical diseases and providing critical care in the Intensive Care Unit setting. Dr. Savage is nationally recognized and serves on multiple committees for the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the Western Trauma Association, the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma and the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Savage’s research interests focus on massive hemorrhage and the interaction between abnormal clot formation and inflammation following injury. Dr. Savage is also well-published in research surrounding Emergency General Surgery grading systems and management.

“Interplay of Coagulation and Inflammation following Major Injury”

February 2023 - Lixin Rui

Dr. Lixin Rui is a faculty member in the Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care within the Department of Medicine. He is a lecturer and trainer in several University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health basic science courses and graduate programs. A former UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) KL2 scholar, Dr. Rui has an active lymphoma biology research program. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Association for Cancer Research.

Dr. Rui’s research focuses on lymphoma biology, with an emphasis on JAK-STAT signaling in lymphomagenesis. Deregulation of this pathway contributes to pathogenesis of Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Dr. Rui’s research aims to identify JAK and its downstream molecular targets for therapeutic applications to these cancers. His research interests also include investigation of the F-box protein FBXO10, which he has recently characterized as a potential tumor suppressor.

December 2022 - Kaitlyn Kelly

Dr. Kelly’s primary clinical practice includes the treatment of upper gastrointestinal malignancies, including gastric, pancreatic, and hepatobiliary cancers, as well as peritoneal surface malignancy, melanoma, and sarcoma. She is particularly interested in developing minimally invasive techniques for cancer surgery. Dr. Kelly’s primary clinical and research interest is gastric cancer. She is among the highest-volume gastric cancer surgeons in the country with over 10 year of experience, and has pioneered minimally-invasive surgical techniques for gastrectomy with comprehensive lymph node removal. Dr. Kelly also performs some operations with an open technique when necessary, and can perform additional procedures to treat liver cysts, chronic pancreatitis, and gallbladder disease. Dr. Kelly is board-certified in Complex General Surgical Oncology and General Surgery.

November 2022 - Qiongshi Lu

Dr. Lu received his Bachelor’s at Tsinghua University (Mathematics, 2012) and Ph.D. at Yale University (Biostatistics, 2017). He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics at UW-Madison. The Lu Lab develops and employs statistical methods to identify and interpret genetic associations for human complex traits. In particular, areas of expertise in the Lu Lab include genome-wide association study, non-coding genome annotation, genetic correlation estimation, polygenic risk prediction, and gene-environment interaction.

“Optimizing and benchmarking polygenic risk score with GWAS summary data”

September 2022 - Jessica Lang

Jessica obtained her bachelors (Genetics, 2009) and doctorate (Cancer Biology, 2014) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then completed two postdoctoral fellowships at Arizona State University and The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Jessica was awarded an NCI K99/R00 in 2019 to focus her studies on the role of super-enhancers in high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas. She joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty in 2021, where she will leverage her experience in translational biology, genomics, and epigenetics.

The Lang Lab employs genomics technologies and translational models to determine the role of somatic mutation to epigenetic modifiers in the development and therapeutic vulnerabilities of ovarian cancers.

“Therapeutic vulnerabilities in ovarian cancers and implications of platinum treatment”

June 2022 - Mark W. Craven

University of Wisconsin-Madison Biotechnology Center Jan. 16, 2015, in Madison, Wis. (Photo @ Andy Manis)Mark Craven is a professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics at the University of Wisconsin, and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Computer Sciences. The focus of his research program is to develop and apply machine-learning methods to infer models of networks of interactions among genes, proteins, clinical variables, environmental factors, and phenotypes of interest. He leads the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core of the Children’s Respiratory and Environmental Workgroup (CREW), which is the pediatric asthma project in the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcome (ECHO) program. He is also the Director of the NIH/NLM-funded Computation and Informatics in Biology and Medicine (CIBM) Training Program, and a member of the Center for Genomic Science Innovation, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and the Carbone Cancer Center. He currently serves on the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research (NHGRI Council) and as the co-chair of the NHGRI Genomic Data Science Working Group.

A Perspective on Recent Trends in Data Science for Human Genomics

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March 2022 - Jane Churpek

Dr. Jane Churpek is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Palliative Care at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology. In her clinical practice, she cares for adults with low blood counts due to acquired and inherited causes, including clonal hematopoiesis and inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, and performs diagnosis and management of diverse predisposition syndromes such as familial leukemia, Li Fraumeni syndrome, BAP1 syndrome, etc. She runs a translational research program aimed at defining the inherited basis of cancer and bone marrow disorders, especially among understudied tumors and blood disorders. Her goal is to improve diagnosis, early detection, treatment and, ultimately, prevention of morbidity and mortality for patients with these disorders. Dr. Churpek has contributed to the understanding of several novel hereditary blood cancer predisposition syndromes and the role of inherited predisposition in exposure associated cancers such as therapy-related leukemia and mesothelioma.

