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BIG ideas: Bringing OMICs into clinical practice

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8 March 2019
Image - BIG ideas: Bringing OMICs into clinical practice

What would you spend $10-100 million on? How would this save lives? Who is the best person in the world to lead it?  Cancer CAG’s recent BIG ideas workshop looked for answers to these questions.

Centred around the theme ‘Bringing ‘OMICs’ into Clinical Practice’, leading cancer researchers from The Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research & Enterprise (SPHERE) met to discuss large-scale clinical and research ideas.

“The aim of this workshop is to develop a big idea that changes cancer patients’ outcomes.  What would you do if someone gives you $10 million dollars?” says Professor Michael Barton OAM, Principal of the Cancer Theme and Lead of the Cancer CAG, “We need to be prepared for these opportunities so that when they do come, we’ll be ready. Through philanthropy or places like the Medical Research Futures Fund, large pools of money are available for impressive and game-changing initiatives.”

The day revealed several impressive emergent research programs. Attendees were enthusiastic about sharing and expanding their experience and ideas across the partnership.

High-profile clinical academics Professor Roger Reddel, Professor David Thomas and Professor Emad El-Omar shared insights around the research they are leading in the areas of Proteomics, Genomics and the Microbiome, respectively. 

Researchers then had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the crowd.  They discussed issues such as endocrine, pancreatic and lung cancer, cellular genomics, radiomics and linking distributed data as well as precise biomarkers.

The Cancer Clinical Academic Group (Cancer CAG) aims to “Unite cancer research into a globally-leading partnership to deliver continuing evidence-based practice in diagnosis, intervention and support”.  They focus on initiatives that harness multi-disciplinary and multi-centre collaboration to drive capacity building across the network and delivery of research with real-world impact.

Through the partnership, they are leading coordinated programs of work in four areas:

  • Bringing ‘OMICS’ into clinical practice
  • Cancers with poor outcomes
  • Living better with and after cancer
  • Reducing unwarranted variation in clinical practice

Each area leads a portfolio of projects harnessing identified strengths. ‘Big Ideas’ contribute to portfolio development, with a focus on innovation, creativity and discovery. They aim to deliver translational research with wide-spread impact.

Have a BIG Idea to share with the Cancer CAG?  Submit it at any time.  Join the Cancer CAG at the next BIG Ideas workshop ‘Living better with and after cancer’ on 27 March. EOI submissions are due 17 March .  Missed the last workshop and interested in what was said?  You can listen to session one and session two online.

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