Ben Solomon is a board-certified pediatric geneticist who focuses on the use of genetics and genomics to identify, understand and care for patients with both rare and common genetic conditions as well as broad applications of genomic medicine. In addition to his laboratory, clinical, and research leadership and advocacy, Dr. Solomon has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and textbooks, and is an active lecturer and educator. Read his full bio.

Interview with Ben Solomon from GeneDx

Q: What need is GeneDx addressing?

A: GeneDx was started in 2000 by two NIH scientists with the mission of making genetic testing accessible for patients with rare diseases. We continue to focus on this mission almost 20 years later, but also continue to grow and evolve with changes in technologies, medical knowledge, clinical practices, and research approaches. We now offer genetic testing for just about every indication related to clinical germline/constitutional indications, from single variant testing to whole genome sequencing, and everything in between.

Q: What are the products and/or services GeneDx offers/develops to address this need? What makes GeneDx unique?

A: As mentioned, we have a very comprehensive genetic testing menu both in terms of assays and technologies but also across clinical (as well as research) indications. We pride ourselves on our deep clinical and molecular expertise in everything we do. We have over 150 MDs or PhDs and over 120 genetic counselors, and our team is incredibly passionate about providing the most accurate and best possible testing for all the clinicians, researchers, patients, and families we have the honor to serve. We really care about what genetic changes mean for patients and the providers they see, and make sure we go the extra mile in explaining the evidence and data behind the result, as we know the field of genetics is complex and ever-changing. Along these lines, we believe in marrying the latest cutting-edge methodological approaches – including artificial intelligence and advanced bioinformatic algorithms – with careful human oversight, as well feel that an optimal approach requires these checks and balances and a lot of TLC!

Q: What is your role at GeneDx and what excites you about your work?

A: I’m the head of GeneDx, so I work with every and all aspect of our company. I really love being able to find answers and results that are especially tricky and difficult, and which may be overlooked by other methods. We are constantly iteratively improving our methods, adding new tests and options, and otherwise refining what we do, and it’s great to be part of a field where constant change is a requirement. We think hard about known disease loci as well as novel or candidate disease genes. It’s great to be part of a field where we can identify “knowns” as well as contribute new knowledge to the field.

I’m also a physician clinical geneticist (I still see patients as a small percent of my time), and my heart really goes back to interactions with patients and families. I see very directly how much that matters, including when no testing is done or a test doesn’t provide answers. In other words, no matter how technologically-advanced we get, there’s tremendous power in the human touch. I like to think of GeneDx as helping support these interactions on a large-scale basis and in some of the most clinically challenging and frankly difficult situations in medicine.

Q: When thinking about GeneDx and the domain GeneDx is working in, what are some of the recent breakthroughs that are propelling the field forward and how will they impact healthcare?

A: There are constant breakthroughs in this field, including on the “wet lab” and “dry lab” side. I’m particularly excited about new bioinformatic and related methods that help us detect and understand genetic changes that were previously not able to be interrogated or interpreted. We constantly have situations where we’re able to find answers for patients who were previously tested over months and years through a more piece-meal approach using smaller or less advanced assays.

Q: What are the short-term challenges that GeneDx and its peers are facing?

A: It’s very important for all of us in the industry to make sure that insurance companies and related groups understand the clinical impact, guidelines, and financial effects of genetic testing, and we need to keep having those conversations. It’s also critical to make sure there aren’t logistic barriers erected against clinically-indicated testing. I worry that clinicians are so buried in paperwork that they are taken away from their primary goal and passion, which is taking the best possible care of patients. In addition to making life miserable for clinicians, barriers to clinically-indicated and evidence-based testing can have serious effects on the health of patients.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the PMWC audience?

A: It’s a wonderful time to be in this ever-changing field.

Interview with Ralph Snyderman from Duke University

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: My work involves designing, implementing and studying innovations in medical education that allow our medical schools to fulfill our social contract to improve the health of our communities and reduce the suffering of our patients.

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Interview with Catherine Reinis Lucey from UCSF

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: My work involves designing, implementing and studying innovations in medical education that allow our medical schools to fulfill our social contract to improve the health of our communities and reduce the suffering of our patients.

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Interview with Gunnar Carlsson from Ayasdi

Q: What need is Ayasdi addressing?

A: Ayasdi is pioneering the application of artificial intelligence to value-based care by targeting two of the most complex problems in healthcare: population risk stratification and clinical variation management.

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Interview with Nikole Kimes from Siolta Therapeutics

Q: What need is Siolta Therapeutics addressing?

A: Chronic diseases, including inflammatory diseases such as asthma, now represent the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.

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Note from Dr. Patrick Conway, President & CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield NC to PMWC

VC activity is booming in healthcare, with second quarter drawing in $5.1 billion in capital. That is 22% of the total $23 billion raised by all VC-based companies in the U.S., according to latest Pricewaterhouse Coopers quarterly report.

