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Agilent Announces Thought Leader Award to Gerhardt Attard at University College London (UCL)

publication date: Aug 25, 2022
author/source: Agilent Technologies


Award recognizes transformative prostate cancer clinical research using novel liquid biopsy technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that Professor Gerhardt Attard has been selected to receive a prestigious Agilent Thought Leader Award. Prof Attard is a John Black Charitable Foundation Endowed Chair in Urological Cancer Research at University College London (UCL). Professor Attard is prominent for his innovative research and clinical trials using cutting-edge liquid biopsy technologies to identify biomarkers to monitor drug response and cancer progression in patients with advanced prostate cancer. The technique is non-invasive and, therefore, ideal for tracking tumor response to therapy and the evolution of cancer mutation.

Professor Attard is an influential oncology clinician-scientist whose work has enabled the application of modern genomics clinical solutions, such as liquid biopsy, to create the next generation of diagnostics and prognostic tools in the fight against cancer. Professor Attard’s research supported by this award will generate important data using relevant samples from clinical trials to identify and test changes in the circulating tumor DNA methylome that could be used as biomarkers for cancer progression and resistance to available therapies. 

“The Agilent Thought Leader Award will support my group’s work interrogating tumor epigenetic information in plasma DNA. As translational researchers, one of our key remits is to transition new discoveries into clinically-implemented tests,” said Professor Attard. “I am thrilled to receive this award. It is a great honor and important opportunity for my team and our collaborators to work with some of the industry leaders in the diagnostics field.”

“My group primarily studies blood collected from men with advanced prostate cancer, but I expect our findings to have relevance to and support new tests for other cancer types,” Professor Attard added. “I am confident that this partnership will accelerate our delivery of diagnostics that will provide cancer physicians more precise information to tailor treatment paradigms and improve patient outcomes.”

“Agilent continues to invest in research on the important segment markets we serve,” said Ronda Allen, head of R&D, Assays and Reagents, Diagnostics and Genomics Group at Agilent and executive sponsor of the award. “The important work conducted through this award will support scientific developments in the cancer genomics space and we believe Professor Attard will be a brilliant asset in that endeavor.”

“Philanthropic gifts like the Agilent Thought Leader Award are crucial to enabling UCL’s world-leading scientists to make life-saving discoveries, that could alter the clinical landscape for advanced prostate cancer patients and those with other cancers,” said Angharad Milenkovic, vice-president of Advancement at UCL. “We’re grateful to our philanthropic partners at Agilent, who share our vision for improving cancer diagnosis and treatment, and for their generous funding of Professor Attard’s research.”

Professor Attard holds an advanced Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist award and is Team Leader of the Treatment Resistance Group at the UCL Cancer Institute.

The Agilent Thought Leader Award program promotes fundamental scientific advances by contributing financial support, products, and expertise to the research of influential thought leaders in the life sciences, diagnostics, and chemical analysis space. To learn more, visit the Agilent Thought Leader Awardwebsite.


About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global leader in the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets, delivering insight and innovation that advance the quality of life. Agilent’s full range of solutions includes instruments, software, services, and expertise that provide trusted answers to our customers' most challenging questions. The company generated revenue of $6.32 billion in fiscal 2021 and employs 17,000 people worldwide.


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