Ovarian Club X and CoGEN in Asia

SpeakerS

Dennis Yuk-ming LO (Hong Kong)

Dennis Lo is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine and Professor of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is also the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK. Dennis Lo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge and Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Oxford.

His research interests focus on the biology and diagnostic applications of cell-free nucleic acids in plasma. In particular, he discovered the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma in 1997 and has since then been pioneering non-invasive prenatal diagnosis using this technology.

In recognition of his work, Dennis Lo has received numerous awards and honours, including election as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine in 2014 and the Future Science Prize in 2016.

Abstract

Cell-free Fetal DNA in Maternal Plasma - History and What's to Come

Cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma was first reported in 1997. Since then, many aspects of the fundamental biology of this phenomenon have been elucidated, including the gestational variations in circulating fetal DNA concentrations, molecular size and rapid clearance following delivery. Diagnostically, circulating cell-free fetal DNA has been shown to be a valuable tool for the non-invasive prenatal screening of fetal chromosomal aneuploidies and single gene disorders. Looking forward to the future, the non-invasive prenatal determination of fetal genomes, methylomes and transcriptomes promises many exciting research and clinical applications. These developments have also inspired applications of circulating nucleic acids in other fields, including oncology and transplantation medicine.