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School of Biomedical Engineering & Michael Smith Laboratories Faculty Candidate Seminar: Dr. Billy Lau
February 25, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Billy Lau, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Genome Technology Center, Department of Biochemistry
Stanford School of Medicine
“Molecular Engineering in Cancer Genomics: From Single Molecules to Single Cells”
February 25, 2019
9:00 – 9:50am
MSL 102, 2185 East Mall
An explosion in molecular technologies in the past decade has yielded transformational results in cancer care. In cancer genomics, molecular assays have enabled the interrogation of whole genomes as well as actionable genomic markers with prognostic and therapeutic value. These signals can be thought of as quantized data streams that can be manipulated or augmented to enhance sensitivity, and to enable innovative studies on previously unassayable features. My vision is to employ interdisciplinary methods to engineer molecular assays in cancer genomics to improve patient outcomes. In this seminar, I will demonstrate how this approach can be used at multiple length scales. In digital PCR, I will describe how multiplexed precision cancer mutation assays can be simply designed at the fraction of the cost of commercial assays. In genome sequencing, I will describe the use of massively parallel microfluidic droplet partitioning and barcoding to overcome fundamental limits of short reads to reconstruct haplotyped cancer genomes and resolve structural variation. In single cell analysis, I will describe new techniques to infer plasticity and evolutionary dynamics in tumors. Finally, I will discuss novel results at the interface of chemistry and molecular biology, whereby DNA can be transformed into a storage medium for iterative and repeated molecular analysis without loss.