13 Jul 2017

Translational Research Symposium Speaker Spotlight - Prof Melissa Southey

Prof Melissa Southey
Monash University's 3rd annual Translational Research Symposium is being hosted by its three metropolitan clinical schools on 31 July 2017. The symposium will host a diverse group of medical researchers presenting their work into translational research. RSVP here.

Professor Melissa Southey specialises in genetic and epigenetic factors which are responsible for cancer predisposition. Prof Southey is based at Monash Health and is the head of the Southey Laboratory at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Southey presentation will discuss "Towards massively parallel translation: the Breast Cancer example". Abstract:
Given current evidence, it is no longer appropriate to practice breast cancer clinical genetics in the context of limited “high risk” gene testing aimed at placing women into a limited number of estimated risk-defined groups; breast cancer risk is a continuum.  It is now known that a woman’s genetic risk is defined by her mutation (or more broadly variant) status for multiple genomic regions, and not just the “major” susceptibility genes. Genetic variants and risk scores generated by genome-wide association study modify risk for mutation carriers, as well as non-carriers. Heterogeneity in risks associated with mutations exists within, and across, the “major” genes. Furthermore, even if mutations are found, family history can still be important. This poses many challenges for clinicians and women who undertake genetic testing using gene panel testing. With the exception of BRCA1 and BRCA2, the magnitude of risk associated with almost all of the genetic variation identified via gene panel testing for breast cancer susceptibility is unknown and how these might be modified by common genetic variants has not been investigated. Research, genetic testing and risk assessment modelling is no longer limited by technology and increasing amounts of data are available to address these issues – but how can this data be used to provide information sufficient to start routinely placing women on the risk spectrum (rather than categories) and advance strategies for personalised risk management?

We look forward to welcoming Professor Southey for the Symposium!

More information:
Translational Research Symposium
  • Date: Monday 31 July, 2017
  • Time: 8:30 for 9:00am start - 7:00pm close
  • RSVP here
Find out more about the symposium and our speaker program.

If you are a graduate student or early career researcher, you may be interested in the Young Investigator poster competition. See here for more details and to RSVP.

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