*Seminar Series: Seminar (AIBN)
*Location: AIBN, Level 1 Seminar Room
*Date: 08/08/2017
*Time: 14:00

Speaker #1 details
*Title of talk: Teasing out the diagnostic information among circulating nucleic acids for cancer, prenatal and post-transplantation assessment
*Speaker's name: Professor Rossa W.K. Chua
*Speaker's organisation: The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Speaker's city/state/country: Hong Kong
Website:
Talk Abstract: Fragments of DNA and RNA molecules are released into the circulation upon cell death, either as a result of normal cell turnover or disease processes. Circulating nucleic acid molecules bear signatures of their cell origin or the underlying disease that have been exploited as assessment strategies for cancer, fetal or pregnancy-related diseases, autoimmune diseases and post-transplantation monitoring. However, the abundance and proportion of such clinically-relevant nucleic acid molecules in the circulation are quite low in some circumstances. To robustly extract the diagnostic information from the circulation, sensitive analytical methodologies in combination with novel bioinformatics approaches have been developed. A wide variety of molecular information has been detected among circulating nucleic acid molecules and include the detection of single nucleotide variants, copy number variants, cytosine methylation, histone marks, Mrna and microRNA. Interestingly, the fragmentation pattern of circulating DNA has been shown to be non-random and varies between tissue types. The sizes and ending locations of circulating DNA molecules have been shown to offer useful biological information. In summary, there is a treasure trove of diagnostic information that could be exploited from human plasma. The key lies in how to tease out the signal from the noise.
Speaker's bio: Rossa Chiu is the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Chemical Pathology and Assistant Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is an Honorary Consultant Chemical Pathologist at the New Territories East Cluster of Hospitals, Hong Kong. She read Medicine at the University of Queensland followed by PhD at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Prof Chiu's research focuses on the development of novel disease diagnostic approaches. She has developed non-invasive methods based on maternal blood analysis for the prenatal assessment of Down syndrome which has led to a worldwide change in clinical practice. Recently, she has been investigating the detection of cancer-derived DNA in human plasma. With an aim to develop non-invasive blood tests for the early detection of cancer, Prof Chiu and her colleagues founded Cirina, which was later merged with Grail. To date, Prof Chiu has published over 140 peer-reviewed research articles and has over 170 granted patents or patent applications. Prof Chiu has received a number of awards for her research, including the 2012 China Women in Science Fellowship, the 2013 American Association of Clinical Chemistry Outstanding Scientific Contributions for a Young Investigator and the 2016 Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis. She was the President of the Hong Kong Society of Clinical Chemistry between 2004 to 2005.

Speaker #2 details
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Other Details:
*Host name: Andrew Whittaker
Host phone number: 63811
*Host email: aibnreception@uq.edu.au