Lymphoma Scientific Advisory Board

The molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis are central in understanding cancer biology and the aggressive nature of the disease. In lymphoma, the different subgroups reflect various stages of normal lymphocyte differentiation, which are associated with morphologic, immunophenotypic and gene expression hallmarks. Gene expression profiling is now being used to identify lymphoma subgroups based on their molecular signatures. For example, the ability to differentiate distinct Cell of Origin (COO) subtypes is facilitating a more accurate diagnosis [1,2].

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive tumor type in addition to being the most common B-Cell lymphoma.In the last few years, studies have shown that molecular subtyping needs to go beyond the identification of the Cell of Origin (COO)[3,4,5] and that gene expression signatures can identify a high-grade B-cell lymphoma group with distinct molecular features and clinical outcomes that double the size of the poor-prognosis, double-hit group[6,7].

In order to better understand our customer’s needs and their ground-breaking research, HTG formed the Lymphoma Advisory Board that will focus on innovating molecular testing; targeting improvements in patient care and clinical outcomes for hematological diseases with a particular focus on aggressive lymphomas. The board consists of KOLs in lymphoma, clinicians, pathologists, research scientists. Together we hope to develop and validate products in translational research and clinical applications that will ultimately aid in the fight against aggressive lymphomas.


Selina Gaertner

Medical Affairs Manager EMEA
SAB Coordinator
HTG Molecular Diagnostics

Selina Gaertner is the Medical Affairs Manager EMEA for HTG Molecular Diagnostics. She works in close collaboration with the HTG commercial, development and marketing teams. She coordinates the Lymphoma Advisory Board and works together with the members in the lymphoma field towards innovating molecular testing; targeting improvements in patient care and clinical outcomes for hematological diseases.

Dr. Julia Richter

Department of Pathology
Hematopathology Section and Lymph Node Registry
University of Kiel, Medical School
Kiel, Germany

Dr. Julia Richter is laboratory head and postdoctoral scientist at the molecular-genetic Research Lab of the Hematopathology Section and Lymph Node Registry, Institute of Pathology, UKSH in Kiel, Germany. Since 2010 Julia Richter is a valued member of the ICGC MMML-Seq project on analyzing mature aggressive B-cell lymphoma by whole genome, transcriptome, miRNAome and methylome sequencing that was initiated during her doctoral thesis at the Institute of Human Genetics in Kiel. Julia has published 62 articles and 2 reviews with a median cumulative impact factor of 8.78 in the last 4 years.

Sharon Barrans, PhD

Clinical Scientist
Haematological Malignancy Diagnostic Service
St. James Institute of Oncology
Leeds, UK

Dr. Sharon Barrans’ interests are in the molecular pathogenesis of haematological malignancies, and as part of her PhD she developed a very robust method for routine detection of genetic abnormalities by FISH in paraffin sections – this is now in routine use in HMDS.

Routine use of Illumina technology is implemented for SNP/CNV arrays in chronic and acute leukaemias; and gene expression (previously using Illumina WG-DASL technology) has now been replaced with HTG EdgeSeq Pan B-Cell Lymphoma panel for aggressive lymphomas.

Current goals are to implement gene expression technologies into the diagnostic setting in the field of haematological malignancy, with a view to improving the accuracy of diagnosis and prognostic information.

As a member of the precision medicine in aggressive lymphoma consortium (PMAL), representing HMDS in delivering translational elements for clinical trials and contributing to ongoing research in the field. She also sits on the British Society for Haematology Scientific sub-group and NCRI Lymphoma Science Subgroup and has recently taken up a post as an assessor for GENQA FISH schemes.

John Davies

Research Fellow
Leeds Institute of Data Analytics
University of Leeds
Leeds, United Kingdom

John Davies is a biostatistician who has worked at the University of Leeds for over 10 years in the fields of epidemiology and biostatistics.  His research interests include applying statistical and machine learning techniques to biological data to improve understanding of the causes and prognosis of cancer.  He has worked extensively in the analysis of epidemiological and genetic factors that influence outcome in melanoma cases.  Presently he is focused on applying supervised learning models trained on gene expression data to better classify DLBCL subtypes with poor prognosis.

Prof. Dr. Alexandar Tzankov

Institute of Pathology
University Hospital Basel
Basel, Switzerland

Alexandar Tzankov is the Head of Histopathology and Autopsy at the Institute of Genetics and Pathology of the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. With more than 500 scientific publications he is a well-respected expert in pathology and hematopathology. For the Swiss Accreditation Authority he serves as official expert and is a member of editorial board for the journal “Pathobiology” as well as guest editor of “Frontiers in Oncology”.

His research interests are in particular the genetic alterations and tumor microenvironment in hematological diseases as well as more recently COVID-19 research with the motivation to rapidly translate basic research findings to routine diagnostic applications.


[1] Leich E, Hartmann EM, Burek C, Ott G, Rosenwald A. Diagnostic and prognostic significance of gene expression profiling in lymphomas., APMIS, 2007, vol. 115 (pg. 1135-1146)

[2] Staudt LM, Dave S. The biology of human lymphoid malignancies revealed by gene expression profiling., Adv Immunol, 2005, vol. 87 (pg. 163-208)

[3] Schmitz R et al. 1 Genetics and Pathogenesis of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. N Engl J Med. 2018.PMID:29641966

[4] Chapuy B, et al.Molecular subtypes ofdiffuselargeBcelllymphomaare associated with distinct pathogenic mechanisms and outcomes.Nat Med. 2018.PMID:29713087

[5] Wright GW et al. A Probabilistic Classification Tool for Genetic Subtypes of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma with Therapeutic Implications.Cancer Cell. 2020.PMID:32289277

[6]Sha C., Barrans S. Molecular High-Grade B-Cell Lymphoma: Defining a Poor-Risk Group That Requires Different Approaches to Therapy, J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jan 20;37(3):202-212. doi: 10.1200/JCO.18.01314.

[7] Ennishi D, Jiang A Double-Hit Gene Expression Signature Defines a Distinct Subgroup of Germinal Center B-Cell-Like Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jan 20;37(3):190-201. doi: 10.1200/JCO.18.01583.

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