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Technology Seminar (20 May 2016)



Technology Seminar

Uncovering Biomarkers Deep within the
Complex Transcriptome and Considerations
on the Depth of Sequencing Required


Mr Anthony (Tony) Schweitzer
Principal Scientist and Head of Bioinformatics
for the Affymetrix Expression Business Unit A

20 May 2016 (Fri)
3:30 – 4:30 pm

Seminar Room 2, G/F
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research
5 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong


Technologies such as NGS are showing us brief glimpses of the enormous complexities within our cells transcriptomes. Non-coding RNAs and alternative splicing events are new sources of biomarker development. Robustly identifying these transcriptome changes are difficult without careful consideration of the variances and challenges inherent to the technology. The SEQC has been investigating technical variance associated with RNA sequencing. Historically, expression microarray data has been affected by signal and fold-change compression. RNA-seq workflows often overinflate fold-change. This has limited the ability to directly compare data from different platforms.

When compare performance between RNA-seq and whole transcriptome microarrays, it demonstrate that deep sequencing is required to measure low abundance transcripts. Therefore, researchers are missing important changes easily accessible on microarrays. Moreover, in clinical research setting the added variance from samples and the challenges associated with whole transcriptome profiling of blood or FFPE tissue can also impair the ability discover clinically associated events. In this talk we will explore differences between arrays and RNA-seq for discovery of biomarkers.


Mr Anthony (Tony) SchweitzerMr Anthony (Tony) Schweitzer is a Principal Scientist and Head of Bioinformatics for the Affymetrix Expression Business Unit. He provides expertise globally across the organization and has responsibilities in sales, marketing, product support and R&D. He manages the EBU bioinformatics team and designs and develops next generation expression solutions. He actively participates in the US FDA SEQC/MAQC-III consortium and educates on the power and limitations of RNA-seq. He has given lectures and seminars worldwide sharing insights on transcriptomics, biomarker discovery and clinical use of microarrays for personalized medicine. He has developed a passion for aiding investigators with their research and clinical needs and empowering them with tools and insight normally beyond their capabilities.

Tony began his career in Columbus Ohio working on large scale genomic efforts including progenitor stem cell research and pathogen detection. In 1997 he relocated to the San Francisco bay area and worked on clinical target discovery programs for large pharma and biotech in the areas of Asthma and Diabetes. In 1999 Tony became the Director of Bioinformatics and IT for Metabolex Inc. and began working with Affymetrix to develop custom Affymetrix expression arrays. In 2004 he brought his bioinformatics skills and knowledge to Affymetrix laboratories heading up the Expression R&D informatics team and worked extensively on developing whole transcriptome expression microarrays.



Co-organized with Gene Company Limited  Gene Company Lmited Logo
Refreshment to be served

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