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Nov - Sam Aparicio

Speaker: Sam Aparicio

Talk Title: Cancer dynamics at single cell resolution: can we predict the future?

Event Details


Thursday, November 28th, 2019 6:00pm

Affiliation: Professor, Department of Pathology, The University of British Columbia


Dr. Aparicio graduated in medical and natural sciences from Cambridge University (UK), clinical medicine from Oxford, and subsequently in internal medicine and pathology. After doctoral work with Sydney Brenner in Cambridge he held a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship at the Wellcome/CRUK Developmental Biology Institute. From 2000-2005 he was a senior investigator in the Department of Oncology, Cambridge. He was a co-leader of the international consortium that sequenced the genome of the pufferfish Fugu rubripes in 2002. He moved to Vancouver in 2005.

Dr. Aparicio’s research program encompasses the fields of cancer genomics, cancer evolution, single cell biology, mouse genetic models, high throughput screens, small molecule chemical probe development and translational breast cancer research. His work on the molecular taxonomy of breast cancer led to identification of new genes that could change the way breast cancer is diagnosed, and form the basis of next-generation treatments. This discovery was preceded by another breakthrough in decoding the genetic makeup of the most-deadly form of breast cancer, known as triple negative subtype (TNBC). Dr. Aparicio is also working to develop quantitative measures of clonal fitness in patients, including methods for single cell genome sequencing and PDX models of human cancer. He collaborates widely with other groups, with current projects including the genomic and biochemical analysis of lymphoma, ovarian cancer, and several rare pediatric cancers. He was a co-founder of Paradigm Therapeutics (now, Takeda Cambridge) and currently Contextual Genomics Ltd.


A fundamental biological property of cancers is that they evolve over time and this feature underpins drug resistance and metastasis.

We are using a combination of leading edge measurement methods including single cell genomics in concert with statistical models and computational methods to address the fundamental questions of how to identify relevant cell populations, identifying the molecular encoding of fitness phenotypes and predicting future behavior. In my seminar I will give a brief introduction and background to the measurements, mathematical approaches and model systems and describe some recent results from studying breast and ovarian cancers.

Introductory Speaker: Shamsuddin Bhuiyan (PhD student at Pavlidis Lab, UBC)

Talk Title: Prioritizing the potential functional diversity of voltage-voltage gated calcium channel genes

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