Alex Aravanis, MD, PhD, is Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D, and a Founder of GRAIL. Prior to GRAIL, Alex served as Senior Director of R&D for Illumina, Inc., where he developed multiple products, including clinical assays for the analysis of RNA and DNA from fixed tissues, whole exome analysis, massively parallel single cell transcriptomics and liquid biopsy using cell-free nucleic acids. Additionally, Dr. Aravanis served as Vice President of Development and Chief Science Officer of Sapphire Energy Inc., and was a Co-Founder and Vice President of Engineering of Pria Diagnostics, LLC. Alex holds a BS in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering, and an MD from Stanford University.
Blood/liquid biopsy-based biomarkers for the most accurate early detection of cancer are still in the early phases of development. Before these types of biomarkers/tests can be used in the clinical setting, various clinical and preclinical issues (e.g. detection sensitivity) need to be addressed. This session discusses latest advancements in the development of blood-based biomarkers and describes clinical study programs in which they are implemented, including the limitations and challenges that need to be overcome before the translation of their use for clinical purpose will be a reality.