The Pugh lab is focused on the application of genome sequencing analysis as a routine clinical test and creating a bridge from bench to bedside. The laboratory seeks to understand the clinical implications of clonal shifts in cancer and non-cancerous cell populations during treatment, most recently using cell-free DNA, immune repertoire, and single cell RNA-seq sequencing. The lab routinely performs analysis of surgical specimens, serial biopsies, blood samples and circulating tumor DNA collected from patients diagnosed with a wide range of cancers. Specifically, the lab conducts high-resolution examinations of DNA, RNA, and epigenetic marks; examinations that are now feasible due to continued advancements in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology. These methods have enabled routine analysis of all genetic content (whole genome sequencing), all annotated genes (whole exome sequencing), all expressed genes (RNA sequencing) and regulators of gene expression (e.g. epigenetic marks, histone binding sites, and DNA/protein interactions) in tissues, blood, and single cells. These data types are highly complementary and analysis of one large-scale data set greatly informs another. Therefore, the Pugh lab is developing laboratory and computational approaches to extract multiple sources of genome variation from suboptimal specimens, and to integrate these data types into cohesive portraits of individual tumour biology. Part of the lab’s work focuses on translation of these findings into clinical practice through nomination of clinically-informative markers for targeted testing and development of bioinformatics tools to support clinical laboratory workflows.
Dr. Pugh also supports clinical testing as a molecular geneticist and Director of the Joint Genomics Program of the University Health Network and Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
For more information about the Pugh lab please visit their website.
Dr. Trevor Pugh