Speaker Profile

M.D., M.Sc., Professor of Pediatrics, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

Dr. Joshua Schiffman is a Professor of Pediatrics and Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, where he translates cancer genomics and evolutionary medicine into patient care. He is an Investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute, Medical Director for the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic, and Education Director for the Program in Personalized Health at the University Of Utah. He graduated from the Brown University School of Medicine, followed by clinical training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Stanford University. Dr. Schiffman’s clinical expertise includes hereditary cancer predisposition and cancer risk assessment. His scientific laboratory at Huntsman Cancer Institute explores the genomics of cancer, including the genetic mechanisms in animals that lead to increased risk of developing cancer (like in dogs) and also natural protection from cancer (like in elephants). Based on his research, Dr. Schiffman has co-founded several startup companies to impact cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.


Elephants, Genes, and Cancer: From Academics To Industry
Progress in precision medicine requires close ties between academic discovery and commer-cialization. This talk will cover two examples of moving ideas from academic institutes into startup companies. We will discuss a new tool to collect family history called ItRunsInMy-Family.com, and a new cancer therapy based on the natural cancer resistance of elephants through PEEL Therapeutics.

Session Abstract – PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: Precision oncology adoption into the clinical oncology workflow has been slow despite the technical and scientific advancements in molecular diagnostics and targeted therapeutics. Precision oncology incorporates in-depth genomic analysis of the patient’s tumor, interpretation of genomics results by the molecular tumor board (MTB), translation of findings into actionable therapeutic approaches, as well as navigation of the insurance and payor landscape in support of patients and providers. This session includes participants from various cancer centers that will share their learnings and the resulting added value to their institutions and medical communities, as well as the challenges they have to overcome when applying precision oncology through the MTB process.

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