University of Bern,

TitleMolecular testing for immune oncology: challenges for precision oncology

Prof. Mark Rubin is a leader in the fields of prostate cancer biology and precision medicine as it applies to all cancers. Rubin’s laboratory led a series of landmark studies defining distinct molecular features of prostate cancer, revealing pathways that are perturbed and drive different types of this cancer. Subsequently, Rubin’s laboratory has been instrumental in establishing the mechanistic basis by which defined genomic alterations drive prostate cancers. His group discovered that mutations in the SPOP gene are among the most common in prostate cancer. Moreover, they demonstrated these mutations lead to genome instability, which permits prostate cancer cells to become more aggressive and resistant to therapy. Rubin’s work established that neuroendocrine prostate cancers arise from the aberrant activity of novel drivers, NMYC and AURKA that are distinct from other types of prostate cancers. Based on this work, Mark Rubin is involved in clinical trials aimed at evaluating the efficacy of AURKA inhibitors in treating neuroendocrine prostate cancer. He is also developing novel drugs to target advanced prostate cancer. Prof. Rubin has translated many of his genomic discoveries into clinical tests that are currently patented and standardly used in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. As the founding director of the Englander Precision Medicine Institute at Weill Cornell (New York, USA), he developed a cutting edge genomics clinical lab and received the first New York State approval to use whole exome sequencing in the diagnosis and treatment of a broad variety of cancers. Mark Rubin was a recipient of the first American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award. In May 2017, Prof. Rubin joined the University of Bern as Professor and Director of the Department for Biomedical Research, and since January 2019, he is also the head of the Bern Center for Precision Medicine (BCPM) at the University of Bern and Inselspital.