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Genes Webinar | Genomics and Precision Health

6 Oct 2022, 16:30 (CEST)

Genome, Healthcare, Molecular Diagnostics, Bioinformatics
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Welcome from the Chair

2nd Genes Webinar

Genomics and Precision Health

Welcome to the Webinar on Genomics and Precision Health. The forum presents two outstanding experts who will discuss select topics in this emerging area of healthcare that encompasses disease diagnosis and treatment for a myriad of pathologies in acute and chronic manifestations – from cardiovascular diseases to cancer. As you will hear from the speakers, genomics and bioinformatics provide fundamental pillars in precision health. These two technologies generate large datasets, involve analytical tools and trained personnel for the analysis, integration, and guide physicians in patient care. In today’s webinar, Dr. Olaf Bodamer will discuss about the promise of pediatric precision health and Dr. Elisa Houwink will discuss how bioinformatics is used in implementing pharmacogenetics in daily primary care practice.

Date: 6 October 2022

Time: 4:30 pm CEST | 10:30 am EDT | 10:30 pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 875 9531 5334

Webinar Secretariat:


Experimental Cancer Therapeutics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Dr. Ponnazhagan is a trained molecular geneticist with a focus on cancer. He is currently a Full Professor and holds an Endowed Professorship in Experimental Cancer Therapeutics. The major research areas of Dr. Ponnazhagan’s lab are experimental cancer therapeutics, including stem cell and gene therapy using adeno-associated virus (AAV), tumor microenvironment (TME), and cancer bone metastasis. In reference to cancer-bone interaction, Dr. Ponnazhagan’s lab models breast cancer to adopt strategies that target tumor cells, immune suppression, and aggressive osteoclast functions. To overcome limitations in current therapies, his lab developed novel molecular tools and targeted delivery mechanisms, utilizing mesenchymal stem cells as effective therapeutic vehicles for bone remodeling in breast cancer osteolytic pathology. Towards targeting receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) activation using osteoprotegerin (OPG), a decoy receptor for RANKL, without interfering in tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-mediated apoptosis of tumor cells, his lab developed an OPG mutant by structural protein engineering that lacks TRAIL binding affinity and validated in vivo in a disseminated osteolytic malignancy model. His group is the first one to identify a subset of immature myeloid cells, known as myeloid-derived suppressor cells, in the TME within the bone, directly undergo osteoclast differentiation and serve as osteoclast progenitors to enhance bone damage. Recent studies from his lab established the role of RANKL in activating M2 macrophages in breast cancer microenvironment and that dampening the effects of elevated RANKL using the OPG mutant resulted in a shift in the immune milieu favoring an anti-tumor cytokines and chemokine response.

Invited Speakers

Park Gerald Chair of Genetics and Genomics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA

Dr. Bodamer was recruited to Boston Children’s Hospital in 2015 as Associate Chief for Genetics and Genomics, where he also has an established translational research laboratory. He is member of several Editorial and Scientific Advisory Boards as well as of Patient Organizations. Dr. Bodamer has a busy clinical practice at Boston Children’s Hospital where he sees patients with complex genetic disorders of all age groups including Kabuki syndrome and other disorders of histone modification. In 2017 he founded the Roya Kabuki Program at Boston Children’s Hospital with a focus on integrated clinical care and research to improve health outcomes and identify novel therapies. In addition, Dr Bodamer is active in several areas of translational genetics and genomics research, in clinical trials and in educational and teaching activities within Harvard Medical School and associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard University and MIT. Since 2021 he directs the NORD center of excellence for rare diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Department of Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA and Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic Research, Rochester, MN, USA,
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Isa Houwink was born on December the 13th 1973 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. After she received secondary education at the Barlaeus Gymnasium in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, she successfully passed the Propadeutics in Health Sciences. After obtaining her medical degree in 2003, she started working as a resident at the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology both in Amsterdam and in Heerlen. She then decided to become a General Practitioner to be able to be in a more personal relationship with her patients and started her residency in Maastricht in 2005. In 2006 she published an accredited written Accredidact CPD module on pre- and postnatal screening together with prof. Martina Cornel. In 2010, together with prof. Martina Cornel, she also published a book on “Genetics in general practice” published by Elsevier in the series of Praktikum Huisartsgeneeskunde. From 2008 until 2013 she participated in a PhD project at the section Community Genetics, Department of Clinical genetics (VU University Medical Center Amsterdam) under the supervision of prof. Martina Cornel and prof. Geert Jan Dinant (Department of Family Medicine in Maastricht). Her project, funded by CSG Centre for Society and the Life Sciences /Centre for Medical Systems Biology, aimed to reflect on current genomics developments with primary care workers, and to help them identify their learning priorities. On the 20th of December 2013 she defended her thesis "Training in genetics and genomics" Cum Laude. Isa Houwink worked as an associate professor ((Pharmaco)genetics in primary care) at the Leiden University Medical Center and a GP in Kerkrade (GC Terwinselen). In Leiden her focus was on interprofessional education, (Pharmaco)genetics education, implementation and research in primary care, personal genetic lockers, provide non genetic health care workers clear guidelines and definitions of their responsibilities and roles in addressing genetic risk profiles (common and rare diseases) and is a member of the Netherlands eHealth Living Lab (NeLL).

Webinar Content

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Time in CEST

Chair Prof. Dr. Selvarangan Ponnazhagan

Chair Introduction

4:30 - 4:40 pm

Dr. Olaf Bodamer

The Promise of Pediatric Precision Health

4:40 - 5:00 pm

Dr. Elisa J.F. Houwink

Implementing (Pharmaco) Genetics Through Bioinformatics in Daily Primary Care Practice

5:00 - 5:20 pm


5:20 - 5:40 pm

Closing of Webinar

Chair Prof. Dr. Selvarangan Ponnazhagan

5:40 - 5:50 pm

Sponsors and Partners