On March 19, 2015,  AZBio and Members of Arizona’s Healthcare and Life Science Community came together for a discussion on the convergence of life science innovation and information technology in a quest to conquer cancer.

It’s been said time and again that when it comes to science and research, Arizona’s pioneering spirit and youthful energy, makes it a perfect place for collaboration. With the advance of big data, open science, crowdsourcing and the like, do we have the right people, ideas, tools, resources and motivation to accelerate cures and bring solutions to people?

Every year 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and nearly half of those cases are considered incurable. But many of those “incurable” cases may be beatable by exploiting biological features unique to each individual’s cancer. Join us as we explore the  convergence of recent developments in genomics, big data informatics, social networks, and personalized medicine that is transforming the landscape of cancer research and treatment. In this new paradigm, cancer is managed as a chronic disease using an evolving cocktail of targeted- and immunotherapies individualized for each patient, much like HIV. Every treatment event is considered as a probe that  simultaneously treats the patient and provides an opportunity to validate and refine the models on which the treatment decisions are based.

Big Questions – Big Data – Big Science: A Leadership Conversation with Dr. Marty Tenenbaum, founder of Cancer Commons and Dr. Josh LaBaer  of the Biodesign Institute  at ASU focused on how together we can change and improve  cancer care.

About Our Conversationalists:

Marty Tenenbaum, PhD, is a cancer survivor, internet pioneer and former artificial intelligence researcher who created Cancer Commons, a nonprofit that “unites patients, oncologists and scientists to make sure critical information gets shared with the patients who need it.” More recently, he launched Cancer Maps, a new app “to empower patients with the world’s collective knowledge.” Dr. Tenebaum founded Cancer Commons and CollabRx to help cancer patients obtain the best possible outcome. Earlier he worked as an AI researcher, leading research groups at SRI International and Schlumberger Ltd. As an Internet commerce pioneer, he founded or co-founded Enterprise Integration Technologies (1990, acquired by VeriFone), CommerceNet (1994), Veo Systems (1996, acquired by Commerce One), and Webify Solutions (2002, acquired by IBM). He also served as an officer and Director of Medstory (acquired by Microsoft). Dr. Tenenbaum is a fellow and former board member of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the Public Library of Science and a former consulting professor of Computer Science at Stanford. He currently serves on the boards of CommerceNet, Efficient Finance, and Patients Like Me. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. from Stanford.

Joshua LaBaer, MD, PhD, was recruited to Arizona from Harvard in 2009 in what was called “a significant boost for Arizona’s push toward personalized medicine.” Today, he directs the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. Dr. LaBaer has developed DNASU, an automated repository of more than 250,000 clone sets for human genes that are made available to researchers worldwide to advance the quest for cures. Dr. LaBaer is a world leader in proteomics, a key for more personalized approaches to medicine.

Dr. LaBaer was the founder of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics and served as its director until joining ASU in 2009.  He completed both his medical internship and residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a clinical fellowship in oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both in Boston. He is a board certified physician in internal medicine and medical oncology and was an instructor and clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has contributed more than 140 original research publications, reviews and chapters. Dr. LaBaer earned his medical degree and a doctorate in biochemistry and biophysics, from the University of California, San Francisco.

Science advocate and FOX10 sportscaster Jude LaCava, who with his sister, Sandra, launched the Dorothy Foundation, in honor of his mother who succumbed to cancer, will be on hand to introduce the speakers. The Dorothy Foundation is dedicated to providing the most up to date information regarding cancer treatments and research, to inform those affected by cancer, and to support the most promising, innovative research in the field. The Dorothy Foundation supports the work of both Drs. Tenenbaum and LaBaer.

As President and CEO of AZBio, Joan Koerber-Walker works on behalf of the Arizona Bioscience and Medical Technology Industry to support the growth of the industry, its members and our community on the local and national level. Ms. Koerber-Walker is also a life science investor and has served on the boards of numerous for-profit and non-profit organizations.

The Arizona BioIndustry Association (AZBio) serves as the unified voice of the bioscience industry in Arizona. AZBio strives to make Arizona a place where bioscience organizations can grow and succeed.  It accomplishes this by creating a forum for the bioscience community to join together, educating policy makers and the public, influencing public policy, and advancing the economic interests of individual organizations as well as the sector as a whole. In the life science industry, Ms. Koerber-Walker serves as Chair of the AdvaMed State Medical Technology Alliance (SMTA), a consortium of state and regional trade associations representing their local medical technology companies.  SMTA’s mission is to collectively support the medical technology industry on the local, state and national levels by fostering a collaborative environment through sharing of best practices, promoting the industry, and advocating for public policies that support innovation.  She also represents Arizona as a member of the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) and the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI). Active in the entrepreneurial and investment communities, she also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation which provides entrepreneurial education, mentoring and support to at-risk members of the community, on the Board of Advisors to CellTrust, Inc. which provides secure communication technology to the healthcare industry, and as Chairman of CorePurpose, Inc. which she founded in 2002.

About Cancer Commons:

Cancer Commons, founded in 2011, is a non-profit network of cancer patients, physicians, and scientists dedicated to improving outcomes through precision oncology. Our mission is to ensure that patients are treated in accord with the latest knowledge available, and to continually update that knowledge based on each patient’s response.

Cancer Commons is currently working on two initiatives – Cancer Maps and the Cancer Commons Network. Cancer Maps will organize and personalize all available knowledge and data in an intuitive way, to help patients and their physicians make better-informed decisions. Advanced cancer patients can be referred to Cancer Commons Network partners for consultation, testing, and treatment. The information produced will be fed back into the knowledge base to continuously improve the Maps and network processes.

By tightly integrating research and care around individual patients, Cancer Commons aims both to dramatically improve individual outcomes and slash the time and cost of drug development.

AZBio Leadership Conversations

AZBio Leadership Conversations connect our community with global thought leaders in the life science and healthcare arena.

View Past Leadership Conversations on AZBio.TV

Nobel Laureate, Dr. Leland Hartwell

The Honorable James C. Greenwood, President & CEO of the Biotechnology INdustry Organization in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Holmes, Founder of Theranos

Big Questions – Big Data – Big Science: A Leadership Conversation with Dr. Marty Tenenbaum and Dr. Josh LaBaer is presented in partnership with the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and the Dorothy Foundation, a nonprofit organization, operated by Sandra and Jude LaCava to provide the most up to date information regarding cancer treatments and research, to inform those affected by cancer, and to support the most promising, innovative research in the field. The Dorothy Foundation is a partner with Cancer Commons and has provided funding to help accelerate the Cancer Maps initiative.

We are grateful to the Team at COX Business for supporting this program and our Bioscience and Healthcare Community.

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