Overcoming the challenges of precision medicine: an interview with Emily Leproust (Twist Bioscience)


Dr Emily Leproust (Twist Bioscience, CA, USA) discusses how Twist Bioscience products can be used in the fight against cancer, including diagnostics and drug discovery techniques. She also highlights the major challenges in personalized medicine in oncology and how they could be overcome with the development of treatment and post-treatment technologies.

  • How has the field of diagnostics and drug discovery techniques evolved over the last 5 years and what impact has it had on the oncology field?
  • What are Twist Bioscience products and how are they used in the fight against cancer?
  • What are major challenges in the field of personalized medicine in oncology?
  • How could development of personalized treatment and post-treatment technologies help overcome these challenges?
  • Where do you see the field of personalized medicine in oncology evolving in the next decade and how can the Twist Bioscience platform help with cancer treatment?

Over the last decade, molecular diagnostics have come to the forefront of precision medicine. However, the sensitivity of technologies to diagnose and track cancer is still a limiting factor that needs to be overcome in order to advance the field. Novel technologies need to be developed to precisely detect the genetic makeup of samples from cancer patients. Moving forward with this, the second hurdle that needs to be addressed is cost. In order to allow researchers and clinicians to give all patients access to diagnostic tests, the cost needs to be as low as possible.

Leproust is the CEO at Twist Bioscience and an early pioneer in the high-throughput synthesis and sequencing of DNA by disrupting the process of gene synthesis to enable the exponential growth of synthetic biology applications in multiple fields including medicine, DNA data storage, agricultural biology and industrial chemicals.

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