Session Abstract – PMWC 2020 Silicon Valley

An increasing amount of evidence supports the connection between microbes and human diseases. In this session we investigate the association of microbial cell-free DNA to cancer and stem cell transplantation, and explore the unique opportunities for novel medical applications.

 Session Chair Profile

Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Karius

Dr. Kertesz co-founded Karius in 2014 to bring the novel pathogen detection technology he and colleagues developed at Stanford closer to the bedside. Based in Redwood City, California, Karius now provides a Next-Generation Sequencing based test that is able to identify over a thousand pathogens from a single blood draw. Prior to founding Karius, Dr. Kertesz was the CEO and co-founder of Moleculo, a long-reads DNA sequencing company, which was acquired by Illumina in late 2012. Dr. Kertesz earned an MS in computer science from Tel Aviv University and a PhD in computational biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He went on to join the Quake lab at Stanford University for his postdoctoral research in bioengineering, where he developed methods for investigating the genetic diversity of human viruses.

 Speaker Profile

M.D., Assistant Professor and Deputy Chair, Genomic Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Jenq also has a secondary appointment in Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and is Director of the Microbiome Core Facility. He received his medical training at Oregon Health and Science University, Duke, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. A practicing medical oncologist, his research efforts have focused on studying the effects of the intestinal bacterial flora on outcomes following immune therapy for cancer, including hematopoietic cell transplantation and checkpoint blockade.