Genetics Research Takes Center Stage at ACMG and AACR Conferences

Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2004, medical researchers have worked continuously to learn more about gene expression and protein functions as they seek to more accurately determine individual medical treatments.

This drive toward developing “precision medicine” takes into account individual variability in biomarkers, genes, environmental impacts, and lifestyle which enables doctors and researchers to better predict successful treatment and prevention strategies based on multiple variables and, eventually, to more precisely predict individual treatment regimens.

This personalized approach already influences the way certain drugs are developed and medicine is practiced. This approach promises to develop novel target methodologies to screen compounds and improved selection of clinical trial patients, which could in turn fundamentally improve drug discovery efforts.

Two national conferences in April will showcase the progress of these efforts, attracting scores of leading geneticists and medical researchers to address advances in precision medicine. The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG)’s Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting is set for April 10-12, 2018 in Charlotte, NC and the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) takes place April 14-18 in Chicago, IL.

ACMG will focus on practical applications of genetic discoveries with more than 100 scientific sessions, workshops, TED-style talks and symposia, and over 600 poster presentations on emerging areas of clinical genetics and genomics. This meeting attracts medical professionals and scientific leaders from all around the world who are working in the fields of diagnostics, management, treatment, services, prevention, and advocacy - all committed to furthering medical genetics.

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The AACR Annual Meeting, “Driving Innovative Cancer Science to Patient Care,” is the leading forum to present and discuss cancer-related research. More than 18,000 attendees will be exposed to more than 6,000 abstracts and hear more than 250 presentations on significant discoveries in basic, clinical, and translational cancer research. It will showcase advances such as expanded use of genomic data for precision medicine and a greater focus on “big data” to accelerate progress in cancer preclinical and clinical research.

Twist Bioscience will be exhibiting at both meetings, as well as hosting several events, with CEO Dr. Emily Leproust and other scientists discussing their innovative research. “Leading geneticists come to these conferences to discuss the latest advancements in genetic research,” says Leproust.

Twist Bioscience, Leproust says, is excited to support this work with its  next-generation sequencing (NGS) enrichment products. As part of that effort, Leproust will outline at both conferences the company’s new line of Exome and Custom NGS Target Enrichment Solutions, including the launch of the highly anticipated Twist Human Core Exome Kit.   

“Our role is to provide tools,” Leproust says. “We ensure that when the sample is sequenced, the correct part of the DNA is read effectively, allowing for the cost of the sample to be as low as possible and the data you output is as complete as possible.”

According to Leproust, the wave of innovations showcased at these meetings reflects the progress toward precision medicine that has been growing since the Human Genome Project. “There is a massive acceleration in the rate of discovery and understanding in healthcare genomics research at the confluence of multiple forces,” she adds.

“We are entering a world where someday a patient’s genes can be sequenced and the genetic mutation responsible for a disease will be discovered, allowing for the treatment to be adapted to the patient’s needs. This is the same world where cancer will be managed as a chronic disease,” Leproust says. “Twist Bioscience is proud to be a part of this effort.”


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