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SELECTBIO Conferences Circulating Biomarkers World Congress 2020

Michael Heller's Biography



Michael Heller, Distinguished Scientist - Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Center for Cancer Early Detection and Research (CEDAR); Professor, University of California-San Diego

Michael J. Heller received his PhD in Biochemistry from Colorado State University in 1973. He was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University from 1973 to 1976. From 1976 to 1984 he was supervisor of the DNA Technology Group at Amoco Corporation (Standard Oil Indiana) During that time he carried out early bioengineering and recombinant DNA work on plants, algae and photosynthetic bacteria for energy and chemical production, and developed some of the first fluorescent resonant energy transfer (FRET) and chemiluminescent oligonucleotide probes for DNA hybridization analysis. He also oversaw Amoco’s sponsored energy and chemical research work at Cetus Corporation, which included the cloning of thermophilic enzymes. Dr. Heller was the Director of Molecular Biology at Molecular Biosystems, Inc., from 1984 to 1987. He was a co-founder of Integrated DNA Technologies, and served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 1987 to 1989. He was a co-found of Nanogen, and served as the Chief Technical Officer from 1993 to 2001. Nanogen carried out the successful development and commercialization of electronic DNA microarray technology for clinical diagnostic genotyping applications. Dr. Heller is a Professor (Recall/Emeritus) in the Departments of Nanoengineering and Bioengineering at the University California San Diego. He is also now a Distinguished Scientist at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Center for Cancer Early Detection and Research (CEDAR), in Portland, Oregon. He has also co-founded a company called Biological Dynamics which is developing new sample to answer cancer diagnostics technology, based on the novel dielectrophoretic (DEP) technology developed at his UCSD lab. Dr. Heller has extensive industrial experience in biotechnology, biomedical and molecular diagnostic devices and nanotechnology, with particular expertise in the areas of DNA probe diagnostics, electrokinetic lab-on-a-chip devices, DNA synthesis, FRET/fluorescent-based detection technologies and electric field assisted self-assembly of DNA nanostructures. Dr. Heller has over 100 publications and 56 issued US patents.

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Abundance of Tumor Related Mutations in High Molecular Weight cf-DNA Isolated from PDAC Cancer Patient Plasma Samples

Tuesday, 18 February 2020 at 09:00

Add to Calendar ▼2020-02-18 09:00:002020-02-18 10:00:00Europe/LondonAbundance of Tumor Related Mutations in High Molecular Weight cf-DNA Isolated from PDAC Cancer Patient Plasma SamplesCirculating Biomarkers World Congress 2020 in Coronado Island, CaliforniaCoronado Island, CaliforniaSELECTBIOenquiries@selectbiosciences.com

The availability of enough tumor related cell free (cf) DNA in patient blood samples could be a limitation for viable early cancer detection. Presently, next generation sequencing techniques focus on the detection of mutations in the smaller (<200bp) cancer related apoptotic cf-DNA fragments. We now have considerable evidence that cancer related mutations are also present in the higher molecular weight (>200bp) cf-DNA, which is often found at elevated levels in cancer patient blood samples. Use of a new electrokinetic chip device allows isolation and multi-omics analysis of the exosome protein biomarkers, as well as the high molecular weight (hmw) cf-DNA present in the “same” 50 µL blood, plasma or serum sample. The exosome protein biomarkers are first detected directly by on-chip immunofluorescent analysis. Subsequently, the hmw cf-DNA is eluted from the chip, whereupon digital PCR (dd-PCR), PCR and sequencing analysis is conducted to identify cancer-related point mutations. In a blinded pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cancer (PDAC) patient study, we were able to show correlation of elevated levels of glypican-1 and cf-DNA in PDAC positive samples, with the presence of KRAS mutations in hmw cf-DNA as determined by digital PCR and Sanger sequencing. These results provide support that a relatively large percentage of the hmw cf-DNA in the patient blood/plasma is coming from the tumors. Since low copy number of tumor related cf-DNA may be a limitation for early detection, the fact that the mutations exist in the hmw cf-DNA could be very important. This would of course have considerable implications for NGS, which preferentially tends to focus on mutation detection in the smaller cancer related apoptotic cf-DNA fragments. We now envision a future strategy for Multi-Omic analysis with on-chip exosome biomarker detection and PCR amplification, with option to do dd-PCR, Sanger sequencing and/or more encompassing NGS mutation and epigenetic analysis. The goal is to provide seamless sample-to-answer point-of-care liquid biopsy diagnostics, therapy monitoring and ultimately early cancer detection from a small sample of patient blood.


Add to Calendar ▼2020-02-17 00:00:002020-02-18 00:00:00Europe/LondonCirculating Biomarkers World Congress 2020Circulating Biomarkers World Congress 2020 in Coronado Island, CaliforniaCoronado Island, CaliforniaSELECTBIOenquiries@selectbiosciences.com