Dennis Lo, director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences and Professor of Chemical Pathology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and member of the Croucher Foundation, discovered in the mid-1990s that a baby’s DNA can be found in the mother’s blood. He then spent the next decade-and-a-half trying to translate his findings into clinical use, a time during which he developed a ground-breaking new method of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics that revolutionised screening tests for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions, affecting millions of pregnant women. Dennis’s current work focuses on a technique called “liquid biopsy” which helps in detecting head and neck cancer, and other cancers from a drop of blood – even before symptoms arise. His ultimate goal is to create a blood test that finds multiple types of cancer while the disease is still curable.
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