Next Generation Technologist

Next Generation Sequencing, Marketing, and the Genomic Revolution

April 10, 2014
by Dale Yuzuki
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Dana Pe’er, Garry Noland and single-cell proteomics at AACR

Standing-room only crowd at the 2014 AACR Symposium "Single Cell Analysis of the Tumor"

Standing-room only crowd at the 2014 AACR Symposium “Single Cell Analysis of the Tumor”

During AACR a number of great sessions were presented at ‘meet the expert’ sessions at 7am in the morning. One benefit of coming out West from the East Coast is not being able to stay up past 10:30pm or so local time, and waking up on my own at 4:30am local time every day. (A friend from the NCI told me he doesn’t like to ‘ping-pong between time zones’, and I whole-heartedly agree!)

At one of the these 7am sessions was one by Dana Pe’er of Columbia University, entitled “Understanding tumor heterogeneity using 40 markers at single cell resolution”. I thought: intriguing title, this should be interesting. Continue Reading →

April 8, 2014
by Dale Yuzuki
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Steven Rosenberg and T-Cell Immunotherapy for Cancer

Steven Rosenberg, NCI at a 2014 AACR Plenary Session

Steven Rosenberg, NCI at a 2014 AACR Plenary Session

As a person who worked at a melanoma research institute once upon a time (the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica California, by the way), it was a pleasure to hear Steven Rosenberg’s plenary talk at the AACR meeting in San Diego. A lot has happened since 1997.

It was in the mid-1990′s that I was working in the laboratory of Dr. David Hoon, and the Institute was one of the few groups at that time that had several groups working on tumor immunology. One of our main ‘competitors’ in the tumor immunology field (for metastatic melanoma) was Steven Rosenberg of the National Cancer Institute, which had the history of being the longest NCI Research Program Project grantees at that time (JWCI had the second-longest one). Continue Reading →

April 7, 2014
by Dale Yuzuki
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Elana Simon at the American Association for Cancer Research

Elana Simon receiving the Junior Champion Cancer Research Award, AACR 2014

Elana Simon receiving the Junior Champion Cancer Research Award, AACR 2014

The reason I enjoy coming to large meetings like the American Association for Cancer Research (April 5-9 in San Diego) is the surprising things I learn. And the story of Elana Simon is one of them.

She did not appear on the program, but a new award was initiated this year by the AACR organization called the ‘Junior Champion Cancer Research Award’, and she was the recipient. Her story began when she was 12 years old, diagnosed with a rare Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma, a form of liver cancer. Surgery was their only treatment option. Continue Reading →

March 28, 2014
by Dale Yuzuki
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Notes from the NCI’s Third Symposium on Translational Genomics

Edison Liu, director of Jackson Laboratories Center for Personalized Medicine, at the NCI Third Symposium on Translational Genomics

Edison Liu, director of Jackson Laboratories Center for Personalized Medicine, at the NCI’s Third Symposium on Translational Genomics

Living in the Washington DC area is a privilege. As a native Californian who has been on the East Coast for about 7 years now, living in the Mid-Atlantic has been so enjoyable for many professional and personal reasons.

A case in point is proximity to the National Institutes of Health, and last week I had the opportunity to attend the NCI’s Third Symposium on Translational Genomics. With speakers like Edison Liu (the leader of the new Jackson Laboratory personalized medicine center in CT founded in 2011 with $1.1B in public and private funding), George Church (who I haven’t heard in-person since the 2012 AGBT meeting), and others who I have personally interacted with at the NCI in the past (Snorri Thorgeirsson, Louis Staudt and Jean Claude Zenklusen), I knew that this meeting was going to be worth attending. Continue Reading →

March 19, 2014
by Dale Yuzuki
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WaferGen SmartChip TE™ – a PCR-based approach to target enrichment

A WaferGen chip, finger and photo courtesy Dale Yuzuki

A WaferGen chip, photo courtesy Dale Yuzuki

WaferGen is a California Bay-Area company that originally developed an idea similar to BioTrove, which was to create a solid substrate with nanoliter-sized wells for high throughput real-time PCR. WaferGen’s SmartChip™ has 5,184 wells (that’s a 54 multiple of 96), while BioTrove’s OpenArray™ has 3,072 (that’s a 32 multiple of 96). The concept is that each well contains a real-time assay master mix and the sample of interest, and a flexible format of sample number / real-time targets (either gene expression or end-point genotyping) can be performed in a single run. Continue Reading →

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