About this event

  • Date and time Mon 24 May 2021 from 5:30pm to 6:50pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Medical Genetics

The ninth webinar in The genetics of… series. Join us for this webinar which will bring together three world-renowned scientists, each offering unique insights into the role of extrachromosomal DNA in cancerThere will be an opportunity to ask our panel of experts questions on this recently emerging field of cancer genomics.

During this webinar you will:

  • Recognise that circular DNA outside of chromosomes (extrachromosomal) carrying amplified copies of oncogenesis is common in cancer. 

  • Understand the consequence of non-Mendelian genetics of ecDNA in cancer. 

  • Learn how ecDNA formation and re-integration into chromosomal DNA drives cancer genome remodelling.  

This webinar aims to promote awareness and understanding of the newly discovered roles of extrachromosomal DNA in cancer.

This webinar is brought to you in association with the RSM Oncology Section.

The genetics of… series has been developed following feedback from delegates. Presented by the Medical Genetics section of the Royal Society of Medicine, this series of talks will focus on the role of genetics in different areas of health and well-being.

A CPD certificate with 1 CPD credit will be issued to those joining each webinar live and will be automatically issued after 7 days to those who watched the webinar live in its entirety. Those who watch the webinar on-demand will receive a CPD certificate 30 days after the webinar has gone live.  

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Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted. 

Key speakers

Professor Paul Mischel

Professor and Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA 

Speaker's biography

Paul Mischel is a Professor and Vice Chair for Research for the Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine and Institute Scholar, Stanford ChEM-H. The Mischel lab has made a series of seminal discoveries that identified ecDNA (extrachromosomal DNA) as a driving force of cancer heterogeneity and therapeutic resistance. This research has provided a paradigm shift in understanding the fundamental mechanisms of oncogene amplification, intratumoural heterogeneity, and the spatial organization of altered tumour genomes. Bridging cancer genetics, signal transduction and cellular metabolism, research from the lab has provided a new understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of oncogene amplification and the spatial organization of altered tumour genomes, launching a new area of cancer research that links circular architecture with tumour pathogenesis.

Professor Roel Verhaak

Professor and Director of Computational Biology, The Jackson Laboratory, CT, USA 

Speaker's biography

Roel Verhaak, PhD., is a Professor and Associate Director of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT. The Verhaak lab studies glioma using genomic characterization and computational analyses, work that has helped redefine the way glioma in adult patients is classified. More recent efforts are focused on tumor evolution, which the lab is investigating using longitudinal tumor sequencing, single-cell sequencing, and via comparative oncology approaches. Roel Verhaak is a recipient of the AAAS Wachtel Award, the Agilent Early Career Professor Award, and the Peter Steck Memorial Award. He is a co-founder of Boundless Bio, a biotech company developing therapies against cancers containing extrachromosomal DNA amplifications. 

Dr Anton Henssen

Group Leader and Clinician Scientist, Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) of the Max Delbrück Center (MDC) and Charité BerlinBerlin Germany 

Speaker's biography

Dr Anton Henson is currently a leader of a research group at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center at the Max Delbruck Center, Berlin. Anton studied medicine in Düsseldorf and Paris before completing a doctoral thesis in neuroscience at Aachen University. He did his postdoctoral research fellowship in cancer biology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. His group specialises in rare childhood cancers.


View the programme

Welcome and introduction

Professor Lauren Pecorino and Dr Melita Irving 

ecDNA and the role of non-Mendelian genetics in cancer

Professor Paul Mischel, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA 

Extrachromosomal oncogene activation: a frequent event in cancer

Professor Roel VerhaakProfessor and Director of computational biologyThe Jackson Laboratory, CT, USA 

Extrachromosomal circular MYCN amplification in neuroblastoma: structure, regulation and genomic remodeling

Dr. med. Anton Henssen, Group Leader and Clinician ScientistExperimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC)Max Delbrück Center (MDC) and Charité BerlinBerlin, Germany 

Panel discussion
Close of meeting



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The sixth webinar in The genetics of… series. In this webinar, we will hear from expert speakers about the way that DNA has revolutionised forensic science. Participants will learn about the unique regions in the genetic code that allow fingerprints to identify individuals and how these became the mainstay of forensic medicine. Join us to hear how direct to consumer testing has helped to solve crimes and how molecular information is stored on the national DNA database.

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The genetics of addiction: Episode 7

The seventh webinar in The genetics of… series. In this webinar, participants will have the chance to recognise the arguments for and against the role of genetics in addictive behaviour. Leaders in their fields will engage in a discussion to explore the role of DNA in driving addiction and to consider how epigenetic factors display the interplay of nature versus nurture.

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The genetics of ancient DNA and health: Episode 8

The eighth webinar in The genetics of… series. This unique and exciting webinar will allow participants to explore studies of ancient DNA and understand how it can inform us about the health of our species today. We have an unmissable chance to hear from specialists in the field blazing trails and harnessing key messages hidden within the genetics of our predecessors. 

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted. 

Special rates for difficult times 
The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s weekly COVID-19 Series webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees will enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and will apply during the course of the pandemic.

Webinar recordings will be available for registered delegates up to 30 days after the live webinar, via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place. 

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.  

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