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Dr. Neil Lamb, PhD, led Biotech 201 participants through an introduction to cancer genomics during the first session of the series.
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Dr. Neil Lamb

2016 Biotech 201: Cancer, Genomics and Precision Medicine series concluded on February 23 with over 600 attendees participating at the Jackson Center or watching live via the webinar.

Biotech 201 is a follow-on course for participants who have completed Biotech 101. The course is offered each February as four weekly sessions led by Neil Lamb, PhD, HudsonAlpha’s vice president for educational outreach. This year’s Biotech 201 course highlighted genomic advances in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer. Registration for the popular series filled in 10 minutes.

“We were pleased to see so many people interested in learning about cancer and genomics,” Dr. Lamb said. “We know cancer is a very personal subject and research can feel somewhat impersonal, so we wanted to empower people by incorporating genomics into their understanding of cancer.”

Examining cancer as a genomic disease

The American Cancer Society estimates the lifetime risk for developing cancer is about one in two for men and one in three for women. And at its heart, cancer is a genomic disease. During the four-session series, Dr. Lamb examined current research findings related to how cancer occurs, explored known environmental and genetic risk factors and discussed how genomic information is shaping precision medicine in the detection and treatment of cancer.

“2016 Biotech 201 was a fantastic course,” said local civic volunteer Karol Kapustka. “Dr. Lamb is a dynamic, animated educator who was able to keep a large audience at attention for the entire course.” In addition to being a Biotech 101 graduate, Karol has attended all of the Biotech 201 sessions.

“This is the first such course that I have attended that portrayed how cancer cells mutate and how our body’s immune system fails to be able to recognize these mutated cells and destroy them,” she added. “This information opens up many doors for researching and developing precision medicine to attack cancer.”

To learn more about the Biotech 101/201 series, visit hudsonalpha.org/biotech-101 or hudsonalpha.org/biotech-201.

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