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DPSM holds third leg of webinar series on Biomarker Evaluation

DPSM holds third leg of webinar series on Biomarker Evaluation

The Division of Physical Sciences and Mathematics' (DPSM) Public Service Committee organized a webinar entitled “Introduction to Biomarker Evaluation in Drug Discovery Studies” on January 24, 2022, via Zoom and was streamed live via Facebook. 

The webinar was delivered by Dr. Nolen Joy M. Perualila-Tan, a senior manager of EMEA Market Analytics and Health Economics Modeling Team of the Janssen Pharmaceutica in Belgium. Dr. Perualila-Tan is also an alumna of the B.S. in Statistics program of UP Visayas in Miagao, Iloilo. 

In her talk, she explained the drug discovery process which highlights the scientific approach from drug conception to market distribution. “It takes at least 10 years of research and clinical development efforts to ensure that the available medicines are safe and effective'', Dr. Perualila-Tan explained. She then discussed the role of biomarkers as screening criteria for candidate drugs. According to the National Institute of Health, a biomarker is a biological molecule found in the blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of normal or abnormal condition or disease. Dr. Perualila-Tan stated that “biomarkers can be used to assess the safety, efficacy, or selection of the dose of a candidate drug and in clinical trials, they can be used to screen patients”. 

Dr. Perualila-Tan emphasized the role of statisticians/data scientists in creating statistical models that identify genes that can serve as candidate biomarkers for compound efficacy. She focused on her work of using a joint modeling approach in identifying these high-dimensional biomarkers. Results from these models are then interpreted by biologists and medical chemists for further studies. 

The DPSM Public Service Committee headed by Dr. Jhoanne Marsh C. Gatpatan  prepared the webinar for faculty members and students to inform and inspire those in the Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science fields to explore possible career paths and research direction related to bioinformatics. The webinar also served as a venue to answer some of the viewer’s questions related to the pharmaceutical industry. 

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