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Program 2023


8:00-9:00 Registration, coffee and networking

9:00-10:00 Opening plenary session and Keynote speaker (Ziedona Hall)

Chair: Valts Abols

Agrita Kiopa Vice-Rector of Science, Riga Stradins University

Hosams Abu Meri Minister of Health of the Republic of Latvia

Viktors Valainis Minister of Economics of the Republic of Latvia

John Tully Founder of LCOF, Chair of PMNET Steering committee

Robert Green Professor of Medicine (Genetics); Mass General Brigham, Harvard Medical School (USA)
The Path to Universal Genomic Medicine

Bettina Ryll Patient advocate, MPNE, member of the first EU Cancer Mission Board (Sweden)


10:30-12:00 Cancer Genetics and Precision Oncology (Ziedona Hall)
Chair: Sandra Lejniece


David Gisselsson Nord Professor of Molecular Pathology, Vice Dean, Principal Investigator; Lund University Cancer Centre (Sweden)
Topic: TBC

Martin Zoche Director of the Molecular Tumor Profiling, Department of Pathology and Molecular Pathology; University Hospital Zurich (Switzerland)
Merging Clinical Data for Oncology Patients – The challenge of aggregating informative data sets

Brian Bird Consultant Medical Oncologist; Bon Secours Cork, Senior Lecturer; Clinical Education in University College Cork (Ireland)
An ordinary oncologist faced with extraordinary data – how the Irish National on-line MTB helped me and my patients

Aija Line Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (Latvia)
EVs as a source of cancer-derived biomarkers for liquid biopsies

10:30-12:00 National genomics and precision medicine infrastructure in Nordics+ region (Conference Room 1)

Chair: Mait Metspalu


Asa Johansson Associate Professor; Uppsala University (Sweden)
Precision Medicine roadmap at SciLifeLab

Eero Punkka Director; Helsinki Biobank (Finland)

Monta Briviba Head of the core facility Genome Center; Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (Latvia)
National genomics initiatives and projects in Latvia

Sander Pajusalu Head of the Genetics and Personalized Medicine Clinic, associate professor; Tartu University Hospital, Tartu University (Estonia)
Implementing Precision Medicine in Estonia


10:30-11:30 Human capital development in healthcare (Conference room 2)

Moderator: Raimonds Lapins

Deputy State Secretary on Economic Issues, Ministry of Economics (Latvia)

Daiga Behmane
Andrejs Erglis
Talis Juhna
Aiga Balode
Diana Laipniece

12:00-13:00 Lunch and networking

13:00-14:30 Pediatric Oncology (Ziedona Hall)

Chair: Zanna Kovalova, Elina Dimina


Jelena Rascon Professor, Medical doctor; Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Center for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos (Lithuania)
Initiation of several pediatric oncology clinical trials as part of HE2020 Twinning

Bastiaan Tops Head of Laboratory for Childhood Cancer Pathology; Prinses Máxima Centrum (The Netherlands)
The ultrafast molecular profiling of (pediatric) brain tumors during surgery

Dace Enkure Molecular genetic; Children’s Clinical University Hospital (Latvia)
Development of tumor board in Children’s Clinical University Hospital

Mirjam Blattner-Johnson Postdoc at Pediatric Glioma Research group; Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) (Germany)
INFORM 10 years of experience of a European wide pediatric precision medicine program

13:00-14:30 AI / Big Data in Precision Medicine (Conference Room 1)

Chair: Baiba Vilne


Tero Hiekkalinna Associate professor, senior researcher; Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland)
1 Millions Genomes project – Simulating 1,000,000 synthetic genome dataset with phenotypes

Markus Perola Research Professor; Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland)
FinRegistry: A population-wide big data registry study utilizing AI for disease trajectory prediction

Maija Radzina Associate professor, Researcher in Radiology, University of Latvia, Riga Stradins University (Latvia)
AI in Imaging – threat or opportunity?

Andrea Townsend-Nicholson Professor; University College London (UCL) (UK)
CompBioMed and the Virtual Human: Building Digital Twins for Healthcare



13:00-13:45 Young researchers (LV) (Conference Room 2)

Chair: Una Riekstina and Zanda Daneberga

Egija Berga-Svitina Rīga Stradins University (Latvia)
Exploring genetic factors and polygenic risk scores to predict breast and ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 pathogenic variant carriers

Vadims Parfejevs University of Latvia
Organoid models in pancreatic tumor studies

Karina Goluba University of Latvia
Human iPSC model to study the orphan diseases: calpainopathy

Karlis Racenis, Riga Stradiņs University (Latvia)
Phage therapy: a personalized approach in the treatment of multi-drug resistant infections 


13:45-14:30 International Master students (Conference Room 2)

Chair: Asa Johansson

Vika Jaskeviciute
Josephine Heinold
Ivanna Atava
Pritha Gayen
Dzvinka Yarish

14:30-14:45 Coffee break and networking

14:45-15:15 MOU/CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCEMENT TBC (Ziedona hall)

Osvalds Pugovičs
Aivars Bērziņš
Nils Rostoks
Andrejs Ērglis
Agrita Kiopa
Gatis Bažbauers 
Valts Abols
Johanna Sandgren
Monta Briviba
John Tully
Liene Dambina

14:45-15:15 Partner Symposium: Roche (Conference Room 1)

Bethany Williams

Digital Pathology in the 21st Century: Future-Proofing Cancer Diagnostics

14:45-15:15 Partner Symposium: Illumina (Conference Room 2)

Tiffany Morris

Latest Developments with Illumina Whole Genome Sequencing

15:15-15:30 Coffee break and networking

15:30-17:00 Functional Precision Medicine (Ziedona Hall)

