T. T. Chao Symposium: “From Base Pairs to Bedside: What Happens When Genomics-Based Therapies Enter Our Clinics”

Chao Symposium
Date: October 25, 2012
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Central Daylight Time)

Asia Society Texas Center
1370 Southmore Boulevard
Houston, TX

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free

CHF’s annual T. T. Chao Symposium examines the societal impact of humanity’s great technological issues and encourages innovative responses.

Watching remotely? Visit chemheritage.org/live at 9:00 a.m. (Central Daylight Time) to view the live webcast. 

Coming in person? Register here.

  About the Conference

This year’s symposium, “From Base Pairs to Bedside: What Happens When Genomics-Based Therapies Enter Our Clinics,” will examine personalized medicine, from its promise for future health care to its social ramifications and the ethical questions it raises. 

  Conference Schedule

Thursday, October 25, 2012

9:00 a.m.

Welcome/Opening Remarks

  • Thomas R. Tritton, President and CEO, Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • James D. Watson, Chancellor Emeritus, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Watson School of Biological Sciences
9:30 a.m.

Session 1: Challenges and Opportunities for the Private and Public Sectors
A conversation about genomics-based therapies.

  • John Mendelsohn, former President, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and current Director, M. D. Anderson’s Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy
  • Leroy Hood, President and Cofounder, Institute for Systems Biology
  • Nancy Chang, Cofounder, Tanox, Inc.


12:00 p.m.

Session 2: Luncheon and Keynote Address

  • Bradley Ozenberger, Program Director, Technology Development  for the National Human Genome Research Institute, and Program Director, The Cancer Genome Atlas, National Institutes of Health


1:30 p.m.

Session 3: Patient Tissue and Medical Information: Issues of Ownership, Access, and Privacy
A conversation on ownership rights, patient privacy, and biomedical research as viewed by the laws governing access to tissues, medical information, intellectual property, and protection of privacy.

  • Hans Sauer, Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property, Biotechnology Industry Organization
  • Barbara Evans, Professor of Law and Codirector, Health Law and Policy Institute, University of Houston Law Center

 Speaker Biographies

Nancy Chang

Nancy Chang previously served as president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Tanox, Inc., until it was acquired by Genentech in 2007. She cofounded Tanox, a Texas-based biotech company focused on the development of breakthrough therapeutics to treat asthma, allergy, inflammation, and major diseases affecting the human immune system. From 1979 to 1981  Chang was at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. Between 1981 and 1986 she was at Centocor, Inc., serving as the director of research, Molecular Biology Group. From 1986 to 1992  Chang was an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the Division of Molecular Virology.

Chang has served on a number of boards, including those of the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston and BioHouston, and the Board of Visitors of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She has also served on the board of Charles River Laboratories, Inc., and as the senior managing director at OrbiMed Asia Partners Fund. Currently she is the president of Apex Corporation, active in the investment biomedical field. She holds a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Harvard University.

Barbara Evans

Barbara Evans is a professor of law and a codirector of the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center; she has also been named a Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar in Bioethics for 2010–2013. Evans joined the University of Houston Law Center in 2007. Her research interests include governance, privacy, and financing issues with large health-information networks and tissue repositories; regulatory and judicial uses of evidence from large-scale observational studies; and legal barriers to clinical translation of pharmacogenomics. Earlier in her career she was a partner in the international regulatory practice of a large New York law firm and subsequently advised clients on U.S. privacy, research, and medical-device regulatory matters. Before joining the University of Houston Law Center, she was a research professor of medicine and director of the Program in Pharmacogenomics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Center for Bioethics. She holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of Texas, Austin; an M.S. degree and a Ph.D. from Stanford University; and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She has also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical ethics at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Leroy Hood

Leroy Hood is president and cofounder of the Institute for Systems Biology. His research has focused on the study of molecular immunology, biotechnology, and genomics. Hood’s professional career began at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer––four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome. He has played a role in founding more than fourteen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, The Accelerator, and Integrated Diagnostics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lasker Award for Studies of Immune Diversity, the Kyoto Prize in advanced technology, the Heinz Award for pioneering work in Systems Biology, and most recently, the coveted NAE 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science. In addition to having received 17 honorary degrees, Hood has published more than 700 peer-reviewed articles and holds 36 patents.

