Hongye Sun joined WuXi AppTec, our parent company, in July 2011 from Life Technologies. He established the WuXi Genome Center to integrate genomics into drug discovery, clinical development and personalised medicine. He spent over 10 years at Life Tech at Bay area working on new sequencing technology development and managing a multi-disciplinary team including biophysicists, chemists, biochemists, nano-fabrification engineers, optical engineers, and software engineers to develop a real-time single molecule DNA sequencing technology. Hongye did his post doctoral fellowships in chemistry and chemicalbiology at Harvard University and the University of Kansas, and received his PhD from Peking University.
The current next generation sequencing era has led to unparalleled characterization of tumor biology through comparison of tumor sequence and RNA expression with that in matched germline samples. However, the challenge is dealing with this enormous amount of genomics data through storage, data access, analysis, discovery, and clinical interpretation. Previously, we developed a unique database architecture (GORdb) that has been proven to be scalable to over 350,000 whole genome sequences to solve the problem of sequence data access in large datasets. We also have developed and validated user-friendly analysis tools and predictive analytics such as deep learning and probabilistic modeling, which together provide clinical researchers the ability to analyze tumor vs germline sequence datasets of thousands or more patients. These tools can be used to more accurately classify subtypes of cancer based on histology, biomarkers, and drug response. Examples will be presented on how these deep learning approaches have classified breast or lung tumor subtypes more accurately than reported before. The same informatics systems can be used to define clinically actionable findings in individual cancer patients. Integrating research-based discovery and clinical-based interpretation within one sequence informatics system provides an easier path to precision medicine for large populations and medical centers.