TrinTalk: Medicine and Technology, Sunday 24 September

Overview

This event is sold out. To be added to the waiting list, please call: +44(0)1223 761527 or email alumni-events@trin.cam.ac.uk.

Medicine is increasingly looking to technology for the next breakthrough in diagnosing and curing disease, and more broadly in assisting and improving well-being. To coincide with the University’s Alumni Festival, this year’s TrinTalk: Medicine and Technology, will feature global experts in their field who have made a breakthrough that has transformed medicine or whose research uses technology to advance what medicine can already achieve.

Tickets are priced at a reduced rate of £25 per person for alumni and guests and include lunch in Hall as well as tea, coffee, and drinks. Booking is available online.

We are delighted to have already confirmed three speakers who work on the cutting-edge of medicine and technology: Sir Gregory Winter (1970), Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian (e1994), Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald (e2002), and Dr Jem Rashbass (1980).

Knighted in 2004 for his services to Molecular Biology, Sir Greg is a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur. His talk, entitled “Bicycles as Magic Bullets”, will focus on his company’s efforts to develop ‘first in class’ medicines to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald’s talk – “Cytosponge: Using Technology to Detect Cancer” – will draw on her research of using technology for the early detection of oesophageal cancer. Professor Fitzgerald was awarded the prestigious Westminster medal and prize for her first proof of concept work on the CytospongeTM or the ‘pill on a String’, which she has spent the last 20 years developing.

Knighted in 2017 for his services to Science and Medicine, Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian will present a talk on “Decoding Human Genomes on a Population Scale”. Professor Shankar is the Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and senior group leader at the Cambridge Institute. He works on the chemistry, structure and function of nucleic acids. He is a co-inventor of the leading next generation DNA sequencing methodology, Solexa (now Illumina), that has made routine, accurate, low-cost sequencing of human genomes a reality and has revolutionised biology.

Dr Jem Rashbass, who trained as a medical doctor at UCL, before working on graduate studies under Professor Sir John Gurdon in Cambridge, will discuss “The Challenge of Personalised Medicine”. Drawing on his vast experience over a 25-year career in healthcare data systems, Jem is the founder of a social enterprise, Health Data Insight C.I.C., which acts as an ethical information intermediary for health data.

Further biographical information is listed below as well as the day’s full programme. We very much look forward to seeing you at this year’s TrinTalk.

Speakers

Sir Gregory Winter (1970) is Master of Trinity College Cambridge and until recently a member of the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge. He is a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur. He read Biological Sciences at Trinity. His scientific career has almost entirely been based in Cambridge where his work has involved the development of technologies for making pharmaceutical antibodies by genetic engineering. Such antibodies have proved useful for treatment of cancer and immune disorders, and now comprise many of the world’s top-selling pharmaceutical drugs. These include the “humanized” antibodies Herceptin (for treatment of breast cancer) and Lucentis (for treatment of wet acute macular degeneration), and the human antibody Humira (for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis), currently the world’s top selling pharmaceutical drug.

Rebecca Fitzgerald is Professor of Cancer Prevention at the University of Cambridge. Rebecca continues to practice medicine and is an Honorary Consultant in Gastroenterology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge. The focus of her research is to improve methods for early detection of oesophageal cancer through better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis. Rebecca was awarded the prestigious Westminster medal and prize for her first proof of concept work on the CytospongeTM and associated assays for diagnosing Barrett’s oesophagus in 2004. Since then this work has received an NHS Innovation prize in 2011 and the BMJ Gastro team of the year award in 2016.

Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian is the Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and senior group leader at the Cambridge Institute. He works on the chemistry, structure and function of nucleic acids. He is a co-inventor of the leading next generation DNA sequencing methodology, Solexa sequencing (now Illumina) that has made routine, accurate, low-cost sequencing of human genomes a reality and has revolutionised biology. He has worked on the identification, elucidation and manipulation of non-coding genetic elements, particularly four-stranded structures called G-quadruplexes. His work on the intervention of nucleic acid function using small molecules has revealed a number of molecular mechanisms that can be exploited, e.g. to modulate the biology of cancer. His more recent contributions include the development of methods for sequencing the epigenetic DNA bases 5-methylcytosine, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and 5-formylcytosine at single base resolution, as part of a broader investigation of the importance of wider, natural DNA alphabet. His collective contributions span fundamental chemistry and its application to the biological and medical sciences.

Jem Rashbass studied medicine at University College London, was a graduate student of Professor Sir John Gurdon in Cambridge, then trained in diagnostic pathology.  He has worked on large-scale healthcare data systems for the last 25 years in a variety of different settings. He is now the National Director for Disease Registration and Cancer Analysis in Public Health England (PHE) and the Cancer Lead for PHE. In this role, he is responsible for 350 staff in the National Disease Registration Services in England. He is the founder of Clinical and Biomedical Computing Ltd., which develops and delivers the online service “Medicines Complete” for the Pharmaceutical Press. In 2011 he launched a social enterprise, Health Data Insight C.I.C. to act as an ethical information intermediary for health data.

Programme

10:30 am

Tea & Coffee

11:00 am

Morning Talks

12:30 pm

Drinks Reception

1:00 pm

Lunch

2:30 pm

Afternoon Talks

4:00 pm

Afternoon Tea

5:00 pm

Carriages