Advances in Prenatal Molecular Diagnostics Conference

Venue: Seaport Hotel

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Event Date/Time: Sep 23, 2013 End Date/Time: Sep 24, 2013
Early Registration Date: Aug 23, 2013
Abstract Submission Date: Aug 23, 2013
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In recent years there have been dramatic changes in the field of prenatal diagnostics, both as a result of new technical capabilities and concerns over the risks and limitations associated with traditional diagnostic approaches.   The transition in favor of array-based cytogenetic assays in place of traditional karyotyping is well underway.  For higher risk pregnancies the use of sequence-based testing of cell-free DNA in maternal blood is becoming more common, although evidence of genetic abnormalities must then still be confirmed with more invasive procedures.  Research aimed at isolation of nucleated fetal cells from maternal blood could provide better answers with lower risk in the future.  Advances in single cell sequencing are being applied to pre-implantation diagnostics and could be particularly powerful when combined with fetal cell isolation from maternal blood.  Progress is also being made in the development of biomarkers to assess the risk of both pre-term labor and preeclampsia, which offers the potential of much early steps to limit these dangers.   While technical developments will be important, there are also a number of other factors, including regulatory and reimbursement challenges, as well as clinical and genetic counseling perspectives, that need to be understood in order to forecast how this field is likely to develop over the next few years. Topics will include:
  • Current Options for Pregnancy Risk Assessment
  • Array-based Cytogenetics
  • Comparisons of Cell-free DNA Analysis
  • Potential of Isolated Fetal Cell Analysis
  • Biomarkers for Pre-Term Labor and Preeclampsia
  • Discussion of Landscape Changes in the Near Future


One Seaport Lane
United States

Conference Speakers

  • Ronald J. Wapner, M.D., Director, Reproductive Genetics; Vice Chair of Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Kee Chan, Ph.D., Department of Health Sciences, Boston University 
  • Robert C. McDonald, M.D., MBA, President, Aledo Consulting
  • Tara Rachinsky, Ph.D., Counsel, Intellectual Property, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., Executive Director, Mother Infant Research Institute; Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Ankita Patel, Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Stuart Schwartz, Ph.D., FACMG, Strategic Director, Cytogenetics, Laboratory Corporation of America
  • M. Anwar Iqbal, Ph.D., Director, Cytogenetics and Microarray CGH Lab, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester and Medical Center
  • Sucheta Bhatt, M.D., Director of Genetics, Verinata Health, Inc.
  • Mathias Ehrich, Ph.D., Vice President of Research & Development, Sequenom, Inc.
  • Thomas Musci, M.D., Vice President, Clinical and Medical Affairs, Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Zach Demko, Ph.D., Senior Director of Research & Development, Natera, Inc.
  • Joe Leigh Simpson, M.D., Senior Vice President, Research and Global Programs, March of Dimes Foundation
  • Arthur Beaudet, M.D., Chair, Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Xiaoliang (Sunney) Xie, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University
  • Bhairavi Parikh, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder, CellScape Corp.
  • Prof. Patrizia Paterlini-Brechot, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, RareCells, and Department of Cell Biology & Oncology, University Paris Descartes
  • Francesca Fontana, Ph.D., R&D Biology Project Leader, Silicon Biosystems S.p.A.
  • Matthew Cooper, Ph.D., CEO, Carmenta Biosciences
  • Garrett Lam, M.D., Assistant Director and Assistant Professor, Ob/Gyn Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Regional Obstetrical Consultants and University Of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • Robyn Tuytten, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Development, Metabolomic Diagnostics Ltd.
  • Farideh Bischoff, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor, KellBenx, Inc.
  • Alan Ezrin, Ph.D., President & CEO, NX PharmaGen

Additional Information

Pre-Conference Short Course:

Commercialization Boot Camp: Manual for Success in the Molecular Diagnostics Marketplace

This workshop will define the priority checklist for executing a successful strategy and operational plan for commercializing molecular diagnostics. It will examine the process of bringing a product to market based on data driven case histories. Financial resources needed to execute the project plan will be measured in the current climate. Participants will learn key requirements for advancing molecular diagnostics through product development. This course will leverage the instructors’ years of accumulated experience spanning financial, technical and scientific acumen, as well as overcoming roadblocks on the path to commercial success.    Instructors: Harry Glorikian, Managing Director, Scientia Advisors Elaine Cheung, Business & Corporate Development, Illumina