John Semmes

John Semmes

Talk Title:
Development of Liquid-Biopsies for Personalized Care in Prostate Cancer


Dr. O. John Semmes received his Ph.D. degree from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. in 1989 in Biochemistry. He completed his post-doctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1996, as Instructor. In 1997, he joined the Department of Microbiology at the University of Virginia as Assistant Professor before moving to Eastern Virginia Medical School as Associate Professor in 2000. Dr. Semmes is currently Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology, Professor of Pathology and Anatomy, and Anthem Distinguished Professor for Cancer Research, at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is the Director of the Leroy T. Canoles Jr. Cancer Research Center and founding Co-Director of the George L. Wright Center for Biomedical Proteomics. Dr. Semmes serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Proteomics-Clinical Applications and the editorial boards of Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention; Retrovirology; Cancer Genomics and Proteomics; Cancer Biomarkers; Journal of Formosan Medical Association; Matters; and Biomarker Insights. He has authored over 170 scientific articles in the areas of viral oncology, cancer biomarker discovery and proteomics. His research has been continually funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Prostate cancer (PCa) is a major health problem in males in the United States. The diversity and heterogeneity of PCa is well appreciated with considerable variation in clinical course ranging from asymptomatic disease to a rapidly progressing fatal malignancy. Current risk-stratification strategies lack adequate sensitivity and specificity to discriminate aggressive from indolent diseases. Optimal management of men with prostate cancer requires clinically robust biomarkers for the early detection of aggressive disease, to monitor those on an active surveillance program and to guide treatment decisions following diagnosis. Cognizant of these needs, our research efforts are focused on the development of protein-based biomarkers derived from post-DRE urine as novel liquid biopsies to assist in the early detection of invasive (pT3) disease. We will discuss our current biomarker development achievements and activities aimed at successfully navigating assay validation.