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Liesbet Lagae    






Liesbet Lagae is co-founder and currently Program Director of the Life Science Technologies in imec. In this role, she oversees the emerging R&D, the public funded activities and early business creation.  She holds a PhD degree from the KU Leuven, Belgium for her work on Magnetic Random Access Memories obtained under an IWT grant. As a young group leader, she has initiated the field of molecular and cellular biochips leveraging silicon technologies at IMEC, Belgium. The life science program has grown from emerging activities to a mature business line that provides smart silicon chip solutions to the life science industry.  Applications include medical diagnostics, point-of-care solutions, DNA sequencing, cytometry,  bioreactors, neuroprobes, implants.    She holds a prestigious ERC consolidator grant for developing a platform on single cell analysis and sorting.  She has (co-) authored 125 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and holds 15 patents in the field. She is also part-time professor in nanobiotechnology at KU Leuven/Physics department.



Presentation abstract


The blood of cancer patients contains various tumor-derived materials, including circulating tumor cells (CTCs), circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA), tumor-derived microRNAs and exosomes. Monitoring the presence and concentration changes in these tumor-derived biomarkers in blood, collectively referred to as ‘liquid biopsies’, provides a minimally invasive alternative to using surgical or tissue biopsy samples to assess cancer progression and treatment efficacy. In addition to blood, several other body fluids, such as saliva, urine or cerebrospinal fluid, can also contain tumor-derived genetic information and can serve as input samples.

Making liquid biopsies part of standard personalized medicine requires development of next-generation point-of-care devices able to reach clinically meaningful sensitivities, simplify sample preparation, as well as reduce costs and footprint of the instruments.

I'll present imec’s end-to-end approach to next-generation liquid biopsies: from microfluidic cell capture and sorting of relevant cell populations, to rapid on-chip sample preparation, PCR and data analysis. This digital approach will enable full exploitation of the potential utility of liquid biopsies in aiding clinical decision and improving patient outcomes.


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