Concurrent Session 3D: Biomarkers in Immunotherapy/Cancer Immunotherapy

Thursday, September 13
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Immunotherapies are rapidly changing the treatment landscape for patients with cancer. Immune checkpoint inhibitors are just the beginning of many innovative approaches that harness the immune system to treat cancer. Our speakers will cover issues salient to the future of antitumor immunity including predictive biomarkers, neoantigen selection and scoring, and novel vaccination strategies.

Learning Objectives:

Moderator :
Aaron Mansfield, MD

Associate Profession of Oncology, College of Medicine and Science
Medical Oncology
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota


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Moderator :
George Vasmatzis, PhD

Director, Biomarker Discovery Program
Center for Individualized Medicine
Rochester, Minnesota

George Vasmatzis, PhD is the co-director of the Biomarker Discovery Program within the Center for Individualized Medicine. In addition to earning a doctorate in biomedical engineering, Dr. Vasmatzis has acquired experience in diverse disciplines, including bioinformatics, molecular biology and computational biology. His research team consists of bioinformatics specialists, molecular biologists, epidemiologists and pathologists.

Dr. Vasmatzis' laboratory has demonstrated success in discovery and translation of several biomarkers as well as developing evidence-based models that should help clinicians stratify patients with cancer in order to provide each individual with the appropriate care. With the recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies, the laboratory has become engaged in massive sequencing to scan the genome of cancer cells for abnormalities that can be used for clinical purposes such as diagnosis and stratification of patients for optimal treatment. Published papers in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Research and Blood further demonstrate the lab's discovery, validation and translation capabilities.


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Concurrent Speaker :
Karen S. Anderson, MD, PhD

Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

Karen Anderson, MD, PhD is a physician scientist with a joint appointment at Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic Arizona. She obtained her MD and PhD from Duke University School of Medicine and did her internship and residency at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is a breast medical oncologist and focuses on biomarker development and immunotherapy.


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Concurrent Speaker :
Keith Knutson, PhD


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Concurrent Speaker :
Julia BM Udell, MA

Doctoral Candidate
Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
University of Minnesota, Minnesota

Julia Udell is a doctoral candidate in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at the University of Minnesota, a graduate researcher in the Bioinformatics Research department at the Center for International Bone Marrow Transplant Research, and a Research Affiliate in the Biomarker Discovery group at the Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine. Her research focuses on prediction and validation of targets of immune reactivity in graft-versus-host disease following hematopoeitic stem cell transplantation, and of effective immunotherapeutic targeting of tumor-specific antigens derived from chromosomal rearrangement.

Prior to coming to Minnesota to work on her doctorate, she completed her master's degree in mathematics at San Francisco State University, and wrote her master's thesis on the application of HLA locus imputation to organ transplantation. Following graduation, she worked as a biostatistician at the Stanford Blood Center, where she collaborated with transplant physicians on various projects pertaining to adaptive immune repertoire changes following bone marrow transplantation. In her spare time, she loves to cook dishes from diverse cuisines, sing with the Minnesota Orchestra, and hike up canyons and mountains whenever possible.


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Concurrent Session 3D: Biomarkers in Immunotherapy/Cancer Immunotherapy

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