5/23/19 | 4:15pm | E51-325
Reception to follow.
Johns Hopkins University
Abstract: The classifying methods used in CancerSEEK, a novel blood test using circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) for the early detection of eight different cancer types, will be presented (Cohen et al. Science 2018, 359(6378):926-930). The blood test uses a combination of features derived from genetic alterations and protein biomarkers: mutations in cell-free DNA and levels of circulating proteins. The current developments of this algorithm, yielding improvements in its performance, will also be introduced.
Bio: Dr. Cristian Tomasetti is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University with appointments in the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Department of Oncology (Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center) and the Department of Biostatistics (Bloomberg School of Public Health). Dr. Tomasetti’s work is recognized internationally for his paradigm-shift contributions to the current understanding of cancer etiology and tumor evolution. His has published several leading-author papers in Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. His two Science papers discovering that a large fraction of cancer and many of its mutations are attributable to the normal divisions of our cells, rather than to environmental and inherited factors, were ranked #4 and #15 by Altmetric for the attention they received among any research paper published in any field for the year 2015 and 2017, respectively. As an applied mathematician, he also leads the effort to develop classification algorithms for the early detection of cancer, and its risk prediction, using a combination of mathematical modeling and machine learning. In 2018, he published, as one of the corresponding authors, a new blood test methodology called CancerSEEK, for the early detection of 8 different cancer types. He is the PI of current research projects supported by The John Templeton Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, and the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund, and NIH/NCI. Dr. Tomasetti holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park (Dec. 2010), where he received extensive training in pure mathematics, probability theory, stochastic processes, statistics, and dynamical systems. His Ph.D. research focused on the area of mathematical biology, studying the dynamics of somatic mutations during tumorigenesis. After his Ph.D., he was a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biostatistics of the Harvard School of Public Health and in the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Jan. 2011 – Jun. 2013). Since then he has been a faculty member at Hopkins (Assistant Professor, Jul. 2013 – Dec. 2017).