What we do

Specializing in clinical genomics and evolution in cancer.

Founded by and led by international leaders in cancer genomics and bioinformatics, Contextual Genomics delivers solutions that harness the clinical and genomic data of cancer patients to improve patient diagnosis and present expanded treatment options to oncologists and patients.

The tests Contextual Genomics engineer detect mutations in cancer, and have been designed to be medically necessary, clinical grade (CAP, CLIA validated), and cost effective. Our tests are embedded with leading, proprietary molecular quality assurance tools, enabling laboratory partners to effectively support their cancer physicians and patients.

Data driven medicine is part of a transformative paradigm resulting in ultra-high volume datasets that are revolutionizing medical practices and approaches. The proliferation of large databases of clinical, imaging, and molecular data are driving new biomedical discoveries and informing and enabling precision medical care.

Contextual Genomics’ approach to cancer care is inherently data intensive. We develop and deploy Next-Generation Sequencing tests to detect mutations in cancer DNA, then combine these results with clinical data. This results in high volume datasets which are analyzed and interpreted in relation to a patient’s clinical care. Our tests track the evolution of cancer under treatment and provide the data necessary to predict if patients are relapsing while on a given therapy. This allows for oncologists and patients to change treatment course early in disease management leading to improved outcomes.

Leadership Team

Contextual Genomics’ expertise in the provision and interpretation of genomic-based assays in cancer is unmatched. Our key strength lies in development and delivery of genomics based cancer diagnostics and bioinformatics. This stems from the extensive experience of our scientific and medical leaders, Drs. Samuel Aparicio, David Huntsman and Sohrab Shah.

Each has gained international recognition for their unparalleled work in the field of cancer research. Collectively, they have published >400 peer reviewed articles in the field of cancer genomics, diagnosis, and bioinformatics including in the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature and Nature Genetics.

Mr. Wagner has more than 20 years of experience in  product development and commercialization  in the life sciences industry. In addition to his role at Contextual Genomics, Mr. Wagner also serves on several not for profit and industry boards. Prior to Contextual Genomics, Mr. Wagner served as the President and CEO of Sirius Genomics, a molecular diagnostics company where he saw the company through new strategy development, scientific discovery, equity capital raising, the world’s largest sepsis genomics clinical trial, and sale of the company. Mr. Wagner was previously with Aspreva Pharmaceuticals as a founding executive where he helped raise $190M in private and public financings and increased the company’s valuation from $3M to $1B. Prior to Aspreva, Mr. Wagner was with Eli Lilly working in Europe, North America and Asia. He worked on the development and commercialization of 15 products including biologics and small molecules with annual sales reaching over $4 billion.
Dr. Aparicio graduated in medical and natural sciences from Cambridge University (UK) and clinical medicine from Oxford University (UK). He trained in internal medicine and anatomic pathology. From 2000-2005 he was a senior investigator in the Department of Oncology, Cambridge. He co-founded (1999) the UK and Singapore based biotech company Paradigm Therapeutics (now Takeda Cambridge), where he was director of science until 2004. Dr. Aparicio is currently the Nan and Lorraine Robertson Chair of Breast Cancer Research, based at UBC/BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada; and a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology. His work encompasses the fields of cancer evolution, single cell genomics, mouse genetic models, high throughput screens, and translational breast cancer research.

Dr. Huntsman’s expertize is in the translation of genomics into assays leading into improved cancer control, which demands complementary expertize in the development and delivery of novel assays as well as discovery genomics. In addition to leading cutting edge research in the discovery and development of biomarkers and therapeutic targets for ovarian and rare cancers, Dr. Huntsman directed the  CAP/CLIA certified Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics (CTAG), which has been instrumental to bringing new diagnostic assays into clinical practice. Dr. Huntsman’s group has a long track record of taking discoveries from basic genomic research into large cohorts of clinically annotated samples to determine their clinical relevance.

Dr. Shah is appointed as a Senior Scientist in the Dept of Molecular Oncology, BCCA and as Associate Professor, Dept of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Computational Cancer Genomics, is the recipient of a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Career Investigator Award and is a Killam laureate. Dr. Shah received his PhD in computer science from UBC and has over 15 years innovating practical bioinformatics solutions for genomics of human disease with many of his software tools used worldwide. His research is focused on studying tumor evolution through computational modeling and high resolution single cell genomics techniques.

Ms. Parker is a graduate of the University of Toronto where she earned her MSc degree in the department of Molecular and Medical Genetics. She later performed predictive testing for Huntington Disease at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics in Vancouver. After earning her MBA degree from the Sauder School of Business, she marketed medical devices for the LifeScan division of Johnson and Johnson. She later joined Inex Pharmaceuticals Corporation where she was responsible for licensing and marketing of cancer immunotherapy products. Immediately prior to Contextual Genomics, Ms. Parker held the lead business role at the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics (CTAG), a diagnostic cancer assay development and validation facility.