Monday March 7th, 2022
1:00PM Eastern Time
Ava Soleimany, PhD
Senior Researcher, Biomedical Machine Learning Group at Microsoft Research, New England
Abstract: Precision cancer medicine envisions a world where diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities are intelligently tailored to individual patient needs. Achieving this vision necessitates access to high quality, accurate, and individualized information about disease state. Engineered probes that sense disease activity — dynamically and directly within the body — could provide this information by generating signals that functionally measure the state of one’s disease.
In this talk, I will discuss my work in engineering a novel class of nanoscale sensors that directly query tumor microenvironments by measuring the activity of proteases, enzymes directly involved in all functional hallmarks of cancer. I will share how we can leverage the rich, functional data generated by these sensors to design and deploy novel, expressive, and high-fidelity machine learning models to power individualized diagnostic decision-making and noninvasive monitoring. Finally, I show how we can engineer sensors to spatially profile protease activity in situ, demonstrating their ability to discover personalized insights into mechanisms of tumor progression and treatment response and encouraging their translation for precision cancer medicine.