John Mendelsohn

John Mendelsohn is the former president of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and is currently director of M. D. Anderson’s Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy. Mendelsohn served as president of the M. D. Anderson Center through an incredibly productive period of nearly 15 years. By virtually any measure the institution more than doubled in size during his tenure, while aiming for even higher excellence in patient care and research. Mendelsohn remains on the M. D. Anderson faculty, returning to clinical and translational research as director of the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy. Before joining M. D. Anderson, Mendelsohn was founding director of the National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center at the University of California, San Diego. He then chaired the Department of Medicine and cochaired the Program in Pharmacology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Bradley A. Ozenberger

Bradley A. Ozenberger is deputy director, Division of Genomic Medicine, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). In that position he is the administrator of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) program, a large joint effort of the NHGRI and the National Cancer Institute to generate comprehensive catalogs of genetic aberrations underlying each major type of cancer. In addition to his responsibilities coordinating the daily operations of TCGA, Ozenberger is director of the NHGRI Clinical Sequencing Program supporting the translation of genomic discoveries and technology for patient care. Ozenberger also is involved in the development of National Institutes of Health policy relating to protection of research-participant privacy and data access.

Hans Sauer

Hans Sauer is associate general counsel for intellectual property for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a major trade association representing over 1,100 biotechnology companies from the medical, agricultural, environmental, and industrial sectors. At BIO, Sauer advises the organization’s board of directors, amicus committee, and various staff committees on patents and other matters related to intellectual property. Before his current position Sauer was chief patent counsel for MGI Pharma and senior patent counsel for Guilford Pharmaceuticals. Sauer has 13 years of professional in-house experience in the biotechnology industry, where he worked on several drug-development programs, being responsible for patent prosecution and portfolio oversight, clinical trial health-information privacy, and sales and marketing legal compliance. Sauer frequently speaks on behalf of BIO on such topics as patent reform, Patent and Trademark Office rules, and the impact of judicial developments on the biotechnology industry. He holds an M.S. degree from the University of Ulm, Germany; a Ph.D. from the University of Lund, Sweden; and a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Thomas R. Tritton

Thomas R. Tritton is the second president of CHF. He was the 12th president of Haverford College. A cancer chemotherapy research expert with over 150 publications, Tritton had his work continuously funded by the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health.

Before he became president of Haverford, Tritton was a professor of pharmacology for 12 years each at Yale University and the University of Vermont. At the University of Vermont he also served as deputy director of the Vermont Cancer Center—a designated comprehensive cancer center of the National Cancer Institute—and as vice provost of the university. In 2007, before assuming the CHF presidency, Tritton was “president in residence” at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He holds a B.A. degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. from Boston University.

James D. Watson

James D. Watson was educated at the University of Chicago and Indiana University. In 1953, while at Cambridge University, he and Francis Crick successfully proposed the double helical structure for DNA. They, together with Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. While a professor at Harvard University, Watson commenced a writing career that generated The Molecular Biology of the Gene and his autobiographical volumes, The Double Helix, Genes, Girls, and Gamow, and Avoid Boring People. At Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, he was a driving force behind the Human Genome Project that led to his receipt of the Royal Society’s Copley Medal in 1993. Among many honorary degrees and awards are election to the National Academy of Sciences, Medal of Freedom, National Medal of Science, City of Philadelphia Liberty Medal, Benjamin Franklin Medal, and Honorary Knight of the British Empire. Watson has served the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1968 as its director, president, chancellor, and currently chancellor emeritus.

  Event Sponsors

The T. T. Chao Symposium on Innovation is made possible through the generosity of the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation. CHF acknowledges our 2012 partner organization, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.