Genetics Takes Over Vancouver–PGRN & ASHG Hold Annual Meetings

VANCOUVER, OCTOBER 17. A week of world-class genetics got underway in Vancouver, Canada today with the opening of the two-day Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN) annual meeting. This meeting will continue through tomorrow when the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) launches its annual meeting, also here in beautiful Vancouver. The ASHG meeting, which is expected to draw over 8,000 attendees from around the world, will run through Saturday and feature myriad presentations on the latest developments in virtually every area of human genetics. Today, an overflow audience of rapt PGRN attendees heard six exciting presentations under the theme of “The Expanding Universe of Pharmacogenomics.” The meeting began with a brief introduction by Ronald Krauss, M.D., Vice Chair of the PGRN Steering Committee, who highlighted the promise of the PGRN working together with the ASHG to advance progress by building collaborations between disciplines. This was followed by Session 1 on “Innovative Approaches for Pharmacogenomic Discovery,” which featured presentations on the utility of mouse models for pharmacogenomics discovery (Karen Roue, Ph.D., UCLA), the functional characterization of gene regulatory elements (Nadav Ahituv, Ph.D., UCSF), and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells in cardiovascular precision medicine (Joseph Wu, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford). Session 2, entitled “Pharmacogenomics in Drug Discovery,” included presentations on massively parallel combinatorial genetic perturbation screening with CRISPR-Cas9 in human cells (Cheryl Cui, Harvard-MIT), applications of human genetics in drug discovery to present and future indications (Lon Cardon, Ph.D., GlaxoSmithKline), and long noncoding RNA in statin pharmacogenomics (Merisa Wong Medina, Ph.D., Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute).
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