FRIDAY, October 22, 2021 

Pharmacogenomics – Moderated By Dr. Martin Dawes

Coal Harbour B Panel B:  Pharmacogenomics

A significant central element of personalized medicine is pharmacogenomics (PGx), gene information which can reduce adverse effects and maximize efficacy by supporting individualized drug therapy selection. Pharmacogenomics application and uptake is being considered by people and payers, though they are seemingly held back by false concerns of big data and health privacy issues. With the technological advances seen, platforms supporting genomic testing and more evidence to support interpretation, we have uncovered the main focus: how can we broadly make use of all the data to inform clinically actionable health and drug therapy recommendations. Using the data to develop and improve versatile predictive risk models is within reach.  Applying artificial intelligence to the abundance of data and maintaining privacy in the development of platforms which optimize drug treatments that manage symptoms, prevent and manage disease can be a safe and effective approach as we all work together.  

Moderator:  Dr. Martin Dawes, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder, GenXys

Dr. Martin Dawes is a world expert in primary care who combines research and clinical practice with over 30 years of experience. Following the completion of his PhD, he helped develop a Masters program in Evidence Based Health Care. He has directed the UK Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford and was the head of family practice at McGill University and the University of British Columbia.

Meet The Speakers:

Dr. Jehannine Austin, Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, UBC

Dr. Jehannine Austin is Executive director of the BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute, and is a Professor in Psychiatry & Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. Jehannine is a board certified genetic counsellor and their research work involves studying the impact of genetic counselling for people with psychiatric disorders and their families. They founded the world’s first specialist psychiatric genetic counselling service that has won an award for its impact on patient outcomes, and in addition to peer-reviewed publications, has written a book, and won awards for teaching, leadership, and research. Together with Prof. Stirling Bryan, Jehannine is co-PI of a Genome Canada/Genome BC/MSFHR funded project that is exploring the health economics of pharmacogenetic testing for depression in BC. Jehannine is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Kristine Ashcraft, Medical Affairs Director, Pharmacogenomics, Invitae

Kristine Ashcraft, BS, MBA is a molecular biologist by training and is the former CEO and founder of YouScript, recently acquired by Invitae. She has worked in pharmacogenomics since 2000 and was named one of the 25 leading voices in precision medicine. Kristine has authored multiple publications on the clinical and economic benefits of pharmacogenomic testing including one lauded as one of the most influential publications at an American Medical Informatics Association meeting. She has been interviewed by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and NBC Nightly News and has spoken at SXSW, American Society of Human Genetics, and numerous precision medicine conferences. She is committed to catalyzing the adoption of precision medicine.

Dr. Bernard Esquivel, Chief Medical Officer, GenXys

Bernard Esquivel is a practicing physician-scientist, senior executive, and international leader with in-depth expertise developing new markets, devising compelling value propositions, go-to-market strategies, and launching programs to fulfill organizational goals and objectives in the healthcare space. Clinical Immunologist, Allergies, and Medical Genetics by training with 10+ years experience in materializing biotech and health sciences ideas and concepts into clinically actionable solutions. Bernard mobilized the local healthcare community to engage them in the practice of precision medicine by founding and presiding over the Latin American Association of Personalized Medicine (ALAMP). This organization now includes >500 members from 9 countries in Latin America, holds symposiums, provider workshops, and other educational outreach per year. Serving as Chief Medical Officer for several well-renowned global organizations, he has demonstrated his passion and advocacy for bringing precision medicine closer to patients.

Nancy White, Chief Executive Officer, Inagene

Nancy White joined Inagene in January 2019. She is a strategic leader with a successful track record in sales, marketing, operations and strategy in the health care, technology and government sectors. She has held a number of senior executive roles in the pharmaceutical industry and has worked at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Oncology, Allergan and Eli Lilly; she has worked in Canada, the United States, and Latin America. Nancy has more than 20 years of commercial and operational experience in bringing oncology, specialty and primary care treatments to doctors and patients. Throughout her career she has mobilized and managed sales and marketing for more than 25 health care brands pre-launch, launch, and lifecycle management through to loss of exclusivity (LOE). She has won a number of marketing awards and held roles of increasing responsibility and scope.