The 5th and final episode in the Cutting Edge Conversation series for 2021 features Dr. Morad Nakhleh, Natalie Smith, and Dr. Bhavika Patel as they discuss industry challenges and innovations surrounding biomarkers in life science research and precision medicine.

Morad Nakhleh, PhD, Head Commercial Biomarker Strategist, Owlstone Medical

Dr. Morad Nakhled presents on how exhaled Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) hold the potential to be effective non-invasive biomarkers for diagnostics and precision medicine. The success of biomarker discovery studies in the field heavily relies on optimized sample acquisition and analysis. That includes, but is not limited to, maximizing the number of biologically relevant on-breath compounds detectable by the analytical platform, and reducing process variability. Developing a fit for purpose end-to-end breath sampling and analysis platform is a significant challenge, particularly due to the complex nature of the breath matrix and external sources of VOCs contaminating the samples. This presentation aims to provide data-driven insights, gained through the development of the OMNI Assay, towards enhancement of global biomarker discovery capabilities and data quality. They focus on the optimization of approaches for sample acquisition, analysis and quality control.

Natalie Smith, Senior Pharma and Translational Genomics Manager, Eurofins Genomics

Natalie Smith discusses how a single company expert in Genomics can discover and validate biomarkers with large portfolio and up to date technologies. This method is unique within the market and other companies within the industry have responded positively to this integrated approach. These experts save time, money and do not have to coordinate with many suppliers in order to operate effectively. 

Bhavika Patel, PhD, Scientist, Lanterne Dx

Dr. Patel discusses how it is possible to obtain an advanced understanding of tumor microenvironment by utilizing multiplex immunofluorescence. As immune profiling develops into an increasingly utilized tool in immunotherapy, biomarkers that detect the tumor and tumor microenvironment have gained increasing relevance and usage. They allow for the development of strategies that accelerate the development of treatments which can enhance a patient’s immune system. As a collaborative effort with Akoya Biosciences, Dr. Patel demonstrates the use of the MOTiF™ PD-1/PD-L1 Panel kit in multiple tissue types, and explain their role and relevance within the biomarker space. 


Lanterne Dx

Dr. Bhavika Patel is currently a Scientist at Lanterne Dx. She has experience with immunohistochemistry, fluorescent microscopy including multiplex imaging, and digital image analysis using various platforms.

Head Commercial Biomarker Strategist
Owlstone Medical

Morad K. Nakhleh Joined Owlstone Medical in 2018 and performs as Head Commercial Biomarker Strategist.

Senior Pharma & Translational Genomics Manager
Eurofins Genomics

Natalie has over 18 years of experience in managing technical projects with large international scientific companies specializing in pharmacogenomics, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical drug release and genomics technologies.

Production Partner

Lanterne Dx

Lanterne Dx is a comprehensive clinical histopathology contract research organization (CRO) and is driven by the latest in technology, methods and an expert team of PhD scientists and MD pathologists.

Owlstone Medical

Owlstone Medical is developing a breathalyzer for disease for the early detection of cancer, inflammatory and infectious disease. Their mission is to save 100,000 lives and $1.5B in healthcare costs.

Eurofins Genomics

Eurofins Genomics is an internationally leading provider of DNA sequencing services, next generation sequencing services, genotyping services, DNA synthesis products and bioinformatics services for pharma, diagnostics, food, agriculture, biotechnological and research markets.

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