Chair: Inese Cakstina – Dzerve


Anthony G. Letai Professor of Medicine, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School; Associate Member, Broad Institute (USA)
Towards functional precision medicine approach – a general overview of the field

Patrick Bhola Head of Laboratory of Functional Precision Medicine; Harvard Medical School (USA)
Dynamic BH3 profiling of small samples using live cell imaging

Joan Montero Associate Professor; University of Barcelona (Spain)

Overcoming cancer resistance to treatment using functional precision medicine 

Caroline Heckman Research Director; Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (Finland)
Functional precision medicine for hematological malignancies – Finland experience

Paivi Ostling Associate Professor; Karolinska Institute (Sweden)
Precision cancer medicine in solid tumors – Sweden experience. From science to clinic

15:30-17:00 From genome data registries to public health applications (Conference room 1)

Chair: Marcis Leja


Simon Pfisterer Principal investigator, Academy of Finland Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki (Finland)
Novel precision medicine application in dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease

Vita Rovite Leading researcher, Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre
Detection of hereditary cancer variants in early cancer cohort of Latvian National Biobank

Ahmad Al Awadhi Director – Community Outreach, G42 Healthcare (United Arab Emirates)
Emirati Genome Program, 500,000 participants and still recruiting  


15:30-16:30 Next steps in building health economy in Latvia (Conference room 2)

Aiga Balode

Acting State Secretary and Deputy State Secretary for Digitalization and Change Management (Latvia)

Normunds Stanevics
Maija Abolina
Ieva Bikava
Ilze Straume


16:30-17:00 Patient engagement (Conference room 2)

Chair: Baiba Ziemele


Begonya Nafria Escalera Patient Engagement in Research Coordinator; Sant Joan de Déu Children’s Hospital (Spain)
Topic: TBC

Roi Shternin Patient advocate, entrepreneur, and author (Israel)
Unseen, Unheard, Unstoppable: The Power of Empowered Patients in Personalized Healthcare

Baiba Ziemele Chairwoman of the board, Latvian Network Of Patient Organizations (Latvia)
Patient organizations in Latvia – benefits of cooperation

17:00-17:30 Networking


8:30-9:00 Registration, coffee and networking

9:00-10:00 Opening plenary session (Ziedona Hall)

Chair: Agrita Kiopa

Raimonds Lapins Deputy State Secretary, The Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia

Nikita Kazakevics Director of Innovation and Technology Department, Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA)

Linda Ozola Deputy Mayor of Riga, Latvia

Fredis Bikovs Managing Director, Riga Investment and Tourism Agency Live Riga, Latvia

Sanita Sinica Project Expert, Latvian Alliance of Rare Diseases, Latvia 

Roi Shternin Patient advocate, entrepreneur, and author, Israel
Patient story

 10:30-12:00 Newborn screening (Ziedona Hall)

Chair: Madara Auzenbaha


Robert Green Professor of Medicine (Genetics); Mass General Brigham, Harvard Medical School (USA)
Five Year Follow-Up to Newborn Sequencing in the BabySeq Project

Alessandra Ferlini Medical geneticist and neurologist, professor in medical genetics, and director of the Medical Genetics Unit; University of Ferrara (Italy)
Genetic newborn screening as the gateway to genomic medicine

Karit Reinson Doctor-lecturer ; University of Tartu (Estonia)
Newborn screening and its development in Estonia

Svetlana Vorslova Laboratory geneticist; Children’s Clinical University Hospital (Latvia)
Overview of Newborn Screening in Latvia


10:30-11:30 Smart Specialisation in Biomedicine (Conference room 1)

Agrita Kiopa

Raimonds Lapins
Nikita Kazakevics
Osvalds Pugovics
Vita Rovite
Andris Anspoks
Vitalijs Skrivelis


10:30-11:15 Excellence scholarship in bioinformatics – 5th anniversary (in Latvian)
(Conference Room 2)


11:45-12:45 Investors Roundtable
(Conference Room 2)

Raimonds Lapins
Deniss Camovs
Michael Akhras
Evija Celma
Cristian Mezzanotte
Sergey Jakimov
Jaanus Pikani
Jan Neutze
Klavs Freidenfelds

12:00-13:00 Lunch and networking

13:00-14:30 Pharmacogenomics (Conference Room 1)

Chair: Una Riekstina


Aris Saoulidis Senior Pharmacist; East Genomics (UK)
Integrating pharmacogenomic DPYD testing in routine NHS care

Elina Sivina Oncologist, Chemotherapist; Riga Stradins University (Latvia)
Latvian experience with personalized medication selection for the treatment of oncology patients (e.g., the need for DPYD testing and more)

Renate Ranka Associate Professor; Riga Stradins University (Latvia)
Pharmacogenetics of drug-induced liver injury: insights from tuberculosis studies

Mikko Niemi Professor; University of Helsinki (Finland)
Pharmacogenetics of lipid-lowering therapy



13:00-14:30 Health innovations (Conference Room 2)

Chair: Emil Syundyukov

Jaanus Pikani
Chairman, ScanBalt (Estonia)
The Estonian Genome Bank –  An engine for boosting innovation from bench to bed side
Michael Akhras Partner, Colibri Ventures (Sweden)
Crossing the chasm between research innovation and healthcare
Arnolds Bogdanovs Lead engineer, Longenesis (Latvia)
Trends in health data use for research and innovations


14:30-14:45 Coffee break and networking

14:45-15:00 Closing plenary session

Valts Abols CEO, Children’s Clinical University Hospital, Latvia