Andre Dekker, PhD
Prof. Andre Dekker is a board-certified medical physicist at MAASTRO Clinic, Maastricht, The Netherlands since 2005. He has been the head of Medical Physics until 2009 and then led for numerous years the department of Information and Services that manages medical informatics and ICT. He is now responsible for all Research and Education activities at the hospital. He was appointed as a full professor at Maastricht University in 2015 where he holds the chair “Clinical Data Science”
From 2008, he started and is the principal investigator of the GROW-Maastricht University research division of MAASTRO Knowledge Engineering. His research focuses on two main themes: 1) global data sharing infrastructures; 2) machine learning on this data for decision support systems. The main scientific breakthrough has been the development of a Semantic Web and ontology based data sharing and distributed learning infrastructure that does not require data to leave the hospital. This has reduced many of the ethical and other barriers to share data.
Prof. Dekker has authored over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals covering informatics, imaging, radiotherapy, tissue optics and heart disease and holds multiple awarded patents. He has held visiting scientist appointments at the Christie Hospital NHS trust; University of Sydney Australia; Liverpool and Macarthur Cancer therapy centres Australia; Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Australia; Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore, Italy; Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, USA, Varian Medical Systems, USA and the Princess Margaret Hospital in Canada.
Luciano Ravera is CEO of IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas since 2009. He joined part of the Humanitas Group in 1994. Member of the Humanitas Board of Directors since 2006, he has held the position of Managing Director of the Humanitas Gavazzeni (BG) from 1999 to 2002, Managing Director of IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano (MI) 2002-2005.
From 2005 to 2009 he held the position of CEO of Humanitas Mater Domini (Castellanza - VA) and Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development of the Humanitas Group Spa. He previously worked for Barclays Bank and Booz Allen & Hamilton. Luciano Ravera graduated cum laude in Economics from Bocconi University in Milan and obtained a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
The Swanton laboratory focuses on mechanisms generating cancer genetic diversity and its consequences on clinical outcome. Our group and others, through next generation sequencing studies, have demonstrated that the principles of Darwinian evolution apply to the growth and adaptation of human tumours.
Our group has demonstrated that intratumour heterogeneity, through tumour sampling bias, impacts upon our ability to successfully qualify cancer biomarkers for clinical use. We have also found evidence for extensive parallel evolution in human tumours, with multiple spatially separated subclones acquiring distinct mutations in the same gene, protein complex or signal transduction pathway, suggesting profound constraints to tumour evolution that might be exploited for therapeutic benefit.
Finally, we are building on recent findings from our group that DNA replication stress, genome doubling events and the APOBEC mutational process appear to contribute to intratumour heterogeneity and accelerate cancer evolution, in order to develop deeper insight into how patterns of cancer diversity may be limited for patient benefit.
Richard C. Wender, MD
Richard C. Wender, MD, is the chief cancer control officer of the American Cancer Society. In this role, he is charged with providing oversight and guidance to the organization’s domestic and global cancer control programs, with a focus on access, navigation, and health equity in an effort to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to live a healthy life and receive high quality treatment and support. Dr. Wender leads one of the largest cancer control organizations in the country, with more than 1,000 regionally-deployed staff working in the areas of prevention and early detection, patient and caregiver support, programs and services, global cancer control, and health systems.
Dr. Wender became the Society’s first chief cancer control officer in 2013, but prior to joining the staff, he was a committed volunteer starting in 1985. He provided extensive volunteer leadership at the Society’s state and local levels, and in 2006, was elected volunteer president of the Society, becoming the first primary care physician to serve in this capacity.