Course Speakers

Genomics Course 2014 Speakers

  • Martin Hirst, PhD

  • Head of Epigenomics, Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BCCA; Assistant Professor, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, Centre for High-Throughput Biology, UBC
  • Ryan D. Morin, MSc, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, SFU; Affiliations: Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and School of Computing Science (Associate Member), SFU; Scientist, Genome Sciences Centre, BCCA


Dr. John Iafrate is a board-certified Pathologist who joined the MGH staff in 2005 and directs a clinical laboratory for molecular diagnostics at MGH and oversees a translational research laboratory that supports both Pathology and the MGH Cancer Center. He is an MD-PhD having received his dual degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2000 and was trained in Anatomic and Molecular Genetic Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His post-doctoral work involved the discovery and description of a novel source of human genetic diversity termed copy number variation (CNV). Since arriving at MGH, he has established a cancer diagnostics lab focusing on genetic fingerprints that help guide novel and targeted therapies. His laboratory launched Snapshot several years ago, an assay that tests over 100 of the most common mutations in tumors. His research is focused on lung and brain tumors, and he has been closely involved in the clinical development of crizotinib and companion diagnostics in ALK-positive lung cancers. Dr. Iafrate has published over 100 papers with heavy emphasis on molecular pathology, diagnostics, and personalized medicine.

Selected publications

  • Awad MM, Katayama R, McTigue M, Liu W, Deng YL, Brooun A, et al. Acquired resistance to crizotinib from a mutation in CD74-ROS1. The New England journal of medicine. 2013;368(25):2395-401.
  • Ou SH, Bartlett CH, Mino-Kenudson M, Cui J, Iafrate AJ. Crizotinib for the treatment of ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer: a success story to usher in the second decade of molecular targeted therapy in oncology. The oncologist. 2012;17(11):1351-75.
  • Bergethon K, Shaw AT, Ou SH, Katayama R, Lovly CM, McDonald NT, et al. ROS1 rearrangements define a unique molecular class of lung cancers. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2012;30(8):863-70.
  • Snuderl M, Fazlollahi L, Le LP, Nitta M, Zhelyazkova BH, Davidson CJ, et al. Mosaic amplification of multiple receptor tyrosine kinase genes in glioblastoma. Cancer cell. 2011;20(6):810-7.
  • Kwak EL, Bang YJ, Camidge DR, Shaw AT, Solomon B, Maki RG, et al. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibition in non-small-cell lung cancer. The New England journal of medicine. 2010;363(18):1693-703.
  • Wu D, Vu Q, Nguyen A, Stone JR, Stubbs H, Kuhlmann G, et al. In situ genetic analysis of cellular chimerism. Nature medicine. 2009;15(2):215-9.
  • Iafrate AJ, Feuk L, Rivera MN, Listewnik ML, Donahoe PK, Qi Y, et al. Detection of large-scale variation in the human genome. Nature genetics. 2004;36(9):949-51.

“The UBC Pathology Genomics Core Teaching course is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.”