Technology Driving Precision Medicine

Co-Located with Molecular Med TRI-CON Asia

May 28-31, 2013
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore


This track covers novel bioinformatics tools and cancer therapeutic research, translational informatics that integrate genomics, transcription, proteomics information, as well as epigenetic factors. Special emphasis is placed on bioinformatics research and biomarker development for Asian population.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Download Brochure 

Thursday, May 30

13:00 Registration


13:40 Chairperson’s Remarks

Melissa J. Fullwood, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Yale-NUS; Special Fellow, Cancer Science Institute, Singapore

13:50 Ultra-Fast Alignment and Variation Detection Software for Cancer Genome Analysis

Mingyu Yang, Ph.D. Candidate for Bioinformatics, BIOPIC, College of Life Sciences, Peking University

14:10 Metabolite Fingerprinting in Response to Drug Treatment for Asian Population

Villoo Morawala-Patell, Ph.D., Founder and CMD, Avesthagen Limited


14:30 Investigating Tumor Heterogeneity Using Next-Gen Tools

Niranjan NagarajanNiranjan Nagarajan, Ph.D., Assistant Director and Senior Research Scientist, Computational and Systems Biology, Genome Institute of Singapore

Tumor heterogeneity is well known to play a role in cancer progression and treatment and recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and single-cell analysis have provided us with the means to study it in exquisite detail. In this talk, I will outline the state-of-the-art in this field with particular emphasis on new computational tools (including the ones developed in our lab) and how they can be used to provide novel insights in the study of tumor evolution and heterogeneity.


14:50 Q&A with Session Speakers

15:00 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

15:40 Cancer from Every Angle: Data Integration of High-Throughput Capture Technologies

Denis BauerDenis C. Bauer, Ph.D., Research Scientist, CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics (CMIS), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia

In order to understand disease states or cancer progression, we need to gain a better insight into the interplay of different regulatory mechanisms in the cell. However, modern high-throughput data generation allows us to only capture a discreet snapshot of cellular regulation, e.g. RNA, DNA, methylation. Our goal is hence to build predictive models from these layers of discrete 'omics data that capture the continuous regulatory interplay to inform medical genomics research. To achieve this, we generated matched genetics, transcriptomics, epigenomics as well as microbiomics data from lean and obese colorectal cancer patients. We employ statistical and machine learning methods that integrate information from the different 'omics data sources at single base resolution to identify regions with functional relevance for cancer development and prognosis.

16:00 3-D Insights into Chromatin and Transcription in Human Cancer Cells

Melissa FullwoodMelissa J. Fullwood, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Yale-NUS; Special Fellow, Cancer Science Institute, Singapore

Many distal transcription factor binding sites have been observed. Chromatin interactions can connect distal transcription factor binding sites with target gene promoters. In this talk, I will introduce Chromatin Interaction Analysis with Paired-End Tag sequencing (ChIA-PET), a next-generation sequencing-based method for identifying chromatin interactions between transcription factor binding sites on a genome-wide scale which was part of the ENCODE consortium. Our results suggest that chromatin interactions may be a major mechanism by which transcription regulation occurs in human cells.

16:30 Understanding of Genomic Variations in Cancer – Germline Variants versus Somatic Mutations

Axel HillmerAxel Hillmer, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics & Stratified Oncology, Genome Institute of Singapore

Inherited and acquired genomic variants contribute to the development of cancer. We use an in-house developed DNA paired-end tag (DNA-PET) sequencing approach as well as conventional whole exome and whole genome sequencing approaches to compare the genomic landscape of cancer and non-cancer samples. In gastric cancer, we discovered three distinct somatic mutational signatures – against a genome-wide backdrop of oxidative and microsatellite instability-related mutational signatures, we identified the first exome-specific mutational signature. In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), we identified an Asia-specific structural germline deletion polymorphism in BIM, a pro-apoptotic member of the BCL2 family of proteins. BIM upregulation is required for tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) to induce apoptosis in kinase-driven cancers. The polymorphism switched BIM splicing from exon 4 to exon 3, encoding for BIM isoforms lacking the pro-apoptotic BCL2-homology domain 3 (BH3). The polymorphism was sufficient to confer intrinsic TKI resistance in CML and EGFR non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, a resistance that could be overcome with BH3-mimetic drugs. Importantly, individuals with CML and EGFR NSCLC harboring the polymorphism experienced significantly inferior TKI responses.

16:50 The Next-Generation Proteomics – Advances, Applications and Challenge

Chanchal KumarChanchal Kumar, Ph.D., Associate Principal Scientist, MSD Translational Medicine Research Centre Singapore

Mass spectrometry(MS)-based proteomics has established itself as a powerful and ubiquitous method for precise and global protein measurements. Radical advances in proteomics in the last decade have opened newer vistas for diverse systems-wide proteomic investigations in biomedical research. Such investigations include comparison of different proteome states and their temporal dynamics, determination of protein structure and their posttranslational modifications, elucidation of protein localization within organelles, and to determine their interactions with other cellular entities. In this talk, I will focus on current state-of-the-art and emerging paradigms in mass spectrometry(MS)-based proteomics, which in combination with innovative experimental strategies, and advances in computational methods is poised to engender profound changes in systems biology and personalized medicine.

17:10 Dinner Short Course Registration

17:30 – 19:30 Dinner Short Course (Separate Registration Required)

Day 1 | Day 2 | Download Brochure