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Joint Research Seminar (19 Nov 2013)



Joint Research Seminar

Genomics Strategic Research Theme
Centre for Genomic Sciences

Digital Biology: Applications in Prenatal
Diagnosis and Single Cell Genetic Analysis

Dr Christina Fan

PhD in Bioengineering
Stanford University

19 November 2013 (Tue)

3:45 – 4:45pm

Lecture Theatre 1

Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, HK


This presentation shall illustrate several emerging techniques that enable digital measurements of biological units (e.g. DNA molecule, chromosome, cell), together with the novel applications and biological insights brought by these techniques. The following topics would be discussed:
  • the use of high throughput sequencing as a precise tool for counting individual DNA molecules, and how such method of molecular counting enables the detection of fetal aneuploidy with cell-fee DNA in maternal blood
  • microfluidic techniques for analyzing individual metaphase chromosomes, and the applications in whole-genome haplotyping and noninvasive determination of the fetal genome
  • whole genome amplification of single cells on microfluidic devices, and how it was used to build a personal recombination map through the study of multiple sperm cells of an individual.
About the Speaker: 

Dr Christina Fan received her PhD in Bioengineering from Stanford University in 2011, under the guidance of Dr Stephen Quake. As a graduate student, she worked on the development of innovative genomic technologies as well as clinical applications of emerging genomic technologies. She has developed a noninvasive maternal blood test for fetal aneuploidy and a technique to determine the fetal genome from maternal blood. The former has become a commercially available diagnostic. Her research has been published in reputable journals including Nature and Cell, and has received recognitions including TR10 by MIT’s Technology Review. She was a recipient of Forbes 30 under 30 in Science and Innovation and MIT’s Technology Review TR35. Since graduation she has worked in two Silicon Valley startup companies focusing on the development of new genomic technologies and their applications in biomedical research and clinical diagnostics.


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