The work of Dr. Sotiriou has been influential worldwide. His publications exposed the different benefits of directing chemotherapy and hormonaltherapy; as well as opened new horizons in developing modern immune system targeted treatments. The most important trait of his laboratory, in my opinion, is the connection between fundamental and clinical research that ensure faster application in the medical practice. For all these reasons, I state that Sotiriou’s laboratory is a model to inspire my PhD research and future career. The benefits of visiting the institute are immeasurable: from the lab to the clinic; from basic science to life experience. The confirmation of my visit can be read in the letter attached, and will precede the conference detailed below.
The IMPAKT 2015 Breast Cancer Conference is organised by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and Breast International Group (BIG) and brings together a community of professionals to facilitate the advancement of a personalised approach to breast cancer management and the implementation of new discoveries into clinical practice. During the conference, I will have the opportunity to meet and interact with renowned people from all over the world. Among them: Lajos Pusztai, Matt Ellis, Christine Desmedt, Mitchell Dowsett, and Jorge Reis- Filho. Notably, it is an open field to seed future collaborations, exchange opinions, and build solid connections with breast cancer researchers, scientists and clinicians. Moreover, I intend to submit an abstract and present the most important ideas of my PhD to promote further discussion and learn from different points view. The abstracts, presentations, and webcasts will be published online at www.esmo.org.
Important themes and issues in breast cancer will be debated, such as: "The molecular origin of breast cancer and clinical significance of genomic patterns"; "Mutations and therapy resistance"; "Microenvironment and metastatic cascade in breast cancer"; "Translational studies in early stage breast cancet"; "The role of chemotherapy in the context of precision medicine"; "Triple negative breast cancer: Tackling diversity". The main objective of the conference is to provide information on the myriad discoveries that already have or will have impact on breast cancer research and treatment in the near future. For more details, please, check out the conference website: http://www.esmo.org/Conferences/IMPAKT-2015-Breast-Cancer/.
A/Prof David J. Wild is currently the Graduate Program Director for the new Data Science Program and lead the Cheminformatics and Chemogenomics Research Group (CCRG). Founder and Chief Executive Officer at the data science technology company Data2Discovery Inc (http://d2discovery.com/), he maintains a variety of educational resources including LearnCheminformatics.com. The main focus of his team is the development of algorithms and tools for large scale integrative data mining of drug discovery, chemical and biological data. Notably, he uses bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, and toxogenomics approaches to delineate better therapeutic targets for clinical applications. Briefly, the overall strategy relies on pre-existing knowledge of drug interactions using compounds already listed for therapy, either in oncology or other diseases. More details about A/Prof David J. Wild can be found at djwild.info.
In order to explain the real benefits of travelling for a short term research exchange I need to describe first the milestones of my PhD project: (1) defining a better classification of breast cancer disease; (2) identifying predictive intrinsic biomarkers most likely to respond to treatment; and (3) test current therapies and/or new drug combinations.