Genomics Webinar

It’s been 20 years since the first findings of the Human Genome Project were published following decades of collaborative research. Now, there is the promise of a new generation of medicine guided by a deep understanding of the genetic underpinning of every disease. Learn from researchers and entrepreneurs on how they are implementing genomics and precision medicine in the 21st century and where we must prioritize resources to ensure equitable access in the future.

Watch the Panel Discussion

A Discussion with an Industry-Leader

Dr. Francois Bernier, Professor of Medical Genetics and Pediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, and the Head of the Department of Medical Genetics and Section Chief of Clinical Genetics, Alberta Health Services: His clinical practice spans prenatal genetics, rare pediatric diseases, and cardiovascular genetics. His research interests include the genomic basis of rare diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, craniofacial development, and the role of the prenatal environment on health and development.

His research has been funded by CIHR, Genome Canada, Alberta Innovates, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. He is a co-investigator on the Genome Canada-funded projects Care4Rare and All for One and leads the Translational Implementation of Genomics for Rare diseases project (TIGeR) for the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He has published extensively on the use of genome-wide sequencing for both novel gene discovery as well as clinical applications.

Keynote Speaker Headshot Graphic_Genomics Webinar

The Highlights of the Panel Discussion

  • Implementing next-generation sequencing into routine use has entirely changed clinical genetics, growing from a knowledgebase of only 30 well-understood genes 20 years ago to now being able to find a definitive genetic cause for 40-50% of patients.
  • While the implementation of whole-genome sequencing has increasingly democratized over recent decades, our understanding of normal human variation is still lagging, especially regarding diversity in populations that’ve been underserved by genomics.
  • To return value for health systems and patients, driving forward equitable access requires advancing data standards for interoperability between datasets, policy advancement around privacy, and commercialization considerations.
  • Early adopters of genomics technology are now paving the way in the genomics-enabled therapy space. Oncology and rare disease indications are seeing many clinical trials in gene and mRNA therapies that can significantly bend the cost curve for these diseases.
  • With additional technology bumps that’ll increase data generation access, we need to address the interpretation side of the equation equally. New solutions and technologies that democratize access to the interpretation of genomic datasets will be essential.

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