Read More

Interview with Atul Sharan, Co-founder and CEO, CellMax Life

Q: CellMax has developed non-invasive blood tests based on Circulating tumor cells CTC. How do you see these tests being adopted clinically?

A: Survival rates are greater than 90% for cancers that are detected at an early stage.

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Interview with Wendell Jones from Q² Solutions | EA Genomics

Q: What need is Q² Solutions | EA Genomics addressing?

A: As a leading provider of genomic services in clinical trials and discovery, Q² Solutions | EA Genomics advances science by harnessing technological expertise to drive understanding of the human genome and disease biology to detect the effects of therapies.

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Interview with Ben Solomon from GeneDx

Q: What need is GeneDx addressing?

A: GeneDx was started in 2000 by two NIH scientists with the mission of making genetic testing accessible for patients with rare diseases.

Read More

Interview with Ty Ridenour from RTI International

Q: What need is RTI International addressing?

A: As an independent research institute, RTI is dedicated to improving the human condition. We answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development.

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Interview with Madhuri Hegde, Vice President and Chief Science Officer of PerkinElmer’s Global Laboratory Services

Q: What need is Global Laboratory Services addressing?

A: PerkinElmer Genomics is global (genomics) laboratory service with laboratories in US, India and China, addressing genetic/genomic testing across the globe.

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Interview with Rita R. Colwell from University of Maryland College Park and John Hopkins School of Public Health

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: The research that I am focusing on is understanding the microbiome of the human system and the environment, which means understanding the gut flora and its relationship to health and disease.

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Interview with Dr. Nicholas Dracopoli from Personal Genome Diagnostics

Q: What need is Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) addressing?

A: PGDx is developing standardized, clinical Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) kits to help enable effective treatment decisions for cancer patients.

Read More

Interview with Mohsen Hejrati from Clusterone

Q: What need is Clusterone addressing?

A: AI and machine learning are becoming cornerstone technologies for scientists and engineers, but access to these technologies is still cumbersome.

Read More

VC Investment in Precision Medicine Boomed in Q2 Mega-deals Hitting Record Levels

VC activity is booming in healthcare, with second quarter drawing in $5.1 billion in capital. That is 22% of the total $23 billion raised by all VC-based companies in the U.S., according to latest Pricewaterhouse Coopers quarterly report.

Read More

Interview with Patrick Conway from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Q: In the past, you served as director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. What are you most proud of accomplishing at CMMI?

A: During my tenure at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one of my many roles included serving as the Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

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University of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), held annually in Silicon Valley, is coming back to North Carolina for its 2nd Conference back at Duke University on September 24-25, 2018.

PMWC 2018 Duke, the 15th installment of the conference, will spotlight the explosion of biomedical technologies, driving initiatives that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care.

 

  • Track 1 will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
    • Digital Phenotyping
    • Precision Public Health
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • The Microbiome
    • Rare Disease Diagnosis
    • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
    • Early Days of Life Sequencing
    • Diversity in Precision Medicine
    • Resilience
    • AI and Machine Learning
    • Gene Editing
    • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Point-of Care Dx Platform
    • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
    • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
    • Next Gen. Workforce of PM
    • Immunotherapy
    • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
    • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
    • Neoantigens
    • Emerging Technologies In PM

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), held annually in Silicon Valley, is coming back to North Carolina for its 2nd Conference back at Duke University on September 24-25, 2018.

PMWC 2018 Duke, the 15th installment of the conference, will spotlight the explosion of biomedical technologies, driving initiatives that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care.

 

    • Track 1 will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
      • Digital Phenotyping
      • Precision Public Health
      • Pharmacogenomics
      • The Microbiome
      • Rare Disease Diagnosis
      • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
      • Early Days of Life Sequencing
      • Diversity in Precision Medicine
      • Resilience
      • AI and Machine Learning
      • Gene Editing
      • Large Scale Bio-data Resources
        to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Point-of Care Dx Platform
      • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
      • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
      • Next Gen. Workforce of PM
      • Immunotherapy
      • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
      • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy
        ctDNA, etc.
      • Neoantigens
      • Emerging Technologies In PM
  • Track 2- PMWC 2018 Duke Showcase, will enable 15-minute company presentations on latest novel technologies. Apply to present here.
big data diagnostics session

Clinical Dx Showcase

crispr showcase

Emerging Therapeutics Showcase

NGS Showcase

Genomic Profiling Showcase

AI Showcase Session Image

AI and Data Sciences Showcase

  • Luminary and Pioneer Awards, honoring individuals who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of Precision Medicine
  • 500+ multidisciplinary attendees, from across the entire spectrum of healthcare, representing different types of companies, technologies, and medical centers with leadership roles in precision medicine

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