Awards will Support Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Research
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - Friday, January 16th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Expression Analysis (EA), a Quintiles company, today announced the winners of a grant program that provides scientists with leading-edge products and services to advance genomics research. In this sixth year of the program, EA and co-sponsor, Illumina, awarded two fully funded research grants to investigate genomic data locked within Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) tumor samples – a largely untapped data pool that can help enhance researchers’ understanding of cancer biology.
After a rigorous review of nearly 700 submissions by a distinguished panel of judges, two researchers were selected to receive grants. The recipients include:
Professor Anne Bowcock, Ph.D., chair of Cancer Genomics at Imperial College London, who will profile a specific subset of metastatic colon cancers – those that metastasize to the lung – for CpG methylation and transcriptomic alterations. Her research, driven in partnership with Sing Yu Moorcraft and Ian Chau, will help create a comprehensive profile of genomic changes that occur during tumor evolution. These results could help inform the identification of drugs that target key abnormalities and molecular drivers of this often-deadly cancer. They could also help identify potential prognostic or predictive biomarkers that can assist physicians in determining optimal treatment approaches.
Dr. Zhiqing Huang, M.D., Ph.D., senior research scientist at the Duke University Medical Center, will investigate genome-scale DNA methylation and RNA expression changes in epithelial ovarian cancer to help explain ovarian cancer recurrence and the contribution of the tumor microenvironment. These results could help identify new biomarkers for ovarian cancer diagnosis and prognosis, especially among the 20-30 percent of ovarian cancer patients whose tumors do not produce CA125 – a key biomarker for ovarian cancer diagnosis known today. In addition, they hope to identify more relevant targets for chemotherapy or gene-specific therapy.
“Genomic research has the power to transform our knowledge of cancer biology and is instrumental in identifying biomarkers that lead to the development of life-saving and life-enhancing therapies,” said Kellie Yarnell, vice president for Genomic Operations at EA. “Through this grant program, we will help support the work of Dr. Bowcock and Dr. Huang, whose research could one day lead to important advances in the fights against colorectal and ovarian cancers.”
“We are honored to support the efforts of Dr. Bowcock and Dr. Huang in their quests to better understand the underlying science of colon and ovarian cancers. We hope that their research yields insights which will one day improve outcomes for individuals with these devastating diseases,” said Tina Nova, senior vice president and general manager, oncology for Illumina.
EA, a Quintiles company, provides cutting-edge genomic sequencing, gene expression, genotyping, and bioinformatics services to the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic test developers, government agencies, and academic labs. Projects are conducted under clinical-grade quality control, ensured through CLIA certification, GCP compliance, and adherence to CLSI guidelines as applicable to the testing performed. EA’s bioinformatics staff are key contributors to the Food and Drug Administration’s MicroArray Quality Control (MAQC) and Sequencing Quality Control (SEQC) studies, which aim to improve standards and quality measures for reliable use of next-generation sequencing and gene expression technologies in clinical practice and regulatory decision-making. As part of its mission to improve human health, EA has donated more than $2.8 million towards academic genomic research grants and its “Leave Your Fingerprint on the Cure” Program for pediatric cancer hosted at the American Society for Human Genetics annual meeting.
Quintiles (NYSE: Q), a Fortune 500 company, is the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services. With a network of more than 32,000 employees conducting business in approximately 100 countries, we helped develop or commercialize all of 2013’s top-100 best-selling drugs on the market. Quintiles applies the breadth and depth of our service offerings along with extensive therapeutic, scientific and analytics expertise to help our customers navigate an increasingly complex healthcare environment as they seek to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of better healthcare outcomes. To learn more about Quintiles, please visit www.quintiles.com.
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Mari Mansfield, Media Relations
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