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Researchers recognized for exceptional contributions
VANCOUVER, BC—Contextual Genomics Inc., a leading Canadian cancer genomics company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, announced today that its scientific founders, Drs. Samuel Aparicio, David Huntsman and Sohrab Shah, have been recognized by Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) for their exceptional research performance, as determined by the production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year.
The Clarivate Analytics list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2018 identifies scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. Researchers are selected for their exceptional performance in one or more of 21 fields, or across several fields. Of the world population of scientists and social scientists, the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers are one in 1,000.
Samuel Aparicio, Scientific Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Contextual Genomics, has been recognized in a new category this year - cross field, recognizing those with outsized influence across several fields. Aparicio’s research made significant contributions to a number of Clarivate Analytics categories, including clinical medicine, molecular biology and genetics.
“It is a privilege to be cited in so many valuable publications across diverse fields,” said Aparicio. “Our goal is to continue to help cancer patients around the world, through academic discoveries, and through genomic assays delivered by Contextual Genomics.”
Sohrab Shah, Scientific Founder and Chief Informatics Officer of Contextual Genomics, has also been recognized in the new cross field category.
“Genome science requires cross-disciplinary collaboration - computer scientists, statisticians, molecular biologists, geneticists and pathologists. It’s exciting to see that our cross disciplinary science is read and cited by our colleagues in the field,” added Shah. “Contextual Genomics’ approach to helping patients has from the very beginning brought together scientists across quantitative and biomedical fields working in an integrated environment to deliver comprehensive molecular and informatics solutions.”
David Huntsman, Scientific Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Contextual Genomics, has been recognized in the field of Clinical Medicine.
“This acknowledgment means that our academic research has effectively influenced the research of other scientists around the world,” noted Huntsman. “Contextual Genomics has enabled us to use cancer genomics to impact patients directly around the world.”
In 2012, Aparicio, Shah and Huntsman founded Contextual Genomics to help clinical laboratories implement quality assured Next Generation Sequence (NGS) based somatic mutation testing in their own facilities. Contextual Genomics’ solutions allow partner laboratories to facilitate access for cancer patients to high quality and affordable genomic testing for improved cancer care through a more personalized and targeted therapy approach.
“That the three Scientific Founders of Contextual Genomics, all of which are Canada Research Chairs, are recognized through the impact of their work on other research speaks to the high level of the science that underpins all of Contextual Genomics’ activities and may mark us as unique in our sector,” mentioned Celia Courchene, President of Contextual Genomics.
Contextual Genomics has developed FIND IT, a proprietary molecular hotspot assay that screens for more than 140 somatic genome alterations found in solid tumor cancers to identify optimal therapeutic treatments and recognize acquired drug resistant mutations, making it possible for doctors to customize therapies with greater precision for cancer patients. The FIND IT assay, supported by Contextual Genomics’ innovative, cloud-based analysis engine, also helps to determine prognostic and diagnostic implications for patient care.
Contextual Genomics is also developing FOLLOW IT, a proprietary mutation detection liquid biopsy assay that screens for cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in plasma. FOLLOW IT will be deployed for patients with widespread metastatic disease at diagnosis and for use as a time series monitoring tool to read out tumor burden and treatment resistance. FOLLOW IT will screen for all of the same somatic genome alterations as FIND IT and can be used to follow disease progression for patients, including those whose tumors were initially tested with FIND IT.
Chris Wagner, Contextual Genomics’ Executive Chairman said, “This external validation of the work of Drs. Aparicio, Shah and Huntsman is well deserved. We see the important contributions these dedicated scientists make through the scientific, informatics and medical leadership that they provide to our team, products and business every day and we are very happy to see it recognized in such a prestigious way. Their exceptional leadership, combined with the talents of our team, have allowed us to develop and deliver our very important products, including FIND IT and FOLLOW IT, for the worldwide cancer community.”