Dr. Vaske uses the latest RNA-Seq analysis approaches to improve the lives of pediatric cancer patients. She is one 16 speakers that will present at the GSC’s 20th Anniversary Symposium, November 21, 2019. 

Olena VaskeDr. Olena Morozova Vaske became interested in cancer research during her undergraduate degree in molecular genetics at the University of Toronto, carrying out research in a pediatric cancer laboratory. Wanting to gain skills in cancer genomics, Dr. Vaske decided to pursue a PhD at the GSC working under the supervision of Dr. Marco Marra.

“I wanted to train with the best in the field,” says Dr. Vaske, “And that is Marco.”

Dr. Vaske had the opportunity to design a PhD project that allowed her to gain experience in cancer genomics while applying it to her interest in pediatric cancer research.

“Marco allowed me to pursue my interests and provided me with a lot of unique opportunities,” says Dr. Vaske, “I really credit my time and experience at the GSC for where I am now.”

Dr. Vaske is the Co-Founder of the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative at the University of California Santa Cruz Genomics Institute where she is an Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology. She is a Fellow of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists and holds the University of California Colligan Presidential Chair in Pediatric Genomics. Dr. Vaske’s research focuses on the development and clinical translation of novel RNA-Seq analysis approaches for pediatric patients with cancer and other genetic diseases. The goal of the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative is to increase the number of pediatric cancer patients that benefit from the genomic characterization of tumours.

At the GSC’s upcoming 20th anniversary symposium, Dr. Vaske will speak about this initiative, and will speak about her latest research demonstrating how the sharing of large datasets among institutions can lead to measurable improvements in the outcomes of cancer patients.

“We want to prove that data sharing improves clinical outcomes,” says Dr. Vaske, “I will give some examples showing that having access to shared data does indeed have a clinical impact.”

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