Title Talk: Translating research: How is it done, why is it important, and what are the impacts?

Abstract

Today, almost every clinically relevant research project requires a translational component to increase publication impact and funding success. Although there is a general understanding that translation is the process of making research outcomes available to patients, the details and complexity of the process are often less well known. Translational research and development is not just a component of other projects, it is a multi-disciplinary field at the interface of research and clinic, with direct impact on patients’ lives. In this session, I will explore the differences between a research and a clinically accredited laboratory, and discuss the effort that went into translating a well-established research assay, whole exome sequencing, into a successful clinical assay helping hundreds of patients. I will also present some of the cases that we were able to diagnose with this new genomic technology.

Sebastian Lunke

Biography

Dr Sebastian Lunke, Translational Genomics Unit, Victorian Clinical Genetics Services and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Dr Sebastian Lunke is currently the Head of the Translational Genomics Unit at the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. After several years working as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he focused on assay development for cancer genomics, he started re-training as a medical scientist by joining the Faculty of Science at the Royal College of Pathologist Australasia as the first trainee fellow in 2014. Today, his team constitutes one of the largest NATA accredited clinical genomics laboratories in the country, with a strong focus on translating novel technologies into clinical practise. In recognition of their work, VCGS was recently awarded the Victorian Public Health Award for Improving Children’s Health through Pioneering Clinical Genomics in Undiagnosed Children.

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