Inherited Cancer Susceptibility: Windows into Etiology and Biology

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November 2021 - Gaelen Hess

Picture of Dr. Gaelen HessDr. Hess is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry and the Center of Human Genomics and Precision Medicine. Before arriving at UW-Madison, Dr. Hess received his undergraduate degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard University and then his PhD in Biophysics, also from Harvard University while studying with Angela Belcher from MIT. For his thesis work, he established a labeling method for M13 bacteriophage to generate higher-order nano-material scaffolds and led a project to employ high-throughput sequencing for improved peptide phage display.

His interests lie within building new functional genomics tools to dissect the link between genotype and phenotype. Using these tools, he will investigate mechanisms of DNA repair, therapeutic response, and pathogens, which will enhance the treatment and diagnosis of patients.

High-throughput functional genomics for studying fundamental biology and improving human health

October 2021 - Valentina Lo Sardo

Dr. Lo Sardo posing with red "leafy" backgroundDr. Lo Sardo was born and raised in Italy. She graduated from college at the University of Milan, in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. She then continued and earned her PhD in Biotechnology at the University of Milan, working with Dr. Elena Cattaneo in the laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Pharmacology of Neurodegenerative Diseases. During her training, she developed extensive expertise in generating, culturing, differentiating, and manipulating mouse and human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). During her PhD, she focused on rare genetic variants and neurological diseases. In particular, she studied the gene product of Huntington Disease, huntingtin, during early neuronal development. This work described for the first time an unknown function of huntingtin protein in regulating cell adhesion in the developing nervous system. Moreover, these studies elucidated how huntingtin evolved in different species to acquire specific neural functions only in organisms with complex nervous system.

Next, Dr. Lo Sardo moved to US for her postdoctoral studies and joined The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Her work in Dr. Kristin Baldwin’s laboratory focused on understanding genomic variations and cell fate determination. Her postdoctoral research focused on human-specific functional genomics, using reprogramming technology and iPSC differentiation assays. She did seminal work on the functional annotation of cardiovascular disease genetic risk factors. In particular, she studied the function of the 9p21 cardiovascular disease risk locus, the most common and influential genetic risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD), the first cause of death worldwide. By using iPSC-isogenic lines and precision large-scale genome editing, her studies uncovered new gene networks involved in the pathogenesis of CAD, highlighting the major role of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells (VSMCs) as a key cellular type. Dr. Lo Sardo’s contribution to these discoveries was recognized by high-impact first-author publications. Dr. Lo Sardo also implemented public resources in the Stem Cell field by generating a large collection of iPSCs from donors at an advanced age, deposited at WiCell and, as part of training effort of the American Society for Neuroscience, providing protocols used to consolidate and standardize the use of stem cells in neuroscience.

Dr. Lo Sardo joined UW-Madison in September 2020. Her lab combines the use of pluripotent stem cells and functional genomics to understand how common genetic variants among individuals, including those in non-coding portions of the genome, contribute to altering cell physiology, cell state, and fate commitment. Emphasis is posed on understanding non-coding risk factors, cell-type vulnerability, as well as ethnicity-based vulnerability to human diseases. Using multidisciplinary approaches, including pluripotent stem cell differentiation, genome editing, transcriptomics, and imaging, her lab aims to identify new molecular mechanisms triggering cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Deciphering the non-coding genome with iPSCs and genome editing

September 2021 - Wendy Chung

Dr. Wendy Chung with white coat and grey backgroundWendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinical and molecular geneticist and the Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and Director of Clinical Genetics.  She received her B.A. in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in genetics.  Dr. Chung directs NIH funded research programs in human genetics of pulmonary hypertension, autism, birth defects including congenital diaphragmatic hernia and congenital heart disease.  She is a national leader in the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomics.  She leads the Precision Medicine Resource in the Irving Institute At Columbia University.  She has authored over 500 peer reviewed papers and 75 reviews and chapters in medical texts.  She was the recipient of the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam, the NY Academy of Medicine Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Science, the Rare Impact Award from the National Organization of Rare Disorders, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Physicians.  Dr. Chung enjoys the challenges of genetics as a rapidly changing field of medicine and strives to facilitate the integration of genetic medicine into all areas of health care in a medically, scientifically, and ethically sound, accessible, and cost effective manner.

Genomic Medicine: Opportunities and Challenges