Public Release: 

MedImmune Translational Science Forum convenes bay area leaders on precision medicine

Forum to explore innovative approaches to precision medicine's big data challenges and opportunities in bioinformatics and drug discovery

MedImmune, Inc.

Mountain View, Ca., May 23, 2016 - Today, key leaders from academia, industry, government and funding organizations in and around the San Francisco Bay Area will convene for the MedImmune California Translational Science Forum to discuss innovative approaches to address precision medicine's big data challenges and opportunities in bioinformatics and drug discovery. Notable program speakers will include: Dr. Elizabeth Baca, Senior Health Advisor, Governor's Office of Planning and Research and Dr. Gerd Binnig, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Definiens (Nobel Laureate).

The one-day Forum is hosted by MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and is being held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. The Forum will explore recent advances in technologies and bioinformatics that have transformed how we understand diseases, design diagnostics and target therapeutics at a personalized level. The presenters will also discuss the impact of companion diagnostics on clinical trial and drug development, and the challenges associated with big data. The potential to convert vast amounts of genetic, phenotypic, clinical and epidemiological data into useful insights to improve diagnostics and therapeutic decisions is critical to precision medicine and is a priority for MedImmune, who has a local presence in the Bay area.

Key topics that will be discussed include: advances in precision medicine, innovation in companion diagnostics, and biomarker discovery and application for immuno-oncology. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear groundbreaking presentations from leading and forward-thinking experts, interact and engage with specialists during panel discussions, and network and collaborate with leaders from the Bay Area and surrounding areas in the field of precision medicine.

Other important participants include:

  • Dr. Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer, AstraZeneca
  • Dr. David Berman, Senior Vice President, Head of Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit, MedImmune
  • Dr. William Tucker, Interim Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, University of California, Office of the President
  • Dr. June Lee, Director of Early Translational Research at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco
  • Dr. Alan Sachs, Chief Science Officer, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Dr. John Shon, Vice President, Bioinformatics and Data Sciences, Illumina
  • Dr. Atul Butte, Director, Institute for Computational Health Sciences and Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco
  • Dr. Saroja Ramanujan, Principal Scientist and Group Lead, Translational and Systems Pharmacology, Genentech

"MedImmune is dedicated to advancing precision medicine, which could bring patients more effective, targeted treatment options and has the potential to be a transformative force in shaping the future of healthcare," said Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune. "Robust translational science research and development is critical to successfully developing innovative medicines for patients who currently lack sufficient treatment options. While some advances in precision medicine have been made, there is great need to continue advancing precision medicine in drug development -- a key theme that we plan to address during today's Forum."

The MedImmune California site is focused on translational science and precision medicine, with expertise in biomarker discovery and development and pharmacokinetic and pharmacometric (PK/PM) modeling and simulation. The use of this quantitative modeling is a key component of MedImmune's strategy to help tailor the optimal dose for the right patient.

"Precision medicine can only realize its full potential through the successful collaboration of academia, industry, government and funding organizations," added Raffaella Faggioni, MedImmune California Site Head and Translational Science Forum Chair. "Today's Forum provides us with an important opportunity to do just that, and help advance the important work in this area."

Recently, the promise of precision medicine tailored to an individual patient has attracted the attention of many stakeholders because there are significant gaps in the understanding of how many kinds of disease progress. Working together through partnerships and collaborations will help gain better insights into the biological, environmental and behavioral influences on these diseases.


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About MedImmune

MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca's three global R&D centers, with additional sites in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, CA. For more information, please visit


Tracy Rossin

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