- 27 April 2017
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 27 April 2017, 1.00 PM
Auditorium, Level 6, Bancroft Building
Precision Oncology between Laplace’s Demon and the Quantum Leap
Associate Professor Fares Al-Ejeh,
Personalised Medicine Team
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Whether you believe the world runs on causal certainty or probabilistic causality, you will always be dealing with probabilities as long as Laplace’s ‘intellect’ (aka demon) never knows everything. Precision Oncology is about giving the right treatment in the right way for the best outcome. Precision Oncology relies on predictions of prognosis and/or response before treatment and monitoring treatment to predict long term survival from cancer. While one cannot reach perfection, the probability of correct predictions in precision oncology should be approaching the 100% to be worthy of the label. This talk will describe two projects in our team. The first project investigates the role of the big mitogen kinase 1 (bmk1)/Erk5 in breast cancer. It seems that not so big splice variants of Erk5 are playing games! In the second project we are studying a gene expression signature in breast cancer as a prognostic and predictive test. Results from the un-blinded phase will be presented and we hope these will be replicated in the next blinded phase.
Fares was awarded his Bachelor of Biotechnology then his Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Wollongong (NSW, Australia). His first post-doctoral position was funded by Oncaidia Ltd. at the Royal Adelaide Hospital/Hanson Institute (SA, Australia) and led to developing Apomab®, an antibody for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Apomab® is currently managed by MedVet (SA, Australia) and anticipating commencement of human trials in 2017. Fares joined QIMR Berghofer (QLD, Australia) in 2010 as senior research officer and established his own group, Personalised Medicine, in 2015. His track record includes four patents in addition to peer-reviewed publications. He has been developing diagnostic approaches and targeted therapies against aggressive cancers including triple negative breast cancer, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and glioblastoma and others.